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What Is Brain Plasticity?

Brain plasticity is the ability of the brain to change, adapt, and grow even after the critical period of infancy. In a sense, the brain has the characteristic malleability of plastic hence the term. The brain has the ability to produce new neurons when properly stimulated. The establishment of brain plasticity is relatively new and has tremendously revolutionized the way research view the brain.

Brain plasticity among infants start at birth until childhood. The immature brain develops at an amazing speed as an influx of new information is introduced from the outside world. As the individual mature, the brain continuously changes. Throughout life, new stimuli, events, experiences, information encountered are processed and stored in the brain. The brain readily accommodates, integrates, and stores these new things to be retrieved when needed.

In case of injury, the brain can repair itself to certain degree. If the damaged is permanent, the function associated with the damaged area is somehow learned or assumed by another part of the brain enabling the individual to still perform such function. This has been seen on people recovering from brain injuries and neurological problems.

Studies have shown that this plasticity of the brain keeps the brain from being static and enables the brain to keep learning new skills. Studies have shown that “exercising” the brain improves the flexibility of the brain like the way the body can be improved and strengthened by exercise. Stroke patients recover by using brain stimulating exercises even after a long period of paralysis. There are now brain exercises developed to treat learning difficulties like dyslexia.

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