Training-induced structural changes in the adult human brain

Behav Brain Res. 2008 Sep 1;192(1):137-42. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2008.02.015. Epub 2008 Feb 17.


Structural and functional brain reorganisation can occur beyond the developmental maturation period and this was recently recognised as an intrinsic property of the human central nervous system. Brain injury or altered afferent input due to environmental changes, novel experience and learning new skills are known as modulators of brain function and underlying neuroanatomic circuitry. During the past decade invasive animal studies and in vivo imaging techniques have delineated the correlates of experience dependent reorganisation. The major future challenge is to understand the behavioural consequences and cellular mechanisms underlying training-induced neuroanatomic plasticity in order to adapt treatment strategies for patients with brain injury or neurodegenerative disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / pathology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Recovery of Function / physiology