Cerebral Plasticity

New Perspectives

The notion that neurons in the living brain can change in response to experience—a phenomenon known as "plasticity"—has become a major conceptual issue in neuroscience research as well as a practical focus for the fields of neural rehabilitation and neurodegenerative disease. Early work dealt with the plasticity of the developing brain and demonstrated the critical role played by sensory experience in normal development. Two broader themes have emerged in recent studies: the plasticity of the adult brain (one of the most rapidly developing areas of current research) and the search for the underlying mechanisms of plasticity—explanations for the cellular, molecular, and epigenetic factors controlling plasticity. Many scientists believe that achieving a fundamental understanding of what underlies neuronal plasticity could help us treat neurological disorders and even improve the learning capabilities of the human brain.

This volume offers contributions from leaders in the field that cover all three approaches to the study of cerebral plasticity. Chapters treat normal development and the influences of environmental manipulations; cerebral plasticity in adulthood; and underlying mechanisms of plasticity. Other chapters deal with plastic changes in neurological conditions and with the enhancement of plasticity as a strategy for brain repair.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. 1. Introduction

    Nicoletta Berardi, Matteo Caleo, Lucia Galli-Resta, and Tommaso Pizzorusso

  3. 2. The Dynamic Building of the Brain

    Alessandro Sale, Laura Baroncelli, Maria Spolidoro, and Lamberto Maffei

  4. 3. The Plasticity of Retinal Ganglion Cells

    Julie L. Coombs and Leo M. Chalupa

  5. 4. Using Indelible Transgenic Markers to Identify, Analyze, and Manipulate Neuronal Subtypes: Examples from the Retina

    In-Jung Kim and Joshua R. Sanes

  6. 5. Vision-Dependent Plasticity at the Retinogeniculate Synapse

    Chinfei Chen

  7. 6. Is Half a Loaf Worse than No Bread?: The Role of Normal and Abnormal Patterns of Neuronal Activity in the Development of the Visual System

    Barbara Chapman

  8. 7. Determinants of Synaptic and Circuit Plasticity in the Cerebral Cortex: Implications for Neurodevelopmental Disorders

    Nathan R. Wilson and Mriganka Sur

  9. 8. Activity-Dependent Development of Inhibitory Synapses and Innervation Pattern in the Visual Cortex: From BDNF to GABA Signaling

    James MacAllister

  10. 9. Molecular Factors Controlling Inhibitory Circuit Maturation and Onset of Critical Period Plasticity: Implications for Developmental Diseases

    Graziella Di Cristo and Bidisha Chattopadhyaya

  11. 10. Neuron-Astrocyte Partnership in Brain Function and Dysfunction

    Giorgio Carmignoto and Marta Gomez-Gonzalo

  12. 11. A Thorny Question: The Role of Spine Morphogenesis in Adaptive Plasticity

    Andrew Hamilton and Karen Zito

  13. 12. The Glutamate Receptor delta2 Subunit in Cerebellar Wiring

    Piergiorgio Strata and Georgia Mandolesi

  14. 13. Cortex under Construction: Visual Experience and the Development of Direction Selectivity

    Ye Li, Stephen D. Van Hooser, Leonard E. White, and David Fitzpatrick

  15. 14. Neural Plasticity in Humans: Development of Cross-Orientation Contrast Normalization and Cross-Sensory Calibration

    M. Concetta Morrone and David C. Burr

  16. 15. The Developmental Process of Acquiring Multisensory Integration Capabilities

    Barry E. Stein, Thomas Perrault, Jr., Terrence R. Stanford, and Benjamin A. Rowland

  17. 16. Auditory Processing and Plasticity

    Josef P. Rauschecker

  18. 17. Functional Plasticity of the Auditory Cortex

    Gregg H. Recanzone

  19. 18. Modulation of Synaptic NMDA Receptors in Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons by Endogenous Dopamine

    John G. Partridge and Stefano Vicini

  20. 19. What Is Callosal Plasticity?

    Giovanni Berlucchi

  21. 20. Time Matters

    Wolf Singer

  22. 21. The Two Dorsal Visual Streams and Their Role in Perception

    Giacomo Rizzolatti, Leonardo Fogassi, and Giuseppe Luppino

  23. 22. The Tribal Networks of the Cerebral Cortex

    Nikola T. Markov, Maria-Magdolina Ercsey-Ravasz, Marie-Alice Gariel, Colette Dehay, Kenneth Knoblauch, Zoltan Toroczkai, and Henry Kennedy

  24. 23. Neurophysiological Correlates of Cortical Plasticity in the Normal and Diseased Human Brain

    Paolo Maria Rossini and Jean-Marc Melgari

  25. 24. Subcortical Contributions to Cortical Reorganization after Massive Somatosensory Deafferentation

    Alessandro Graziano and Edward G. Jones

  26. 25. Environmental Influences on Neurodegenerative Disease: The Impact of Systemic Inflammation

    V. Hugh Perry

  27. 26. Nerve Growth Factor and Alzheimer's Disease: New Twists to an Old Story

    Antonino Cattaneo

  28. 27. Neurotrophins as Regulators of Visual Cortical Plasticity

    Eero Castren and Jose; Fernando Maya Vetencourt

  29. 28. Plasticity in the Developing Brain: Functional Reorganization after Early Brain Damage

    Giovanni Cioni, Giulia D'Acunto, and Andrea Guzzetta

  30. 29. Suppression of Nogo-A to Enhance CNS Repair

    Roman Willi and Martin E. Schwab

  31. 30. New Perspectives in the Treatment of Amblyopia

    Dennis M. Levi

  32. Contributors
  33. Index
  34. Color Insert