Neuroscience Seminar: The power of brain plasticity: Insights from the ageing brain
Dr Marinella Cappelletti, Goldsmiths
Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 1pm to 2pm
Healthy ageing is characterized by changes in brain volume and connectivity corresponding to cognitive changes, especially diminished memory and attention processing. I will present evidence to complement this view and demonstrate that, instead, some cognitive abilities and brain structures can be resilient to ageing. I will use numeracy skills as an example of a cognitive ability that is maintained in ageing adults, and I will further demonstrate that elderly can also improve their performance in numeracy and attention following training, or training coupled with brain stimulation. Using data from a large neuroimaging study, I will propose that resilience to ageing may be explained in terms of complex alterations in the microstructure of myelin and iron content. Based on this evidence, I suggest that resilience to ageing is an example of brain plasticity, and that the ageing brain can still be malleable.
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