Long-Term Change of Mind

  title={Long-Term Change of Mind},
  author={Michael Merzenich},
  pages={1062 - 1063}
Loss of a limb can cause profound changes in the life of the victim. No less important is a massive reorganization of the brain that accompanies such injuries. Now twopapers report the details of such neural changes in two groups of monkeys with somewhat different deficits, and Merzenich reconciles the different results in his Perspective. 

Remapping somatosensory cortex after injury.

  • H. Flor
  • Biology, Psychology
    Advances in neurology
  • 2003
Both pharmacologic and behavioral interventions designed to alter cortical reorganization were found to not only alter the organization of primary somatosensory cortex but also maladaptive perceptual phenomena that accompany these changes.

Brain reactions to the use of sensorized hand prosthesis in amputees

We investigated for the first time the presence of chronic changes in the functional organization of sensorimotor brain areas induced by prolonged training with a bidirectional hand prosthesis.

Evidence for a mismatch between the brain’s movement control system and sensory system as an explanation for some pain-related disorders

This model of pain is described and how it may be applied to a range of chronic pain conditions in which there is a lack of obvious causal pathology, including complex regional pain syndrome is determined.

Back to the future: rehabilitation of children after brain injury

  • R. Forsyth
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Archives of Disease in Childhood
  • 2010
The challenges of rehabilitation after ABI, of bringing children ‘back’ to face the ‘future’ of completing childhood development with an injured brain, are reviewed in the context of the science of brain recovery from injury.

The case for an ecological approach to cognitive training

Cross-modal plasticity: where and how?

This work has shown that plastic changes across brain systems and related behaviours vary as a function of the timing and the nature of changes in experience, and this specificity must be understood in the context of differences in the maturation rates and timing of the associated critical periods.

Early Withdrawal of Axons from Higher Centers in Response to Peripheral Somatosensory Denervation

Slow, inexorable progression of lemniscal and thalamocortical axonal withdrawal is a neurodegenerative phenomenon likely to be a powerful inducement to compensatory long-term plasticity, a mechanism that can explain the long- term evolution of cortical reorganization and, with it, phantom sensations in spinal patients and amputees.

Memory: Why is the cortex a slow learner?

Mice that have only half the normal amount of a synaptic protein called α-CaMKII learn normally, but remember poorly. The result sheds light on the mysterious mechanisms of memory consolidation.

Lateral Asymmetries and Interhemispheric Transfer in Aging: A Review and Some New Data

The emergence of bipedalism in hominid evolution allowed the hands to be used for purposes other than locomotion, as in food gathering or tool manufacture, and this shaped the early social and

Loss of Synaptic Depression in Mammalian Anterior Cingulate Cortex after Amputation

It is reported that NMDA receptor-independent LTD is the major form of long-term plasticity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and it is suggested that synaptic LTD in the ACC may contribute to enhanced neuronal responses to subsequent somatosensory stimuli after amputation.



Perceptual correlates of massive cortical reorganization.

Patients after upper limb amputation are studied to explore the phenomenon of cortical areas corresponding to that limb becoming responsive to stimuli applied to the face following long-term deafferentation of one upper limb.

Reorganization of human cortical motor output maps following traumatic forearm amputation

The results of the mapping studies illustrate the time course of plastic changes in the motor cortical representation in humans following a traumatic amputation and allow the correlation of subjective perceptions of phantom limbs with the reorganization of cortical outputs.

Somatosensory cortical map changes following digit amputation in adult monkeys

The cortical representations of the hand in area 3b in adult owl monkeys were defined with use of microelectrode mapping techniques 2–8 months after surgical amputation of digit 3, or of both digits

Acute plasticity in the human somatosensory cortex following amputation

The results suggest that reorganization of sensory pathways occurs very soon after amputation in humans, potentially due to the unmasking of ordinarily silent inputs rather than sprouting of new axon terminals.

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.

Noninvasive detection of cerebral plasticity in adult human somatosensory cortex.

These findings provide the first evidence of massive somatosensory plasticity in human adults and suggest a mechanism for post-amputation perceptual changes.

Phantom-limb pain as a perceptual correlate of cortical reorganization following arm amputation

A very strong direct relationship is reported between the amount of cortical reorganization and the magnitude of phantom limb pain (but not non-painful phantom phenomena) experienced after arm amputation, indicating that phantom-limb pain is related to, and may be a consequence of, plastic changes in primary somatosensory cortex.

Massive cortical reorganization after sensory deafferentation in adult macaques.

The results show the need for a reevaluation of both the upper limit of cortical reorganization in adult primates and the mechanisms responsible for it.

Physiological analysis of motor reorganization following lower limb amputation.

Reorganization of cortical blood flow and transcranial magnetic stimulation maps in human subjects after upper limb amputation.

PET and TMS studies showed that the abnormal blood flow increases in the partially deafferented M1 cortex of traumatic amputees were associated with increased corticospinal excitability.