Sensory deprivation as a model for the actualizing compensatory brain resources



The concepts of «cognitive» or «compensatory brain reserves» are proposed to explain a wide individual variability of changes in cognitive functions during aging and are used to study the adaptive reorganization of the neural systems of the brain in damages of its functions due to various pathological processes, including deprivation of visual or auditory information. The development of tomographic methods for estimating the volume and functional activity of individual brain structures made it possible to obtain new information on the mechanisms of neuroplasticity caused by sensory deprivation. The literature review provides evidences of the cross-modal development of brain structures to ensure the processes of perception and processing of environmental stimuli based on compensatory replacement of the missing sensory function and a possible increase in the effectiveness of the activity of the analyzer systems. The described patterns of formation and stimulation of compensatory reserves are important for understanding the fundamentals of brain activity, and from a practical point of view, for improving training programs or developing methods for correcting the negative effects of brain aging or damage.

General Information

Keywords: sensory deprivation, compensatory reserves, visual impairment, hearing impairment, neuroplasticity, cross-modal reorganization of sensory systems.

Journal rubric: Neurosciences

Article type: review article


For citation: Razumnikova O.M., Krivonogova K.D. Sensory deprivation as a model for the actualizing compensatory brain resources [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2020. Vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 57–67. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2020090205. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Olga M. Razumnikova, Doctor of Biology, Professor of the Department of Psychology and Pedagogic, Novosibirsk State Technical University, Novosibirsk, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Kseniya D. Krivonogova, PhD Student of Department of Psychology and Pedagogic, Novosibirsk State Technical University, Educational Psychologist, Institute of Social Technologies and Rehabilitation, Novosibirsk, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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