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Jon Kaas

Plasticity of Somatosensory and Motor Systems after Injury and Sensory Loss in Adult Primates

March 19, 2013

Dr. Kaas is a Centennial Professor of Psychology, professor of cell biology and Kennedy Center investigator. He has studied the brain for some 35 years, most of them at Vanderbilt University. Kaas and his colleagues have found that when large parts of sensory systems are deprived of their normal input, they can grow new connections to restore activity – even in the mature brains. Kaas’ insights have revolutionized thinking about brain plasticity and helped lead the way for his induction last year into the National Academy of Science. Not one to rest on his laurels, Kaas says: “Plasticity is only part of what interests me. I’m also interested in trying to determine normal brain organization. We don’t know enough about brain systems, how they’re organized and how they function.”