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Learning Morse Code Increases Neuroplasticity

 by dan kb6nu A recent study, Learning Morse Code Alters Microstructural Properties in the Inferior Longitudinal Fasciculus, has shown that learning Morse Code increases neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. 

I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but from what I’ve read neuroplasticity is a good thing. It helps us learn new things, recover more quickly from injury, and overcome some brain deficits, depression and addictions, and reverse obsessive compulsive patterns. 

In this study, researchers used Morse Code as a substitute for language learning while measuring changes in the brain’s white matter structure. One of the reasons for using Morse Code is that they felt that learning the code was a much better controlled and much faster way to experimentally assess learning a new language. The study showed that learning Morse Code increased white matter plasticity. 

In a previous study, they showed that processing acoustically presented Morse Code activated a higher cognitive (and language related) network in the brain. So, again, I’m not a doctor or a neuroscientist, but it sounds to me that learning and operating Morse Code is a good thing to keep the brain active and flexible. It’s another good reason for me to stay active on CW. 

From the kb6nu ham radio blog