I want to study the shit out of reinstating a child-like learning capacity in adults. What do I need to read up on? I'll even take advice on career/degree path or whatever, but mainly I'm looking for reading material: I just want to learn how to learn how to learn more efficiently.
Pretty much every neuroscience undergrad I talk to has had this stupid idea.
If you increase the plasticity of the brain, aren't you just as likely to forget things as you are to learn new things? What's the point of being able to learn a new language more easily if it's at the cost of forgetting how to drive a car, or other potentially important skills that would not be exercised as much while under the theoretical treatment's effects?
If this is the case, how do I remember anything from my childhood? Surely the plastisity would have removed all traces of childhood memories by now.
Brain plasticity isn't Absulute plasisity, the structure has some stability which is why long term memory exist.
As far as I know there are a lot of neurons which form the path. These neurons translate into logic or memories. Upon plasticity occuring the least used neurons on the path to the goal would participate in forming a new set of connections. This is to say that while new neurons would be created, they would also be able to convert, as this is more energy efficient than creating new and destroying the existing.
Mass of the brain wouldn't necesarily increase, as growth phaise has already passed. We can see this in people who have suffered large brain injuries: the brain does not regenerate - atleast not in a timespain which would be practical. People may learn to talk and walk with the help of therapy - that's brain plasticity, but the potential does not increase. All happens mostly within limits that already exist. Limits may be pushed, but not to degree of literal regeneration.
Something like the skill to drive a car has a very large neuronal network in it's use. This means that even if some parts of the networks would be reused, the base skill wouldn't disappear. If one skill wouldn't replace the other, the networks would probably merge together and use same routes. Ie: the skill of driving a car, the skill of driving a motorcycle and the skill of driving a bike: they're not seperate skills, but rather one extended skill: the skill of driving things. Of course; I don't know jackshit about neuroscience, so this is just a set of pure guesses.
Homo sapiens is already sufficiently neotenous. The idea of "reinstating" a child-like learning capacity in adults is a moot point since they already have that child-like learning capacity.
If you're interested in learning shit, please learn how to critique your own points of view before you've considered them good ideas.