Brain Plasticity In Phantom Limbs

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Brain Plasticity refers to the ability of the brain to change its structure or functions by changing the neural connections. Real life evidences such as Paul Bach-y-Rita‟s father‟s recovery after stroke, increased gray matter volume in London taxi drivers‟ hippocampus, etc. have supported the theory of neuroplasticity. This paper also discusses the applications of brain plasticity. Some of these include restoration of vision, recovery from brain injury and working of Brain Computer Interface and sensory prostheses implants. Plasticity could also provide more information on Phantom Limbs, effects of meditation and veracity of claims of brain apps.

On-going research has very well established that neural connections
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A major region of the forebrain sensory-motor apparatus is affected, including the frontal and parietal cortex and/or subcortical structures in the striatum and thalamus. This causes deficits in motor function in the contralateral musculature. However, substantial spontaneous recovery occurs in the weeks to months following injury. The development of properties of each cortical area is shaped by repetitive temporal coordinated action of muscles and joints. Whenever there is a brain injury, it stimulates re-initiation of axonal sprouting processes. Every specific motor learning task modifies dendritic and synaptic morphology of motor cortex neurons in a particular way. Simple repetitive motion or strength training motor tasks do not induce plasticity in the cortex. On the contrary, tasks that require acquisition of new motor skill lead to neuro-physiologic and neuro-anatomic changes in motor cortex [16]. Research has also provided that more the damage to intra cortical pathways, the more are intact cortical regions prone to reorganisation of neural tissues. Hence the intact areas work as neural substrate for learning of new motor skills and lead to post injury recovery of brain function [17]. Recent research in the case of mice has also made an interesting observation that a second stoke or new ischemia can …show more content…
This external device performs perform the cognitive and sensory-motor functions in case of a disability. In addition to using BMI for controlling assistive devices that replace or supplement disabilities, BMI can also be used to induce neuroplasticity that can restore functions. Neuro-feedback is a technique through which the user is provided with real time feedback of his neural activity, mostly in the form of amplitude of signals originating within the cortex. The user then learns to voluntarily control this neural signal. This control of modulation improves with BMI training and induces brain plasticity. Studies have also indicated that BMI training through Neuro-feedback can lead to cortical activity returning to a normal functional state

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