Plasticity generally means ability to permanently change or deform. (It differs from "elasticity", which refers to ability to change temporarily and revert back to original form.)

More specific meanings include:

In the sciences

  • Plasticity (physics): In physics and engineering, plasticity is the propensity of a material to undergo permanent deformation under load. In civil engineering, plasticity of a soil is quantitatively determined by Atterberg Limits testing
  • Plasticity (psychology): An intelligence factor that determines the ease of changing ones perception of a situation for finding a new solution to a problem. Lack of plasticity is termed rigidity.
  • Phenotypic plasticity: Describes the degree to which an organism's phenotype is determined by its genotype
  • Neuroplasticity: Entire brain structures can change to better cope with the environment. Specifically, when an area of the brain is damaged and non-functional, another area may take over some of the function. This is known as neuroplasticity.
    • Synaptic plasticity: In neuroscience, plasticity is a property of a neuron or synapse to change its internal parameters in response to its history
  • Plasticity (tissues): In body tissues, plasticity refers to the ability of differentiated cells to undergo transdifferentiation
  • Plasticity (Cabaret Voltaire album)

In art

  • The plastic arts are those, such as clay sculpture, in which material is formed or deformed into a new, permanent shape


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