Plasticity and Functional Recovery Flashcards Preview

2P: Biopsych > Plasticity and Functional Recovery > Flashcards

Flashcards in Plasticity and Functional Recovery Deck (10):

When does the brain have the most synaptic connections?

Age 2-3 where there are around 15,000 synaptic connections


Why does the number of synaptic connections peak at the age of 2?

Because as we age rarely used connections are deleted, whilst frequently used connections are strengthened (synaptic pruning)


What is synaptic pruning?

As we age, when rarely used connections are deleted whilst frequently used connections are strengthened.


Neural connections can change and be reformed at any time. Why?

Due to learning and experience.


The concept of placidity is supported by...

Case studies.


Give an example of the case study that supports the concept of plasticity. (AO1).

Maguire et al found significantly more grey matter in the posterior hippocampus of London cabbies than in a matched control group (this is the part of the brain linked with the development of spatial and navigational skills).

The longer they'd had the job, the more pronounced the structural different.


What is functional recovery?

After trauma, healthy brain areas take over functions of damaged areas.


How soon after trauma does functional recovery occur?

Very quickly after trauma (spontaneous recovery). But it then slows down.


Why would you need rehabilitative therapy as functional revivers occurs?

Because the process of spontaneous recovery is quick at the start, but then slows down - at which point they would need rehabilitative therapy.


How is the brain able to retire itself in functional recovery?

By forming new synaptic connections close to the area of damage.

Also secondary neural pathways that wouldn't typically be used to carry out certain functions are unmasked to enable functioning to continue.