Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Your Plastic Brain

ESL Podcast Blog: Your Plastic Brain

...Some people believe that you have to start when you’re young if you want to do certain things, like learn a new language or how to play a musical instrument. They believe that the connections in our brains have become permanent by the time we are adults and can’t be changed. If that’s true, you’ll never be able to do these things very well.

Marcus, a psychology professor at New York University, says that scientific evidence for this belief, called the critical-period theory, is far weaker (less strong) than widely supposed (believed). James Old, a neuroscience (brain science) professor at George Mason University, agrees. He says that the adult mind is “very plastic.”

In other words, it can be changed, even when you’re older; old connections can be broken and new ones made. According to Olds, “The brain has the ability to reprogram itself on the fly (while being used), altering (changing) the way it functions (works or operates).” That’s good news, especially for older adults! (read more)

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