More Responsive to Stimuli When Inhibited

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Science  02 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5620, pp. 697
DOI: 10.1126/science.300.5620.697n

The decline of cortical functions with age occurs not only in humans, but also in monkeys. Degradation of intracortical inhibition may underlie these declines. Leventhal et al. (p. 812; see the news story by Miller) tested this hypothesis by applying either GABA or GABA receptor agonists directly upon neurons in the primary visual cortex of old macaque monkeys. This treatment improved orientation and direction selectivity to visual stimuli in neurons of aged monkeys, but not in those of young ones.

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