What does the Guide say?
The development of neural networks through repetition and neural pruning is both genetic and subject to environmental influences. Neural networks can change developmentally, over time
or after injury.
SAQs could use the following terms: neuroplasticity, neural network, neural pruning, neuron.
Great infographic for the classroom wall: https://www.nicabm.com/sample/nicabm-infographic-neuroplasticity/
Amazing clip of a new synapse forming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ebifjoFtJs credited to the amazing neuroscientist Dr. Lila Landowski.
Brilliant clip of the wonderful Marian Diamond talking about ageing, brains, neuroplasticity and rats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0APJD-wN7MA
Danelli Case Study: https://quizizz.com/admin/quiz/5d711d475676ab001a50a9cf
Relevant research studies
Draganski’s jugglers – draganski2004
Draganki’s medical students: https://www.psychiatry.wisc.edu/courses/Nitschke/seminar/draganski%202006%20j%20neurosci.pdf
Making juggler APFC notes/research rainbow:
Using Draganki to support neuroplasticity: using a study to support a concept or theory
If you wish to use Maguire for this section, you could consider evaluating with this study: https://digest.bps.org.uk/2019/02/21/young-adults-with-better-navigation-skills-do-not-have-larger-hippocampi-raising-questions-about-the-meaning-of-the-famous-taxi-driver-studies/
Linking neuroplasticity to Abnormal Option (biological etiology of MDD): https://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2017/6871089/
Linking neuroplasticity to the Health Option (e.g. stress): you could look at research that demonstrates the neuroplastic effects of mindfulness, such as Holzel et al. (2011).
Practice Questions and Model Answers
Please be aware from 2020 SAQs can include the terms neurons, neural networks and neural pruning.
- Describe one study of neuroplasticity. (9)
- Explain how neural networks are formed with reference to one research study. (9)
- Explain the process of neural pruning with reference to one research study. (9)
- You could include dendritic retraction and the study of Draganski’s jugglers where the mid temporal region decreases in size three months after the juggling group ceased practising.
ERQ model essay (a little long but hopefully helpful): evaluate-research-on-neuroplasticity (1)
Wordmint – Mix and Match to help with making explicit links in the final part of an SAQ.
Quizizz link here for teachers:
Neuroplasticity (Part 2): https://quizizz.com/admin/quiz/5cf457e0b0827f001b9b2568
Draganski (plasticity): https://quizizz.com/admin/quiz/5d67d47e275463001ae20923
Something to watch:
The amazing rehabilitation of Gabbie Giffords using music therapy: