What does Leonardo DiCaprio have to do with brain plasticity? Well, in order to prepare for his role in the movie The Aviator, DiCaprio worked with Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz of UCLA, who is a leading physician of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Dr. Schwartz explained what OCD is and the brain mechanisms that go into it. He also worked with an OCD patient of Dr. Schwartz. He spent a few days with him, living around him and talking to him. The net result was that DiCaprio was able to act and behave in the movie role just like he actually had OCD. He became so immersed in the role that it took him several months after the movie was over for him to rid himself of the OCD behaviors. His brain had actually started to re-wire itself into someone with OCD, just from “acting” the role.
The video below by Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz discusses DiCaprio and his role in the movie and how the brain changes.
So what does this have to do with you and me? It means that we are NOT permanently hard-wired the way we are today. We CAN change.. Old dogs CAN learn new tricks. Because our brains have the ability to re-wire themselves (due to neuroplasticity), we can do and become much more than we think we can today. Our self imposed limitations are just that.. Self imposed. We can DO and BE different, if we so choose.