Martha Constantine-Paton

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Martha Constantine-Paton is a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and a professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Prior to joining MIT in 1999 she held faculty appointments at Yale and Princeton. She is an expert on synaptic plasticity and brain development, particularly visual development. She is known for her studies on three-eyed frogs, a demonstration of neural plasticity in which a third eye grafted into a developing tadpole produces a pattern of overlapping connections that resemble mammalian ocular dominance columns.[1] Using this system, she and her colleagues demonstrated the importance of NMDA receptors in development plasticity.[2] She currently studies the molecular mechanisms that underlie the brain’s response to visual experience. Her work is also relevant to understanding the mechanisms of schizophrenia and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease).[3]


  1. ^ Eye-specific termination bands in tecta of three-eyed frogs. Constantine-Paton M, Law MI. Science. 1978 Nov 10;202(4368):639-41.
  2. ^ N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist desegregates eye-specific stripes. Cline HT, Debski EA, Constantine-Paton M. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 Jun;84(12):4342-5.
  3. ^ Neonatal neuronal circuitry shows hyperexcitable disturbance in a mouse model of the adult-onset neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. van Zundert B, Peuscher MH, Hynynen M, Chen A, Neve RL, Brown RH Jr, Constantine-Paton M, Bellingham MC. J Neurosci. 2008 Oct 22;28(43):10864-74.

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