Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2010

Increasingly we are hearing in the popular press the axiom “neurons that fire together, wire together”. In 1949 Canadian behavioral psychologist Donald Hebb proposed that learning linked neurons in new ways. He proposed that when two neurons fire at the same time repeatedly (or when one fires, causing the other to fire) chemical changes occur in both, so that the two tend to connect more strongly. Hebb’s concept was neatly summarizerd by neuro-scientist Carla Shatz: Neurons that fire together, wire together.” (from Norman Doidge’s book “The Brain that Changes Itself“)

What this means in practical terms is that each time you repeat a particular thought or action, you strengthen the connection between a set of brain cells or neurons. As neuroscience expert and psychologist Dr. Rick Hanson says, “the mind and the brain are a unified system. As the brain changes, the mind changes. As the mind changes, the brain changes. This means that you can use your conscious mind to make lasting changes to your brain to bring about greater well-being and happiness in your life.”

In her now classic book, Train Your Mind to Change Your Brain, author Sharon Begley states it succinctly, “The power of neuroplasticity to transform the emotional brain opens up new worlds of possibility. We are not stuck with the brain we were born with but have the capacity to willfully direct which functions will flower and which will wither, which moral capacities emerge and which do not, which emotions flourish and which are stilled.”

The science of neuroplasticity is both optimistic and hopeful. As we set the intention to register what is good in our lives and allow the good feelings to permeate our bodies and our minds, we are making underlying changes to the neural circuitry of our brains increasing the probability that the same neural connections will fire in the future.

Read Full Post »