This stuff is just interesting isn’t it…on TV Australian Broadcasting Corporation 9/09/2008 and the reporter is Kerry O’Brien speaking Norman Doidge about his, I guess now, pretty famous book.
And whether you think it is fabulous or not, there is hope and inspiration in some of the things he says, and some of the new research around brain development.
KERRY O’BRIEN: ‘There’s the claim that we can radically improve how we learn, think, perceive and remember, even in old age. Is that proven?’
NORMAN DOIDGE: ‘Yes, it is proven.’
Now that has to be good news doesn’t it!
And Norman Doidge goes on to say that:
‘…you actually turn on genes inside the nerve cells in your brain to change the number of connections between those cells. You can double them in a matter of hours between nerve cell A and nerve cell B. So, what we’ve discovered with neuroplasticity is that consciousness can direct genetic expression, and neuroscientists are looking at all the sort of points along that trail from consciousness, ultimately to structural change in the brain and altered behavioural expression as one of the chief tasks right now.’
‘Once you understand that plasticity exists from cradle to grave, what it means is that a development, which most people think of as, really, child development, is something that goes on throughout the course of life.’
‘…when you think thoughts or learn something, you actually turn on genes inside the nerve cells in your brain to change the number of connections between those cells.’
Dunno about you, but that all makes me feel pretty good.
This is my nan, at the time she was well into her nineties, sharp as a tack and a joy to be with.