"Cross-modal cortical plasticity"
Hey-Kyoung Lee, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University
Abstract. It is well documented that loss of a sensory modality leads to adaptation of the remaining senses. While such cross-modal plasticity is largely beneficial in terms of compensating for the lost sense, extensive cross-modal changes hinder recovery of a lost sense by clinical interventions. We found that visual deprivation leads to alterations in excitatory synaptic transmission not only in the primary visual cortex, but also in other primary sensory cortices. Furthermore, a brief duration of visual deprivation even in adults leads to potentiation of thalamocortical synapses in the primary auditory cortex. This suggests that loss of vision can have wide spread effect across sensory cortices, which may enhance the functionality of the remaining senses. Our results can be generalized to elucidate how neurons globally adjust to insults to other parts of the brain, such as would occur during neural injury, stroke and neurodegeneration.
Please join us and the speaker at 11:45 before the talk for refreshments outside in the courtyard above Clark Auditorium
Host: Lu Chen