The developing brain of a growing child has incredible ways of compensating for the loss of an essential brain region, a new case study shows.
A young boy has retained his ability to recognize faces even though surgeons removed one-sixth of his brain, including the region that normally handles that task, his doctors said.
Essentially, the other side of the 10-year-old’s brain has shouldered the added burden of facial recognition on top of its normal duties, in an astounding feat of adaptation.
Even more compelling, the boy’s intellect, visual perception and object recognition skills have all remained age-appropriate, even with a large portion of his brain gone.
“In a child’s brain, there is the potential for this kind of reorganization and recovery,” said senior researcher Marlene Behrmann, a professor with Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition. “A child’s brain is still undergoing dynamic change. It can find