Inhibitory Circuits that Control Critical Period Plasticity in Developing Visual Cortex

  • Takao K. Hensch
Conference paper
Part of the Keio University International Symposia for Life Sciences and Medicine book series (KEIO, volume 11)


In the visual system, input from the two eyes is typically well balanced, but occluding one during a brief time in early life can permanently rewire the brain in favor of the other. We have found this sensitivity to emerge upon maturation of a particular class of inhibitory connection within neocortex, identifying a mechanism that triggers the “critical period” for plasticity [1].

Key words

Critical period GABA Ocular dominance 


  1. 1.
    Fagiolini M, Hensch TK (2000) Inhibitory threshold for critical-period activation in primary visual cortex. Nature 404: 183–186PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hubel DH, Wiesel TN (1962) Receptive fields, binocular interaction and functional architecture in the cat’s visual cortex. J Physiol (Lond) 160: 106–154Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takao K. Hensch
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Neuronal Circuit DevelopmentRIKEN Brain Science InstituteWako, SaitamaJapan

Personalised recommendations