Neuroplasticity: The Brain Never Stops Growing

The Brain Never Stops Growing

 

If you’ve heard that old rumor or have previously read an article that said that the brain stops developing as you reach puberty, you’ve been misinformed!

Recent discoveries in the field of neuroscience now tell us that the brain is much more flexible that originally reported – the brain does not stop developing and growing.

The recent discoveries state that the brain constantly keeps rewiring itself for optimization, and transfers data and cognitive functions from one area to another as a result of bad incidents, life changes, or simply when you reach certain parts of your life.

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An example would be the brain rewiring cognitive functions to a different part of the brain due to brain damage. Scientists have coined a new word to describe this ability of the brain – Neuroplasticity.

A study, conducted by researchers of Mt. Minai School of Medicine in New York has brought out recent findings to support the claim of the brain’s neuroplasticity.

The brains observed were that of cab drivers – the hippocampal region, to be exact.

It’s the region of the brain that deals with spatial recognition and memory. The observed hippocampi of cab drivers were compared to those of bus drivers and were noted to be substantially larger.

“The cab drivers have a very spontaneous and dynamic route every day. They’ll have to rely on their knowledge of the city to take passengers where they want to get to. Therefore, they rely more on the hippocampus in the brain for this type of navigation. On the other hand, bus drivers follow a certain route everyday and don’t use this part of the brain too much. After a few times,
the route becomes natural to them.”

Dr. Dennis Charney
Dean, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine

The research really brings to light a new way of describing the brain.

No longer does the brain stop developing at a certain age – the brain is adaptive. The brain will change in ways you think are not possible to adapt to certain circumstances.

It will provide more brain power where you need it and take away brain power where you don’t. Similar to muscles in the body, the brain has a system of use it or lose it. The research adds to that as well, another system – no pain, no gain.

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