Title

Neural reuse in the evolution and development of the brain

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-29-2016

Journal

Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology

Volume

58

Issue

S4

First Page

3

Last Page

6

URL with Digital Object Identifier

10.1111/dmcn.13039

Abstract

Neural reuse is the process by which neural elements originally developed for one purpose are put to many different subsequent uses. In this brief review I will outline the role of neural reuse in the development of the brain. Special attention will be paid to elucidating and differentiating between two different mechanisms of neurocognitive development: Hebbian plasticity, the importance of which is already well known, and a neural search mechanism that supports the establishment of new functional partnerships in the brain. I describe how these two mechanisms work in concert throughout development to produce the functional architecture we observe in the adult brain; outline the evidence for the importance of neural reuse; offer suggestions for some clinical implications of neural reuse; and point to future research directions

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