Two areas of research, fear conditioning and learned nonuse theory, provided substantive findings addressing these criteria.
Learned nonuse research addresses how damage to neural structure, the passage of time, and environmental context can affect behavior.
Through multiple elegant and innovative experimental demonstrations, the absence of purposeful behavior following unilateral deafferentation was attributed to postsurgical learned nonuse [20,24-28].
In some cases, the CIMT achieved voluntary purposeful behavior consistent with presurgical limb function, providing further support for Taub's hypothesis of learned nonuse. While early human clinical research focused on the use of CIMT following stroke [20,25], a series of internationally funded scientific studies subsequently demonstrated applicability following other traumas, including upper limbs after TBI, lower limbs after stroke, spinal cord injury, fractured hip, and aphasia after stroke [32-37].
The demonstration of time- and context-dependent learned nonuse is critical to Taub's research.
The evolution of scientific research for fear conditioning and learned nonuse illustrates the benefit of and need for increased elucidation of the complex effect(s) of time- and context-dependent variables on all behavior [1-3,7].
Learned nonuse provides objective scientific understanding for why assumption based on neural pathway is insufficient to establish the specific relationships between fear, trauma, and subsequent behavior.
Overcoming learned nonuse: A new approach to treatment in physical medicine.
However, studies on conditioned suppression of movement, known as learned nonuse
(involving the paretic limb), led to the development of constraint-induced movement therapy (CI therapy).
CIMT is based on the concept of "learned nonuse
", a phenomenon which may occur after any injury that results in a large neurological deficit followed by a long period of recovery (Miltner et al, 1999; Van der Lee, 1999; Taub and Uswatte, 2000).