Alternatively termed brain plasticity, neuroplasticity is the human brain’s ability to change and continually adapt and develop cognitive abilities including language development. It’s the physiological changes in the brain that occur as we interact with the environment. Research studies demonstrate that our brains are malleable and bear the potential to modify structures and neural mechanisms, including those linked to language development.
The human brain uses neurons to relay messages from the cerebellum, brain stem and subcortical structures to predetermined cortex areas. This interaction creates experiences that help one’s brain modify itself so as to learn practical skills and competencies. Generally, neuroplasticity decreases as we age, thus making it more difficult to learn a new language as an individual gets older.
Brain Plasticity at Work
One of the ways brain plasticity may function is when one suffers traumatic brain injuries. Although a segment of his brain could be damaged, this doesn’t necessarily bear the implication that the function governed by that segment is lost forever.
In instances where a particular function is lost, the human brain adapts by growing new synapses to restore that function. As such, things like occupational and physical therapy are crucial during early recovery from stroke. Encouraging the brain to exhibit brain plasticity is crucial in realizing desirable recovery results.
Brain plasticity is being applied in fields such as psychiatry and psychotherapy. Individuals who have exhibited signs of never changing have been found to in fact change in many instances. If undesirable behavior originates from the brain utilizing the same synapses each time, there are ways of deleting such behaviors and encouraging new pathways to develop. Therapy approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy will help you replace old, destructive behaviors with new ones.
In addition, brain plasticity stimulates aging brains to continually develop. The idea of the brain being fixed could gradually lead to deterioration in senior citizens. Most neurologists recommend that seniors engage in brain puzzles, exercises and any activity with the capacity to pose a mental challenge.
Anything that helps our brains learn new things is vital to brain plasticity. Whether one is studying complex stuff or just doing simple exercises, his brain will commence to form new connections when he learns new things. If you want to boost the plasticity of your brain even further, be sure to engage in activities such as learning to play musical instruments or learning to play a new game.
Computer exercises are essential for one’s brain plasticity since such exercises can automatically adjust the difficulty level to keep one challenged and engaged throughout. Electronic games are preferred to traditional games since they present different situations and experiences every time one plays them, consequently making one’s mind find new solutions and thus forming new connections and increasing plasticity.
Be sure to exercise with computer games with increasingly difficult levels. Look for computer software programs particularly designed for brain plasticity. Examples of such games include Mindfit and Brain Fitness.
Physical exercise is good for both the body and brain. Studies show that exercising is one of the best ways to improve plasticity and brain health. Studies have also shown that physical exercise triggers production of BDNF that is directly linked to the human brain’s ability to change, develop and adapt. Walking, running, and biking are some great ways to get the exercise our brains need for plasticity.
New Beginning Physical Therapy, Inc. provides the highest level of rehabilitative care available. Our therapists are all highly trained and licensed physical therapy professionals. Our Passion is to make a dramatic, positive impact in our clients’ lives. We love what we do! Nothing could be more rewarding for us than facilitating your path to wellness. We are in Palm Desert, California, and serve the entire Coachella Valley.