Brain Plasticity and Behavior
By Bryan Kolb
Psychology Press – 1995 – 210 pages
Series: Distinguished Lecture Series
There are few books devoted to the topic of brain plasticity and behavior. Most previous works that cover topics related to brain plasticity do not include extensive discussions of behavior. The first to try to address the relationship between recovery from brain damage and changes in the brain that might support the recovery, this volume includes studies of humans as well as laboratory species, particularly rats. The subject matter identifies a consistent correlation between specific changes in the brain and behavioral recovery, as well as various factors such as sex and experience that influence this correlation in consistent ways.
Evolving from a series of lectures given as the McEachran Lectures at the University of Alberta, this volume originally began as a summary of the lectures, but has expanded to include more background literature, allowing the reader to see the author's biases, assumptions, and hunches in a broader perspective. In writing this volume, the author had two goals in mind:
* to initiate senior undergraduates or graduate psychology, biology, neuroscience or other interested students to the issues and questions regarding the nature of brain plasticity, and
* to provide a monograph in the form of an extended summary of the work the author and his colleagues have done on brain plasticity and recovery of function.
One of the values of this book is that it reviews and integrates a large volume of research and clinical data. Throughout the book Professor Kolb carefully summarizes the issues and provides enumerated conclusions at the end of each chapter. Clearly, he has made a great effort to present the material in a form easy to assimilate, and for the most part he has succeeded.
—Contemporary Gerontology, V3 #2
"This monograph introduces the reader to a broad range of empirical findings on brain recovery at the behavioural level in humans and animals….The important principles of neural plasticity as they relate to behavioural recovery put forward in this monograph provide a rational basis for neurorehabilitation and hopefully will further stimulate readers to turn their scientific and clinical attention to this next great frontier."
—The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
"One of the important points made in this book is that future research should continue more hopefully in the knowledge that, although there are limits to the amount a brain can change, and we do not know what determines the limits, or in most cases, what the limits are, we are nevertheless aware that the brain is more plastic than what was once believed."
"What makes Kolb's book so interesting is that he attempts to go beyond animal work in order to discuss implications that such research might have for recovery and plasticity in humans."
"…the book is an excellent and well written introduction into modern concepts of brain plasticity and behavioral recovery. In a masterly and entertaining way, Bryan Kolb includes case histories, data from epidemiology, clinical facts, rehabilitation strategies, and outcomes and facts from basic neurosciences….I was generally both impressed and entertained."
Contents: Preface. Part I: Brain Plasticity. Some Basic Concepts, Examples, and Biases. Plasticity in the Normal Brain. Part II: Brain Injury and Behavior. Is There Really Recovery from Brain Damage? Brain Development and Recovery. Part III: Recovery and Brain Plasticity. Brain Plasticity and Recovery of Function in Adulthood. Plasticity and Recovery from Cortical Injury During Development. Factors Influencing Brain Plasticity and Recovery: Hormones, Neuromodulators, Neurotrophins, and Experience. Epilogue.