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Journal Article

Network influences on cortical plasticity


Wolf,  Fred
Research Group Theoretical Neurophysics, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;
Department of Nonlinear Dynamics, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Greifzu, F., Wolf, F., & Löwel, S. (2012). Network influences on cortical plasticity. E-Neuroforum, 3, 41-48. doi:10.1007/s13295-012-0030-0.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-112D-1
Neuronal plasticity forms the basis of our lifelong ability to learn and adapt to new challenges. Plasticity in adulthood, however, is often limited and learning becomes increasingly laborious. Using a combination of behavioral tests and imaging of brain activity, we investigate in the visual system of mice how learning and plasticity change in the course of aging and after lesions and modify the structure and function of nerve cell networks. We hope that answering these key questions not only helps to understand the rules underlying brain development, functioning, and learning, but will additionally open up new avenues to develop clinically relevant concepts to promote the regeneration and rehabilitation for diseased and injured brains. Our research has revealed clear evidence for a prominent influence of long-ranging neuronal interactions on cortical function and plasticity: they play a major role for the development of functional cortical architecture, and lesions in one cortical area affect function not only in the directly injured region but also in distant regions even on the opposite brain hemisphere.