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Developmentally degraded cortical temporal processing restored by training


Enduring deficits in temporal processing can be induced in the auditory cortex by rearing infant rats in the presence of low frequency–modulated noises. We found that it was possible to restore normal temporal processing, overcoming deficits induced during the critical period, by intensively training developmentally impaired animals as juveniles or young adults. Re-normalized cortical temporal response characteristics were sustained long after training cessation.

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Figure 1: Learning a temporal rate–discrimination task.
Figure 2: Cortical temporal responses for different groups of rats.


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We thank C.E. Schreiner, C.M. Niell, L. Wilbrecht, M.P. Stryker, R.C. Froemke and T. Babcock for helpful comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by US National Institutes of Health grants MH77970 and NS34835, the Sandler Fund, the Coleman Fund, the Shanghai Rising-Star Program (05QMX1420) and matching fund from the East China Normal University.

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X.Z. conducted the experiments. X.Z. and M.M.M. designed the experiments, analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Xiaoming Zhou.

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Zhou, X., Merzenich, M. Developmentally degraded cortical temporal processing restored by training. Nat Neurosci 12, 26–28 (2009).

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