Interhemispheric transfer of plasticity in the cerebral cortex
Each half of the body surface is represented topographically in the contralateral cerebral hemisphere. Physiological data are presented showing that homotopic regions of primary somatosensory cortex are linked such that plasticity induced in one hemisphere, in the form of receptive field expansion brough about by a small peripheral denervation, is immediately mirrored in the other hemisphere. Neurons which display the plasticity show no responsiveness to stimulation of the ipsilateral body surface. This suggests that the pathways and mechanisms mediating this transfer are specific to the role of maintaining balance, or integration, between corresponding cortical fields.