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Learning and neural plasticity in the adult visual system


Rainer,  G
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Rainer, G., Lee W, Jagadeesh B, Grill-Spector K, Fine I, Huxlin, K., & Easton, A. (2004). Learning and neural plasticity in the adult visual system. Talk presented at 34th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2004). San Diego, CA, USA.

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This minisymposium will provide an overview of recent advances in our understanding of the extent to which neural plasticity modifies processing of information in the adult visual system. Wu Li and Bharathi Jagadeesh will describe recent insights into the effects of plasticity on the activity of single neurons in early and high-level visual cortices, while Kalanit Grill-Spector will describe learning-related changes in large scale networks studied using functional imaging. Ione Fine and Krystel Huxlin will focus on the role of neural plasticity in the recovery of visual functions after deprivation or damage, and finally Alexander Easton will describe the role of the cholinergic system in visual learning. We aim to provide a multidisciplinary perspective that describes how neural plasticity can aid recovery of visual function, and summarizes the associated mechanisms at the level of single neurons and brain networks. Our minisymposium will provide some timely insights into the mechanisms, function and limits of neural plasticity in the adult visual system. These insights are critical to the planning of the next generation of studies designed to provide further answers to the questions: how do we see and how can we see better?