Brain Plasticity

My research topic is how does plasticity relate to our brain? I was interested in this topic because I’ve never heard of it before so it caught my attention. It’s related to Temple Grandin’s chapter “From the Margins to the Mainstream” in the Autistic Brain because in that chapter, she talks about this topic and brings it up a couple times. She also explains how autistic people are different and how their brains work differently. Brain plasticity could be one of the reasons why their brains work differently. Some autistic people do have a sharp memory so they can remember things from a long time ago. Instead of relying on medicines or surgery, human beings can change and grow their brains themselves, because of brain plasticity.

Brain plasticity is the ability for our brains to change at any age for better or worse. It’s been said that people did a lot of research back in the day. Brain Plasticity was “the talk” of that time. Scientists tried to figure out how it all works. “It was discovered in the 20th century” (Source #14). They said the brain isn’t really plastic of course. It’s just a name for neuroplasticity. Brain plasticity is when our brain changes and adapts the new things going on around us said David Murray (Source #5). This shows that our brain isn’t really plastic, it changes because we make memories and we change it ourselves. It just works like plastic. Brain plasticity isn’t caused by anything. It’s not a disease or a disorder, it’s already there. It just starts working at a certain age for better or worse. Our brain changes our memories.

A pill or surgery doesn’t change our brain, it happens automatically. “We retrain our brains by multiple little daily decisions.” (Source #3) That’s good because we don’t need a lot of money for some type of surgery and it’s not harmful to our body said David Murray. “We create electrical and chemical pathways with our thoughts. As we think our way down these pathways we strengthen the brain connections” said David Murray. Our brain can change for good or bad. It’s some scientific things that change our brains without surgery or harmful chemicals.

“Psychologist William James suggested that the brain was perhaps not as unchanging as previously believed way back in 1890” (Source #3). However, this idea went largely ignored for many years.In the 1920’s, researcher Karl Lashley provided evidence of changes in the neural pathways of rhesus monkeys. By the 1960’s, researchers began to explore cases in which older adults who had suffered massive strokes were able to regain functioning, demonstrating that the brain was much more malleable than previously believed.

Work Cited:

Brain plasticity. brainHQ, 2017, http://www.brainhq.com/brain-resources/brain-plasticity/what-is-brain-plasticity . Accessed 2 March 2017.

David Murray. Your brain is plastic (and that’s good news). HeadHeartHand, 1 April 2013, http://headhearthand.org/blog/2013/04/01/your-brain-is-plastic-and-thats-good-news/. Accessed 6 March 2017.

Kendra Cherry. What is Brain Plasticity. Verywell, 14 June 2016, https://www.verywell.com/what-is-brain-plasticity-2794886. Accessed 6 March 2017.

Sara Bernard. Neuroplasticity: Learning Physically Changes the Brain. Edutopia, 1 December 2013, https://www.edutopia.org/neuroscience-brain-based-learning-neuroplasticity. Accessed 6 March 2017.

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