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Abstract #2144

The Role of Cortico-Cortical Connections in Intercortical Plasticity Following Peripheral Nerve Injury

Chuang K, Pelled G, Dodd S, Koretsky A
National Institute of Health

Peripheral nerve injury has been demonstrated previously to cause remarkable brain organization in the somatosensory area in humans and animal models. The sciatic and saphanous nerve deafferentiation model was applied in rats, in order to investigate the contribution of the cortico-cortical connections to brain reorganization. Using fMRI, we observed that following the injury, the deprived somatosensory cortical region of the hindpaw representation was occupied by the ipsi-lateral, healthy, hindpaw. Furthermore, cortical lesioning of the healthy somatosensory area abolished the bilateral activation of the somatosensory cortex, suggesting, that the reorganization of the deprived cortical region was mediated through the inter-hemispheric connections.