About brain function and dysfunction(2)

Think of the brain’s systems as resembling a major city’s subway lines.  There will be stations where the lines cross, that are quite busy, and  there are more provincial, less busy, stations along a particular line.

Anthony Demasio calls the places where systems cross convergence-divergence zones ( CDZ). CDZ regions have high proportions of mirror neurons which enable empathising and understanding the behaviour on others. Demasio believes the various CDZs compose our sense of Self.

Damage to a CDZ area say from a Stroke will cause more widespread brain dysfunction than say a similar sized Stroke localised to a particular system; for instance the occipital lobe (visual cortex).

There are three types of damage:                                                                                                                                  (1) Loss of excitatory input to an area(ie: a station has a power  failure)

(2)Deterioration of the overall function of the subsystem ( ie: subway line on strike)

(3)A different area of the brain attempts to do the job for the non-functioning part and         decompensates. Alternatively the different part of the brain may do the new job quite well leading to good recovery of function. (ie: A new subway connection is established to replace the defunct one).

 

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