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Thalamic control of Neuroplasticity

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SENSORTHALAMUS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: CALLE SERRANO 117
city: MADRID
postcode: 28006

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Spain [ES]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙966˙770 €
 EC max contribution 1˙966˙770 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-07-01   to  2020-06-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

The cerebral cortex is organized into highly specialized sensory areas. Thus, it is fundamental to understand how these areas acquire and maintain their identity and functional organization. Challenging normal brain development and forcing the brain to the limits of plasticity, offers us the possibility to shed light on these issues. Accordingly, we shall use prenatal sensory deprivation as a model to understand the mechanisms underlying early neuroplasticity, events that could influence the natural organization of sensory cortical areas. Early sensory deprivation produces profound changes in the cortex, provoking the reorganization of both the deprived and the spared cortical territories. Classically, this adaptation is thought to require sensory experience from the intact sensory modalities. However, our recent data from embryonic deprived mice challenge this view, suggesting that a component independent of experience contributes to this reorganization and that the thalamus plays a pivotal role in these events. Hence, we now propose to adopt multidisciplinary and innovative approaches to characterize the structural, genetic and functional rearrangements in the thalamus following embryonic sensory deprivation, and to define the factors and mechanisms that drive cortical specificity. Experimental results from sensory deprived animals in which the thalamus and gene expression is manipulated in vivo, will be integrated to explain when and how neuroplastic cortical adaptations are triggered in the deprived brain. To further understand the rewiring capacity of thalamic neurons and their potential role in sensory restoration, we will adopt a high-risk, high-gain approach to reprogramme nuclei specific thalamic neurons. The novel information obtained will establish how sensory inputs and thalamocortical connections govern cortical activity and architecture, ultimately sculpting perceptual behaviour.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Henrik Gezelius, Verónica Moreno-Juan, Cecilia Mezzera, Sudhir Thakurela, Luis Miguel Rodríguez-Malmierca, Jelena Pistolic, Vladimir Benes, Vijay K. Tiwari, Guillermina López-Bendito
Genetic Labeling of Nuclei-Specific Thalamocortical Neurons Reveals Putative Sensory-Modality Specific Genes
published pages: , ISSN: 1047-3211, DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhw290
Cerebral Cortex 2020-04-24
2017 Henrik Gezelius, Guillermina López-Bendito
Thalamic neuronal specification and early circuit formation
published pages: 830-843, ISSN: 1932-8451, DOI: 10.1002/dneu.22460
Developmental Neurobiology 77/7 2020-04-24
2019 Martina Riva, Ioana Genescu, Chloé Habermacher, David Orduz, Fanny Ledonne, Filippo M Rijli, Guillermina López-Bendito, Eva Coppola, Sonia Garel, Maria Cecilia Angulo, Alessandra Pierani
Activity-dependent death of transient Cajal-Retzius neurons is required for functional cortical wiring
published pages: , ISSN: 2050-084X, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.50503
eLife 8 2020-04-24
2016 Gezelius H, López-Bendito G.
Thalamic neuronal specification and early circuit formation.
published pages: , ISSN: 1932-8451, DOI:
Developmental Neurobiology 2020-04-01
2016 Gezelius H, Moreno-Juan V, Mezzera C, Thakurela S, Rodríguez-Malmierca LM, Pistolic J, Benes V, Tiwari VK, López-Bendito G.
Genetic Labeling of Nuclei-Specific Thalamocortical Neurons Reveals Putative Sensory-Modality Specific Genes.
published pages: , ISSN: 1460-2199, DOI:
Cerebral Cortex 2020-04-01

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