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Cerebral PlasticityNew Perspectives$
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Leo M. Chalupa, Nicoletta Berardi, Matteo Caleo, Lucia Galli-Resta, and Tommaso Pizzorusso

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015233

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015233.001.0001

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The Dynamic Building of the Brain

The Dynamic Building of the Brain

Chapter:
(p.5) 2 The Dynamic Building of the Brain
Source:
Cerebral Plasticity
Author(s):

Alessandro Sale

Laura Baroncelli

Maria Spolidoro

Lamberto Maffei

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015233.003.0002

This chapter discusses the influences of environmental enrichment (EE) on the brain. It gives an example of cross-modal plasticity by which an increased input in a single modality reverberates as a driving force for the whole brain. It shows that EE could affect the synaptic remodeling of visual cortical pyramidal neurons. This chapter reveals that the restoration of neural plasticity by EE in adulthood has a multifactorial molecular substrate, with a reduced intracortical inhibition and an enhanced neurotrophin expression. It suggests that EE emerges as an elective therapeutic strategy for the treatment of developmental disorders and degenerative diseases in which neuronal plasticity is compromised.

Keywords:   environmental enrichment, brain, cross-modal plasticity, synaptic remodeling, visual cortical pyramidal neurons, neural plasticity, developmental disorders, degenerative diseases

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