1932

Abstract

Unimodal sensory loss leads to structural and functional changes in both deprived and nondeprived brain circuits. This process is broadly known as cross-modal plasticity. The evidence available indicates that cross-modal changes underlie the enhanced performances of the spared sensory modalities in deprived subjects. Sensory experience is a fundamental driver of cross-modal plasticity, yet there is evidence from early–visually deprived models supporting an additional role for experience-independent factors. These experience-independent factors are expected to act early in development and constrain neuronal plasticity at later stages. Here we review the cross-modal adaptations elicited by congenital or induced visual deprivation prior to vision. In most of these studies, cross-modal adaptations have been addressed at the structural and functional levels. Here, we also appraise recent data regarding behavioral performance in early–visually deprived models. However, further research is needed to explore how circuit reorganization affects their function and what brings about enhanced behavioral performance.

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2022-07-08
2024-06-16
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