This study tested the hypothesis that the receptive fields (RFs) of neurons in the adult sensory cortex are shaped by the recent history of sensory experience. Sensory experience was altered by a brief period of 'whisker pairing': whiskers D2 and either D1 or D3 were left intact, while all other whiskers on the right side of the face were trimmed close to the fur. The animals were anesthetized 64-66 h later and the responses of single neurons in contralateral cortical barrel D2 to stimulation of whisker D2 (the center RF) and the four neighboring whiskers (D1, D3, C2, and E2; the excitatory surround RF) were measured. Data from 79 cells in four rats with whiskers paired were compared to data from 52 cells in four rats with untrimmed whiskers (control cases). During the period of whisker pairing, the RFs of cells in barrel D2 changed in three ways: (i) the response to the center RF, whisker D2, increased by 39%, (ii) the response to the paired surround RF whisker increased by 85-100%, and (iii) the response to all clipped (unpaired) surround RF whiskers decreased by 9-42%. In the control condition, the response of barrel D2 cells to the two neighboring whiskers, D1 and D3, was equal. After whisker pairing, the response to the paired neighbor of D2 was more than twice as large as the response to the cut neighbor of D2. These findings indicate that a brief change in the pattern of sensory activity can alter the configuration of cortical RFs, even in adult animals.
|Titolo:||Experience-dependent plasticity in adult rat barrel cortex|
|Autori:||Diamond, M. E.; Armstrong-James, M.; Ebner, F. F.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1993|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1073/pnas.90.5.2082|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Journal article|