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Brain Stimul. 2019 Feb 1. pii: S1935-861X(19)30052-X. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2019.01.021. [Epub ahead of print]

Evidence for associative plasticity in the human visual cortex.

Author information

1
Research Unit of Neurology, Neurophysiology and Neurobiology, Università Campus Bio-Medico, Roma, Italy; NeXT: Neurophysiology and Neuroengineering of Human-Technology Interaction Research Unit, Università Campus Bio-Medico, Roma, Italy; Fondazione Alberto Sordi-Research Institute for Aging, Roma, Italy. Electronic address: federico.ranieri@unicampus.it.
2
Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome - Polo Pontino, Latina, Italy.
3
Research Unit of Neurology, Neurophysiology and Neurobiology, Università Campus Bio-Medico, Roma, Italy; Fondazione Alberto Sordi-Research Institute for Aging, Roma, Italy.
4
Research Unit of Neurology, Neurophysiology and Neurobiology, Università Campus Bio-Medico, Roma, Italy.
5
NeXT: Neurophysiology and Neuroengineering of Human-Technology Interaction Research Unit, Università Campus Bio-Medico, Roma, Italy.
6
IRCCS Fondazione Bietti, Roma, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Repetitive convergent inputs to a single post-synaptic neuron can induce long-term potentiation (LTP) or depression (LTD) of synaptic activity in a spike timing-dependent manner.

OBJECTIVE:

Here we set a protocol of visual paired associative stimulation (vPAS) of the primary visual cortex (V1) in humans to induce persistent changes in the excitatory properties of V1 with a spike timing rule.

METHODS:

We provided convergent inputs to V1 by coupling transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) pulses of the occipital cortex with peripheral visual inputs, at four interstimulus intervals of -50/-25/+25/+50 ms relative to the visual evoked potential (VEP) P1 latency. We analysed VEP amplitude and delayed habituation before and up to 10 min after each vPAS protocol.

RESULTS:

VEP amplitude was reduced after vPAS+25. Delayed VEP habituation was increased after vPAS-25 while it was reduced after vPAS+25.

CONCLUSIONS:

We provide evidence that associative bidirectional synaptic plasticity is a feature not only of the sensorimotor but also of the human visual system.

KEYWORDS:

Plasticity; Spike timing; Transcranial magnetic stimulation; Visual cortex; Visual evoked potential

PMID:
30773491
DOI:
10.1016/j.brs.2019.01.021

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