Functional Neurology Glossary

Functional Neurology Glossary

Blind spot:

The anatomical blind spot is a region of blindness in each eye’s visual field. This is due to the area on the retina where the optic nerve passes through and no light receptors exist.

The physiological blind spot is considered to be the area of perceived blindness in each eye’s visual field due the brain’s inability to properly integrate the sensory information from the periphery of the anatomical blind spot. As such, if the brain is not functioning optimally, a physiological blind spot may become larger than the anatomical blind spot. It is also important to note that certain diseases can also cause a change in the size of the blind spot.

Central integrated state (CIS):

The condition of the nervous system (or a part of the system) during a moment in time, based on the sum total of all incoming information. The CIS is in a constant flux because of the continuous fluctuation of brain activity and sensory inputs it is exposed to.


A phenomenon where a neuron system malfunctions due to a decrease in its stimulation from a connected but distant neuron system. For example, if a cast is put on your arm, the corresponding part of the brain that detects its movement will atrophy.

Embryological homologous relationships:

Neuron groups that develop together in the embryo retain a functional relationship after birth. For example, because eye muscles and spinal muscles are born out of the same group of nerve cells, an eye exercise can impact the muscle tone of your spine.

Functional Neurologist:

A health practitioner trained in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological lesions using neuroplasticity concepts.


Asymmetry of function between the two halves of the brain. The cerebral hemisphere that is dysfunctional is said to have a hemisphericity.

Longitudinal level of a lesion:

The location of malfunction that lies within the hierarchy of the nervous system. The lesion may involve the receptor, effector organ, peripheral nerve, spinal cord, brainstem, cerebellum, thalamus, basal ganglia or cortex. See “Understanding your nervous system” for more information.

Neurological lesion:

Any abnormality in the nerve tissues of the body. Two general types are important to differentiate:

Ablative: Problems that result in death or destruction of nerves. Examples of ablative lesions are strokes, tumors and head trauma. Restoration of lost function is still possible by rerouting nerve pathways or regrowth of new connections.

Physiological (aka functional): Reversible problems that result from overstimulation or understimulation of a group of neurons. Restoring proper balance in the malfunctioning area is a primary goal of functional neurology therapy.


The ability of the brain and nervous system to change its structure and function in response to its stimulation. It is important to note that depending on what inputs you are exposed to, neuroplasticity may ultimately have a positive or negative effect on your nervous system. See “Functional Neurology Description” for more information.

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