The balance between excitation and inhibition and functional sensory processing in the somatosensory cortex

Int Rev Neurobiol. 2011:97:305-33. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-385198-7.00012-6.


The balance between excitation and inhibition (E/I balance) is tightly regulated in adult cortices to maintain proper nervous system function. Disturbed E/I balance is associated with numerous neuropsychological disorders, such as autism, epilepsy and schizophrenia. The present review will discuss aspects of Hebbian and homeostatic mechanisms regulating excitatory and inhibitory balance related to sensory processing in somatosensory cortex of rodents. Additionally, changes in the E/I balance during sensory manipulation will be discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / growth & development
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Receptors, GABA / metabolism
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / classification
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / cytology*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / growth & development
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*


  • Receptors, GABA
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate