This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Brain Plasticity Essay

1124 words - 4 pages

Brain Plasticity

Throughout the line of questioning we have been following in our efforts to get "progressively less wrong" in our class wide model of the brain, a constant debate has sparked on the issue of whether brain equals behavior. If we agree that brain truly equals behavior, then we can surmise that the vastly differing human behavior must also translate to differing nuances in the brain. It is a widely conceded point that experience also effects behavior, and therefore experience must also affect the brain. On this point, I have been intrigued: are these differences in the brain mysterious; things as well theorized on by a philosopher as researched by a biologist? Or can an experience actually change the physical structure of the brain? In my web research, I found a partial answer in the concept of plasticity.

According to source (1), "Plasticity refers to how circuits in the brain change--organize and reorganize--in response to experience, or sensory stimulation." There appear be four types of stimuli to which a brain responds with change: developmental, such as in the newly formed and ever evolving brain of a child; activity dependent, such as in cases of lost senses; learning and memory, in which the brain changes in response to a particular experience; and finally injury induced, resulting from damage in the brain, as occurs in a stroke or in the well-know case of Phineas Gage. Although the particular change in the brain is dependent on the type of stimulus, brain plasticity can be widely described as an adjustment in the strength of synaptic connections between brain cells. (1)

The developmental function of brain plasticity is important not only in the world of early childhood, but also has implications for the function of an aging brain. As we age, the synaptic plasticity deceases due to the increased expression of neurotoxins in astrocytes which are responsible for cell-cell communication (2). Similarly, in youth, increased synaptic plasticity accounts for the inordinate amount of growth and learning that must occur in this stage of development.

Much research has been done on injury-induced plasticity, and continues to be done with the hopes of minimizing the effects of an injury on the brain. One case where is in brain injury due to stroke , wherein particular functions of the brain such as motor control, memory, or language may be affected. According to source (3) "a reorganization of brain functions may occur through 'uninjured' brain areas, allowing then-altered functions to be performed differently". If this function of brain plasticity can be exacerbated and emphasized, it is perhaps possible with further research and experimentation to minimize the effects of brain injury such that many or all symptoms are eliminated.

In the area of activity dependent plasticity, a study has been done comparing patients who had gone through a period of deafness and recently received cochlear implants to a control...

Find Another Essay On Brain Plasticity

Sleeping is Beneficial for the Brain

1244 words - 5 pages cardiovascular disease and cancer (Cox, 2002). In the 1950s, the average hours of sleep for a person were 8 hours. The average hours of sleep for people now are 6.5 hours (TED, 2013). It is important that people continue to receive sleep to insure brain plasticity. Brain plasticity is the natural way the brain changes. The brain is constantly working, even during sleep. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is the characterization of random and

Evolution, Ecology, and Becoming Essay

1250 words - 5 pages , and in the world. Work that is perpetually creating, destroying, and rebuilding relationships and syntheses in more ways and with more “how”s than the brain or mind can ever fully wrangle. The fragility of this coming to terms with this perpetuity can often result in, from Malabou’s reading, concepts of flexibility rather than plasticity, and reticular efficacy rather than reciprocal possibilities. Where plasticity can give form, take form

Exercise On The Brain: A Review Of Literature

1111 words - 5 pages in the brain, it functions better and the growth of brain cells is much more productive when humans exercise (Meeusen, 2005). Secondly, when exercise is performed it stimulates the brain's plasticity “Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity, is an umbrella term that encompasses both synaptic plasticity and non-synaptic plasticity—it refers to changes in neural pathways synapses which are due to changes in behavior, environment and

General Assessment

1068 words - 5 pages For thirty consecutive days I had utilized my left hand while texting in order to test whether or not I could find any significant improvements or declines in cognitive and motor tasks. When I had taken my initial baseline assessment I had displayed a perceivably adequate amount of brain lateralization and plasticity. Though I had dropped the ball two or three times during my initial assessment, I had managed to gain a baseline score of forty

Maximizing Your Brain’s Potential

833 words - 3 pages well as elongation, retraction and branching of axons and dendrites have straight impact on network connectivity even in the adult brain. The morphological changes, the synapses can break, the new synapses may form and axonal branches can be re-routed. Sequentially, rewired network connectivity gives rise to a changed activity dynamic and can hold a long term memory formation as a source. Structural plasticity constitutes local structure and global


