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Mechanisms of neural plasticity enable the encoding and memorization of information based on sensory inputs and can be harnessed to partially restore function after CNS assault such as stroke or head trauma. In the present book, experts from the field of visual system plasticity describe and evaluate the evidence for neural mechanisms proposed to underlie CNS plasticity in the major divisions of the brain dedicated to visual processing, the retina, sub-cortical structures and cortex. We present studies from a wide variety of disciplines that range from molecular biology to neurophysiology and computer modeling. Leading investigators discuss their own work, and integrate this research with colleagues from other specializations. The book points out future applications for this research including clinical uses and engineering within the biomedical sciences. This book is an exciting and thought provoking read for all levels of science enthusiast interested in the physical basis of learning and cognition.
Introduction: Plasticity in the Visual System: From Genes to Circuits.- Part I Retinal and Thalamic Plasticity: Synaptic Plasticity and Structural Remodeling of Rod and Cone Cells.- Retinal Remodeling: Circuitry Revisions Triggered by Photoreceptor Degeneration.- Retinal Plasticity and Interactive Cellular Remodeling in Retinal Detachment and Reattachment.- Experience-Dependent Retinal Circuit Rewiring: Involvement of Immediate Early Genes.- Attentional Activation of Cortico-Thalamic Pathways Revealed by Fos Imaging.- Part II Cortical Plasticity: Neuromodulatory Transmitters in Sensory Processing and Plasticity in the Primary Visual Cortex.- Critical Calcium-Regulated Biochemical and Gene Expression Programs in Experience-Dependent Plasticity.- The Molecular Biology of Sensory Map Plasticity in Adult Mammals. Plasticity of Retinotopic Maps in Visual Cortex of Cats and Monkeys After Lesions of the Retinas or Primary Visual Cortex.- Intra-Cortical Inhibition in the Regulation of Receptive Field Properties and Neural Plasticity in the Primary Visual Cortex.- Plasticity in V1 Induced by Perceptual Learning.- Investigating Higher Order Cognitive Functions in the Dorsal (Magnocellular) Stream of Visual Processing.- Dopamine-Dependent Associative Learning of Workload Predicting Cues in the Temporal Lobe of the Monkey.- Part III Theoretical Considerations: Linking Visual Development and Learning to Information Processing: Pre-attentive and Attentive Brain Dynamics.- Conclusion: A Unified Theoretical Framework for Plasticity in Visual Circuitry.
From the reviews: "Plasticity in the Visual System is a compilation of work of renowned scientists into the neural mechanisms that underlie plasticity of the visual system. ! The book will be appealing to neuroscientists interested in plasticity in general and particularly to those interested in the visual system. The book is also accessible to graduate students in neuroscience and offers not only a wealth of information regarding visual system plasticity and mechanisms, but also furnishes interesting new lines of research." (Maurice Ptito, The Lancet Neurology, Vol. 5, July, 2006) "An update of recent developments trying to integrate the molecular basis of visual plasticity with changes in neuronal activity and morphology. ! The book appears to be primarily written for graduate students and visual neuroscientists, including perceptual psychologists and computational modelers, who use different approaches to tackle the problem of brain plasticity, using the visual system as a model. ! is a useful complement for the neuroradiology audience because it provides insight on molecular mechanisms that underlie plasticity at different levels of the visual pathway." (American Journal of Neuroradiology, January, 2007)