WHY IS BRAIN PLASTICITY IMPORTANT
Neuroplasticity is the process in which nerve cells or neurons build and rearrange connections between themselves allowing for flexibility in learning and adaptation. Once thought to be the activity of the immature brain, it is now recognized to be a life long process. Studies of the structure and function of the brain indicate the brain’s ability to utilize unused areas to correct deficiencies following stroke or trauma. When learning, the brain makes connections that process information and builds the memory base.
Experts say that when children are around the age of two or three, each neuron in their young and absorbent brains has 15,000 different synapses, or connections. This figure is about double that found in the adult brain. One reason for this is that as individuals grow older, their brain undergoes a process known as synaptic pruning in which neuronal connections that are not needed or used are cut off or discarded.
Without use, connections are considered unnecessary or redundant. These become the most likely synapses to be disconnected. Scientists used to believe that this process was completed during puberty. However, new research shows that synaptic pruning continues into early adulthood. This means that all throughout childhood and adolescence, the neurons are still capable of building the synapses that underlie the learning process. However, if adults do not continue to stimulate their brains and learn, these neuropathways are at danger of being discarded. You can “teach an old dog new tricks” but only if it continues to learn.
This is especially relevant to the scientifically proven brain exercises we offer at For Your Intelligence. As these exercises progress, they become more challenging helping to protect and build the brain’s abilities. As adults we tend to develop skills relevant to our careers. In doing so, we allow other skills to deteriorate. As we age, it is important to maintain as much of our brain function as possible. Through challenges, we can maintain the rarely used abilities that would otherwise be lost to synaptic pruning.
Our tools are designed to target, stimulate and challenge the areas of your child’s brain that need to be strengthened. Whether a person has a learning disability, wants to maximize potential, or not lose what they already have neuroplasticity is the key.