Neuroplasticity is a term that refers to the brain’s ability to change and adapt as a result of experience. Neuro relates to neurons, the nerve cells that are the building blocks of the brain and nervous system, and plasticity refers to the brain’s malleability.
Each neuron in your brain has one long cable that snakes away from the central part of the cell. This cable, several times thinner than a human hair, is called an axon, and it is where electrical impulses from the neuron travel away to be received by other neurons.
Brain reorganisation occurs by processes such as “axonal sprouting,” in which undamaged axons grow new nerve endings to reconnect neurons whose links were injured or severed. Intact axons can also sprout nerve endings and connect with other uninjured nerve cells, forming new neural pathways to accomplish a needed function.
For example, if one hemisphere of the brain is damaged, the intact hemisphere may take over some of its functions. The brain compensates for damage in effect by reorganising and forming new connections between intact neurons. To reconnect, the neurons need to be stimulated through activity.
- Brain reorganisation occurs by processes such as “axonal sprouting,” in which undamaged axons grow new nerve endings to reconnect neurons whose links were injured or severed,
- A growth mindset develops one’s innate skills, talents, and abilities and/or improves determination,
- Research on neuroplasticity has shown that your day-to-day behaviours can have measurable effects on brain structure and function, offering healing and recovery from psychiatric disorders.
Benefits of Neuroplasticity
There are many ways that neuroplasticity benefits the brain. These are some of the ways that your brain benefits:
- Recovery from brain events such as strokes;
- Recovery from traumatic brain injuries;
- Ability to rewire functions in the brain (e.g. if an area that controls one sense is damaged, other areas may be able to pick up the slack)
- Losing function in one area may enhance functions in other regions(e.g., if one sense is lost, the others may become heightened)
- Enhanced memory capabilities
- Wide range of enhanced cognitive abilities
- More effective learning
- Sleep after learning strengthens connections between brain cells and enhances memory — ScienceDaily
- How art changes the brain – The University of Sydney.
- NEUROPLASTICITY EXERCISE: TRY BRUSHING YOUR TEETH WITH YOUR NON-DOMINANT HAND – International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation
- This Is Your Brain On Travel
- Heal your brain: How the new neuropsychiatry can help you go from better to well.