What is Neuroplasticity?


Neuroplasicity is good news for habits.  Once we realize that all of our behaviors and thoughts leave lines on the map of our brain, we can thicken the lines we want and allow the ones we don’t to fade.

For more about this amazing process and how we can be involved:

Here’s a good article about neuroplasticity : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marie-pasinski-md/neuroplasticity_b_2405943.html


Here’s a great video from Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s brain, speaking about self-directed neuroplasticity at the Greater Good Science Center: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTPks7XQbSw

Citations from his book:

“When your mind changes, your brain changes, too.  In the saying from the work of the psychologist Donald Hebb: when neurons fire together, they wire together- mental activity creates new neural structures (Hebb 1949; LeDoux 2003).  As a result, even fleeting thoughts and feelings can leave lasting marks on your brain, much like a spring shower can leave little trails on a hillside.” (Page 5)

“What floats through your mind sculpts your brain” – (Page 6)

“Conscious mental events are based on temporary coalitions of synapses that form and disperse – usually within seconds – like eddies in a stream (Rabinovich, Huerta, and Laurent 2008.) Neurons can also make lasting circuits, strengthening their connections to each other as a result of mental activity.” (Page 7)

“Neuronal cell bodies are like 100 billion on-off switches connected by their axonal ‘wires’ in an intricate network inside your head.” (Page 31)


Another source:

The Evolution of Consciousness: The origins of the way we think by Robert Ornstein – This book breaks things down in an easy-to-understand way with playful illustrations.

“Neurotransmission.  The presynaptic neuron and the postsynaptic neuron meet at a tiny gap called the synapse, across which the transmitter chemicals “jump” to transmit their signals.” (Caption, Page 106)

“Enter a neuron, and you will see scores of chemicals being released, flowing from cell to cell and backagain.  In these explosions lie our thoughts and our brains’ control of our body. .. the fundamental unit of the mind is the neuron.” (Page 105)