Environmental enrichment in adulthood promotes amblyopia recovery through a reduction of intracortical inhibition

Nat Neurosci. 2007 Jun;10(6):679-81. doi: 10.1038/nn1899. Epub 2007 Apr 29.


Loss of visual acuity caused by abnormal visual experience during development (amblyopia) is an untreatable pathology in adults. We report that environmental enrichment in adult amblyopic rats restored normal visual acuity and ocular dominance. These effects were due to reduced GABAergic inhibition in the visual cortex, accompanied by increased expression of BDNF and reduced density of extracellular-matrix perineuronal nets, and were prevented by enhancement of inhibition through benzodiazepine cortical infusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amblyopia / physiopathology*
  • Animals
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Dominance, Ocular
  • Environment*
  • Functional Laterality
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology
  • Microdialysis / methods
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Sensory Deprivation / physiology
  • Visual Acuity / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiopathology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid