Development and Plasticity of the Visual System
Location(s): United States
This proposal starts from an appreciation of the differences between the dramatic capacity of the young mammalian brain to alter its connections and function as a result of experience and the slower and more limited plasticity in adult life, and it seeks to enhance adult plasticity. We have previously found that visual cortical responses are increased during locomotion. We will investigate the neural circuits that produce this enhancement of neural activity and will use it to increase adult plasticity. Understanding the processes responsible for brain plasticity in adult life will guide the restoration of normal functon after visual deprivation, injury, or other neurological disorders involving aberrant neuronal connections and processing, such as generalized seizures, autism and mental retardation.