Professor Heidi Johansen-Berg heads the Plasticity Group at the Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB). Her research focuses on how the brain changes in response to damage, learning and experience.
Plasticity defines an organism’s ability to adapt to change. The human brain undergoes changes each time we learn a new skill (e.g. juggling), when we age or when we suffer from a medical condition such as a stroke. Understanding why and how the brain changes will help to develop new rehabilitation processes, enhance learning and promote healthy ageing. As well as understanding the healthy brain, her work has implications for understanding and treating diseases.