Cross-modal sensory deprivation promotes adult cortical plasticity

Plasticity of thalamocortical (TC) synapses is limited in adults. Rodriguez et al. demonstrate that a brief period of deafening adults recovers LTP at TC synapses in visual cortex and accelerates ocular dominance plasticity. These results suggest that cross-modal sensory deprivation may be an effective way to promote adult cortical plasticity.

Johns Hopkins Kavli NDI Neuroscientist Dr. Hey-Kyoung Lee and colleagues recent study suggests cross-modal sensory manipulations as a potential method to facilitate plasticity in the adult brain. They used targeted optogenetic activation of TC synapses to demonstrate the reemergence of NMDAR-dependent LTP at V1 TC synapses following a week of deafening adult mice (post-natal day 90 to 120), which occurred without recovery of TC-LTD. In addition, they found that deafening increases the excitation to inhibition ratio of TC inputs onto L4 principal neurons.

Read the full article "Cross-Modal Reinstatementof Thalamocortical Plasticity Accelerates OcularDominance Plasticity in Adult Mice" published in Cell Reports.

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