Plasticity of the human motor cortex and recovery from stroke

Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 2001 Oct;36(2-3):169-74. doi: 10.1016/s0165-0173(01)00092-3.


By a variety of mechanisms, the human brain is constantly undergoing plastic changes. Plasticity can be studied with phenomena such as peripheral deafferentation and motor learning. Spontaneous recovery from stroke in the chronic stage likely comes about because of plasticity, and the best recovery seems to result from reorganization in the damaged hemisphere. Knowledge about the physiology of brain plasticity has led to the development of new techniques for rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / injuries
  • Afferent Pathways / pathology
  • Afferent Pathways / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Motor Cortex / injuries
  • Motor Cortex / pathology
  • Motor Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Sensory Deprivation / physiology*
  • Stroke / pathology
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*