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Being able to function despite lacking a sense is another way our brains adapt as demonstrated by Doidge. We can function completely lacking a sense, as in the case of blind people who have extraordinary hearing, spatial maps and felt sense. Also, by restricting one sense we are able to allow another sense to function at a higher level, accomplishing tasks more effectively and efficiently. A couple examples of this are mentioned in Doidge’s notes; blindfolding yourself to memorize Homer’s Iliad (an extremely lengthy text), closing your eyes at a concert, not talking in a library, and not touching art work in a museum. (547). By blocking one sense, the perception task at hand becomes easier; memorizing, listening, reading and viewing art work. In Doidge’s eighth chapter about imagination, he offers the scientific research why this happens by discussing Gerald Edelman’s theory that operators to process information from the outside world are in constant competition with one another (318). What this means is, “…people learning a new skills can recruit operators devoted to other activities, vastly increasing their processing power…” (318). In this way, our brains allow us to accomplish learning and tasks more effectively and efficiently. For maximum efficiency and effectiveness, the person just needs to, “…create a roadblock between the operator they need and its unusual function” (Doidge 318). This roadblock can be created by closing or blindfolding the eyes, plugging the ears, not talking or not feeling with your hands. The various ways as humans we manipulate our senses in order to accomplish tasks more effectively and efficiently serves to reinforce the neuroplasticity of our brains. Pascual-Leone in his experiment where he blindfolded people, “…demonstrated that their occipital lobe, which normally processes visions, could process sound and touch” (Doidge 430). Our brains are very capable of change, by simply blindfolding people Pascual-Leone was able to get their brains to process sound and touch in the vision part of the brain. He added more experimental data to back up Gerald Edelman’s theory about operators and how the neuroplasticity of the brain makes up for lacking one sense.

2 thoughts on “The Brain that Changes Itself

  1. Kimball and characteristics it has very interesting huh, I also know a few studies on it and its characteristics are expressed a very clear way. His appearance gives you the impression it is understandable.

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