The effect of playful experiences on the plasticity and metaplasticity of the brain

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Himmler, Brett T.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Neuroscience, 2011
The influence of play behavior on the brain was investigated through plasticity and metaplasticity methodology. Regions in both cortical and sub-cortical areas were investigated. Animals in both studies either experienced play with juvenile partners or did not experience play by being paired with an adult. Play experience alone was shown to affect the plasticity in the prefrontal cortex, although it did not show structural changes to sub-cortical regions. If animals were given nicotine after play experiences, the affects of play in the prefrontal cortex were abolished. In addition, playful behaviors appear to prime some sub-cortical regions of the brain for expression of later plasticity. Thus, play appears to alter the structure of multiple brain areas, but do so in different ways.
ix, 67 leaves ; 29 cm
Neuroplasticity , Neuroplasticity -- Research , Neuroplasticity -- Animal models , Rats as laboratory animals , Rats -- Behavior , Play behavior in animals , Play behavior in animals -- Research , Dissertations, Academic