Appreciating Plasticity

A common question from therapists and clinicians has to do with knowing what plasticity actually looks like in the treatment environment, the "how do I know if it really works?" question. While at times it can be hard to know, examples of plasticity at work might include the loss of previously acquired behaviors, such as a decrease in maladaptive behaviors or a decrease in seizures. Another example could be the release of normally suppressed behaviors, such as in the case of a stroke patient increasing use of their affected side, or, as in the situation discussed earlier, of a person with adult-onset blindness. In this case, you might see the incomplete takeover of sensory function by a semi-adapted neighboring system. Finally, these changes might also manifest in the presence of new adaptive or maladaptive behaviors.


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