What is Brain Plasticity?

There has been a revolution in our understanding of brain functioning over the last decade and brain plasticity (also known as neuroplasticity and neurogenesis) is the most extraordinary in its implications.

In a nutshell it is the ability of the adult brain to change itself in response to:

  • learning
  • new experiences
  • novel stimulation
  • conscious mental focus

The formal definition of plasticity of the brain is changes in neurons, neural pathways and brain function due to learning, behaviour or environment.

We know a child has phenomenal plasticity of the brain as we see the enormous development that takes place, from learning to use their hands to walking and talking and abstract thinking.

Neuroscience also knows that a child’s brain prunes away half of their original connections and re-wires just as many as they learn.

Imagine having just a fraction of this enormous brain plasticity as an adult and how that would benefit you in all areas of your life.

Why is this so revolutionary?

Up to very recently, the scientific view taught in universities and written in text books was that the adult brain was fixed after the age of 18 and if there was any damage or if there was loss of performance from stress, illness or aging then that loss was permanent.

Now clinical, rehabilitation and research evidence is pouring in demonstrating this to be completely false. In fact, it is now well established that some regions of the brain produce new neurons (neurogenesis) until the moment of death.

This means our brains are pliable, plastic and changeable throughout our lives.

The good and bad …

Brain plasticity works in positive and negative ways for us. If you have been anxious for years, your brain structures and the neural pathways and neurochemistry associated with experiencing anxiety strengthen, while the structures, pathways and chemistry involved in feeling relaxed and secure weaken, so you become better at experiencing anxiety and less able to experience calm.

The same goes for anger versus peacefulness, depression versus happiness or general positive versus negative thinking and outlook.

Often, the worse your situation is demonstrates you have great brain plasticity, so you have just as much potential to change for the better. With understanding and armed with brain training tools and techniques you can turn your brain around again.

Brain plasticity - girl stretching

The power of brain fitness

Neuroscience has not only revolutionized our knowledge of the brain but also of the power of brain fitness and training and created cutting edge technologies to train, tune, revitalize stimulate and enhance your brains.

This happens in a completely natural way using the plasticity of our wonderful brains, to not only improve our functioning for peak performance, but also slow and even reverse what was once considered inevitable brain decline from:

  • stress
  • illness
  • aging

Brain training is the next great revolution in:

  • remediation
  • healing
  • wellbeing
  • anti-aging
  • peak performance

Brain exercises

In the area of brain exercises there is a wealth of examples showing how people can sharpen brain performance to give them:

  • an extra edge,
  • to heal from brain injury, stroke or illness,
  • simply to slow and reverse the effects of stress or aging.

Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback has utilised the brain’s capacity for plasticity for over 40 years. It is widely understood that challenging the brain with specific brainwave feedback enables it to regulate or re-tune itself (plasticity) for:

  • ADHD,
  • ADD,
  • Anxiety and depression,
  • Peak performance,
  • Age related decline.

Recently there has been hard evidence using MRI to show conclusive proof of changes in the brain after Neurofeedback demonstrating neuroplasticity. Other processes that have also demonstrated powerful positive changes in the brain using brain imaging technology are:

  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Positive rational thinking

All these brain training techniques can produce profound effects on:

  • mood
  • learning
  • attention
  • memory
  • behaviour
  • athletic ability
  • creativity

Start harnessing the power of your brain’s plasticity today.

Get started on some brain exercises:

Download mediation CDs or mp3s here

Learn about home neurofeedback training