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How the brain's backup system compensates for stroke

that this activity increase was functionally specific for the behaviors governed by the PMd and not simply a general increase in brain activity.

The researchers also established that the activity increase in the right PMd caused the recovery of performance. When they also used magnetic pulses to disrupt the right PMd after the performance recovery, the subjects showed a renewed deficit in performance on the button-pushing task.

The researchers pointed out that, because the PMd is important for learning new connections between eye and motor function, it "is particularly well placed to mediate learning of new motor strategies after brain damage results in the normal routes to action being compromised."

The researchers concluded that their experiments showed that "In the initial stages of adaptive compensation for neuronal interference, the adult brain exploits pre-established patterns of functional specialization. When a key node in an information-processing circuit is impaired, healthy cortical networks can flexibly reconfigure processing in a way that is rapid, functionally-specific, and preserves behavior."


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Source:Cell Press


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