Neuroplasticity 101

March 21, 2010 at 6:39 am 3 comments

GoCognitive produces a great series of videos for educators, researchers, and the general population about a wide variety of topics in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Below, “Dr. Ione Fine from the University of Washington explains the basic mechanisms underlying neural plasticity – how the brain can change in response to the specific processing demands of an individual (e.g., by building expertise, after cortical lesions early in life, etc.). The interviewer is Jade Francetich, an undergraduate student of psychology at the University of Idaho.”

This 2003 essay review on the limits of plasticity by Michael S. C. Thomas in the Journal of Cognition and Development makes a great complement to the above video. Abstract:

The more scientists learn about the brain, the more we learn about its infinite plasticity.… If there is a challenge to one part of the brain, we can learn to revive other parts to make all sections of the mind work together. (Elaine Colliar, “mind-mapping” champion, on how a visualization technique might be used to overcome reading impairments in developmental dyslexia; Kenyon, 2002)

We should encourage the public’s interest in developmental brain science and applaud attempts to base early childhood policy and practice on a scientific basis. However, in some instances, public enthusiasm far outstrips our scientific understanding. Too often the messages broadcast by advocates and the media do not accurately reflect what scientists currently knowabout synapses, critical periods, neural plasticity, and how experience affects the brain. (Bruer, 2001, p. XXX)


Entry filed under: think. Tags: , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Susan Marie Ebbers  |  March 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    The brain is endlessly amazing and this is the age of discovery. It IS important to get the word out about how the brain problem solves its own internal roadblocks. I appreciate this link to GoCognitive, AJ.


  • 2. Susan Marie Ebbers  |  March 27, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    oops…make that JR. (did it again)

    • 3. J.R. Atwood  |  March 27, 2010 at 7:05 pm

      LOL. No worries, Susan. I forget who I am half the time and have taken to the name AJ. :)


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Jason R. Atwood

I'm an avid trail runner and doctoral student at U.C. Berkeley who studies motivation and the relationship between the mind and body. This blog is a forum to share research, news, and musings about these topics of interest. More

Play is the beginning of knowledge.

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