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      Neuromodulation of associative and organizational plasticity across the life span: empirical evidence and neurocomputational modeling.

      Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
      Animals, Behavior, physiology, Brain, cytology, Computer Simulation, Humans, Learning, Models, Neurological, Neuronal Plasticity, Neurotransmitter Agents, metabolism

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          Abstract

          Developmental plasticity is the key mechanism that allows humans and other organisms to modify and adapt to contextual and experiential influences. Thus, reciprocal co-constructive interactions between behavioral and neuronal plasticity play important roles in regulating neurobehavioral development across the life span. This review focuses on behavioral and neuronal evidence of lifespan differences in associative memory plasticity and plasticity of the functional organization of cognitive and cortical processes, as well as the role of the dopaminergic system in modulating such plasticity. Special attention is given to neurocomputational models that help exploring lifespan differences in neuromodulation of neuronal and behavioral plasticity. Simulation results from these models suggest that lifespan changes in the efficacy of neuromodulatory mechanisms may shape associative memory plasticity and the functional organization of neurocognitive processes by affecting the fidelity of neuronal signal transmission, which has consequences for the distinctiveness of neurocognitive representations and the efficacy of distributed neural coding.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          16930705
          10.1016/j.neubiorev.2006.06.004

          Chemistry
          Animals,Behavior,physiology,Brain,cytology,Computer Simulation,Humans,Learning,Models, Neurological,Neuronal Plasticity,Neurotransmitter Agents,metabolism

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