Somatotopic maps in the mature brain reorganize in response to deafferentation by peripheral nerve cut, amputations, or spinal lesions. Mechanisms underlying these changes may range from altered tonic inhibition and synaptic efficacy to neuronal sprouting. An understanding of these mechanisms could guide interventions that potentiate recovery from such injuries. © 1998 Int. Union Physiol. Sci./Am.Physiol. Soc.