Rewiring neural interactions by micro-stimulation

James M. Rebesco, Ian H. Stevenson, Konrad P. Körding, Sara A. Solla, Lee E. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Plasticity is a crucial component of normal brain function and a critical mechanism for recovery from injury. In vitro, associative pairing of presynaptic spiking and stimulus-induced postsynaptic depolarization causes changes in the synaptic efficacy of the presynaptic neuron, when activated by extrinsic stimulation. In vivo, such paradigms can alter the responses of whole groups of neurons to stimulation. Here, we used in vivo spike-triggered stimulation to drive plastic changes in rat forelimb sensorimotor cortex, which we monitored using a statistical measure of functional connectivity inferred from the spiking statistics of the neurons during normal, spontaneous behavior. These induced plastic changes in inferred functional connectivity depended on the latency between trigger spike and stimulation, and appear to reflect a robust reorganization of the network. Such targeted connectivity changes might provide a tool for rerouting the flow of information through a network, with implications for both rehabilitation and brain-machine interface applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number39
JournalFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
StatePublished - 2010


  • Brain machine interface
  • Functional connectivity
  • Hebbian association
  • Plasticity
  • Rat
  • Sensorimotor cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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