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CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF NEUROSCIENCE REVIEW: Development and Plasticity of the Auditory Cortex

  • Jun Yan (a1)

The functions of the cerebral cortex are predominantly established during the critical period of development. One obvious developmental feature is its division into different functional areas that systematically represent different environmental information. This is the result of interactions between intrinsic (genetic) factors and extrinsic (environmental) factors. Following this critical period, the cerebral cortex attains its adult form but it will continue to adapt to environmental changes. Thus, the cerebral cortex is constantly adapting to the environment (plasticity) from its embryonic stages to the last minute of life. This review details important factors that contribute to the development and plasticity of the auditory cortex. The instructive role of thalamocortical innervation, the regulatory role of cholinergic projection of the basal forebrain and the potential role of the corticofugal modulation are presented.


Les fonctions du cortex cérébral sont établies en grande partie pendant une période critique du développement. Sa division en différentes zones fonctionnelles, qui représentent systématiquement différentes informations environnementales, résulte d’interactions entre des facteurs intrinsèques (génétiques) et des facteurs extrinsèques (environnementaux). Après cette période critique, le cortex cérébral atteint sa forme adulte. Il va cependant continuer à s’adapter aux changements environnementaux. Ainsi, le cortex cérébral est en adaptation constante à l’environnement (la plasticité), de la phase embryonnaire jusqu’aux derniers instants de la vie. Cette revue décrit en détail les facteurs importants qui contribuent au développement et à la plasticité du cortex auditif. Le rôle informatif de l’innervation thalamocorticale, le rôle régulateur des projections cholinergiques du cerveau antérieur et le rôle potentiel de la modulation corticofuge sont présentés.

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