Brain Plasticity and Your Mental Health
The brain can be a very resilient and flexible organ even if its complexity is probably of thehighest of the human body. Your brain has the ability to alter its structure and functionsthrough time naturally and in response to external stimuli. This is called brain plasticitywhich we will talk about further. Brain plasticity has in some sorts revolutionized the wayscientists approach our brains. Decades ago, we believe that our brain capacities were fixedand could only decline with age. Today we understand that through brain training we canhelp to keep our brain and
healthy for the long-run.
can involve fundamental changes to the brain such as the creation of newneural pathways or disconnection of old neural pathways. The creation of new neuralpathways is an important part of learning. This phenomenon happens usually when yourmind is stimulated with new information and data. By participating in challenging anddifferent activities, you can make sure your brain networks are fully working and developingthemselves.
When a person is very young, they do not have nearly asmany neural pathways as they do when they grow older.As the child is exposed to new things through externalstimuli, the neural pathways can get created. As this isreinforced more pathways become created. This helps tocement the information in the child’s brain and he/shelearns something new.So in simple terms if a child touches something hot, he/shelearns very quickly that this is something which should bedone or an unpleasant situation can result. The childremembers that the object should not be touched.Brain plasticity can also involved the ability of the certain sections of the brain to take overfunctions which were previously not performed by that area.It should be noted that there are three main forms of brain plasticity. They are as follows:1.Synaptic plasticity – As described earlier, this has to do with the ability of the brain tocreate new neural pathways when new information or stimuli is introduced. If it is repeatedenough, the brain responds by creating these new neural pathways. This helps to reinforcethe ability the store new knowledge and enhance learning.2.Neurogenesis – It was widely believed for many years that the numbers of brain cellswe have are fixed and that they do not multiply. This has been a primary reason given whybrain function declines with age.However in recent years it has been shown that it is entirely possible for new brain cells tobe created from the stem cells. This can lead to a fully functioning brain cell.