EXPERIENCE DEPENDENT VISUAL CORTICAL DEVELOPMENT

Summary

Principal Investigator: MARK BEAR
Affiliation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Country: USA
Abstract: The long-term goal of this project is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of experience-dependent cortical plasticity, which must occur normally for the proper development of vision in mammals. The first aim is to assess the contribution of synaptic mobilization of glutamate receptors to deprivation-induced response depression in visual cortex and amblyopia. The second aim is to characterize the recently discovered phenomenon of stimulus-specific response potentiation (SRP), and test the hypothesis that SRP utilizes mechanisms that are revealed by the study of long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP). The proposed research promises to reveal the detailed molecular basis for experience-dependent bidirectional synaptic plasticity in 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, and also contribute to recovery of brain function after injury. Knowledge of the mechanisms of plasticity can be (and are being) applied to devise strategies to protect juvenile synapses from deleterious effects of environmental deprivation during development, and to promote synaptic strengthening and recovery of function.
Funding Period: 1998-08-01 - 2011-07-31
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. 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
  2. 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

Detail Information

Publications2

  1. 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...
  2. 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...