Abstract and Keywords
The cerebral cortex is a learning engine. The ability to encode information about sensory experience or practiced movements is a universal property of all cortical areas. This capacity, known as cortical plasticity, is seen in experience dependent changes in the functional properties of cortical neurons and in the alteration of cortical circuits. Certain properties are mutable only during a short period in postnatal life, which is known as the critical period, while others retain the ability to change throughout life. The same changes associated with assimilating normal experiences can be implemented for functional recovery following lesions of the central nervous system.
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