An exciting concept that intrigues professionals in many different fields of study, neuroplasticity explains everything from addiction to phantom limbs to recovery from illness.
Neuroplasticity is a term used to explain the brain’s ability to “reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.”  Neuro is short for neuron– the cells that make up our brains and nervous system and plastic is short for the ability to change or be modified. Hence neuroplasticity is used to explain the brain’s remarkable ability to reorganize its neural maps as it encounters new experiences. The brain is capable of rerouting neural pathways so that one
area of the brain can subsume another area’s duties, and this is the
most extreme example of neuroplasticity. Medical Doctor Norman Doidge wrote a New York Times Bestselling book “The Brain That Changes Itself” which is about his experiences involving neuroplasticity. When describing the miracles he has witnessed he writes,
“I met a scientist who enabled people who had been blind since birth to see, another who enabled the deaf to hear; I spoke with people who had had strokes decades before and had been declared incurable, who were helped to recover with neuroplastic treatments; I met people whose learning disorders were cured and whose IQ’s were raised; I saw evidence that it is possible for eight-year-olds to sharpen their memories and function the way they did when they were fifty-five.” 
A common mistake is to think that our brain only shows plasticity after a devastating accident. Our minds, to a greater or lesser degree, are always changing, rearranging, and showing signs of malleability. In many cases we can mold our brains through routine mental or physical exercises. Experiments such as the one preformed by Psychologist Edward Taub with his “Silver Spring Monkeys” and Merzenich and Kaas with rodents have successfully demonstrated cortical remapping and therefore neuroplasticity.
What it Means
Even without BCI’s, there is a huge amount of medical and psychological potential linked with neuroplasticity. The idea that the brain is plastic is in direct contradiction with the once highly held notion that the brain is static and certain parts are capable of only specific functions, also known as localizationism. Since modern research is showing that brains aren’t exactly like mechanical machines and computers but rather much more complicated biological entities capable of fluid evolution and metamorphosis, the entire scientific community has and will continue to rewrite the books on therapy, medicine, surgery, and more.
- MedicineNet Neuroplasticity Definition
- Norman Doidge, "The Brain that Changes Itself" 2007