The discovery that the human brain can change its own structure and function with thought, and experience, turning on its own genes to change its circuitry, reorganize itself and change its operation is the most important alteration in our understanding of the brain in four hundred years. In his lecture Dr Doidge explored how, given that the human brain has been plastic, we have missed this core feature. He also described many new cures for neurological and psychiatric conditions. This discovery has major implications for understanding the humanities, social science and culture, for it means that our individual cultural practices and experiences actually rewire our brains, so that differences between cultures give rise to different kinds of brains in the members of those cultures.
Learning Objectives for The Neuroplasticity Revolution lecture
Members of the audience were
- introduced to material which allowed them to understand neuroplasticity, review the current understanding of it, and the history of the concept.
- learnt the ways in which the human brain is not “hardwired” and the clinical implications of this.
- learnt why, if the brain has always been plastic, it wasn't detected, and early manifestations of it were dismissed.
- shown film clips showing core innovations, using sensory substitution as an example.
- learnt about neuroplastic principles as well as a new approach to treatment of neurological and psychiatric problems that reorganizes the brain.
- introduced to ideas about how neuroplasticity gives rise to both flexible and rigid behaviors and outcomes and hear about 'the plastic paradox'.