2023 SLP Posters

Faculty Advisor

Michael Hauge



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During the year 2020, a worldwide quarantine was set in place as a preventative strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Michigan Health Lab in June of 2020, 56% of people over the age of 50 said they sometimes or often felt isolated from others. In comparison, this statistic increased by over 100% from the original 27% reported back in 2018 (Gavin, 2020). Social isolation (SI) has been recognized as a major risk factor for morbidity and mortality in humans and animals for more than a quarter century (Cacioppo et al., 2014). Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to modify, change, and adapt both structure and function throughout life and in response to experience (Voss et al, 2017). This presentation reviews social isolation and its impact on neuroplasticity in adults post-neurological injury. This poster also reviews strategies that can be incorporated to maintain neuroplasticity during social isolation.


Communication Sciences and Disorders | Speech and Hearing Science | Speech Pathology and Audiology


Cacioppo, S., Capitanio, J. P., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2014). Toward a neurology of loneliness. Psychological Bulletin, 140(6), 1464–1504. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0037618

Davim, André, et al. “Environmental Enrichment as a Strategy to Confront Social Isolation under the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 14, 21 Jan. 2021, https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2020.564184.

Gavin, Kara. “Loneliness Doubled for Older Adults in First Months of COVID-19.” Www.michiganmedicine.org, 14 Sept. 2020, www.michiganmedicine.org/health-lab/loneliness-doubled-older-adults-first-months-covid-1 9. Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.

Lee, Paul S. N., et al. “Internet Communication versus Face-To-Face Interaction in Quality of Life.” Social Indicators Research, vol. 100, no. 3, 31 Oct. 2010, pp. 375–389, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-010-9618-3.

Liu, Jia, et al. “Impaired Adult Myelination in the Prefrontal Cortex of Socially Isolated Mice.” Nature Neuroscience, vol. 15, no. 12, 11 Nov. 2012, pp. 1621–1623, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3729624/, https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.3263.

National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine. “How Does Neuroplasticity Work? [Infographic].” NICABM, 17 Aug. 2016, www.nicabm.com/brain-how-does-neuroplasticity-work/. University at Buffalo. (2012, November 11). New form of brain plasticity: How social isolation disrupts myelin production. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2023 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121111153935.htm

Voss, Patrice, et al. “Dynamic Brains and the Changing Rules of Neuroplasticity: Implications for Learning and Recovery.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 8, no. 1657, 4 Oct. 2017, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01657

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation


College of Education and Allied Health


Communication Disorders and Deaf Education

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Program

Speech-Language Pathology

Publication Date

Spring 2023


Fontbonne University Archives


St. Louis, MO


Social isolation, Neuroplasticity, Brain plasticity, Post-neurological injury, Neurological injury, COVID-19, Pandemic

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Impact of Social Isolation on Neuroplasticity in Adults Post-Neurological Injury



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