Rapid adult experience-dependent anatomical plasticity in layer IV of primary somatosensory cortex

Lily S. Chau, Omar Akhtar, Vijay Mohan, Athanasios Kondilis, Roberto Galvez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sensory deprivation, such as whisker deprivation, is one of the most common paradigms used to examine experience-dependent plasticity. Many of these studies conducted during development have demonstrated anatomical and synaptic neocortical plasticity with varying lengths of deprivation (for review, see Holtmaat and Svoboda, 2009). However, to date, there have been few studies exploring brief periods of experience-dependent neocortical plasticity in adulthood, similar to that observed from learning and memory paradigms (Siucinska and Kossut, 1996, 2004; Galvez et al., 2006; Chau et al., 2013). Examining both synapsin I and Golgi-Cox stained neurons in primary somatosensory cortex of unilaterally whisker-deprived adult mice, the current study demonstrates that 5 days of whisker deprivation results in more synapses in spared barrels and reduced synapses in deprived barrels. To our knowledge, this is the first study to characterize anatomical changes in layer IV of primary somatosensory cortex after a brief period of sensory deprivation in adulthood. Furthermore, findings from the present study suggest that analyses from prolonged periods of either sensory deprivation or stimulation during adulthood are missing forms of plasticity that could provide better insight into various cognitive processes, such as learning and memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Jan 16 2014


  • Barrel cortex
  • Deprivation
  • Golgi-cox
  • Synapsin I
  • Whisker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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