NEURAL PLASTICITY -
THE BASE OF LEARNING
Cognitive rehabilitation is based on the principles of neural plasticity, describing the malleability of our nervous system. Learning and all associated processes in human beings are working as these principles describe. Through various internal and external stimuli, new connections can be created in the brain and strengthened by repetition or weakened by disuse. Resulting from these processes whole brain areas can change and adapt to specific needs. Consider our brain somewhat as a plant that’s able to regenerate and grow.
Neuroplasticity in rehabilitation
The impact of neural plasticity in rehabilitation is crucial for regaining essential skills. If our nervous system is stimulated or overstrained, it adapts to the increased demand. After an injury of a human’s cortex critical periods open, in which the neurons are particularly malleable.
Using these periods for training is fundamental to rehabilitation success.
At living brain we take advantage of these biological principles. Our exercises stimulate the brain in a way it induces neural plasticity after injuries of the nervous system and helps to bring back lost abilities.
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Ansado et al. (2020). How brain imaging provides predictive biomarkers for therapeutic success in the context of virtual reality cognitive training.
Cognitive training in VR produces detectable changes in the brain which can be proven by specific biomarkers and may have predictive value.
Grewe et al. (2013). Learning real-life cognitive abilities in a novel 360°-virtual reality supermarket- a neuropsychological study of healthy participants and patients with epilepsy.
A 360° VR environment of a virtual supermarket generated learning effects (visuospatial, strategic, verbal) in epilepsy patients. VR is suitable for epilepsy patients and healthy individuals to train activities of daily living.
Lee, C.-H., Kim, Y.-S., Jung, J.-H. (2020). Effectiveness of Virtual Reality based Cognitive Rehabilitation on Cognitive Function, Motivation and Depression in Stroke Patients.
Cognitive rehabilitation in patients after subacute stroke with virtual reality positively impacts cognitive function and motivation superior to conventional training approaches.
Liao et al. (2020). Using virtual reailty-based training to improve cognitive function, instrumental activities of daily living and neural efficiency in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.
Immersive VR combined with physical activity demonstrated a positive effect on cognition in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. The positive effects of VR and physical activity were significantly better than those of computer training.
Nudo, R.J. (2013). Recovery after brain injury-mechanisms and principles.
Targeted and intensive rehabilitation after an injury of the nervous system is important and effective in terms to benefit from biological principles in neurological rehabilitation.
Thapa et al. (2020). The Effect of a Virtual Reality-Based Intervention Program on Cognition in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impariment – A Randomized Control Trial.
The results of the trial demonstrate the impact of VR-based cognitive training on cognition in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Particularly noteworthy are improvements of executive functions and some physical abilities. Positive changes were also found in the patient’s EEG regarding attention during VR training.