Brain plasticity is the brain’s capacity for modification as evident in brain reorganization following immense learning, birth or damage. The younger we are, the greater our brain plasticity. As infants our brain’s capacity to change in response to stimuli is the greatest. This is due to the basic fact that as infants we have the immense responsibility to organise the world around us. Our neuroplasticity enables us to learn and begin to take in our surroundings. This plasticity is also seen in response to the learning and memorisation we experience through adulthood. Finally, however, brain plasticity is also seen following great brain damage. Plasticity enables our brains to compensate for lost function by emphasising remaining function. Infants and children have the greatest capacity to rebuild after brain damage as they still hold greater plasticity.
Master “stem cells” than can develop into any type of brain cells have been found in fetal brains. This discovery has raised hopes immensely of recovery mechanisms that would be able to mend damaged brains.