Neuroplasticity

What is Neuroplasticity?

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.

Dr. M. Arnold Muller

Dr. M. Arnold Muller

Dr. M. Arnold Muller is a licensed School and Clinical Psychologist currently based in Toronto, Ontario, with 31 years of practice experience in two countries. Prior to his time in Canada, he spent the first half of his career in South Africa. Dr. Muller has a Ph.D. with specialization in Psychotherapy from the University of Pretoria, and a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. He also has a second Masters Degree in Practical Theology from the University of Stellenbosch.

Dr. Muller has worked in many settings including school boards, addiction centres, correctional institutions, the military, churches, and private practices. Spending time in these organizations has allowed him to gain an astounding amount of experience in psychological assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plan preparation and application.

Dr. Muller also has training and exposure to Neurofeedback Training, Somatic Experiencing, crisis intervention, conflict resolution and managing cultural differences. In his spare time, you can find him hiking, travelling, working on his photography, poetry, and spending time with his family and friends.

In Pursuit of Focused Attention

As humans, we all use different types of attention to attend to both internal and external stimuli in our everyday lives. In psychology, attention is used to describe the concentration of awareness on phenomenon to the exclusion of other stimuli. Concentration of awareness can either be automatic or controlled, depending on the type of processing employed to elicit attention.

To better understand how attention actually works, attention has often been compared to a highlighter. In a sea of text, a highlighter is used to make certain portions of text stand out more than the rest of the text. Similarly in a sea of competing stimuli, attention causes us to selectively focus our interest, whilst ignoring competing information and stimuli, on certain specifics in our environment. However, not all attention is the same. Mateer’s Hierarchical Attention Model differentiates between attention, categorizing it as divided, sustained, selective or alternating in nature. Although there are various types of attention, today’s post will concentrate specifically on breaking down one type, namely Focused Attention.

Dr. M. Arnold Muller

Dr. M. Arnold Muller

Dr. M. Arnold Muller is a licensed School and Clinical Psychologist currently based in Toronto, Ontario, with 31 years of practice experience in two countries. Prior to his time in Canada, he spent the first half of his career in South Africa. Dr. Muller has a Ph.D. with specialization in Psychotherapy from the University of Pretoria, and a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. He also has a second Masters Degree in Practical Theology from the University of Stellenbosch.

Dr. Muller has worked in many settings including school boards, addiction centres, correctional institutions, the military, churches, and private practices. Spending time in these organizations has allowed him to gain an astounding amount of experience in psychological assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plan preparation and application.

Dr. Muller also has training and exposure to Neurofeedback Training, Somatic Experiencing, crisis intervention, conflict resolution and managing cultural differences. In his spare time, you can find him hiking, travelling, working on his photography, poetry, and spending time with his family and friends.

Neuropotential Clinics20 De Boers Dr, Suite 230
North York,ON, M3J 0H1

T: (416) 398-9991; F:(416) 398-9992