Biopsychology-brain plasticity

  • Created by: Anca.a
  • Created on: 09-04-18 14:12
What is plasticity?
refers to the ability of the brain to change and adapt synapses, pathways and structures in light of various experiences.
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These experiences can be positive, like...
learning and memory involves brain plasticity, in that memory involves changes to brain synapses and pathways.BUT plasticity can also involve the ability of the brain to adapt to damage caused by trauma
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When in life do we have more neurons and synapses than a mature adolescent?
By the end of the first year.For the first few years of life, the developing brain is exposed to a vast range of experiences eg. recognising people, avoiding dangerous situations etc.
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What does the brain have to do to benefit from all of these experiences?
it has to be maximally plastic; it has to respond to all these things by altering its organisation and structure
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Blakemore and Mitchell-development of visual cortex in cats
showed that the characteristics of visual neurons could be permanently changed by exposure to specific environments soon after birth.Kittens reared in an environment with black vertical stripes did not respond to horizontal black stripes as adults.
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Further research that supports the brain's high plasticity after birth:
Jody's hemispherectomy:very rarely a baby is born with one hemisphere severely damaged.It has been found that if the whole hemisphere is removed soon after birth, then as an adult the person shows very few behavioural or cognitive impairments
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What do these studies show?
show that the brain is highly plastic and responsive to the environment in the first few months after birth,functions such as language(that would normally be performed by the damaged hemisphere)have been transferred to the surviving brain areas.
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At this stage in development...
...the brain has sufficient neurons and synapses to cope with dramatic change.
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monkey studies of constraint-induced therapy(CIT):
First studies done on monkeys paralysed on one side after brain damage;the unaffected arm constrained by being placed in a sling & the monkey made to use the unaffected arm as much as possible.
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Results of this study:
CIT produced significant improvements in the affected arm.follow up studies that these beneficial effects were due to reorganisation of neuronal networks in the motor cortex
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Card 2

Front

These experiences can be positive, like...

Back

learning and memory involves brain plasticity, in that memory involves changes to brain synapses and pathways.BUT plasticity can also involve the ability of the brain to adapt to damage caused by trauma

Card 3

Front

When in life do we have more neurons and synapses than a mature adolescent?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What does the brain have to do to benefit from all of these experiences?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Blakemore and Mitchell-development of visual cortex in cats

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