Jodi Miller was a normal 9-year-old girl who was suddenly overcome with seizures. Only by removing the right side of her brain were the doctors able to stop these debilitating seizures. A mere 10 days after surgery, Jodi left brain was able to take over functions that the right side had done, like walking and Jodi was able to walk out of the hospital. Today, 13 years later, Jodi is married and a speech pathologist. This is a first-rate example of the brain's plasticity.
The best conversation we can have about brain plasticity is to tell you how to keep that feature active. Brain plasticity increases memory, creativity, concentration, and learning ability! Below are ways to maintain brain plasticity.
1. Strive to do or learn things that challenge. Go to the next level of difficulty, or try something new.
2. Any mentally stimulating activity helps. Read, take courses, and try word puzzles or math problems.
3. Do things that require manual dexterity as well as mental effort, like drawing, painting and other crafts.
4. Improve your diet. Good nutrition helps the mind as well as the body. For example, a Mediterranean style diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, unsaturated oils (olive oil) and plant sources of proteins is less likely to contribute to cognitive impairment and more likely to promote healthy brain functioning.
5. Strive to have low blood pressure and keep LDL (“bad”) cholesterol low through diet, exercise, avoiding tobacco and stress, and excess alcohol.
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The more your mind can bend and stretch,
The more likely it will fetch,
Alternative ways of doing stuff,
And you willfind strangely enough,
That life holds more intrigue,
And you'll suffer less mental fatigue,
Because your brain perceives alternative voices,
And you can select from a host of choices.
The irony is that the more you use your brain,
The far more likely it will sustain,
Sharpness, erudition, and recall,
Much like a major league pitcher’s ball.
The more you throw; the more likely it is,
That your sharpness won’t fade or even fizz.
So turn on your personal electricity,
And keep your brain bursting with plasticity.
“Change is the only constant” Heraclitus, Greek philosopher known for his doctrine of change being central in the universe.
Watch Jodi's story on YouTube
Plasticity refers to change. The more a brain is challenged to try new situations or amend ones from the past, the more plasticity it is likely to have. Essentially, this means that the brain will be able to re-wire itself to meet new situations. Without this ability, a child’s brain would not be able to handle the needs of adulthood.
As we age, many of us feel that memorizing becomes harder and harder. Yet, that's not true for adult working actors because they are exercising their brains continuously.