Neural plasticity—the brain’s ability to change in response to normal developmental processes, experience, and injury—is a critically important phenomenon for both neuroscience and psychology. Increasing evidence about the extent of plasticity—long past the supposedly critical first three years—has recently emerged. Neural Plasticity offers the first succinct and lucid integration of this research and its implications.
Pointing out the negative and the positive consequences of plasticity, Peter Huttenlocher describes plasticity in children and adults (in normal aging and in response to trauma), in sensory systems, the motor cortex, higher cortical functions, and language development, proceeding system by system, and paying particular attention to the cerebral cortex. One of the book’s strengths is its range of references, not only to studies on human subjects but to the experimental study of animal models as well. This book will be a unique contribution to research and to the literature on clinical neuroscience.