Neuroplasticity: Brains on the Starting Block

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What’s it all about?

Why did Barbra Arrowsmith-Young decide that she could overcome her serious learning problems by changing her brain-circuitry? How did Jill Bolte Taylor recover her ability to think, walk and talk following her massive stroke? Today, we understand why neuroplasticity, our brain’s ability to form new pathways after blockages or injury, can radically change the outlook for recovery for many brain and psychological conditions. These include some strokes, educational impairments, relational trauma and PTSD. Our lecture offers an exciting introduction to make sense of this cutting-edge medical science.

What will we cover?

We will introduce a brief history of the ‘old porcelain’ concept of brain structures, then trace how modern neuro-imaging methods have changed those outdated ideas to the fascinating new model of the neuroplastic brain. Although neuroplasticity is a complex topic, we’ll introduce key principles to make a start to your self-directed learning with references to popular TED presentations, websites and user-friendly books and handouts.

Who will be teaching?

George Halasz is an adjunct senior lecturer at Monash University’s School of Psychology and Psychiatry. He has written many journal articles, chapters in books, most recently in ‘The Power of Witnessing’ (2012) and an editorial board member of Australasian Psychiatry. Sample publications available on his website.