Brain Plasticity

Sapolsky, 2009 in Brockman (ed), 2009

Page Number: 
115-116

A specific change of mind concerned my work a a neurobiologist came about fifteen years ago, and it challenged neurobiological dogma I had learned in preschool—namely, that the adult brain does not make new neurons. This fact had always been a point of weird pride in the field: Hey, the brain is so fancy and amazing that its elements are irreplaceable, not like some dumb-ass, simplistic liver that’s so totally fungible it can regrow itself. What this fact also reinforced, in passing, was the dogma that the brain is set in stone very early in life--that there's all sorts of things that can't be changed once a certain time window has passed.

Doige, 2007

Page Number: 
61

Merzenich also noticed that animals of a particular species may have similar maps, but they are never identical. Micromapping allowed him to see differences that Penfield, with larger electrodes, could not. He also found that the maps of normal body parts change every few weeks. Every time he mapped a normal monkey's face, it was unequivocally different. Plasticity doesn't require the provocation of cut nerves or amputations. Plasticity is a normal phenomenon, and brain maps are constantly changing. When he wrote up this new experiment, Merzenich finally took the word "plasticity" out of quotes. Yet despite the elegance of his experiment, opposition to Merzenich's ideas did not melt away overnight.

Doige, 2007

Page Number: 
17-19

Bach-y-Rita began to think that the localization of "one function, one location" couldn't be right...

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