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What is Neuroplasticity and Why is It So Important?

Priya Johnson
Previous research proved that brain formation took place in childhood and was fixated in adulthood. However, modern technological research has revealed a whole new side of brain capacity.

What is Neuroplasticity?

In simple terms, neuroplasticity is the brain’s lifelong ability to adapt, rewire and change according to new learning, experiences and situations in life. The brain is continuously evolving; it’s capacity continuously changing.
“Neuroplasticity research showed that the brain changes its very structure with each different activity it performs, perfecting its circuits so that it is better suited for the task at hand.” - Naveen Jain

Is the Brain truly Plastic?

Plasticity refers to malleability. Modern scientific research has proven that the brain is capable of reorganizing itself by forming new connections between neurons.

Brain and Neural Connections

Brain cells are to be considered like the rest of the muscular cells. The more you exercise them, they’ll get stronger and better. The more you neglect them, the weaker they get. Moreover, the neurons are capable of forming new neural connections all throughout life.

Thoughts and Choices

The way we condition our brain to think and believe, it responds. So positive thoughts have a different effect on the brain than negative thoughts. Same with choices.

How is Neuroplasticity Relevant?

Thoughts have such a significant impact on the physical and psychological state of the brain. The way we think and what we feed our minds with has a major role in who we become.
"Mind training matters. It is not just a luxury or a supplementary vitamin for the soul. It determines the quality of every instant of our lives.” - Norman Doidge

Continuous Learning

Unlike prior research and belief, the brain does not stop learning after a certain age. The rate of change slows in old age, but does not stop. Striving to learn new skills will keep your brain cells active.
“Every time we learn a new fact, a new skill, every time we give a new response, our brain changes, this is neuroplasticity! And this is true for adult brains too. So don’t stop learning.” - Aadil Chimthanawala

Choose Your Response Wisely

We all go through challenging and detrimental experiences in life. How we respond to the situation sculpts our thoughts, minds, and the rest of our lives. So choose to respond positively.
"Nothing speeds brain atrophy more than being immobilized in the same environment: the monotony undermines our dopamine and attentional systems, crucial to our brain plasticity." - Norman Doidge

Talent Potential is Limitless

We often depend on the talents and skills we’re born with, or are naturally comfortable with. However, the brain is able to change and adapt and the potential to excel is limitless.

Culture, Background and Experiences

Although our cultural backgrounds play a major role in defining us, it’s not the limiting factor. We can allow our circumstances to build us into better people or allow it to make us bitter individuals.
“Brains are tricky and adaptable organs. For all the ‘neuroplasticity’ allowing our brains to reconfigure themselves to the biases of our computers, we are just as neuroplastic in our ability to eventually recover and adapt.” - Douglas Rushkoff

Neuroplasticity and Substance Abuse

The very fact that the physical and psychological structure of the brain is constantly changing means that substance abuse alters the brain negatively.

Neuroplasticity and Brain Rehabilitation

Post a stroke or traumatic brain injury, the brain’s ability to form new neural connections helps stimulate healing and in the restoration of lost body movements.

Mental Health Counseling

The brain’s potential to change is useful in the field of counseling, where people are helped to build new neural connections which in turn helps them respond to stressful situations better.
Picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going. – Carol Dweck