The brain is the most complex structure in known universe. Our brains have of over 100 million neurons, each with 1,000’s of connections with relationships with other neurons in the brain, creating a vast and intricate cerebral network. Various neurons and networks communicate with each other through electrical impulses travelling throughout the network at lightning speeds, like a jolt of electricity,
Until recently, it was believed we were born with a fixed number of nerve cells & the adult brain was not capable of producing new neurons. Science now shows us that what we thought to be incontrovertible truth turned out to be wrong. Formation of new nerve cells and connections takes place continuously, with every experience we encounter and thought we have.
The brain’s ability to change is called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the phenomenon of how our brains’ structure continuously changes with every experience and thought (positive or negative) that it encounters, and every habit we create (including stuttering) – this is a major breakthrough!
Neuroplasticity is a key factor making each of us unique, largely a result of life experiences. Our brains are capable of tremendous change. The brain responds to stimuli by either creating new neurons, new connections, strengthening or weakening the networks which already exist, eliminating synapses, or pruning nerve cells we no longer use (often repurposing them).
Neurons that fire together, wire together, and causes connections to strengthen or weaken. Physical activity, environmental factors, & learning stimulate the growth of neural stem cells. Stress, certain types of inflammation, and sensory deprivation have opposite effect.
We can take control of our neurological health and lead our brains create new connections between nerve cells & strengthening or weakening old ones. Training optimizes the brain areas and neural pathways involved in performing a given task; as a result, the individual’s performance on the task improves, and the task eventually becomes automated and effortless. A new action or a new thought will recruit neurons into a new network, causing them to fire together in a new pattern. Repeating those thoughts or actions will stimulate the network of nerve cells more and more, reinforcing it an turning those ideas and activities into habits. Not reinforcing that group of neurons and all its connections will weaken thoughts and behaviors belonging to that network.
Brains are capable of creation and constantly evolving. We have more control to shape our brains than we ever thought. Our brain changes with the messages that we give it and adapts to fit our focus both in thought and behavior. It is a completely natural process that occurs from the time we born and has the potential to continue our entire life. We are not passive bystanders or victims of our brain neural network. Instead, we can be active players controlling our brain’s evolution. Neuroplasticity teaches us how we can grow into the individual we’ve always dreamed of being, and why we become stuck in self-sabotaging patterns.
Become a StutterMind member and learn how free yourself from self-sabotaging patterns, become the master of your brain, and begin your path to speech fluency!
Moheb Costandi (2016), Neuroplasticity, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; MIT Press.
Philippe Douyon, M.D. (2019), Neuroplasticity Your Brain's Superpower, Salt Lake City, Utah, Izzard Ink Publishing Company
Norman Doidge, M.D. (2007), The Brain That Changes Itself: stories of personal triumph from the frontiers of brain science, New York, New York, Penguin Group (USA) Inc.