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Functional Compensation

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Synonyms

Functional adjustment

Definition

Functional compensation refers to the process by which individuals who have suffered damage to the central nervous system (CNS) resulting in permanent injury compensate for deficits in various domains of functioning through the adaptive implementation of behavioural, cognitive, or physical strategies designed to enhance residual skills or to introduce alternative skills. Functional compensation uses residual structures to achieve recovery, emphasizing a behavioural rather than a neural model (Heilman & Valenstein, 2003). Instead of, or in complement to, rerouting neuronal connections, an individual with CNS damage independently develops, or is assisted in learning, new solutions to problems using existing structures.

Current Knowledge

In working with an individual with CNS damage, rigorous assessment procedures maximize a clinician’s ability to identify areas of residual function, either motor, sensory, cognitive, or praxic, as a means of...

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References and Readings

  • Department of Veterans Affairs. (2004). Traumatic brain injury. Washington, D.C.: Department of Veteran’s Affairs Employee Education System.

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  • Heilman, K. M., & Valenstein, E. (Eds.) (2003). Clinical Neuropsychology (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

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  • Robertson, I. H., & Murre, J. M. J. (1999). Rehabilitation of brain damage: brain plasticity and principles of guided recovery. Psychological Bulletin, 125(5), 544–575.

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© 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

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Duca, L., Rose, J. (2011). Functional Compensation. In: Kreutzer, J.S., DeLuca, J., Caplan, B. (eds) Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_400

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