Immediate thalamic sensory plasticity depends on corticothalamic feedback

D. J. Krupa, A. A. Ghazanfar, M. A.L. Nicolelis

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179 Scopus citations


Multiple neuron ensemble recordings were obtained simultaneously from both the primary somatosensory (SI) cortex and the ventroposterior medial thalamus (VPM) before and during the combined administration of reversible inactivation of the SI cortex and a reversible subcutaneous block of peripheral trigeminal nerve fibers. This procedure was performed to quantify the contribution of descending corticofugal projections on (i) the normal organization of thalamic somatosensory receptive fields and (ii) the thalamic somatosensory plastic reorganization that immediately follows a peripheral deafferentation. Reversible inactivation of SI cortex resulted in immediate changes in receptive field properties throughout the VPM. Cortical inactivation also significantly reduced but did not completely eliminate the occurrence of VPM receptive field reorganization resulting from the reversible peripheral deafferentation. This result suggests that the thalamic plasticity that is seen immediately after a peripheral deafferentation is dependent upon both descending corticofugal projections and ascending trigeminothalamic projections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8200-8205
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 6 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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