Severe childhood trauma can adversely affect the way in which the brain develops, leading to, for example, extremes in anxiety or great difficulty in controlling emotions. However, there has been exciting research conducted showing that the brain is able, under certain conditions, to ‘rewire’ itself, correcting its own faulty circuitry, and, thus, alleviating the behavioral and emotional problems caused by the original damage.
NEURONS THAT FIRE TOGETHER WIRE TOGETHER
- Neurons that fire at the same time repeatedly wire together through chemical changes that occur in both to create a bond making them connect more strongly
- Neurons that fire apart wire apart
- Neurons out of sync fail to link
- Brain maps work by spatially grouping together events that happen together
- Brain maps will grow as the skill is being learned
- After many repetitions, the skill is learned
- It takes fewer neurons within the area to perform the task
- The neurons became faster and more efficient, requiring less to keep the skill functioning
The adult brain is much more changeable and modifiable than had previously been believed. There is now a large amount of evidence to show that damaged neural (brain) circuitry resulting from severe childhood trauma can be corrected, reshaping our brain anatomy and consequent behaviour, with the right kind of therapeutic interventions. In other words, it is now clear that brain architecture continues to change throughout adulthood, and this can be manipulated in highly beneficial directions.