What Do Scientists Understand About Neuroplasticity Of The Brain?
In the past few years, scientists have been studying neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to reorganize itself, more and more. And they’re learning some pretty amazing things about it.
For example, did you know that the brains of cab drivers actually change shape as they learn to navigate city streets? Or that people who suffer from chronic pain can actually rewire their brains to lessen their pain?
All of this is thanks to neuroplasticity. And scientists are still uncovering new things about it all the time.
So what do we currently understand about neuroplasticity? Here’s a quick rundown:
1. Neuroplasticity Happens Throughout Your Entire Lifespan
Contrary to what many people believe, neuroplasticity doesn’t just happen in childhood. It happens throughout your entire lifespan.
Every time you learn something new, your brain changes in some way. When you make a memory, connections between neurons are strengthened. And when you forget something, those connections are weakened or even broken.
2. Neuroplasticity Can Be both Good and Bad
Neuroplasticity is not always a good thing. Yes, it helps us learn and remember things. But it can also lead to bad habits and negative thoughts becoming entrenched in our brains.
For example, people who suffer from anxiety or depression may find that their condition is worsened by neuroplasticity. That’s because their brains are constantly reinforcing the negative thoughts and emotions they’re experiencing.
3. environment Plays a Role in Neuroplasticity
The environment you’re in can influence how neuroplastic your brain is.
For example, research has shown that people who live in impoverished or dangerous neighborhoods tend to have less neuroplastic brains than those who don’t. This is likely due to the fact that their brains are constantly on high alert, which makes it harder for them to learn and remember new things.
4. Neuroplasticity Can Be Used to Rebuild the Brain
If you suffer from a brain injury, neuroplasticity can be used to help rebuild your damaged brain tissue.
In fact, many stroke victims have made amazing recoveries thanks to neuroplasticity. By working with a therapist, they’ve been able to relearn lost skills and regain some level of independence.