People who are born with Mental Retardation (MR) often have many gifts to give. I have an aunt with MR who is one of the most remarkable people at remembering names and events. As I was recently delving into our family history for a genogram assignment, my aunt was one of our only family members who could quickly recall that names of my cousin’s second husband’s children. Despite the intellectual capabilities of the other family members in the room, we fell short of remembering names while my aunt who was diagnosed with MR at the age of 12 months did not. Moreover, other individuals who have MR might foster even greater gifts than the ability to recall names. For example, Barbara Arrowsmith Young was born with deficits in speech, spatial
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However the rest of the subjects’ brains illustrated more ChE activity per unit of weight (Krech, Rosenzweig, & Bennet, 1960). Due to the perplexity of the cerebral cortex accumulating less weight of ChE activity, researchers replicated the studies in an effort to understand the slightly lower weight of the cerebral cortex ChE of subjects who were in a stimulating environment as opposed to subjects who were not in enriched environments. Findings demonstrate that stimulating environments will indeed increase ChE activity in the brain overall if the total ChE is measured (Rosenzweig, Krech, Bennet, & Diamond, 1962). Therefore, the previous findings allow us draw conclusions that the brain is plastic and is capable of change when the subject is placed in an enriched environment.
Even though the brain is considered to be plastic and is capable of growth and change, there are certain limitations. For example, although older subjects are capable of brain plasticity, the cerebral effects stimulating environments develop more quickly in younger animals (Rosenzweig, 1996). Additionally, not all brain systems and types of environments will result in brain plasticity.
While research on animals is valuable to human research, researchers also knew the worth of demonstrating the brain’s plasticity in humans. Hence, a study by Jacobs, Schall and Scheibel (1993) illustrated the brain’s potential for growth and change in