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The term brain plasticity refers to the capabilities of the brain to change itself. It is also known as neuroplasticity. The brain can change at any time of a persons life, whether they are a toddler or a geriatric. This flexibility of the brain to engage in brain plasticity at will is also significant in the development of the brain as well as in shaping each and every individuals personality.
Brain plasticity is not an abstract process. It is actually a physical process that takes place in the brain. When brain plasticity occurs, you will find that the brain matter will either shrink in size or thicken. In addition to this, other changes include the forging of neural connections, refining of neural connections and in some cases the weakening of neural connections. These changes that occur in the brain matter then manifest in form of our physical abilities. For example, any moment we learn something new, new connections are being made in the brain. On the other hand, every time we forget something, some connections weaken in the brain. To ensure that you maintain positive brain plasticity, you would be required to engage in brain training. Brain training enables your brain to stay in top form and thus you create new connections in the brain that lead to positive brain plasticity.
A common misconception is that the period of brain growth is restricted to early childhood and early adulthood. A similar misconception is that the later years of adulthood are just restricted to cognitive decline. However, it has been scientifically validated that brain plasticity is also capable of making an adult brain grow just as it is possible in a younger brain. Although it is not false that some of the connectivity and machinery in our brains decline with age, it does not mean that you cannot improve on brain plasticity by engaging in the suitable activities that would reinvigorate our mental acuities. Through effective mind training techniques as well as brain training methods, we can achieve brain fitness that would have a positive impact on our brains plasticity. The same line of thought can be applied to people who are afflicted with either Alzheimers or Schizophrenia. By engaging them in mind training exercises that are suited to improving or restoring their cognitive skills, you may end up improving their brain plasticity. The trick to doing this though would be to identify the exact brain mechanisms that need to be targeted and figure out ways of doing so.
One of the most significant findings when it comes to brain plasticity is how loosely related it is to our memory functions as well as our cognition. Due to how closely intertwined this dependence is, if one faculty is suffering, chances are so is the other. For example, it is common knowledge that people who are afflicted with Alzheimers tend to forget a lot of things. Thus the disease greatly affects their memory. However, they also tend to have their vision impaired as well as other cognitive faculties. By finding ways of improving their brain plasticity, both these symptoms could be tackled effectively.
Nathanael Eisenberg is the author of this article on Brain Plasticity. Find more information On Focus here.