Degeneracy and robustness

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Chapter 13 endnote 8, from How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context is:

A brain with high complexity and degeneracy brings distinct advantages. It can create and carry more information. It’s more robust and reliable, with multiple paths to get to the same end.

If a particular group of neurons is damaged, degeneracy allows for a mental function to be maintained. That is, resources can be reassigned to other neurons that can perform the function in the same context.[1] This phenomenon is sometimes called lesion-induced adaptive plasticity.

See also

Notes on the Notes

  1. Whitacre, James, and Axel Bender. 2010. "Degeneracy: a design principle for achieving robustness and evolvability." Journal of Theoretical Biology 263 (1): 143-153.