How does learning change your brain? Just because you had a hard time learning something at a younger age, are you limited to only learn what you could then?

The study of neuroplasticity identifies the brain’s ability to change and rearrange itself throughout our life. While people once thought that the connections in the brain became fixed as we aged, newer studies show the brain continually changes as we continue to learn. You can improve your brain functions in specific ways through engaging in various challenges.

For instance, London taxi drivers have a larger hippocampus (in the posterior region) than London bus drivers. Why is that? It is because this region of the hippocampus is specialized in acquiring and using complex spatial information in order to navigate efficiently. Taxi drivers have to navigate around London whereas bus drivers follow a limited set of routes.[1]

Neuroplasticity occurs in the brain:

1.     At the beginning of life: when the immature brain organizes itself.

2.     In case of brain injury: to compensate for lost functions or maximize remaining functions.

3.     Through adulthood: whenever something new is learned and memorized[2]

I believe this has marvellous implications for learning to be a disciple of Jesus. The reorientation of one’s life following conversion is so significant that Jesus called it a new birth.

There is a neuroplasticity required to learn new thoughts and direct our lives to engage in a new set of governing rules. The significance of learning from the Scriptures and engaging in spiritual formation leads us into becoming a new kind of humanity.