What Do We Really Know about Neuroplasticity?


In a Scientific American blog post, Gary Stix reviews some of the latest research into brain “neuroplasticity,” including an experiment where mice with induced “lazy eye” recovered their normal vision. According to Stix, it’s unclear if such apparently miraculous developments in experiments can translate to the real world. “We still don’t know what changes in circuitry are responsible for these phenomena of adult plasticity because we don’t have a really solid anatomical grasp of them,” University of California’s Michael Stryker tells Stix. It may be that popular exercises to take advantage of neuroplasticity could “make you into an ace at taking psychological tests,” writes Stix, but not actually improve your real-world psychological health or abilities.

Neuroplasticity: New Clues to Just How Much the Adult Brain Can Change (Scientific American Blogs, July 14, 2014.)