EXPERIENCE DEPENDENT VISUAL CORTICAL DEVELOPMENT

Summary

Principal Investigator: MARK BEAR
Affiliation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Country: USA
Abstract: It has been appreciated for over 30 years that visual experience during an early postnatal critical period of development produces permanent modifications of the connectivity, physiology and function of the visual cortex. Besides the obvious relevance of this neural plasticity to the development of visual capabilities in humans and animals, it seems likely that similar processes form the basis for some forms of learning and memory in the adult brain. Considerable progress has been made in identifying the specific changes in visual cortex that result from rearing the animals in different environments, but the detailed mechanisms that underlie these modifications have remained elusive. Recently, however, advances in understanding the receptor mechanisms that mediate synaptic excitation and inhibition in the visual cortex during development have provided an exciting new opportunity to investigate the mechanisms of experience-dependent brain modification. The long-term goal of this project is to elucidate these molecular mechanisms of experience-dependent cortical plasticity. It is hypothesized that naturally occurring synaptic enhancements employ the mechanisms that underlie long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP), a type of plasticity that can be elicited in cortical synapses by tetanic electrical stimulation. To examine this hypothesis, a preparation has been introduced in which LTP can be elicited in the geniculo-cortical projection in vivo. Our first aim is to determine if experience dependent synaptic enhancement and LTP utilize a common saturable expression mechanism by (1) probing LTP saturation limits after experience-dependent synaptic enhancement, and (2) by saturating the expression mechanism for LTP and determining if this occludes or prevents the effects of experience. These experiments will address the question of whether the expression mechanisms of LTP are necessary for aspects of experience-dependent cortical plasticity, and vice versa. Our second aim is to determine if the mechanisms of LTP are sufficient to cause the same changes as visual experience in visual cortical (1) glutamate receptors (phosphorylation and distribution), and (2) population synaptic currents (evoked with visual stimulation or electrical stimulation of the LGN). These experiments promise to establish that LTP and naturally occurring synaptic plasticity utilize common mechanisms.
Funding Period: 1998-08-01 - 2006-07-31
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc A cholinergic mechanism for reward timing within primary visual cortex
    Alexander A Chubykin
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    Neuron 77:723-35. 2013
  2. pmc Visual experience induces long-term potentiation in the primary visual cortex
    Sam F Cooke
    The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA
    J Neurosci 30:16304-13. 2010
  3. pmc Bidirectional ocular dominance plasticity of inhibitory networks: recent advances and unresolved questions
    Gordon B Smith
    Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA, USA
    Front Cell Neurosci 4:21. 2010
  4. pmc Essential role for a long-term depression mechanism in ocular dominance plasticity
    Bong June Yoon
    The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:9860-5. 2009
  5. pmc Learning reward timing in cortex through reward dependent expression of synaptic plasticity
    Jeffrey P Gavornik
    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX 77030, USA
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:6826-31. 2009
  6. pmc The ratio of NR2A/B NMDA receptor subunits determines the qualities of ocular dominance plasticity in visual cortex
    Kathleen K A Cho
    Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:5377-82. 2009
  7. pmc Bidirectional synaptic mechanisms of ocular dominance plasticity in visual cortex
    Gordon B Smith
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 364:357-67. 2009
  8. pmc Anatomical origins of ocular dominance in mouse primary visual cortex
    J E Coleman
    Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 46 3301, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    Neuroscience 161:561-71. 2009
  9. pmc Relative contribution of feedforward excitatory connections to expression of ocular dominance plasticity in layer 4 of visual cortex
    Lena A Khibnik
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
    Neuron 66:493-500. 2010
  10. pmc Rapid structural remodeling of thalamocortical synapses parallels experience-dependent functional plasticity in mouse primary visual cortex
    Jason E Coleman
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA
    J Neurosci 30:9670-82. 2010

