Take a moment and enjoy this information regarding how Mindfulness ties into Neuroplasticity. Dr. Dan Siegel gives his thoughts and experiences with Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity in his illuminating video below.
Article Source: The Emotion Machine
“My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items which I notice shape my mind.”
William James, American psychologist
William James was one of the first psychologists to address the notion of neuroplasticity back in his late 19th century text, “The Principles of Psychology.” The central idea behind neuroplasticity is that our brain can restructure itself based on our experience.
One great example of neuroplasticity is sensory substitution. For instance, if a person is born blind, often the visual parts of the brain will be taken over by another sense, such as hearing or touch. This is the brain’s way of re-allocating unused processing power only to what we are actually experiencing. It would be wasteful to leave potential neural networks dormant simply because we aren’t getting any input from that sense. Thus, brains have evolved over time to become more adaptive to these changes in our biology.
Neuroplasticity occurs inside us everyday as we encounter new experiences. Below you’ll see several photographs of neural circuity in the brain. From the left the pictures show us the neural circuity of a newborn, then a 3 month old, 15 month old, and 2 year old. As the child ages, their brain’s wiring becomes increasingly more complex and interconnected. Neuroplasticity is what allows us to take our experiences, then learn from them and form new memories. Huge changes are occurring in the brain during these early stages of cognitive development, but the truth is that our neural networks continue to build on each other until the day we die.
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Article Credit: Steven Handel