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Plasticity in somatic receptive fields after nerve injury 

Plasticity in somatic receptive fields after nerve injury
Chapter:
Plasticity in somatic receptive fields after nerve injury
Author(s):

Stephen R. Humble

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198834359.003.0023
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date: 01 December 2020

Devor and Wall, in a pioneering electrophysiological study, examined the change in somatic receptive fields in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord after nerve injury. Rather than the anticipated loss of an area of electrophysiological perception, the system demonstrated ‘plasticity’ whereby novel receptive fields, remote to the corresponding area of damage, were evident. The authors postulated that this neuroplasticity occurred via a hitherto undefined spinal mechanism, which lead to an explosion of interest and research to elucidate the mechanisms of central plasticity. In this truly landmark paper, the idea of the nervous system being an inherently ‘hard-wired’ structure was made redundant and the concept of neuroplasticity was given robust form.

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