What Is Hebbian Plasticity?
Hebbian plasticity refers to the ability of neurons to change their connections with other neurons over time. This means that if you train your brain in certain ways, it will learn how to make better connections between different parts of your brain. You might have heard of this before when you learned something new or practiced a skill, but now scientists are beginning to understand exactly why this happens and how it works.
The basic idea behind hebbian plasticity is that it allows the brain to adapt to changing circumstances. For example, if you were to get hit in the head by a baseball, your brain would probably not immediately go into shock like it does if you got punched in the stomach or kicked in the nuts.
Instead, your brain would likely react by making some adjustments so that you could continue playing baseball without too much trouble. Your brain was able to adjust because it had been trained to do so.
When you practice a skill, the more often you practice it, the better your brain becomes at doing it. So if you want to improve your memory or motor skills, then practicing those things will allow them to become stronger and faster over time.
However, there is another side effect of training that many don’t realize; it makes your mind less flexible!
This means that if you train yourself to do one type of thing, then you might not be able to learn how to do something else just as easily. This is why you probably found it easier to walk when you were first learning how to do it as a baby.
Now, however, it’s so easy for you that you can’t imagine what the big deal is.
So How Does This Apply to You?
Your brain is always changing and every experience that you have goes into molding it into the way it is today. If you are trying to learn a new skill, like playing the piano or programming a computer, then your brain will change accordingly to make this easier for you in the future. This is how skills become easier with repetition, but it also means that your brain can’t easily adapt to doing something else.
So if you are learning to play a new sport, you might find that your other skills start to deteriorate. This is because your brain has changed in a way that makes it more adapted to playing that sport.
If you want to get good at another sport, then you will need to train that skill as well in order to change your brain so that it can be good at both. This is why most people can’t be good at everything; their brain simply doesn’t have the capacity to learn everything easily.
This effect can also be negative if you suffer a brain injury or disease. Once your brain has changed in a specific way, it might find it difficult to go back.
For example, people who suffer from strokes often have to relearn how to do certain things because part of their brains aren’t working properly anymore. This can even be the case with more minor diseases like alzheimer’s; the patient will often forget how to do certain things that they knew how to do before.
How Can You Change Your Brain?
So if your brain is changing all the time, how can you make it change in a specific way?
The answer is surprisingly simple; you just need to practice the skills that you want to become better. This is why it’s important to learn as many things as you can; the more things you know, the more versatile you’ll be when faced with a new situation.
It’s also important to keep all of your skills sharp. Just because you were good at something in the past, doesn’t mean that you won’t need to practice it again in the future.
The more you let your skills deteriorate, the harder it will be to pick them up again. So if you want to be good at lots of things, then you’ll need to spend some time on them every day.
The best way, however, to change your brain is to learn how to think in new ways. We’ve already mentioned that your brain can’t easily adapt to new skills, but it is good at adapting how it thinks about certain problems.
For example, learning a new language won’t just make you better at speaking that language, but it will also make you think about how you speak your own language. This means that you’ll find it easier to come up with the right words when talking and find patterns in speech that you might not have seen before. So by learning one skill, you can learn several others as well.
The Power of Thought
Your brain is the most powerful tool that you have and it’s also the hardest one to use properly. You need to think about what you are doing and how it will affect you in the future.
If you learn lots of different skills, you’ll become highly adaptable, but you’ll also need to spend more time maintaining those skills. If you instead focus on a smaller number of more complex skills, you will become extremely skilled in a smaller number of areas, but you’ll need to work harder at maintaining a large number of skills.
Remember, life is nothing more than a series of choices. Once you get older and move out of your home, the choices will become even greater.
Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? How do you want to act?
The choices you make now will influence you for the rest of your life, so you’d better think them through.
You are the one who will live your life, no one else. What you choose to do and become is completely up to you.
And that’s pretty cool.
Good luck. You’re going to need it.
Sources & references used in this article:
Being there: Putting brain, body, and world together again by A Clark – 1998 – books.google.com
A Wise Birth: Bringing Together the Best of Natural Childbirth and Modern Medicine by M Angelou – 2009 – Random House Trade Paperbacks
Augmented reality-based firefighter training system and method by P Armstrong, S Feldman – 2006 – books.google.com
Young men and fire by JF Ebersole, TJ Furlong, JF Ebersole Jr – US Patent 6,500,008, 2002 – Google Patents