Critical period revisited: impact on vision

Hirofumi Morishita, Takao K. Hensch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

250 Scopus citations


Neural circuits are shaped by experience in early postnatal life. The permanent loss of visual acuity (amblyopia) and anatomical remodeling within primary visual cortex following monocular deprivation is a classic example of critical period development from mouse to man. Recent work in rodents reveals a residual subthreshold potentiation of open eye response throughout life. Resetting excitatory-inhibitory balance or removing molecular 'brakes' on structural plasticity may unmask the potential for recovery of function in adulthood. Novel pharmacological or environmental interventions now hold great therapeutic promise based on a deeper understanding of critical period mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-107
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


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