Tuesday, July 27, 2010

neurological plasticity (part 1)

In reading "The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains", some great connections to scripture, as well as to other current thoughts/words toward God making us New Creations, are being made throughout.  One of the themes that comes up over and over again is that of "neurological plasticity".

Which is a fancy way of saying, that even if our brain doesn't grow in mass much past our early adult years, we still have the ability for our brains to rewire, form new connections, and in effect "change how we think".  For a long time, scientists believed that once our brains were done growing in size, they were also set in their patterns and connections/activity.  But developments in technology have enabled us to actually map out not only what a brain looks like, but to tap into the synaptic impulses that come from specific thoughts and areas of the body. 

One illustration of how our brains form connections contained a group of adults.  The entire group was taught how to play a specific tune on the piano.  Then, over a period of time, half the group was allowed to actually play the song using the keys of the piano.  The other half was only allowed to look at the keys, and imagine playing the song.  At the end of the experiment, all of the adults brains were tested to see what changes occurred, and what synapses may have been impacted.  Obvious changes had occurred due to the piano playing, but there was something more interesting too.  Both those who had played, and those who had imagined developed exactly the same neurological changes.

In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus warns against hating others in addition to murder.  He warns against lusting after a female right along with actually committing adultery.  What a great Truth for Jesus to have revealed so many years ago, that scientists are only now catching up with!!  That our thought life can lead to the same impact on who we are, as actually performing the actions....as Christians especially, we need to be active in pursuing Godly thoughts in addition to how we act.

May we hear the words of Philippians 4:8, "Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

May our thoughts be reflecting the God who has already begun to do a new thing in our midst...

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