Structural brain plasticity in adult learning and development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent research using magnetic resonance imaging has documented changes in the adult human brain's grey matter structure induced by alterations in experiential demands. We review this research and relate it to models of brain plasticity from related strands of research, such as work on animal models. This allows us to generate recommendations and predictions for future research that may advance the understanding of the function, sequential progression, and microstructural nature of experience-dependent changes in regional brain volumes. Informed by recent evidence on adult age differences in structural brain plasticity, we show how understanding learning-related changes in human brain structure can expand our knowledge about adult development and aging. We hope that this review will promote research on the mechanisms regulating experience-dependent structural plasticity of the adult human brain.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology


  • Experience-dependent plasticity, Brain volume, Structural brain plasticity, Structural brain changes, Learning, Neuroplasticity, Aging
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2296-2310
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch