An Ode to Neuroplasticity

 

Neurogenesis: 10″ x 20″ Ink on Birch Panel
Long-term Potentiation: 12″ x 12″ Ink on Birch Panel
Long-term Depression: 12″ x 12″ Ink on Birch Panel

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change its structure and functionality throughout the entire human lifespan. Before the late 20th century, this concept was completely absurd; it was thought that proceeding development, the brain one had was the brain one would live with for the rest of their life. But how hopeful it was when neuroscientists discovered that this long held statement was false—this meant that even adults with various neurological disorders and mental illnesses could potentially be treated and have their health related quality of life improved.

The following pieces were made to honor neuroplasticity and the wondrous nature of the brain’s ability to grow, learn, unlearn, and adapt. They are creative depictions of three distinct processes involved in neuroplasticity: (1) Neurogenesis—the birth of new brain cells (i.e. neurons), (2) Long-term potentiation—the strengthening of “bonds” (i.e. synapses) between neurons, and (3) Long-term depression—the weakening of synapses between neurons.