Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Plasticity

  • Doug BodinEmail author
  • Keith Owen Yeates
  • Jennifer Cass
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1587

Synonyms

Neuroplasticity; Reorganization

Definition

Plasticity is the brain’s ability to structurally and/or functionally change in response to environmental stimulation. This environmental stimulation can occur in the form of exposure (e.g., learning through exposure to enriched environments) or injury/illness (e.g., neuronal recovery). Plasticity at the neural level (i.e., structural plasticity) does not necessarily imply plasticity at the behavioral level (i.e., functional plasticity), that is, neural plasticity may not necessarily lead to functional behavioral change.

Historical Background

The pioneering work of Margaret Kennard (1938) produced the notion that the brains of infant animals have greater potential for neural plasticity than those of adult animals. Her work is embodied in the so-called Kennard Principlethat the earlier in life brain damage occurs, the greater the chance of recovery. The Kennard Principle was widely accepted in neuropsychology for many years, but more...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsNationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada