Rapid plasticity of binocular connections in developing monkey visual cortex (V1)
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The basic sets of cortical connections are present at birth in the primate visual system. The maintenance and refinement of these innate connections are highly dependent on normal visual experience, and prolonged exposure to binocularly uncorrelated signals early in life severely disrupts the normal development of binocular functions. However, very little is known about how rapidly these changes in the functional organization of primate visual cortex emerge or what are the sequence and the nature of the abnormal neural events that occur immediately after experiencing binocular decorrelation. In this study, we investigated how brief periods of ocular misalignment (strabismus) at the height of the critical period alter the cortical circuits that support binocular vision. After only 3 days of optically imposed strabismus, there was a striking increase in the prevalence of V1 neurons that exhibited binocular suppression, i.e., binocular responses were weaker than monocular responses. However, the sensitivity of these neurons to interocular spatial phase disparity was not significantly altered. These contrasting results suggest that the first significant change in V1 caused by early binocular decorrelation is binocular suppression, and that this suppression originates at a site(s) beyond where binocular signals are initially combined.
interocular suppression, long-range interactions, macaque monkeys, strabismus
Zhang, Bin; Bi, Hua; Sakai, Eiichi; Maruko, Ichiro; Zheng, Jianghe; Smith, Earl L. III; and Chino, Yuzo M., "Rapid plasticity of binocular connections in developing monkey visual cortex (V1)" (2005). Faculty Articles. 8.