What Is Neuroplasticity For Dummies?
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new connections throughout life. This process is mediated by changes in gene expression. The brain has an amazing capacity to adapt and change in response to experience.
This process of neuroplasticity underlies our ability to learn and remember. When we learn something new, our brain forms new connections between neurons. These connections are strengthened with repeated practice and become automatic over time.
Similarly, when we remember something, we are reactivating neural circuits that were formed during the original learning experience. Over time, these memories become more dense and efficient as the connections between neurons are strengthened through repetition.
Neuroplasticity also plays an important role in healing after brain injury. When part of the brain is damaged, neuroplasticity allows other areas to take on new functions to compensate for the loss. This process is known as cortical re-mapping.
Neuroplasticity is a hot topic in neuroscience research today. Scientists are beginning to unlock the secrets of how the brain changes throughout life, and this knowledge is providing new insights into how we can optimize brain function and improve resilience in the face of challenges like injury, disease, and aging.