Often as an explicit result of a choice to pay attention to one thing rather than another.
(Which isn’t supposed to happen, remember? The brain is just a hunk of meat responding, as all other such pieces of meat do, to Darwin’s theory of evolution).
A recent piece informs us,
Brain Rewires Itself After Damage or Injury, Life Scientists Discover
May 15, 2013 — When the brain’s primary “learning center” is damaged, complex new neural circuits arise to compensate for the lost function, say life scientists from UCLA and Australia who have pinpointed the regions of the brain involved in creating those alternate pathways — often far from the damaged site.
The researchers found that parts of the prefrontal cortex take over when the hippocampus, the brain’s key center of learning and memory formation, is disabled. Their breakthrough discovery, the first demonstration of such neural-circuit plasticity, could potentially help scientists develop new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other conditions involving damage to the brain.
It is apparent that the mind was seeking a solution, a pathway through the damaged brain.
Neuroplasticity findings are much avoided because they imply that what we think is real and has an effect. We can’t just decide for ourselves whether it will be real or will have an effect. It does anyway, materialism notwithstanding.
See also: There is a country for old men
Denyse O’Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.