How does ANS affect neuroplasticity?


The autonomic nervous system (ANS) plays a crucial role in neuroplasticity, particularly in managing transitions between states of alertness and calmness that are essential for learning and brain adaptation. explains that our ability to move between highly focused states and deeply restful states, regulated by the ANS, optimizes the periods for engaging neuroplasticity.

During the day, we transition from periods of high alertness, which are optimal for neuroplasticity, to states of deep relaxation and sleep. These cycles are essential because the high-focus, alert states induce changes in brain function and structure that are conducive to learning, while deep rest and sleep are crucial for solidifying these changes and rewiring brain connections 1 2.

To effectively engage in neuroplasticity, it's important to manage and understand the functioning of the autonomic nervous system. Optimal functioning of the ANS enables one to maximize periods of both alert wakefulness and restful sleep, which are both critical for effective learning and brain adaptation 3.

Optimizing Brain Function

Andrew discusses the importance of autonomic arousal in optimizing brain function and neuroplasticity. He explains how the trigger for plasticity and learning occurs during high focus, high alertness states, and how the actual rewiring of the brain connections happens during non-sleep, deep rest, and deep sleep.

Huberman Lab

Optimize Your Learning & Creativity with Science-based Tools | Huberman Lab Podcast #8