For 400 years, it was believed that the brain was permanently fixed but that is simply not true. Just ask yourself, have your behaviours and thoughts changed from 15 years ago? Most likely, the answer is yes and that is because our experiences play a role in shaping our brains. These shifts are neuroplasticity in action.
To understand what neuroplasticity is, you must first know the meaning of plasticity. Plasticity is derived from the word plastic and plastic is something that can easily be shaped, molded and/or altered. Neuroplasticity uses the same concept as it is the brain’s ability to reorganize and restructure itself by forming new neural connections in response to learning and other events. Neural connections are connections between nerve cells called neurons and as mentioned in our last blog post, the human brain contains about 100 billion neurons. Attached to these neurons are long nerve fibers called axons which transmit information to different neurons, glands and muscles. If an axon is undamaged, it is able to grow new nerve endings to reconnect injured neurons and form new neural pathways.