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Nat Neurosci. 2004 Mar;7(3):215-6. Epub 2004 Feb 15.

Environmental enrichment prevents effects of dark-rearing in the rat visual cortex.

Author information

1
Scuola Normale Superiore, Piazza dei Cavalieri, Pisa, Italy.

Abstract

Environmental enrichment potentiates neural plasticity, enhancing acquisition and consolidation of memory traces. In the sensory cortices, after cortical circuit maturation and sensory function acquisition are completed, neural plasticity declines and the critical period 'closes'. In the visual cortex, this process can be prevented by dark-rearing, and here we show that environmental enrichment can promote physiological maturation and consolidation of visual cortical connections in dark-reared rats, leading to critical period closure.

PMID:
14966527
DOI:
10.1038/nn1201
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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