Plasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change its structure in response to development, the environment, or injury.
Brain plasticity, or neuroplasticity, refers to the brain’s ability to change in response to development, to the environment (including learning), and in response to injury or aging. While it was once conceptualized that once the brain ceases development, that it would then be resistant to change, or in effect be static. Research over the last several decades has demonstrated that the brain continues to be capable of change, or restructuring, throughout the life span. While much research with respect to brain plasticity focuses on outcomes following injury, brain plasticity also refers to developmental changes that occur in the brain throughout the life span, including synaptic changes that occur in response to the acquisition of new learning and memories. As such, plasticity is seen as an intrinsic property of the central nervous system...
References and Readings
- Galaburda, A., & Pascual-Leone, A. (2003). Mechanisms of plasticity and behavior. In T. E. Feinberg & M. J. Farah (Eds.), Behavioral neurology & neuropsychology (2nd ed., pp. 57–70). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Kolb, B. (1995). Brain plasticity and behavior. Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Nelson, C. A., & Luciana, M. (2001). Handbook of developmental cognitive neuroscience. Boston: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Google Scholar