Experience modifies central neural circuits for information processing and storage in the brain. Through synaptogenesis, un-silencing and stabilizing silent synapses, and synapse pruning, experience controls the gain and loss of functional excitatory synapses and modify the patterns of excitatory synapse connections, leading to the encoding and storage of experience in the brain. Neural activity and the synaptic molecular machinery control the temporal and spatial dynamics of the processes, and ultimately determine the outcome of experience-dependent modification of excitatory synaptic connections. My research objective is to identify, and to validate molecular factors that underlie these experience-dependent processes. How does experience shape synaptic connectivity during development in sensory cortices and which are the key molecular processes controlling plasticity? Utilizing molecular, cellular, and behavioral approaches, I aim to define the molecular and cellular events – in time and subcellular space – directing experience-dependent functional optimization of the excitatory circuit.