Modern Psychological Studies
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Experience shapes neural circuits in the brain. This review explores current research in neuroscience on experience-dependent synapse formation in mice. Studies using the chessboard trimming paradigm are analyzed to provide information on the effects of partial versus complete deprivation. The resulting formation of transient spines and new persistent spines indicates the impact experience has on shaping neural pathways. Research on long-term sensory deprivation in the adolescent and adult somatosensory cortex indicates that once brain pathways are established in adulthood, they are difficult to change. Together these findings are applied to the questions presented in the literature of developmental psychopathology, such as the implications of spine growth and elimination in Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder. Future research is limited by the ethical concerns of imaging dendritic spines in humans; however, the findings outlined in this review hold speculative results for experience-dependent synapse formation in humans.
BF1 .M63 v. 16 no. 2 2011
Lawson, Monica and Upchurch, Meg
"Experience-dependent synapse formation and implications for developmental psychopathology,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 16
, Article 10.
Available at: http://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol16/iss2/10