Dorian M. Allen
Professor Ana Zuniga
24 January 2015
The Human Brain Will Stay in the Fight – Neuroplasticity
The human brain has the amazing ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity or brain plasticity as it is also known as, occurs during development in childhood, following a physical injury, such as loss of a limb or sense organ, and during reinforcement of sensory information such as in learning. It is with this brain’s ability that the human being is constantly able to progress in life, mentally and when stricken with disease to physical injury affecting the brain, to adjust and adapt, for it is the brain that can find a way, even if having to redirect a new route. What neuroplasticity refers to is, neurons (nerve cells) in the brain compensating and altering their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment. These alterations entail having to change the neural pathways and synapses as a result of any of the above mentioned examples.
Neuroplasticity is not only important for our continued progressions and learning during childhood, but is also crucial for those individuals with physical injuries and sudden traumatic brain injuries. For example, say one hemisphere of the brain is damaged due to a gunshot wound, heck, we are in Miami after all, the intact hemisphere may take over some of its functions. The brain compensates for damage in effect by reorganizing and forming new connections between intact neurons. In order to reconnect, the neurons need to be stimulated through activity. This of course will happen during occupation and physical rehabilitations. It wasn’t until relatively recently in medicine that Neurologists learned through study that neuroplasticity was a brain function that lasted with us throughout our lives. It has been a long held belief that we were born with a finite amount of neurons, and once they were gone, we could not generate new...
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