Neuroplasticity and how we learn

>” that elixir of neuroplasticity: attention”

One of the strongest findings in neuroplasticity, the science of how the brain changes its structure and function in response to input, is that attention is almost magical in its ability to physically alter the brain and enlarge functional circuits.

Sharon Begley wrote an article for Newsweek exploring what activities actually boost cognitive capacity. Physical exercise builds new synapses and activities that train attention skills rate high. Balance training movement arts use both. Read Begley’s full article:

>Attention is key to learning…

In order to learn anything, you need to focus and pay attention to the task at hand. You need to move slowly and deliberately and think about what you are doing when learning a new motor skill. Without this focus and attention, you wouldn’t acquire the new skill, or deepen knowledge in the field of your choice. The focus on and practice of these new activities causes the brain to morph, to grow new connections between billions of cells, and to create new motor and sensory-motor maps for each new activity. Even when you pretend that you are moving, visualizing your movements in your mind, brain changes can be measured and seen in PET scans. Your brain’s ability to change itself is called “neuroplasticity.”

The above excerpt is by  Eileen Bach-y-Rita, GCFP. Read the full article here:

>Neuroplasticity and the work of Paul Bach-y-Rita is described in the popular book The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge:

Video of Norman Doidge lecture:

>Article excerpt on neuroplasticity and balance from Learning Breakthrough:

The brain is not a static system. It changes over time and is subject to manipulation depending on the inputs it receives. Every act of the human brain involves a recalibration component. In order to recalibrate an instrument one must have a reliable standard of reference. The acceleration of gravity is that standard of reference for the brain as it uses information provided by the visual, auditory, motor, and secondary systems to perform the complex operations required in reading, writing, playing music, athletics, etc. In short, a person’s ability to learn is dependent upon their ability to process vestibular information effectively.

This is why activities that promote balance efficiency and spatial awareness have such a profound effect on “higher” brain functions like reading, memory, comprehesion, mathematics and evaluation…..

….You actually change the brain’s chemistry by training it.  After all, the brain is the only organ in the human body that learns from past experience and adjusts itself. This is the essence of the neuroplasticity model and the core reasoning that informs the effectiveness of Learning Breakthrough’s balanced-based remediation and training approach.

read the full article at:

>The rubber hand illusion demonstrates an aspect of neuroplasticity.

This is a video link:


5 Responses to “Neuroplasticity and how we learn”

  1. spacetomove Says:

    This links to the role of play in brain development. Check out the TED talk, quotes and links on this page:

  2. Space To Move Says:

    found research on juggling and neuroplasticity….

    “We chose juggling purely as a complex new skill for people to learn. But there is a ‘use it or lose it’ school of thought, in which any way of keeping the brain working is a good thing, such as going for a walk or doing a crossword.”

    Johansen-Berg said clinical applications could eventually follow, such as ways to stimulate the brain and maintain neurological health.

    “Knowing that pathways in the brain can be enhanced may be significant in the long run in coming up with new treatments for neurological diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, where these pathways become degraded,” she said.

    above quote found at:
    Reference to this juggling article and more on neuroplasticity found at:

  3. Suzane Says:

    Here’s the specific page about that research on juggling and the development of white matter in the brain:

    and here is the Cosmos interview with Norman Doidge:

  4. Scott Mc Credie ~ Balance The Lost Sense « Space To Move ~ Balance & Coordination Says:

    […] Neuroplasticity: […]

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