The present study shows that in the whisker-to-barrel pathway of adult mice surgical removal of three whisker follicles leads to the expansion of the functional cortical representation of the whiskers adjacent to the lesion into the deprived barrels within 8 months. Concomitant with this enlargement there is an increase in follicular innervation of the corresponding whiskers. This reorganization of the peripheral innervation may be important for the observed reshaping of cortical somatotopy.

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