Journal of Spine & NeurosurgeryISSN: 2325-9701

Neuroplasticity

The brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment. Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity, is an umbrella term that encompasses both synaptic plasticity and non-synaptic plasticity. Neuroplasticity has replaced the formerly-held position that the brain is a physiologically static organ, and explores how - and in which ways - the brain changes throughout life. Neural networks also exhibit modularity and carry out specific functions; they retain the capacity to deviate from their usual functions and to reorganize themselves. Neuroplasticity forms the basis of research into brain-computer interface technology, in which computers are designed to interact with the brain to restore sensation in people with an impaired sense such as the loss of vision. Research on neuroplasticity is also aimed at improving scientists' understanding of how to reactivate or deactivate damaged areas of the brain in people affected by stroke, emotional disorders, chronic pain, psychopathy, or social phobia; such research may lead to improved treatments for these conditions. Neuroplasticity occurs on a variety of levels, ranging from cellular changes due to learning, to large-scale changes involved in cortical remapping in response to injury. Neuroplasticity is involved in the development of sensory function. The brain is born immature and it adapts to sensory inputs after birth.

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