2535 words - 11 pages role of crossmodal reorganization is still not understood. Nevertheless, researchers have provided evidence of the possibility of intramodal plasticity rather than the crossmodal plasticity by results of compensatory behavioral changes. Along with these researches to understand crossmodal activity in the brain, it is also important to study that how experiences at different developmental periods shapes the functional organization of the

Mental Retardation Does Not Always Slow People Down

1476 words - 6 pages integration of the aforementioned researchers, Barbara began to exercise her weakened functions instead of practicing compensating skills in areas where she was inferior. This allowed Barbara to gain greater capacity in areas in which she could not previously function in (Doidge, 2007). Upon researching animals’ brains to understand the potential for brain plasticity, researchers found that animals who were placed in a complex environment and who


1861 words - 7 pages Neuroplasticity Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to remap itself in response to experience. The theory was first proposed by Psychologist William James who stated “Organic matter, especially nervous tissue, seems endowed with a very extraordinary degree of plasticity". Simply put, the brain has the ability to change. He used the word plasticity to identify the degree of difficulty involved in the process of change. He defined

Nicholas Carr's In the Shallows

1290 words - 5 pages thinking and progress. To Carr, we are sacrificing our ability to think logically because we are choosing the simpler way to gain knowledge. Carr mentions the affect that technology has on the neurological processes of the brain. Plasticity is described as the brains response through neurological pathways through experiences. The brain regions “change with experience, circumstance, and need” (29). Brain plasticity also responds to experiences

Food for Thought

1264 words - 6 pages and the enhancement of different aspects of synaptic plasticity. Gingko biloba boost blood-flow to the brain, and can help destroy free radicals. It can also protect brain cells from premature death. One study showed that long term Gingko use could improve selective attention and long-term verbal and non-verbal memory. Recent studies, however, have supplied mixed results in the prevention of Alzheimer’s. Blueberries have been shown to improve

Neuroscience for Teachers

1845 words - 8 pages slowly, differently or even backwards. By observing development holistically, where social interaction and genes influence each other it will be easier for those diagnosing developmental ‘issues’ in children to see more clearly why a child’s development may be differing. The notion that development is a process of emergent self-organisation is further supported by the growing understanding of brain plasticity, which could only be possible if

Similar Essays

Neural Plasticity: The Growth Of Learning

939 words - 4 pages Neural Plasticity: The Growth of Learning Over the years, the brain’s ability to rejuvenate or dynamically adapt has been meticulously researched and documented, regarding questions of learning, injury, aging and disease. “Neural plasticity (also referred to as brain plasticity, cortical plasticity or cortical re-mapping)…was first proposed in 1890 by William James in The Principles of Psychology, though the idea was largely neglected for

Bilingual Plasticity: Plasticity In The Brains Of Bilinguals

1235 words - 5 pages Introduction The brain has always had an amazing ability to adapt to its circumstances, an evolutionary edge, coupled with humanities capacity for reason and logic has made for quite a versatile organ. Researching neuroplasticity and non-synaptic plasticity can lead to a better understanding of how the brain adapts as well as how a normal brain functions. Neuroplasticity has the potential to affect brain mechanism related to emotional

Consuming Alcohol During Pregnancy Causes Significant Damage To The Fetus

1020 words - 5 pages , associated with FASD (Patten, Sickmann, et al., 2013). Following PNEE, it has been found that adult male rodents have reduced hippocampal synaptic plasticity (Varaschin, Akers, Rosenberg, Hamilton, & Savage, 2010). Research has found that omega-3 supplementation improves synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus in both the dentate gyrus and the Cornu Ammonis regions, however only in the aged brain or following a disorder such as FASD (McGahon, Martin

Psychotherapy Essay

1533 words - 7 pages TITLE ¬¬¬I chose an article that is about psychotherapy and brain plasticity. I chose this article because I am interested in psychotherapy and how it affects the brain and how the brain changes over time. Psychotherapy is the treatment of mental disorders as well as emotional disorders by using psychological techniques rather than by medicinal means. Brain plasticity is the brain’s ability to change itself as a result of experiences and changes