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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2000 Feb;10(1):138-45.

Critical periods during sensory development.

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Istituto Neurofisiologia CNR, Pisa, 51 56125, Italy.


Recent studies have made progress in characterizing the determinants of critical periods for experience-dependent plasticity. They highlight the role of neurotrophins, NMDA receptors and GABAergic inhibition. In particular, genetic manipulation of a single molecule, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), has been shown to alter the timing of the critical period of plasticity in mouse visual cortex, establishing a causal relation between neurotrophin action, the development of visual function, and the duration of the critical period.

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