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"As a result the brain changes, and integrates certain brain areas more into the default mode network. The idea that if one has high activation in a brain area a lot, then the structure will be changed."

In your review you cite cross-sectional research, not a longitudinal, within-subject effect of change with study/practice/learning. Therefore your conclusions should not be about change, but on group differences. Those difference might have arisen from the training, or pre-existed in those individuals that were more prone to study/practice/learn/meditate.

Post-Note: Sorry. As a developmental neuroscientist, you hit on a pet-peeve. Cheers.

Fair enough, in group differences it's tough to be certain about causality. It's interesting that my teacher never gave this as feedback. Well, that just shows that when it comes to HN, people simply care more about science (as my teacher was a neuroscience researcher).

Personally, I do think the brain is plastic in this sense though. I haven't looked deep enough into it to be a 100% certain. Nevertheless, from all the research summaries I read, I gather that whenever a skill is practiced in a focused manner for 1 to 2 hours, neural plasticity occurs.

I wish there was a literature review around this idea. But I got the feeling that 4 years ago the literature was mostly on clinical patients. Normal people and neural plasticity seems to be researched less well.

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