Author(s): Wall PD
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Abstract In this paper, we shall show that there are substantial numbers of nerve terminals which are normally ineffective. In the intact animal, occasional signs of the postsynaptic effectiveness of these fibres can be seen under conditions of optimal spatial summation or increased excitability or decreased inhibition. If the normally functioning afferent nerve fibres are blocked or cut, some of the previously ineffective fibres immediately establish an effective drive of cells. If the normal afferents are cut and allowed to degenerate, large numbers of cells begin to respond to new inputs. The presence of ineffective synapses in the adult offers an alternative to sprouting or the opening up of polysynaptic pathways as a possible mechanism to explain plasticity of connections in adult brains.
This article was published in Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation