Brain Plasticity

Topics: Infant, Childbirth, Pain Pages: 8 (2694 words) Published: June 30, 2013
Brain Plasticity
Brain Development, Plasticity, and Behavior by Bryan Kolb felt that the anatomical effects and behavioral effects were associated with damage to an infant’s brain. Over a half a million people in the world suffer from brain injury a year. These injuries can lead to permanent disorders in perception, movement, language, and personality. (Kolb, 1989) There were several approaches in his research. The first approach was studying the operations of a normal brain. The second was to study behavioral patterns of a dysfunctional brain in order to compare it to that of a normal brain, and the third was to see if you could alter a brain in the middle of its development to see how the changes occur. There were two cases where women had severe head injuries and they injured the same areas of their brain, but their brains did not function the same. The study was to find out how they were different though the injuries were the same.

There were several experiments conducted on rats to determine how this happens. The rats fell into the three groups as mentioned earlier. Some of the rats had their neocortexes removed. These were removed at different ages of the rats. This was to make it similar to the procedure used on children with use of only one hemisphere of their brain. They found these to have similar impacts, and that the ability to control their limbs were lacking. They then put rats in a tank of water that had a platform for escape. The rats that had the procedure done as adults did significantly worse than the rats that had it at a younger age. It has been concluded that there are many actors that influence how the rat or human will respond, these being IQ, personality, and handiness. The scientists also did a behavioral experiment by putting an electric prod in the rat’s home. The rats at a younger age during surgery buried the prod in saw dust and avoided getting shocked. The rats that were done at middle age avoided the prod, but did not bury it, while the adult surgical rats failed to do either and eventually had a conditioned response to avoid it.

The studies show that early brain injury has different effects than a late brain injury. (Kolb, 1989) It is difficult to measure how drastic it is, due to the behavior of the person that was injured as to how their body will adapt to the change, and third, despite the difference in change there is a strong correlation between dendritic arboration and behavioral recovery.

Brain Plasticity and Behavior by Bryan Kolb states that Brain plasticity is the ability for the brain to change in order to function. In the review it was states that experience produces changes in the brain, and that neurons are affected by stress, pathology, and other factors. (Kolb B. , 1998) There are three behavioral distinctions the first is between exercise and skill acquisition second is voluntary movements and supported reactions, and the third is recovery and compensation.

With experiments using rats, scientists have discovered that the more changes that occur in the brain, the weight of the brain changes. There has also shown changes in the neurons as well. With movement and voluntary reactions, rats have shown that when they had injections into a limb to disable it, when the rat reaches for food it uses the motor cortex to balance out its weight evenly between the other limbs. Humans only have two, therefor making it harder for them to learn how to adapt to the shifting of weight as easily as the rats would. When a brain injury occurs, scientists have come to believe after observation of recovering rats that the rat is not actually recovering but a substitution of new movements to replace the lost movements. This tells them that the injury is not due to the neurons that didn’t die assuming the role of the lost neurons, but that the neurons are changing to compensate thus taking on the roles of the lost neurons as well as their own. Evidence has shown...

References: Anand, K. J. (2000). Pain, plasticity, and premature birth: a prescription for permanent
suffering?
Berk, L. E. (2012). Infants and children prenatal through middle childhood (Seventh ed.).
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Kim, P., Leckman, J., Mayes, L., Feldman, R., & Wang, X. (2010). The plasticity of the human
maternal brain: Longitudinal changes in brain anatomy during early postpartum period
Kolb, B. (1989). Brain development, plasticity/ and behavior. American Psychologist, 44(9),
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Kolb, B. (1998). Brian plasticity and behavior. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 43-64.
Retrieved December 15, 2012, from the Proquest database.
Luciana, M. (2003). Cognative development in children born preterm: Implications for theories
of brain plasticity following early injury
Young., Baumbauer., Hillyer., & Joynes. (2008). Local Anesthetic Treatment Significantly
Attenuates Acute Pain Responding But Does Not Prevent the Neonatal Injury- Induced Reduction In Adult Spinal Behavioral Plasticity
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