Neuroplasticity Supplement  |   February 2008
Principles of Experience-Dependent Neural Plasticity: Implications for Rehabilitation After Brain Damage
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jeffrey A. Kleim
    McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, and Brain Rehabilitation Research Center, Malcom Randall VA Hospital, Gainesville
  • Theresa A. Jones
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Contact author: Jeffrey A. Kleim, Brain Rehabilitation Research Center (151A), Malcom Randall VA Hospital, 1610 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32610. E-mail: jkleim@ufl.edu.
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Supplement
Neuroplasticity Supplement   |   February 2008
Principles of Experience-Dependent Neural Plasticity: Implications for Rehabilitation After Brain Damage
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research February 2008, Vol.51, S225-S239. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/018)
History: Accepted 07 Feb 2007 , Received 27 Feb 2006
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research February 2008, Vol.51, S225-S239. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/018)
History: Accepted 07 Feb 2007 , Received 27 Feb 2006

Purpose: This paper reviews 10 principles of experience-dependent neural plasticity and considerations in applying them to the damaged brain.

Method: Neuroscience research using a variety of models of learning, neurological disease, and trauma are reviewed from the perspective of basic neuroscientists but in a manner intended to be useful for the development of more effective clinical rehabilitation interventions.

Results: Neural plasticity is believed to be the basis for both learning in the intact brain and relearning in the damaged brain that occurs through physical rehabilitation. Neuroscience research has made significant advances in understanding experience-dependent neural plasticity, and these findings are beginning to be integrated with research on the degenerative and regenerative effects of brain damage. The qualities and constraints of experience-dependent neural plasticity are likely to be of major relevance to rehabilitation efforts in humans with brain damage. However, some research topics need much more attention in order to enhance the translation of this area of neuroscience to clinical research and practice.

Conclusion: The growing understanding of the nature of brain plasticity raises optimism that this knowledge can be capitalized upon to improve rehabilitation efforts and to optimize functional outcome.

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