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The Brain:the power of plasticity

Part 1 of 2: The Power of Plasticity
From ABC National's All in the Mind.

The dogma used to be that the adult brain was a rigid, unchangeable organ, but that pessimistic perspective is now being radically revised. Psychiatrist Dr Norman Doidge journeyed into the labs and lives of the `neuroplasticians´ -- once scientific mavericks, they're challenging the old neurological nihilism. Professor Jeffrey Schwartz is one. They both join Natasha Mitchell in discussion to reveal how the human brain has underestimated itself! Next week, plasticity on the couch...
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Original audio source

This audio program explores the nature of brain plasticity in some exciting detail. It suggests that the brain rather than being a organ sentenced to permanent habitual ways of functioning can be remade and renovated throughout the life cycle. Such a perspective, to me, seems in sync with the work on neurology begun by the Soviet Marxist scientists -- Lev Vygotsky and Alexander Luria.

Towards the end of the program there's the beginnings of a discussion about culture and brain function inasmuch as it impacts on perception.

In an age where we are being asked to bow down before the ideology of DNA it is worthwhile being reminded that humans, and maybe other animals, can adapt to and even often transcend whatever challenge we may have to deal with and that we are not so many components mechanically separated from other functionalities in our nervous system.

It is worthwhile noting what neuropasticity means: Neuroplasticity (variously referred to as brain plasticity, cortical plasticity or cortical re-mapping) refers to the changes that occur in the organization of the brain as a result of experience.

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