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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2009 Dec;10(12):873-84. doi: 10.1038/nrn2741. Epub 2009 Nov 11.

Plasticity and stability of visual field maps in adult primary visual cortex.

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  • 1Stanford University, Psychology Department, Jordan Hall, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


It is important to understand the balance between cortical plasticity and stability in various systems and across spatial scales in the adult brain. Here we review studies of adult plasticity in primary visual cortex (V1), which has a key role in distributing visual information. There are claims of plasticity at multiple spatial scales in adult V1, but a number of inconsistencies in the supporting data raise questions about the extent and nature of such plasticity. Our understanding of the extent of plasticity in V1 is further limited by a lack of quantitative models to guide the interpretation of the data. These problems limit efforts to translate research findings about adult cortical plasticity into significant clinical, educational and policy applications.

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