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Flashcards in Book: Soft-wired Michael Merzenich Deck (26)
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By the time we are in their 80’s more than half of us have what problems that require serious medical treatment?

(Merzenich 13)

Neurological or psychiatric


Contemporary neuroscience shows us you come from.... and your brain is ....

(Merzinech 2013)



What is one very striking distinction that distinguish Homo sapiens from other large brain mammals?

(Merzenich 2013)

Our capacity for behavioural adaption


What are just about the least ‘plastic’ of the change-control processes in the brain?

(Merzenich 2013)

The brains processes that account for setting up bincocular (two-eye) vision


Following an injury what does your brain do in how it represents your skin surfaces?

(Merzenich 2013)

It rapidly and dramatically revises the way that it represents your skin surfaces


Following an injury the regenerated nerve inputs try to do what? in the old neurological territory?

(Merzenich 2013)

They try to reclaim, and over time the healed nerve will reclaim much (but never all) of its previous brain territory


What does skill acquisitions or performance improvement at any skills or ability show scientists?


All brain change


Researchers have found that plastic remodelling is a near universal proponent of the mammalian what?

(Merzenich 2013)



What is operate conditioning?

(Merzenich 2013)

The progressive improvement of voluntary responding as we acquire or refine skills and abilities


The brain organises itself on the basis of the concurrent arrival of what? In small moments of what?

(Merzenich 2013)

Information in small moments of time


What compelling evidence has Merzenich and his team gathered to show the three key areas that can predict controlled adult cortical plasticity?


1. Selective attention

2. Our memory

3. Our powers of prediction


Is plasticity isolated to any single brain system level?

(Merzenich 2013)

On the contrary, as we acquire new skills, this remodels entire brain systems and networks


When do our brains begin to change plastically and are first bombarded by information received by our senses?

(Merzenich 2013)

In the 7th month in uterio


At birth what is the brain like?

(Merzenich 2013)

It is very noisy, very disorganised, very imprecise, very slow in operations, and very very unreliable


What makes brain areas mature first?

(Merzenich 2013)

Brain areas that receive high-quality information from our senses


As you age the progressive maturation of those successive stages contributing to our progressively more powerful cognitive competencies occur where?

(Merzenich 2013)

In the cerebral cortex - brain structure responsible for most of our remembering, reasoning, predicting, action planning, and thinking


Cerebral cortex responsible for what?

(Merzenich 2013)

brain structure responsible for most of our
-action planning


When is the brain machinery setup for humans?

(Merzenich 2013)

in the Critical Period (CPs)

A time of riotous brain change


During the early stages of human life when the plasticity switch is always “on” is the plasticity in CPs regulated or unregulated?

(Merzenich 2013)

Unregulated - everything the baby sees or hears drives plastic hangers- everything drives brain change


When we sense a sound, a feeling, a sign or smell our eyes and skills Sean or ears/nose does what to engage the brain?

(Merzanich 2013)

Translates it into patterns of electrical impulses that engage the brain


The electrical impulse patters travel on what to the brain? And are then done what in the brain?

(Merzanich 2013)

On incredibly thin ‘transmission wires” (axons)

And are conveyed in the brain from one brain cell to another


What does the brain’s ability to be selective do for us?

(Merzanich 2013)

A brain’s ability to be selective (and thereby pay attention to just this while it ignore all of that)

in its neurological response to what it sees or hears of feels in the world

can control and focus its learning to master skill after skill


After the end of the CP (in early childhood) does the brain control its own development/plasticity?

(Merzanich 2013)

Yes, it no longer absorbs everything it hears, sees, and feels.

This is a good thing. Otherwise certain experiences would be inappropriately over represented in the brain.


The ‘ON’ switch to plasticity is turned on by what 4 circumstances?

(Merzanich 2013)7

1. When you pay careful attention, or focus on a task or goal

2. When you (your brain) are (is) rewarded or punished- or expecting either

3. When your brain positively evaluates your performance in a goal-directed behaviour

4. When your brain is surprised by, or potentially threatened by- something new or unexpected


What do modulators neurotransmitters do in the brain?

(Merzanich 2013)

They are chemicals they brain releases that turn the “ON” switch on for neuroplasticity.

Examples include dopamine, noradrenaline, acetylcholine spritzing


Is how you learn plastic?

(Merzanich 2013)

Yes, how you learn is plastic. It is one of the first things that the brain has to achieve is to learn how to learn.

Decks in Neuroplasticity Class (27):