NEUROPLASTICITY: HOW THE BRAIN SHAPES AND RESHAPES WITH OUR EXPERIENCES?

Neuroplasticity

The brain is a complex and fascinating organ.

It’s the most critical organ in our body, as it controls all of the functions that keep us alive and functioning. Did you know that your brain never really “turns off?”

When we sleep, the part of our brain responsible for processing information shuts down while other parts continue to work. But even during this time when we’re asleep, our brains are still shaping themselves based on previous experiences.

This blog post will talk about Neuroplasticity and how the experience shapes and reshapes our brains. We will also give you some tips on optimizing your life for optimal health using this fantastic research.

Let us get going!

What is Neuroplasticity Anyway?

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change its structure in response to experience, as well as environmental stressors. The concept of Neuroplasticity was first introduced by a Canadian psychologist named Donald Hebb back in 1949.

“The idea behind this theory revolves around how our neural connections are formed and maintained – that they can either be strengthened or weakened depending on what we do with them.”

This means that if you consistently practice an activity, your brain will start strengthening those connections, so it becomes easier for you to repeat that action whenever necessary. On the other hand, if you don’t use certain parts of your brain much (say because there are not enough stimuli), those areas will shrink over time compared to other brain regions.

How does Neuroplasticity work?

Think of brain’s neurons are interconnected to make complex ‘circuits.’ Each circuit is linked to thought, memory, habit, experience, bodily response, and so on. Neuroplasticity says that these ‘neural networks’ or ‘circuits’ can be shut-off, changed, modified, or optimized with repetitive training— i.e., the stimulus (an exercise, environment, routine, etc.).

This mechanism, where the brain cells connect, disconnect, regenerate, and retrain, is called ‘Synaptic Pruning.’

By developing new connections and pruning away weak ones, the brain can adapt to the changing environment – and help us survive and thrive.

Types of Neuroplasticity

There are two types of Neuroplasticity:

  • Functional plasticity: The brain’s ability to transfer functions when one area is impaired
  • Structural plasticity: The brain’s ability to physically change as a result of learning.

How to Put Neuroplasticity to Good Use?

One of the most beneficial aspects of our brain’s plasticity is its ability to adapt and change.

  • This helps promote the ability to learn new things
  • The ability to enhance your existing cognitive capabilities
  • Recovery from strokes and traumatic brain injuries
  • Strengthening areas if some functions are lost or decline
  • Improvements that can promote brain fitness

How to implement these ‘superpowers’ in your daily life?

“Well, think in terms of habits and routines.”

What you do repetitively is what you become – this is literal when it comes to realizing the immense potential lying inside your head.

Neuroplasticity ‘Heals’ the Brain

Research has provided evidence that Neuroplasticity helps recover from traumatic injuries. In addition, Neuroplasticity and cognitive rehabilitation can help patients “rewire” their brains for improved cognitive and emotional health.

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to rewire itself and alter its pathways, allowing healthy brain regions to take over for impaired portions. It has been widely studied in stroke patients.

This proves how powerful the principle of Neuroplasticity is in helping us become who we want to be in our lives, live without stress, and adapt when challenges arise.

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