4) Or, the generic post: "Identify one concept, research finding, theory or idea from Psychology lectures, discussion section or the text that you have found particularly interesting during the past two weeks. Use something from your life to illustrate. As you reflect on this, what other questions occur to you? What are you still wondering about?"
My mother is missing a quarter of her brain. It's a fact known well by the family and some outside of it too. This wasn't a condition that made itself apparent until my mom reached her teens and she began experiencing seizures. She was taken in for brain scans and, surprise, she hasn't got all of her brain!
She's missing the front most, left part. (In the image above she's missing the part marked in red. Note that this isn't an actual picture of her brain, just one I rendered to illustrate what she's missing.) She hasn't a Broca's Area, but you wouldn't know it. My mother is fully functional and, after growing out of it, no longer suffers from epilepsy. She hasn't spoken to a professional about it in a long while, but back in the 90s she was told that she's missing such a significant portion of her brain because, as a fetus still in the womb, she had a stroke that halted the development of that part of her brain.
Because of this I find the concept of Plasticity (the ability the nervous system to change) wildly fascinating. The concept that the brain can change and is adaptable is just the coolest gosh darn thing - our brains are beautiful and complex things, and so we are equally complex creatures. I mean, goodness, there are stories of children having entire hemispheres removed from their brains, yet they grow up to be entirely functional adults. And so plasticity and the ability of the human brain/nervous system to adapt is just the most intriguing thing. At least I think this way.
And I guess I'd like to know more about how it works, why it works, what the limits of it are. If one looks at the case of Phineas Gage they see that his brain did not recover after his incident. So when is one too old to recover?