Monday, February 27, 2012
Brain Plasticity and Adaption
Did you know that blindness causes structural brain changes, implying brain plasticity? The brain can re-organize itself to adapt. In non-sighted individuals (as compared to sighted individuals) visual regions of the brain were smaller in volume. However, for non-visual areas, the trend was reversed in that the areas grew larger in the non-sighted individuals. This suggests that the brains are compensating for the reduced volume in areas normally devoted to vision, and shows the exceptional plasticity of the brain. It appears the brain will attempt to compensate for the fact that a person can no longer see, and this is particularly true for those who are blind since early infancy, a developmental period in which the brain is much more plastic and modifiable than it is in adulthood.