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Your Behaviour Won't Be The Same

Dr. Andrew Huberman | 5:25


Everyone knows that the brain is very plastic early in life. So from birth until about age 25, you can learn so much later in life, you have a lot more control generally over your life circumstances, but the brain becomes less plastic. However, we know based on Nobel Prize winning work and recent research, that the neuromodulator acetylcholine is secreted. When we pay attention to something very specific, it acts as a sort of spotlight in the brain, making certain synapses—the connections between neurons—more active and more likely to be active again than others.

So when you hear that song that you love so much, and it moves you and you feel dopamine being pulsed in your body, that's a real thing. You're actually experiencing dopamine secretion. You've formed a deep association with that song, and acetylcholine draws your attention to it. That song becomes wired into your nervous system in a very indelible way. You can probably even feel your body start to energize when listening to certain songs. This is because the brain, through its connections with your muscles, controls your body.

For things that are traumatic or negative, what we're really talking about is neuroplasticity focused on unlearning. Most of the therapies for this, whether it's EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), traditional psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, or somatic embodied release (like Kundalini breathing), are designed to bring a person into a state of heightened alertness. You can't effectively engage in these techniques when you're half asleep. In this heightened state, the focus is on the traumatic or negative event, aiming to rewire the neural pathways associated with it.

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