Brain reserve; Neural compensation; Neural reserve
Cognitive reserve is a concept often used to describe how individual differences mediate the clinical expression of brain damage. In this context, some individuals may cope better than others and function within relatively normal limits, despite the presence of neuropathology.
Historically, one of the earliest observations of cognitive reserve was described in a study that found characteristic senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles commonly associated with Alzheimer’s pathology present in healthy, cognitively unimpaired elderly (Blessed et al. 1968). Similar observations between brain pathology and performance variability frequently have been described in the extant literature.
While the underlying mechanisms that support cognitive reserve remain unclear, current theories focus on how the brain may develop alternative or more efficient networks to compensate for pathology....
References and Readings
- Stern, Y. (2006). Cognitive reserve: Theory and application (studies on neuropsychology, neurology, and cognition). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar