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Neural Plasticity

Neural plasticity refers to the biological process whereby our brains adapt to ever-changing demands. Normal brain development can be conceptualized as a combination of a programmed, predetermined genetic “blueprint” and shaping input from the environment. Genes have an important role in guiding the initial formation of brain structures and forming neural connections. Different brain regions are specialized for specific functions, such as language or motor functions, and these functions develop based on a specific pattern outlined by gene expression. Environmental input is also important in promoting normal brain development and helping solidify specific neural networks. Early environmental stimuli have been shown to shape neural circuitry and reinforce specific neural connections. For example, research in the 1970s studying the development of vision in animal studies ...

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