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Sci China Life Sci. 2010 Mar;53(3):322-9. doi: 10.1007/s11427-010-0062-z. Epub 2010 Apr 29.

Progress in neural plasticity.

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Institute of Neuroscience, State Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China.


One of the properties of the nervous system is the use-dependent plasticity of neural circuits. The structure and function of neural circuits are susceptible to changes induced by prior neuronal activity, as reflected by short- and long-term modifications of synaptic efficacy and neuronal excitability. Regarded as the most attractive cellular mechanism underlying higher cognitive functions such as learning and memory, activity-dependent synaptic plasticity has been in the spotlight of modern neuroscience since 1973 when activity-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) of hippocampal synapses was first discovered. Over the last 10 years, Chinese neuroscientists have made notable contributions to the study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, as well as of the plasticity beyond synapses, including activity-dependent changes in intrinsic neuronal excitability, dendritic integration functions, neuron-glia signaling, and neural network activity. This work highlight some of these significant findings.

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