How Learning Shapes Our Brain With Neuroplasticity

How Learning Shapes Our Brain with Neuroplasticity

One of the great myths about the brain is that we reach a fixed point at some point in early adulthood and that How Learning Shapes Our Brain with Neuroplasticity stops changing. The fact is that the brain continues to change throughout life, with learning being a major driver of this change. It does so primarily by changing the wiring or interconnections of neurons. For example, a study by Bogdan Draganski and his colleagues found that medical students who studied for an exam had increased gray matter in their brains. The expansion of gray matter was due to a number of different changes such as new neurons, the pruning (or strengthening) of existing connections, and the reorganization of axons and dendrites (the extensions that branch out from the main body of the neuron).

The Dynamic Duo: Exploring the Relationship Between Learning and Neuroplasticity

Other types of structural plasticity include homologous area adaptation, compensatory masquerade and cross-model reassignment. Functional plasticity through these mechanisms allows us to build pathways around a brain area that is damaged or has limited function. This is often seen in the form of physical therapy or rehabilitation activities after a stroke or head injury.

To maximize the impact of your training, be very specific in what you want to learn and focus on long periods of repetitive activity (think of it as extra practice for your brain). Be sure to check in with yourself weekly – if you aren’t seeing progress, don’t despair! It takes time to see measurable changes, but the rewards can be huge.

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