Brain plasticity is the ability of the brain and nervous system to change structurally and functionally in response to experience. Plasticity occurs on the level of cellular changes and changes involved in cortical remapping. The most widely recognized forms of plasticity are learning, memory, and recovery from brain damage.

During most of the 20th century, the general consensus among neuroscientists, as well as popular belief, was that the brain structures become fixed and cannot change past early childhood.

The only changes deemed possible were the loss of connections and function over time.

 

Research Shows the Brain Can Change Itself

Decades of research done by thousands of neuroscientists has shown that the brain can change itself. Recent studies done with rats close to the end of their life demonstrated how negative changes that are attributable to normal aging such as loss of strength, dexterity, perceptual acuity, and more, were reversed through training.

The brains of infants and children are extremely changeable needing to form all the brain patterns associated with voluntary action. Their brains are constantly expanding and mapping new territory.

The science of brain plasticity shows how, under the right conditions, the adult brain can also restructure itself in remarkable ways.

Even the birth of new brain cells can occur in adults, as well as children, something believed impossible not too long ago.

Utilizing the Science of Brain Plasticity

Depending on how you live and act, neural connections in the brain are either constantly being created or deleted. The more automatic, habitual and rigid your thinking, movement, and activities are, the more your brain will tend to deteriorate. And the more likely you are to experience pain, limitation, boredom, malaise, and even depression. If neural pathways are not used they actually die off in a process called “synaptic-pruning.” Most adult brains reflect a lot of pruning as people settle into habitual living patterns.

The good news is that we now know many mechanisms that drive the brain to change, both for the better and for the worse. Studies show that different forms of exercise induce neuroplasticity changes in different brain regions. Meditation also positively affects the brain and the body’s ability to heal itself.

Dr. Michael Merzenich & Anat Baniel Discuss Brain Plasticity & Transformation

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In this video, Dr. Michael Merzenich and Anat Baniel discuss brain plasticity, their work, and neuroplasticity research.

The Anat Baniel Method® Helps Improve Brain Functioning

With the NeuroMovement® approach of the Anat Baniel Method®, we understand that the underlying process leading to growth and improvement of brain functioning, and with it the improvement in skills and well-being, is the continued process of differentiation, refinement, and increased complexity in the brain.

With this method we don’t try to change behavior, but we help upgrade the functioning of the brain itself to become a more skilled brain. With a better, stronger brain, positive changes occur in all aspects that otherwise may not be possible, both for adults and for children.