Synaptic basis for developmental plasticity in somatosensory cortex

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2004 Feb;14(1):89-95. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2004.01.011.


Sensory experience drives plasticity of the body map in developing and adult somatosensory cortex, but the synaptic mechanisms underlying such plasticity are not well understood. Recently, several mechanisms that are likely to contribute to map plasticity have been directly observed in response to altered experience in vivo. These mechanisms include long-term potentiation and long-term depression at specific excitatory synapses, competition between lemniscal (barrel) and non-lemniscal (septal) processing streams, and regulation of the number of inhibitory synapses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / growth & development
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / growth & development
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*