How neuroplasticity helps us shape who we become | André Vermeulen | TEDxJohannesburg

Published 2019-07-31
NOTE FROM TED: This talk, which was filmed at an independent TEDx event, appears to fall outside TEDx’s content guidelines. The speaker’s claims around neuroscience and energy are not supported by credible scientific evidence. The guidelines we give our TEDx organizers are described in more detail here:…

Is it possible for us to rewire our brains? Yes, says neuroscientist André Vermeulen. Take his example of a woman in China who was admitted to hospital because of a neurological condition. Tests revealed that, astonishingly, her brain was missing a cerebellum – a part of the brain that gives us balance, coordinated movement, and controls certain aspects of our speech. The cerebellum is also home to fifty percent of the brain cells of humans, so it’s clearly not an insignificant part of our physiology. Amazingly, other than some persistent nausea and vertigo, the woman led a functionally normal life. So, how did her brain compensate? How was it possible that someone could have a relatively full life with half of their brain cells missing? Well, according to André, the brain has a remarkable ability to rewire itself, and it does so specifically so that we can survive and thrive in our worlds. All we need to do is put in the time and intensity that it takes to carve new neurological pathways, that will lead to our desired outcomes, and allow us to out-think our circumstances. This phenomenon, called neuroplasticity, means that it is possible for our brains to replace old negative behaviour patterns with new constructive alternatives, whatever they are. André drives the point home with a list of the three things we need to do to change our brains. By taking control of our thoughts, he says, we can shape who we become. Dr. André Vermeulen is founding member and CEO of Neuro-Link, a boutique consultancy utilizing applied neuroscience to develop talent, increase performance and maintain wellness. He is a global thought leader in how neuro-agility can improve performance. André has developed and patented cutting edge neuro-agility assessments and applied neuroscience learning solutions that are used by children in education, and adults in business and sports across the globe. He has published more than 43 leading articles on the development implications of the brain and mental health. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

All Comments (21)
  • @nguyentram2269
    It’s not simply informative, it’s so motivating as well. Thank you sir.
  • @famrayyt
    Thank you… I’m battling a neurological disease called spinocerebellar ataxia. It has been difficult for me to do this in the past, because I seen generations before me with this condition suffer. However recently I’ve been facing some personal challenges in addition to this health one and I have been doing just what he said in this video prior to seeing it. I see a change.. I’m believing for a miracle and I expect to experience it. Thank you so much. Glad my brother shared this with my sister. 😊
  • @sam_k8868
    This is the ONLY ted talk i need :)
  • @Emg079
    this is one of the best videos about neuroplasticity I have ever seen, specially on YT. It's combined with actioning and I love it. Thank you
  • I was told all my life there was "something wrong with me". I was "clearly smart" so I was labeled "lazy". Looking back, it's amazing what all I've accomplished with those messages. At age 62, i was actually given a diagnosis of autism. Learning that made my entire life understandable. I now look at all I've accomplished with not only no support around the wiring of my brain, also obstacles being deliberately put in my way. I still work on accomplishing what I want, within the workings of my particular brain, and while I still have the messages inside of "there's something wrong" and "i'm lazy", it seems my next project is to change those messages. what might i accomplish if i succeed?
  • @Jayapriya.
    the best explanation i've come across so far. Thankyou!
  • @seabee5695
    "..Putting labels on Others, and Ourselves.." What you think about and dwell on.. you Become. Thank you for sharing this information. It is Perfect confirmation.
  • @wiretreedigital
    Great presentation Mr. Vermuelen. This has 100% made an impact in my life. Thank you!
  • @vaidatwal6254
    This is how , Ted talk is actually helping to construct a better world by sharing such influncial idea. Much appreciated 🙏
  • @Ajay-rw5jy
    OMG LIFE CHANGING!🙏🏼 May the creator bless you and your loved ones for sharing this knowledge with humanity! You’ve just changed my perception and attitude in life and i will never forget that! Love you! 🙏🏼🥰❤️
  • @yrb123
    Amazing talk. Spread the word
  • @snehabhatt2417
    Absolutely awesome message..thank you so much...has the power to save a life..
  • @drphuocnguyen
    hats off for the structure and how well you deliver your speech. it's seamless. Your body language is at another level
  • This was GREAT! Thank you so much for insight and solutions for me to change. THANK YOU!
  • Thank you, thank you thank you Mr. Vermulen , TED talk team, and YOUTUBE. The right time, was the right time for me to be guided and Listen to this information. 😃very much appreciated !!! again Thank you
  • @Afura33
    There can be done a lot of things with neuroplasticity, it is sad that not more doctors wanna know about it, so many people can be helped with it. There is this case with a woman, she he had to take medication for an illness that destroyed the part in her brain which was responsible for balance control while walking and so on. She couldn't walk anymore because of the strong vertigo and dizzyness, her head was spinning all the time. Thanks to neuroplasticity she learned to rewire her brain and thanks to these new created neuronal connections she learned to walk again and could even ride bicycle after it. I am not saying that neuroplasticity is a cure for everything, but it has a lot of potential and can do a lot of good stuff for people. Too bad that most doctors don't wanna know more about it.
  • @Marco-te8to
    Thank you for this wonderful video ;) it is very interesting and I wish that this informations can reach a lot of people!