Neuroplasticity is the innate ability of the brain to physically change when challenged with new experiences (Bear, Conners, & Paradisco, 2007).
The brain has over a billion neurons - its cellular building blocks interact with each other in complex ways. Signals travel from one neuron to another down intricate neural pathways whose structures determine your thoughts, emotions, insights and more. As our brain ages throughout life, changes occur. In fact, neural pathways less used are ‘pruned away’, while frequently used neurons grow stronger (Bowden, Woodbury, & Duncan, 2013).
Even before a child is born, the brain is developing along a predetermined path. This linear, stepwise process continues on until the child reaches full brain maturity in their late teens or early twenties. Although this is an innate process, it is influenced strongly by the environment (Fong, Lee, & Pang, 2011). Therefore neuroplasticity is a very critical quality of brain health reshaping new and existing neural pathways.