Summary - Aspects of Neuroplasticity

The Adaptable Mind: What Neuroplasticity and Neural Reuse Tell Us about Language and Cognition - John Zerilli 2021

Aspects of Neuroplasticity

The brain exhibits an impressive degree of plasticity. Plasticity is really an intrinsic feature of the nervous system, not an exceptional or occasional state. Neuroplasticity comprises a family of different types of plasticity. Of these, synaptic plasticity is perhaps the best-understood variety and plays an important role in cortical map reorganization and memory consolidation. Cortical map plasticity is of direct relevance to any discussion of modularity. There are two types of cortical map plasticity: intramodal and crossmodal. Crossmodal plasticity is likely to arise from the underlying supramodal (or “metamodal”) organization of the brain.

1 Cf. Sorrells et al. (2018), who conclude that adult hippocampal neurogenesis is “extremely rare” in humans.

2 There is evidence that cortical LTP shares many of its properties with hippocampal LTP (Buonomano & Merzenich 1998, pp. 157, 174).

3 The same could be said for long-term depression.

4 Cf. Barrett & Kurzban (2006, pp. 634—635), who argue that something like task selectivity defines formal domain specificity, although it is often enough construed as evidence of a domain-general system: they observe that “there is no natural line that separates domain-specific from domain-general mechanisms.” See my § 5.1 for elaboration.