Principles of neuroplasticity-based rehabilitation

Prog Brain Res. 2013:207:141-71. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-63327-9.00009-6.


The purpose of this review is to summarize how our perspective about the neuroscience of brain plasticity, informed by perceptual, experimental, and cognitive psychology, has led to the designs of a new class of therapeutic tools developed to drive functionally distorted and damaged brains in corrective directions. How does neuroplasticity science inform us about optimal therapeutic program designs? How do we apply that science, using modern technology, to drive neurological changes that address both the neurobehavioral distortions and the resulting behavioral deficits that are expressed in specific neurological and psychiatric disorders? By what strategies can we achieve the strongest and most complete rehabilitative corrections? These are questions that we have extensively explored in our efforts to establish new medical applications of neuroplasticity-based therapeutics. Here, we summarize the state of this rapidly emerging area of translational neuroscience, beginning with an explanation of the scientific premises and strategies, then describing their implementation in therapeutic software to address two human illnesses: the treatment of social cognition deficits in chronic schizophrenia and in autism; and the amelioration of age-related functional decline using strategies designed to delay the onset of--and potentially prevent--Alzheimer's Disease and related causes of dementia in aging.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s Disease prevention; BrainHQ; brain plasticity; cognitive training; social cognition; therapeutic programs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*