Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Brain in Action

I am really enjoying learning about the current work around neuroscience. There is some stunning new research work about the brain, in particular around the notion of plasticity of the brain - the ability of the brain to regrow or change.

Plasticity, or neuroplasticity, is the lifelong ability of the brain to reorganize neural pathways based on new experiences. As we learn, we acquire new knowledge and skills through instruction or experience. In order to learn or memorize a fact or skill, there must be persistent functional changes in the brain that represent the new knowledge. The ability of the brain to change with learning is what is known as neuroplasticity.

A useful read around this is Norman Doidge's book called "The Brain that changes itself."

As an aside this is really cool video on Ted -ED channel. Greg Gage shows a group of children that by dissecting a cockroach ... yes, live on stage ... how brains receive and deliver electric impulses -- and how legs can respond.

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