Focal optogenetic stimulation strengthens functional connectivity between primary somatosensory and motor cortices in macaques, in a manner consistent with a Hebbian model of stimulus-driven plasticity.
Teaching signals from "tutor" brain areas should be adapted to the plasticity mechanisms in "student" areas to achieve efficient learning in two-stage systems such as the vocal control circuit of the songbird.
Physiological and behavioral analyses show that expression of cerebellar whisker learning can be mediated by increased simple spike activity, depending on LTP induction at parallel fiber to Purkinje cell synapses.
By demonstrating song learning-related synaptic strengthening and pruning in the vocal control circuits of songbirds, and showing how such changes can reduce the sensitivity of the circuit to ‘noisy’ inputs, a simple neural circuit mechanism for regulating motor variability during motor skill learning is identified.
The brain continues to represent individual fingers in primary somatosensory cortex decades after the amputation of a hand, indicating that cortical maps do not require ongoing sensory input from the body.
M2 cortex-dorsolateral striatum circuit is functionally altered in Huntington's disease and, by boosting its activity, we reverse symptoms at behavioral, physiological, and morphological level in symptomatic mice.