Neuroplasticity–part 2 What is it?

Here is one supplied by Merriam – Webster

Capacity of neurons and neural networks in the brain to change their connections and behavior in response to new information, sensory stimulation, development, damage, or dysfunction. Rapid change or reorganization of the brain’s cellular or neural networks can take place in many different forms and under many different circumstances.

Neuroplasticity occurs when neurons in the brain sprout and form synapses. As the brain processes sensory information, frequently used synapses are strengthened while unused synapses weaken. Eventually, unused synapses are eliminated completely in a process known as synaptic pruning, which leaves behind efficient networks of neural connections. Neuroplasticity occurs during development in childhood, following physical injury such as loss of a limb or sense organ, and during reinforcement of sensory information such as in learning. Neuroplasticity forms the basis of research into brain-computer interface technology, in which computers are designed to interact with the brain to restore sensation in people with an impaired sense such as the loss of vision. Research on neuroplasticity is also aimed at improving scientists’ understanding of how to reactivate or deactivate damaged areas of the brain in people affected by stroke, emotional disorders, chronic pain, psychopathy, or social phobia; such research may lead to improved treatments for these conditions.

A short but pretty accurate definition goes like this: Plasticity is the quality of being ‘plastic’ or formative. Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the brain to change and adapt as a result of one’s experiences. To view the slideshare presentation, go here.

I located online many sites giving practically the same description of the term but felt that Webster might have the most unbiased one.

Here are links to several more of the sites I found while looking for the definition.

  1. http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=40362
  2. http://www.whatisneuroplasticity.com
  3. http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-neural-plasticity.htm’’

While reading The Brain That Changes Itself this fall at the Golden Arches I started looking up information mentioned in it. Here are some Youtube.com videos giving more detail:

The woman who is perpetually falling. Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita

Seeing with your tongue.

One of the stories in Dr. Doidge’s book which fascinated me was about Pedro Bach-y-Rita the father of Dr’s. George and Paul Bach-y-Rita. In 1956 or 57 Pedro, age 69, had a massive stoke and was paralyzed on one side. If you go to this pdf paper you can read about his story. http://www.strokerecoverysolutions.com/custom-1/StrokeRecoverySolutionswithDrBachyrita.pdf

Another story in Dr. Doidge’s book I found eye opening was about Barbara Arrowsmith Young. The following 14 minutes Youtube.com video is her wonderful story. After watching the video I purchased her book The Woman Who Changed Her Brain.

Her story.

In just the last few years Barbara has published her book The Woman Who Changed Her Brain. Here’s a short video on the book.

Here is a 10 minute interview about the Arrowsmith School.

Overview of what is happening at the Eaton Arrowsmith School. WOW

Following is a 2 minute video showing the children at the Eaton Arrowsmith school.

http://www.eatonarrowsmithschool.com/eaton-arrowsmith-school-video/

eaton-arrowsmith-video

As I was reading Barbara’s book I found myself reading about me.

I started attempting to work with Nick using a clock app I downloaded onto my IPad. He enjoyed playing the game/tool but when I would ask him to tell me a time other than on the hour, he could not. Eventually, over a couple of weeks ,he started to improve and get it correct about half the time. Looked like improvement to me. Just this past week Nick and his family moved to a town about 25 miles east of McCook so our time together is over. I have his mother’s cell phone number so I will probably check with her every month to learn about his progress.

This is probable more than enough new information for anyone so I’m calling this posting finished. I will now begin working on my next one. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Steve

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About stevebatty

Retired adult eductor and life long learner.
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