Neuronal plasticity of the haptic system

  • Christoph Braun


To survive in a continuously changing environment either as individual or species, organisms need to adapt. Since environmental changes occur on different time scales ranging from milliseconds to hundreds of centuries, nature provides an arsenal of different mechanisms and strategies of adaptation. Immediate adaptations are necessary in life-threatening situations. Alternatively, changes in climate, food availability, and the appearance of competitors and predators alter an individual’s behaviour, and might, on a longer timescale, even shape organisms across generations. Adaptation of the latter type occurs mainly on an evolutionary basis, which acts on genetic information. In contrast, adaptation referring to changes in individual’s behaviour is realised by learning which is mediated on a neuronal level.


Functional Organisation Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Neuronal Plasticity Plastic Change Cortical Representation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Selected readings

  1. Feldman DE, Brecht M (2005) Map plasticity in somatosensory cortex. Science 310: 810PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Flor H, Nikolajsen L, Staehelin Jensen T (2006) Phantom limb pain: a case of maladaptive CNS plasticity? Nature Rev Neurosci 7: 873CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kandel ER, Schwartz JH, Jessel TM (2000) Principles of Neural Science (4th ed). Appleton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Schaechter JD, Moore CI, Connell BD, Rosen BR, Dijkhuizen RM (2006) Structural and functional plasticity in the somatosensory cortex of chronic stroke patients. Brain 129: 2722–2733PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Stavrinou ML, Della Penna S, Pizzella V, Torquati K, Cianflone F, Franciotti R, Bezerianos A, Romani GL, Rossini PM (2007) Temporal dynamics of plastic changes in human primary somatosensory cortex after finger webbing. Cereb Cortex 17: 2134–2142PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Braun
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioural NeurobiologyUniversity of TübingenGermany
  2. 2.MEG-CentreUniversity of TübingenGermany
  3. 3.Center for Mind/Brain SciencesUniversity of TrentoItaly

Personalised recommendations