What Is Experience Dependent Neuroplasticity Rick Hanson?

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to adapt and change in response to experience. This type of plasticity occurs throughout our lives, but is most pronounced during childhood and adolescence. Experience dependent neuroplasticity is a type of plasticity that refers to changes in the brain that are specifically due to experience.

One of the best known examples of experience dependent neuroplasticity is London taxi drivers. These drivers have larger hippocampi (a part of the brain involved in memory and navigation) than non-taxi drivers, and this difference is thought to be due to their increased need to remember London’s streets and landmarks.

Another example of experience dependent neuroplasticity comes from a study of people who were born deaf and later learned to sign. This study found that the area of the brain responsible for processing visual information was rewired to process tactile information instead. This rewiring occurred because the deaf individuals were using their hands to communicate, which resulted in them relying more heavily on touch than sight.

Experience dependent neuroplasticity plays an important role in childhood development, as it allows children to learn and grow in response to their environment. It also has implications for adult learning, as it suggests that the brain can continue to change and adapt throughout our lives, not just during childhood.

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