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Lesson 3 plasticity rewiring of the brain 2013


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Lesson 3 plasticity rewiring of the brain 2013

  1. 1. Lesson 3: Plasticity of the brainThursday, 4 April 2013
  2. 2. From the last lesson..... Identify and outline the role of three neurotransmitters involved in learningThursday, 4 April 2013
  3. 3. From the last lesson..... Identify and outline the role of three neurotransmitters involved in learning NT’s involved in learning: Glutamate: Strengthens connections at the synapse during learning Dopamine: May be involved through rewarding ‘pleasure’ experience. Acetylcholine: Present in some learning experiences but specific role unclearThursday, 4 April 2013
  4. 4. Plasticity: The ability of the brain to change structure andfunction through experienceThursday, 4 April 2013
  5. 5. Developmental Plasticity Developmental Plasticity: changes in the brain’s neural structure in response to experience during its growth and development Generally, an infant or a child’s brain will have more plasticity than an adult’s brain. This is referred to as developmental plasticity—the ability of these synapses to be modified Developmental plasticity refers to changes in the brain’s neural structure in response to experience during its growth and development. This type of plasticity is predetermined and therefore influenced by the genes we inherit, but it is also subject to influence by experience.Thursday, 4 April 2013
  6. 6. Adaptive plasticity refers to changes occurring in the brain’s neural structure to enable adjustment to experience, to compensate for lost function and/or to maximise remaining functions in the event of brain damage.Thursday, 4 April 2013
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  8. 8. Case Study The case of a 25-year-old adult female who was an accomplished pianist supports the idea of plasticity. The patient had a stroke that damaged the left hemisphere of her brain. Consequently, she was unable to speak and had lost complete use of her right hand. It was a devastating loss at a young age, and her inability to play the piano only added to the tragedy. She was placed in a rehabilitation program that involved repeated attempts to engage the right side of her body, including speech therapy and piano playing. After several months of rehabilitation, she regained nearly full use of her right hand, and she was again able to speak. Furthermore, she also demonstrated exceptionally rapid finger movements in both hands, displaying speed and coordination beyond those of the average (non-stroke-affected) person. Today she has resumed her piano playing and has fully recovered her abilities to the virtuoso levels attained before the stroke (Azari & Seitz, 2009).Thursday, 4 April 2013
  9. 9. Implications of Brain PlasticityThursday, 4 April 2013
  10. 10. Sensitive or Critical Periods Certain periods in an individual’s development are particularly well suited to learning certain skills and gaining knowledge. These periods are called sensitive or critical periods. A sensitive period is a specific period of time in development when an organism is more responsive (or ‘sensitive’) to certain environmental stimuli or experiences.Thursday, 4 April 2013
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  12. 12. Language Sensitive periods are sometimes described as ‘windows of opportunity for learning’ because they are the optimal, or ‘best possible’, times for the relevant learning to occur. For example, certain skills and knowledge, such as those of language acquisition, are believed to be more easily acquired during a sensitive period in development. If these skills and knowledge are not acquired during the sensitive period, they may be acquired at a later time but it will usually take more time, be more difficult and the learning may not be as successful. In relation to language learning, psychologists are not in complete agreement about the age limits for the sensitive period. Generally, the sensitive period for our native language is up to the age of about 12 years, with the window gradually closing from about age seven.Thursday, 4 April 2013
  13. 13. Activities Create a POSTER or PODCAST explaining:   > The difference between developmental and adaptive plasticity > Implication for Brain Plasticity > Critical Periods > What is the evidence in support of plasticity- You must include evidence outside of the text book.Thursday, 4 April 2013