Understanding neuroplasticity

Your guide to neuroplastcity

At its most basic, neuroplasticity is a term that relates to the way in which the brain alters its physical properties based on how it is stimulated. When we gain physical skills, for example, we often put it down to muscle memory. In many cases, however, it is because the brain has altered that we get better at an activity or that it becomes second nature. Like other parts of the body, including other organs, the brain is in a constant state of renewal as cells die and are replaced. In the brain's case, this means it can be reshaped, rather like the way plastic can be melted down and altered. As such, scientists use the term plasticity to refer to the brain's ability to reshape itself according to individual circumstances.

 How does neuroplasticity work?

When the brain regenerates itself, it devotes more neural pathways to the most demanding parts of brain function. When people suffer from adult blindness, for example, their visual cortex may be unused in some ways and – over time – this may mean that this part of the brain is given over to other tasks. The brain's grey matter and its synapses – which carry electrical signals – can literally alter their functions so that we can continue to adapt mentally. People who have suffered irreparable brain damage, for example, will often recover somewhat because working parts of the brain slowly 'relearn' how to perform cognitive tasks that were previously carried out in the parts of the brain which have since been lost.

Can neuroplasticity alter IQ levels?

Essentially, IQ levels are merely determined by the ability to solve the sort of logic puzzles found in IQ tests. If you do enough of these sorts of puzzles, then you will get better at them, either solving more correctly or applying your knowledge of simple ones to solve harder ones. This is neuroplasticity at work. So, neuroplasticity does work for IQ tests but also for many other aspects of life, such as riding a bike, playing an instrument or even in your ability to meditate more deeply.

How do you promote greater neuroplasticity?

Research is ongoing in this field, but it is known that exercise is good since this promotes oxygen flow to the brain. Repetition is also beneficial since it helps to send electrical signals down the same neural pathways. In addition, some studies have shown that chemicals in turmeric and fish oils can promote brain growth, an essential element in neuroplasticity, of course.

Members who are looking for Neuroplasticity

Similar interests to Neuroplasticity

Learning is something that everybody does from a very early age. However, it does not stop when you leave school or no longer engage in education programmes. In fact, many people consider that they continue to learn right throughout the course of their lives. When you learn, it can be that you are working in an academic way, reading books and interpreting them. There again, others learn by developing a physical skill. Some people learn by developing a preference or taste for something and others by adapting their behaviour to different situations. When we learn, we are not merely acquiring knowledge but developing our brains to cope with the subject matter at hand in ever-more sophisticated ways. Partly, this is by gaining a deeper understanding and, partly, it is by creating new neural pathways in the brain that relate to the subject or activity being learned about.
Primary education is a term that refers to the formal teaching of children after they have progressed from pre-school settings and before they have reached secondary school. Although the ages of children in primary education vary around the world, this usually means from about the age of five to around the age of eleven. In some cases, primary education is carried out at home, but by far the majority of children attend a primary school to receive it. As such, it is a professional pursuit in nearly every part of the world with only qualified teachers being able to work in it. In some cases, unqualified assistants may also be used, but a professional is still required to oversee such work.
More often than not, neuroscience is used as an umbrella term that covers various branches of biology, including physiology, anatomy and cytology. Other aspects of it include molecular and developmental biology. These days, complex computer modelling and aspects of psychology are just as likely to be included in neuroscience as are studies of the physical and chemical aspects of the nervous system. The earliest investigations into the brain date back to ancient Egypt and many physicians consider it to be one of the last remaining big challenges for medical science.
By continuing to browse, you accept the use of Cookies to enhance and personalise your experience.