When you exercise and focus on working on a specific muscle it will grow with time. The same way we exercise our body we also can exercise our brain.
Neuroplasticity is the ability for the brain to change. When the brain changes it enlarge or creates new neurons. In order for these changes to happen one of these three things are happening:
- Early development – As you grow from an infant to an adult, your brain continues to develop.
- Learning – The more you learn the more you exercise your brain. Parts of the brain will enlarge depending on the skills that you are learning. Bilinguals tend to have a larger left inferior parietal cortex compared to monolinguals.
- Trauma – Trauma in the brain due to an injury can cause your brain to use parts of the brain that aren’t normally used.
Dr. Pascale Michelon says, “In addition to genetic factors, the environment in which a person lives, as well as the actions of each person, play a significant role in plasticity.”
Bogdan Draganski did a study on medical students compared to non-medical students. He and some collogues imaged the brain of medical students 3 months before their medical exam and then again after the exam. Then, they compared the brain images to students who were not studying for the exam. The results showed learning-induced changes in regions of the parietal cortex and the posterior hippocampus on the medical students’ brains. Both regions are known for to be involved in memory retrieval and learning.
The brain is very good at developing itself, especially when action is taken.