Brain plasticity and “critical periods” for learning

Neurodevelopment: Unlocking the brain

This is an interesting article on brain plasticity and “critical periods” for learning some skills (e.g. stereo-vision, language acquisition, etc.). It seems there may be ways to reset or reopen critical periods through chemical or behavioral interventions.

Vision therapy, which aims to correct adult amblyopia and other eye conditions, already has shown that basic visual skills can be relearned and some visual problems corrected by proper training.

Incidentally, FIML practice retrains us to listen, speak, and think differently. In doing this, FIML may be reopening a critical period for language/semiotic processing or even for the fundamental organization of consciousness itself. Once acquired, FIML skills have far-reaching effects on virtually all aspects of human social and psychological awareness.

If Buddhist practice is thought of in a light like this (that new cognitive skills are learned as some old ones are unlearned), it may remove some of the mystical aspects of how people understand the Dharma while also making Buddhist teachings more appealing to people with science training or an affinity for objective science.

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