Chapter

Michael M. Merzenich

Larry R. Squire

in The History of Neuroscience in Autobiography

Seventh edition

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195396133
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918409 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195396133.003.0010
Michael M. Merzenich

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Michael Merzenich has conducted studies defining the functional organization of the auditory and somatosensory nervous systems. Initial models of a commercially successful cochlear implant (now distributed by Boston Scientific) were developed in his laboratory. Seminal research on cortical plasticity conducted in his laboratory contributed to our current understanding of the phenomenology of brain plasticity across the human lifetime. Merzenich extended this research into the commercial world by co-founding three brain plasticity-based therapeutic software companies (Scientific Learning, Posit Science, Brain Plasticity). Those companies have developed and validated neuroscience-based, computer-delivered rehabilitation training programs that have now been applied (by 2010) to more than 3 million impaired children and adults. Their research and treatment targets include developmental impairments that limit the cognitive, reading and mathematical abilities of school-aged children; perceptual and cognitive impairments in normal aging; preventing and treating schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and other psychiatric diseases; rehabilitation strategies applied to treat traumatic brain injury and stroke; and the treatment of cognitive impairments arising from brain infections, toxin exposures, hypoxic episodes, and other environmental causes.

Keywords: touch; somatosensory system; auditory system; somatosensory cortex; auditory cortex; cortical maps; plasticity; cochlear implant; dyslexia; cognitive impairment; neurorehabilitation

Chapter.  15612 words. 

Subjects: Neuroscience

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