On June 9, 2020, Washington University scientists released a report on neurological experiments. Their research shows that the human brain rewires itself when changes occur in the body. Dr. Nico Dosenbach, professor of neurology, and his coworkers put their arms in casts. For seven weeks, they would lie absolutely still for a 30-minute MRI. The MRI scans showed that within two days, the group of neurons responsible for coordinating the movement of the casted arms effectively disconnected from the rest of the brain but increased their connections with each other.
Dr. Beatriz Lunda at the University of Pittsburgh said, “They found a neural signature for adult brain plasticity. It adds to our understanding that the brain is never doing nothing. It is always trying to optimize its performance.” This means the human brain rewires itself to compensate for the current disuse of a body part while keeping the pathways open to reactivate that part later.
The applications of this research are many and of great significance. Stroke victims, people who have casts on their arms or legs, and children with conditions that cause them to favor one side of the body, can all benefit from this research. The complete report will be published in the August 2020 edition of the professional journal Neuron, if you are interested in reading more about how the human brain rewires itself.
God’s design of our personal computer – the brain – is so complex that we are just beginning to understand how it works. Like any computer, the designing Engineer had to be a genius to make such a wondrous device. Thank you, God, for our brains and help us to take care of them.
— John N. Clayton © 2020