Essay about Building New Pathways Of The Brain

1532 Words Dec 9th, 2015 null Page
Building New Pathways In The Brain

It was once commonly accepted that a person’s brain ceased to change after reaching adulthood. Science believed that each part of the brain had its own specific function, and if a certain part was completely damaged, nothing could be done about it. This led to a belief that treatment for many brain conditions was impractical and unjustified, or that even changing our character was unfeasible. But new discoveries in neuroscience have shown that the brain is actually extremely malleable. In fact, it is always changing with everything we think and experience. We no longer have to succumb to the belief that degeneration of faculties such as memory and mobility are due to old age, but from a lack of practice. The brain can restructure itself to compensate for loss (e.g. blindness, deafness, learning disabilities). Or one can even rewire their brain to develop new abilities and modes of thinking. This capacity for the brain to change in a myriad of ways is called neuroplasticity.

Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita was a pioneer of neuroplasticity. In the late 1960s he confirmed the brains ability for sensory substitution — the ability to receive information from one sense and interpreted as if it was coming through another sense. He did so by creating a chair that enabled blind people to “see” through information received through their sense of touch. This machine was composed of a camera that sent signals to a chair with vibrating plates, which the blind…

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