Monday, July 29, 2013

How the Adult Brain Learns

You can teach an old dog new tricks.

This fascinating article, Learning Mechanism of the Adult Brain Revealed, was published last year in Science Daily. The whole article is well worth reading (and not long). I'll just summarize the results from research conducted by the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience.

  • Learning new skills decreases the number of synapses (connectors) in the brain that inhibit nerve cell activity.
  • These inhibitory cells are replaced by synapses, including new inhibitory synapses.
  • We don't do this in the quantities of neural activity we had as children when we were learning to see, hear, walk, talk, etc., but...
  • ...as we age we continue to be able to change our neural networks, which means we keep learning.

This is also good news for treatment of disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and epilepsy. Possibilities for intervention are expanded if the inability to develop inhibitory synapses is, as is suspected, part of these disorders.

What does this have to do with neurofeedback? NeurOptimal® is a tuneup for the brain. Whatever your ability to make new synapses is, at any age neurofeedback training - a process in which the brain learns - is going to help you operate at your potential.

Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW
New York Neurofeedback

3 comments:

  1. Very good information, Catherine, will be posting it to my Google Community, and my Facebook page...signing up for newsletter. One question though, is there any hope for my spelling? Mike Logan

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  2. Thanks, Mike, for passing the information on and for making me smile about your spelling. :)

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