Michael Merzenich

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Autism is a severe neurobehavioral syndrome, arising largely as an inherited disorder, which can arise from several diseases. Despite recent advances in identifying some genes that can cause autism, its underlying neurological mechanisms are uncertain. Autism is best conceptualized by considering the neural systems that may be defective in autistic(More)
Previous studies have shown that the tonotopic organization of primary auditory cortex is altered subsequent to restricted cochlear lesions (Robertson and Irvine, 1989) and that the topographic reorganization of the primary somatosensory cortex is correlated with changes in the perceptual acuity of the animal (Recanzone et al., 1992a-d). Here we report an(More)
This study was undertaken to document plastic changes in the functional topography of primary motor cortex (M1) that are generated in motor skill learning in the normal, intact primate. Intracortical microstimulation mapping techniques were used to derive detailed maps of the representation of movements in the distal forelimb zone of M1 of squirrel monkeys,(More)
It has been clear for almost two decades that cortical representations in adult animals are not fixed entities, but rather, are dynamic and are continuously modified by experience. The cortex can preferentially allocate area to represent the particular peripheral input sources that are proportionally most used. Alterations in cortical representations appear(More)
A speech processing algorithm was developed to create more salient versions of the rapidly changing elements in the acoustic waveform of speech that have been shown to be deficiently processed by language-learning impaired (LLI) children. LLI children received extensive daily training, over a 4-week period, with listening exercises in which all speech was(More)
The direction of frequency-modulated (FM) sweeps is an important temporal cue in animal and human communication. FM direction-selective neurons are found in the primary auditory cortex (A1), but their topography and the mechanisms underlying their selectivity remain largely unknown. Here we report that in the rat A1, direction selectivity is topographically(More)
Little is known about the mechanisms that allow the cortex to selectively improve the neural representations of behaviorally important stimuli while ignoring irrelevant stimuli. Diffuse neuromodulatory systems may facilitate cortical plasticity by acting as teachers to mark important stimuli. This study demonstrates that episodic electrical stimulation of(More)
Speech comprehension depends on the integrity of both the spectral content and temporal envelope of the speech signal. Although neural processing underlying spectral analysis has been intensively studied, less is known about the processing of temporal information. Most of speech information conveyed by the temporal envelope is confined to frequencies below(More)
Children with language-based learning impairments (LLIs) have major deficits in their recognition of some rapidly successive phonetic elements and nonspeech sound stimuli. In the current study, LLI children were engaged in adaptive training exercises mounted as computer "games" designed to drive improvements in their "temporal processing" skills. With 8 to(More)
The brain's cerebral cortex decomposes visual images into information about oriented edges, direction and velocity information, and color. How does the cortex decompose perceived sounds? A reverse correlation technique demonstrates that neurons in the primary auditory cortex of the awake primate have complex patterns of sound-feature selectivity that(More)