plasticity

noun
plas·​tic·​i·​ty | \ pla-ˈsti-sə-tē How to pronounce plasticity (audio) \

Definition of plasticity

1 : the quality or state of being plastic especially : capacity for being molded or altered
2 : the ability to retain a shape attained by pressure deformation
3 : the capacity of organisms with the same genotype to vary in developmental pattern, in phenotype, or in behavior according to varying environmental conditions
4 : the capacity for continuous alteration of the neural pathways and synapses of the living brain and nervous system in response to experience or injury

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Synonyms for plasticity

Synonyms

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Examples of plasticity in a Sentence

we chose that type of clay for its greater plasticity
Recent Examples on the Web Finally, a powerful and elegant experiment on sensory neural plasticity was published in late 2017 by Livingstone and her colleagues. Quanta Magazine, "The Brain Reshapes Our Malleable Senses to Fit the World," 24 Mar. 2020 But plasticity isn’t just for children’s imaginations. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Why We've Fallen for Optical Illusions for Thousands of Years," 12 Apr. 2020 One of the striking indications of brain plasticity came from scanning the brain activity of people who had been blind from birth. Quanta Magazine, "The Brain Reshapes Our Malleable Senses to Fit the World," 24 Mar. 2020 Myelin plasticity is important for brain waves because the proper conduction velocity is necessary to sustain oscillations that couple two regions of the brain at the same frequency. R. Douglas Fields, Scientific American, "The Brain Learns in Unexpected Ways," 12 Mar. 2020 Fink's interest in learning and memory—particularly her early experiments on the plasticity of individual neurons in the amygdala region of the brain—led to an interest in PTSD. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Academic paper in comic form explores ethics of treating torturer with PTSD," 3 Jan. 2020 But myelin plasticity can contribute to neural circuit function and learning in another way—by tuning the frequency of brain-wave oscillations. R. Douglas Fields, Scientific American, "The Brain Learns in Unexpected Ways," 12 Mar. 2020 Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a species to respond to environmental stressors—like temperature swings—by altering their physiology without mucking with all the underlying genetics. Matt Simon, Wired, "This Marsupial Dies After Marathon Mating. Now It's Got Bigger Worries," 12 Feb. 2020 For the antechinus, the researchers were interested in the plasticity of its metabolism. Matt Simon, Wired, "This Marsupial Dies After Marathon Mating. Now It's Got Bigger Worries," 12 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plasticity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of plasticity

1727, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for plasticity

Time Traveler

The first known use of plasticity was in 1727

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Statistics for plasticity

Cite this Entry

“Plasticity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plasticity. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for plasticity

plasticity

noun
How to pronounce plasticity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of plasticity

technical : the quality of being able to be made into different shapes

plasticity

noun
plas·​tic·​i·​ty | \ pla-ˈstis-ət-ē How to pronounce plasticity (audio) \
plural plasticities

Medical Definition of plasticity

1 : the quality or state of being plastic especially : capacity for being molded or altered
2 : the ability to retain a shape attained by pressure deformation
3 : the capacity of organisms with the same genotype to vary in developmental pattern, in phenotype, or in behavior according to varying environmental conditions
4 : the capacity for continuous alteration of the neural pathways and synapses of the living brain and nervous system in response to experience or injury that involves the formation of new pathways and synapses and the elimination or modification of existing ones

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