The brain is like any other muscle in the body it needs to be exercised on a regular basis. New studies in “brain plasticity” show scans of how the brain is expanded with new learning.
Brain plasticity is an overlap of neuro science and psychology. Plasticity is the ability to rewire, the dynamic changes that happen when you experience something new or learn something. Brain scans can now show this in real-time.
The word plasticity to me is so similar to plasticine that I can see the modelling and shaping of the most important part of our body happening before our eyes. There is also the fun element of plasticine the many colours and the feel, no surprise that we learn best when we are relaxed and having fun.
In stroke patients the rehabilitation programme is repetitive tasks to develop the parts of the mind damaged by the stroke.
We know that taxi drivers have a part of the brain that is good at navigation, the question often asked is were they born with this, or more recent studies show that it is an exercise their brain does every day which keeps it pliable (brain plasticity). Therefore if we can develop new areas of the brain fairly quickly we can equally undo them just as quickly. Studies show that people returning from a two-week holiday are slower at psychological exercises and equally repetition of daytime TV will reduce the plasticity.
Therefore in summary hard work for the brain is repetitive tasks and new learnings to stretch it just like a piece of plasticine!
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The blog was created from listening to Heidi Johansen-Berg