Psychologist Joyce Shaffer tells the story of a man unable to talk or walk following a stroke. Two years later, he was hiking and teaching thanks to intense physical therapy. When the man died a few years later, an autopsy showed a large area of his brain had been destroyed by the stroke. Yet he had regained the ability to be active and productive.
Schaffer’s explanation: “Moment by moment you create your brain. It is plastic. It can change for better or worse depending on lifestyle choices.. Without challenge, your brain retires. (But) with lifestyle choices a person can turn their brain into a "self-fertilizing garden.”