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NEUROPLASTICITY by Moheb Constandi - A Book Review

A Book Review by John Loupos

      This small paperback-sized book delivers more than it claims. Described as a book about "neuroplasticity for the general reader," this book is in its totality and easy but absorbing read. I expect that it would be beyond the grasp, and interest, of most general readers, though it is likely a rung or two below the clinical discourse you might expect to overhear between conversing neuroscientists in full lab mode.

       Teaser gems reference research showing that experienced martial artists (and presumably others involved in similarly mindful body endeavors) have significantly larger white matter tracks in the motor cortex and cerebellum due to the highly focused nature of their craft as compared to novices and controls, resulting in superior motor coordination and greater power. This suggests obvious implications for our Somatics work. 

>>   Also, there is mention that brain imaging studies reveal that the primary visual cortex is activated when blind people read braille, prompting me to wonder if "interoceptive visualization" such as we foster in our guided movement patterns and assisted pandiculations might, or could, have similar effect.

       There's quite a bit more information in this little gem of at least academic interest to us HSE'ers, for example the information about the role those glial cells known as astrocytes play in regards to long term potentiation. LTP, also, makes for a prominent feature in our Somatics work.

       Even much of the background information in this book will no doubt contribute to the context of how we understand brain development and various brain functions. No small number of these points are fascinating on their own merits, but also got me thinking how they can be applied to my own work with clients, as well as shape and influence the way I think.

       My idea of a good book is one that invites lots of yellow highlights. My copy of "Neuroplasticity" has many dozens. I like books that get me thinking and make me wonder with yellow highlighter at the ready. Maybe this book will get you thinking as well.