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Prog Brain Res. 2006;157:3-11.

Visual activity and cortical rewiring: activity-dependent plasticity of cortical networks.

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1
Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

Abstract

The mammalian cortex is organized anatomically into discrete areas, which receive, process, and transmit neural signals along functional pathways. These pathways form a system of complex networks that wire up through development and refine their connections into adulthood. Understanding the processes of cortical-pathway formation, maintenance, and experience-dependent plasticity has been among the major goals of contemporary neurobiology. In this chapter, we will discuss an experimental model used to investigate the role of activity in the patterning of cortical networks during development. This model involves the "rewiring" of visual inputs into the auditory thalamus and subsequent remodeling of the auditory cortex to process visual information. We review the molecular, cellular, and physiological mechanisms of visual "rewiring" and activity-dependent shaping of cortical networks.

PMID:
17167899
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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