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date: 11 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The mouse barrel cortex is discussed in this chapter as a model system for the studies of cortical somatosensory map formation and developmental plasticity. The critical period plasticity in this system underscores the importance of sensory periphery in patterning of parietal cortical zone allocated to the representation of the somatosensory space. Findings from recent studies show that intrinsic cortical molecular mechanisms set up the positioning, location, and amount of space devoted to the somatosensory cortex, and neural activity involving glutamatergic and serotonergic systems pattern the somatosensory map. The molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the plasticity of the cortical somatosensory map are not fully understood. Signals transmitted from the sensory periphery or brain stem most likely set the parameters of cortical plasticity during development.

Keywords: cortical somatosensory, development plasticity, sensory periphery, parietal cortical zone, somatosensory space, glutamatergic systems, serotonergic systems

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