Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, along with researchers from the AIST Human Technology Research Institute in Japan, have identified a time-dependent interplay between two brain regions that contributes to the recovery of motor function after focal brain damage, such as a stroke.
Published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the research shows that when motor functions are remapped through rehabilitative training, brain regions relatively distant from a lesion are recruited during the initial stages and functional connections with regions near the lesion are strengthened during the latter stages.
The research team investigated the special kind of neural plasticity that allows the recovery of motor function after brain damage, focusing on changes that occur during the course of rehabilitative training. This kind of training is known to promote structural and functional alterations in the brain that improve impaired motor ability, but how it does so is a question that neuroscientists are still trying to answer.
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