Articles

A physiological basis for a theory of synapse modification

Science  03 Jul 1987:
Vol. 237, Issue 4810, pp. 42-48
DOI: 10.1126/science.3037696

Abstract

The functional organization of the cerebral cortex is modified dramatically by sensory experience during early postnatal life. The basis for these modifications is a type of synaptic plasticity that may also contribute to some forms of adult learning. The question of how synapses modify according to experience has been approached by determining theoretically what is required of a modification mechanism to account for the available experimental data in the developing visual cortex. The resulting theory states precisely how certain variables might influence synaptic modifications. This insight has led to the development of a biologically plausible molecular model for synapse modification in the cerebral cortex.

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