Human brain plasticity: an emerging view of the multiple substrates and mechanisms that cause cortical changes and related sensory dysfunctions after injuries of sensory inputs from the body

  title={Human brain plasticity: an emerging view of the multiple substrates and mechanisms that cause cortical changes and related sensory dysfunctions after injuries of sensory inputs from the body},
  author={John Wall and J. Y. Xu and X. Wang},
  journal={Brain Research Reviews},

Subcortical reorganization in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Findings suggest that degeneration of cortical and spinal motor neurons in ALS leads to a recruitment of subcortical motor structures that strongly resemble functional activation in motor learning and might represent adaptations of cortico-subcorticals motor loops as a—albeit finally ineffective—mechanism to compensate for the ongoing loss of motor neurons.

Cortical sensory map rearrangement after spinal cord injury: fMRI responses linked to Nogo signalling.

The results demonstrate that cortical neurons react to sensory deprivation by decreasing transcriptional activities of genes encoding the Nogo receptor components in the sensory deprived and the anatomically adjacent non-deprived area, suggesting an involvement of Nogo signalling in cortical activity-dependent plasticity in the somatosensory system.

Morphological correlates of injury-induced reorganization in primate somatosensory cortex

This study used Golgi impregnation and light microscopy to assess dendritic morphology following denervation of the glabrous hand surface in adult primates and indicates a progressive expansion of distal regions of the dendrite arbor with no appreciable changes proximally.

Neural plasticity after spinal cord injury.

It is indicated that in some situations plasticity changes can result in functional improvement, while in other situations they may have harmful consequences, which could lead to better ways of promoting useful reorganization and preventing undesirable consequences.

Cortical influences on rapid brainstem plasticity

The causality between Electroencephalogram (EEG) and Central Neuropathic Pain (CNP), and the effectiveness of neuromodulation strategies on cortical excitability and CNP in patients with spinal cord injury

This study demonstrated that changes in spontaneous and induced EEG can be both predictors and consequences of CNP following SCI, and demonstrated that the NF treatment has a positive effect on the reduction of pain.

Brain plasticity and motor practice in cognitive aging

This work introduces the concept of neural plasticity from a developmental perspective, and notes that motor learning often refers to deliberate practice and the resulting performance enhancement and adaptability, and discusses the close interplay between neural Plasticity, motor learning and cognitive aging.

Neural and cognitive plasticity: from maps to minds.

  • E. Mercado
  • Psychology, Biology
    Psychological bulletin
  • 2008
It is hypothesized that cognitive plasticity depends on the number and diversity of cortical modules that an organism has available as well as the brain's capacity to flexibly reconfigure and customize networks of these modules.



Cortical and subcortical contributions to activity-dependent plasticity in primate somatosensory cortex.

  • E. Jones
  • Biology, Psychology
    Annual review of neuroscience
  • 2000
In the long term, slow, deafferentation-dependent transneuronal atrophy at brainstem, thalamic, and even cortical levels are operational in promoting reorganizational changes, and the extent to which surviving connections can maintain a map is a key to understanding differences between central and peripheral de Afferentation.

Evidence for Brainstem and Supra-Brainstem Contributions to Rapid Cortical Plasticity in Adult Monkeys

Results indicate that cuneate tactile responsiveness, receptive field locations, somatotopic organization, and spatial properties of representations change during the first minutes to hours after injury, and provide evidence that rapid reorganization in area 3b, in part, reflects mechanisms that operate from a distance in the cuneating nucleus.

How does the human brain deal with a spinal cord injury?

Patients with spinal cord injury exhibit extensive changes in the activation of cortical and subcortical brain areas during hand movements, irrespective of normal (paraplegic) or impaired (tetraplegic patients) hand function.

Thalamic and cortical contributions to neural plasticity after limb amputation.

Thalamic changes produced by limb amputation appear to be an important substrate of cortical reorganization, and a decrease in the frequency of abnormal stump/face fields in area 3b compared with VP and a reduction in the size of the fields suggests that cortical mechanisms of plasticity may refine the information relayed from thalamus.

Thalamic and brainstem contributions to large-scale plasticity of primate somatosensory cortex.

Reorganization of brainstem and thalamic nuclei associated with slow transneuronal atrophy is likely to be a progressive process and when coupled with divergence of ascending connections, it islikely to make a substantial contribution to representational changes in cortex.

Cortical plasticity: from synapses to maps.

The goal of the current paper is to review the fields of both synaptic and cortical map plasticity with an emphasis on the work that attempts to unite both fields, to highlight the gaps in the understanding of synaptic and cellular mechanisms underlying cortical representational plasticity.

Large-scale reorganization at multiple levels of the somatosensory pathway follows therapeutic amputation of the hand in monkeys

  • S. FlorenceJ. Kaas
  • Biology, Psychology
    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  • 1995
Evidence is provided that much of the large-scale cortical reorganization that occurs after a major loss of peripheral inputs reflects the sprouting or expansion of afferents from the remaining forelimb into deprived territories of the spinal cord and brainstem.

Long-term changes of GABAergic function in the sensorimotor cortex of amputees

There was a highly significant increase in 11C-flumazenil binding in the upper limb region of primary sensorimotor cortex bilaterally and in medial frontal cortex of the hemisphere contralateral to the amputation, suggesting up-regulation of GABAA receptors to compensate for a decrease in the GABA content or activity of inhibitory neurones.