As opposed to other animals on the planet Earth, humans have an extraordinary ability to adapt any challenge mentally. Most importantly, our predecessors had learned how to teach their knowledge gained by mental phase transitions, which culminated in cultures and traditions. This adaptation process is also known as neuroplasticity which states that the human brain evolves within information by creating or removing the neural pathways, which is either continuous or temporary learnings. But, is there a connection between our exceptional neoteny and the lifelong brain plasticity?
The human brain needed time and experience to possess that unique ability – neuroplasticity – to grasp the meaning, yet any other animal brain could not. According to the former findings as to how the prolonged human infancy affect brain development in making neural connections, neoteny can be the answer to the lifelong plasticity that is one of the central players in the evolution of Homo Sapiens. The reason is as follows. While other animal brains exhibit plasticity, we are the only species use it as a central player in brain refinement and evolution. One of the major ways we managed to leverage neuroplasticity to such stratospheric heights is known as neoteny – our almost absurdly prolonged infancy and youth, which leaves us both hyper-plastic and hyper-dependent on older generations for well over a decade. Human childhood helps lay the groundwork of the adult mind, but plasticity remains a major force throughout life.(1) In other words, the prolonged human infancy and dependency on old generations give us more resort to creating new pathways and neural connections to collect information enough to adapt everything mentally.
(1) Ramachandran, V. S. "Phantom Limbs and Plastic Brains." The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human. New York: W.W. NORTON & COMPANY, 2012. 38. Print. Inspect here.
Figure - 37.1 https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/592dcb18140000390047fdb4.jpg?ops=scalefit_820_noupscale