Scientific Experts

  • MARK BEAR
  • Gordon B Smith
  • Arnold J Heynen
  • Kathleen K A Cho
  • Jeffrey P Gavornik
  • Benjamin D Philpot
  • Alexander A Chubykin
  • Marshall G Hussain Shuler
  • Jason E Coleman
  • Sam F Cooke
  • Lena A Khibnik
  • MONICA L LINDEN
  • J E Coleman
  • Bong June Yoon
  • Emma B Roach
  • Robert Haslinger
  • Marc Nahmani
  • Alev Erisir
  • Harel Z Shouval
  • Yonatan Loewenstein
  • Lena Khibnik
  • K Law
  • Rachael L Neve
  • Robert H Haslinger

Detail Information

Publications13

  1. pmc A cholinergic mechanism for reward timing within primary visual cortex
    Alexander A Chubykin
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    Neuron 77:723-35. 2013
    ....
  2. pmc Visual experience induces long-term potentiation in the primary visual cortex
    Sam F Cooke
    The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA
    J Neurosci 30:16304-13. 2010
    ..SRP therefore provides a simple assay to assess the integrity of LTP in the intact nervous system. Moreover, the results suggest that LTP of visual cortex, like SRP, can potentially be exploited to improve vision...
  3. pmc Bidirectional ocular dominance plasticity of inhibitory networks: recent advances and unresolved questions
    Gordon B Smith
    Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA, USA
    Front Cell Neurosci 4:21. 2010
    ..A recent study by Yazaki-Sugiyama et al. (2009) in mouse visual cortex appears to re-open the debate. Here we take a critical look at these intriguing new data in the context of other recent findings in rodent visual cortex...
  4. pmc Essential role for a long-term depression mechanism in ocular dominance plasticity
    Bong June Yoon
    The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:9860-5. 2009
    ..These data suggest that AMPAR internalization is essential for the loss of synaptic strength caused by sensory deprivation in visual cortex...
  5. pmc Learning reward timing in cortex through reward dependent expression of synaptic plasticity
    Jeffrey P Gavornik
    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX 77030, USA
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:6826-31. 2009
    ..We implement our model numerically to explain reward-time learning in the primary visual cortex (V1), demonstrate experimental support, and suggest additional experimentally verifiable predictions...
  6. pmc The ratio of NR2A/B NMDA receptor subunits determines the qualities of ocular dominance plasticity in visual cortex
    Kathleen K A Cho
    Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:5377-82. 2009
    ..These data support the hypothesis that a reduction in the NR2A/B ratio during monocular deprivation is permissive for the compensatory potentiation of non-deprived inputs...
  7. pmc Bidirectional synaptic mechanisms of ocular dominance plasticity in visual cortex
    Gordon B Smith
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 364:357-67. 2009
    ..This review will discuss evidence supporting this three-stage model, along with outstanding issues in the field...
  8. pmc Anatomical origins of ocular dominance in mouse primary visual cortex
    J E Coleman
    Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 46 3301, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    Neuroscience 161:561-71. 2009
    ..Together, our findings establish that the relative density of feed-forward dLGN inputs determines the C/I response ratio of mouse binocular V1...
  9. pmc Relative contribution of feedforward excitatory connections to expression of ocular dominance plasticity in layer 4 of visual cortex
    Lena A Khibnik
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
    Neuron 66:493-500. 2010
    ..The results show that the rapid OD shift following MD is strongly expressed at the level of thalamocortical synaptic transmission...
  10. pmc Rapid structural remodeling of thalamocortical synapses parallels experience-dependent functional plasticity in mouse primary visual cortex
    Jason E Coleman
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA
    J Neurosci 30:9670-82. 2010
    ..Our results support the hypothesis that the rapid plasticity of TC synapses is a key step in the sequence of events that shift OD in visual cortex...
  11. pmc Thalamic activity that drives visual cortical plasticity
    MONICA L LINDEN
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Nat Neurosci 12:390-2. 2009
    ..Our findings substantially alter the interpretation of previous studies and define the afferent activity patterns that trigger cortical plasticity...
  12. pmc Obligatory role of NR2A for metaplasticity in visual cortex
    Benjamin D Philpot
    Curriculum in Neurobiology, Neuroscience Center, and Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 105 Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
    Neuron 53:495-502. 2007
    ..These data support the hypothesis that experience-dependent changes in NR2A/B are functionally significant and yield a mechanism for an adjustable synaptic modification threshold in visual cortex...