Our ability to manipulate our senses due to the neuroplasticity of our brains also helps us function appropriately in our culture. A profound example of this is found in Doidge’s Appendix 1, “the sea gypsies…a wandering water tribe, they learn to swim before they learn to walk, and live over half their lives in boats on the open sea…they survive by harvesting clams and sea cucumbers” which they have to dive down to sometimes great depths to gather (424-425). As a culture, from the pure need to survive they have adapted to, “…see clearly at great depths, without goggles” (425). By being able to manipulate their sense of sight, training their brains to be able to see underwater, the sea gypsies are able to function appropriately as a culture. They have “…learned to control the shape of their lenses…[and] size of their pupils, constricting them 22 percent” (Doidge 425). The sea gypsies have learned to be able physically change the way their eyes (which are controlled by the brain) function underwater due to the way of life of their culture. Furthermore, Anna Gislen who studied this unique ability of the sea gypsies proved their ability to clear underwater wasn’t genetic by teaching Swedish children to do the same thing (Doidge 426). All humans (or at least children) have the neuroplastic ability to see as good as the sea gypsies underwater. If we develop this ability though, depends on our culture. All this goes to show that “…cultural activities can change brain circuits, in this case leading to a new and seemingly impossible change in perception” (Doidge 426). Our senses due the neuroplasticity of our brains are able to be manipulated to help us function appropriately in our culture.


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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