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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2015, Article ID 465345, 6 pages
Review Article

Social Experience-Dependent Myelination: An Implication for Psychiatric Disorders

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Nara Medical University, 840 Shijo-cho Kashihara, Nara 634-8522, Japan

Received 24 February 2015; Revised 5 May 2015; Accepted 6 May 2015

Academic Editor: Lucas Pozzo-Miller

Copyright © 2015 Michihiro Toritsuka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Myelination is one of the strategies to promote the conduction velocity of axons in order to adjust to evolving environment in vertebrates. It has been shown that myelin formation depends on genetic programing and experience, including multiple factors, intracellular and extracellular molecules, and neuronal activities. Recently, accumulating studies have shown that myelination in the central nervous system changes more dynamically in response to neuronal activities and experience than expected. Among experiences, social experience-dependent myelination draws attention as one of the critical pathobiologies of psychiatric disorders. In this review, we summarize the mechanisms of neuronal activity-dependent and social experience-dependent myelination and discuss the contribution of social experience-dependent myelination to the pathology of psychiatric disorders.