Early monocular defocus disrupts the normal development of receptive-field structure in V2 neurons of macaque monkeys
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Experiencing different quality images in the two eyes soon after birth can cause amblyopia, a developmental vision disorder. Amblyopic humans show the reduced capacity for judging the relative position of a visual target in reference to nearby stimulus elements (position uncertainty) and often experience visual image distortion. Although abnormal pooling of local stimulus information by neurons beyond striate cortex (V1) is often suggested as a neural basis of these deficits, extrastriate neurons in the amblyopic brain have rarely been studied using microelectrode recording methods. The receptive field (RF) of neurons in visual area V2 in normal monkeys is made up of multiple subfields that are thought to reflect V1 inputs and are capable of encoding the spatial relationship between local stimulus features. We created primate models of anisometropic amblyopia and analyzed the RF subfield maps for multiple nearby V2 neurons of anesthetized monkeys by using dynamic two-dimensional noise stimuli and reverse correlation methods. Unlike in normal monkeys, the subfield maps of V2 neurons in amblyopic monkeys were severely disorganized: subfield maps showed higher heterogeneity within each neuron as well as across nearby neurons. Amblyopic V2 neurons exhibited robust binocular suppression and the strength of the suppression was positively correlated with the degree of hereogeneity and the severity of amblyopia in individual monkeys. Our results suggest that the disorganized subfield maps and robust binocular suppression of amblyopic V2 neurons are likely to adversely affect the higher stages of cortical processing resulting in position uncertainty and image distortion.
V2, amblyopia, macaque monkey, receptive-field structure
Tao, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Bin; Shen, Guofu; Wensveen, Janice M.; Smith, Earl L. III; Nishimoto, Shinji; Ohzawa, Izumi; and Chino, Yuzo M., "Early monocular defocus disrupts the normal development of receptive-field structure in V2 neurons of macaque monkeys" (2014). Faculty Articles. 28.