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Critical Period-Like Plasticity in the Adult Brain, Eero Castren, MD/PhD
October 6, 2016 @ 1:25 pm - 1:50 pm
Eero Castren, MD/PhD, Director, Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki, Finland —
Experience-driven neuronal plasticity shapes neuronal networks during development, but plasticity is reduced in adult brain after the closure of early postnatal critical periods. We have found that pharmacological treatment with the antidepressant fluoxetine reactivates a critical period-like plasticity in the adult rodent brain. When this drug treatment is combined with environmental experiences or rehabilitation, plastic networks can be precisely tuned towards more optimal functionality. Our current research is elucidating the mechanisms behind this adult-induced plasticity, focusing especially on the role of Brain-derived neurotrophic factor BDNF.