Activity-dependent adaptive changes in the nervous system involve structural and functional changes in the cortical circuitry. In this work the cortical function was studied by repeated recording of the somatosensory and motor potentials evoked by whisker deflections after altered sensory-motor experience in adult mice. The latencies of motor and somatosensory evoked potentials were found to shorten, while their amplitudes decreased, after a behavioural challenge involving the vibrissal apparatus. Sensory deprivation achieved by whisker trimming resulted in a partial reversal of the changes observed after increased activity. The derived parameters imply that cortical information processing speeds up as a result of experience, while decreased activity has the opposite effect. The methods used throughout the experiment were minimally invasive, and thus proved to be sufficient for the long-term follow-up of cortical functions.
- Barrel cortex
- Evoked potential
- Experience-dependent plasticity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Environmental Science(all)