jueves, 28 de julio de 2016

"Knowledge is always limited. So the brain, having found security in the movement of knowledge,
clings to it and translates every incident, according to the past. In the movement of ending of continuity
[knowledge] is complete order. This insight is the revolution in the structure of the brain."
(Pupul Jayakar Biography: Chapter 38, page 413)

Neuroplasticity (and neurogenesis) are the new branches of neurology showing that thinking, learning and acting (ie, the overall environment) can physically change the brain's anatomy. Essentially, they are the study of the brain's capacity to change itself, to generate new neurons. That is, mutation. Based on extensive and unequivocal animal studies and limited studies on humans, it has toppled the decades old scientific idea of genetic determinism. It has shown neuroscientists a glimpse of the power of the mind to actually change the structure of the brain, the power of self-transformation, which is not restricted by the ageing process of the brain. We can change the structure of the brain at any age:

"... although we have deeply ingrained ways of thinking and although the brain comes with some hardwiring, we also have the possibility of changing. The idea that we are constantly changing means there is no intrinsic nature to the self or the mind, which is what Buddhism teaches. Instead, both self and mind are extremely plastic. Our activities inform who we are; as we act, so shall we become. We are products of the past, but because of our inherently empty nature, we always have the opportunity to reshape ourselves."
(Francisca Cho, Buddhist scholar at George Washington University - Begley: Train Your Mind, page 13)