Does Neuroplasticity Work If The Area Is Ablated?
It’s a common belief that if you cut out a section of the brain, the surrounding areas will take over its functions. This process is called “neuroplasticity.” But what if the area you ablated was critical for a certain function? Can the brain still recover?
A recent study published in Nature Neuroscience suggests that, at least in rats, it is possible for the brain to recover from an injury and rewire itself, even if the area is completely destroyed.
In the study, researchers ablated a region of the rat’s brain that is critical for movement. They found that, after a period of time, other areas of the brain were able to take over the functions of the damaged area. Additionally, they found that the rats were able to relearn movement tasks, even though the area of the brain responsible for those tasks was no longer there.
So what does this mean for humans? While we’re not sure yet, it’s possible that this research could one day help people who have suffered brain injuries. It also sheds light on the amazing ability of the brain to adapt and change, even in the face of severe damage.