Michael Merzenich on re-wiring the brain

And in fact they result in a wonderful differentiation in humankind. In the way that in fact no two of us are quite alike. Every one of us has a different set of acquired skills and abilities that all derive out of the plasticity, the adaptability of this really remarkable adaptive machine. In an adult brain of course we’ve built up a large repertoire of mastered skills and abilities that we can perform more or less automatically from memory, and that define us, as acting, moving, thinking creatures.

The brain is recording all information and driving all change in temporal context. Now overwhelmingly the most powerful context that’s occurred in your brain, is you. Billions of events have occurred in your historythat are related in time to yourself as the receiver,or yourself as the actor, yourself as the thinker,yourself as the mover. Billions of times little pieces of sensation have come in from the surface of your body that are always associated with you as the receiver, and that result in the embodiment of you.You are constructed, your self is constructed from these billions of events. It’s constructed. It’s created in your brain. And it’s created in the brain via physical change. This is a marvelously constructed thing that results in individual form because each one of us has vastly different histories. And vastly different experiences that drive in to us this marvelous differentiation of self, of personhood.

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