Posted on Feb 13, 2018
Professor Mary Galea guest speaker is a distinguished medical academic currently with the Department of Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.  Her CV is extensive with awards and patronage and support for organizations addressing in particular rehabilitation matters associated with brain and nervous system damage. 
Her topic broadly covered that concept of "Neuro Plasticity".   Skillfully using language and explanations aimed at the audience's level  she gave a most interesting and informative account of her and other research on aspects of the brain development and recovery from trauma.  Notwithstanding what came across as simple following Mary's clever descriptions the audience was taken back with the ability of medicine today to comprehend amazingly complex matters of the brain's functioning and employ rapidly advancing technology to improve it.
We learnt some things. First neuro plasticity is that concept that the brain can continually throughout life create new pathways within the nervous system and brain.    "Use it or loss it" is fact.    Continual stimulation can improve performance.   New learnings are good.   Mary explained that using "habitual pathways" is fine but do not develop the brain whereas creating new or alternate ones does.   This is important in stroke victims where lost functionality can be restored in part by such stimulation.  
Mary told of how much research is invoking external physical stimuli (rehab), and or electrical and magnetic ones to activate the brain to improve performance.  Her current given work concerns the use of the links to the brain via the tongue!  Electrical stimulation via this route has have some success in improving the "balance" of stroke patients.