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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Functional specificity of long-range intrinsic and interhemispheric connections in the visual cortex of strabismic cats.

The development of both long-range intracortical and interhemispheric connections depends on visual experience. Previous experiments showed that in strabismic but not in normal cats, clustered horizontal axon projections preferentially connect cell groups activated by the same eye. This indicates that there is selective stabilization of fibers between neurons exhibiting correlated activity. Extending these experiments, we investigated in strabismic cats: (1) whether tangential connections remain confined to columns of similar orientation preference within the subsystems of left and right eye domains; and (2) whether callosal connections also extend predominantly between neurons activated by the same eye and preferring similar orientations. To this end, we analyzed in strabismic cats the topographic relationships between orientation preference domains and both intrinsic and callosal connections of area 17. Red and green latex microspheres were injected into monocular iso-orientation domains identified by optical imaging of intrinsic signals. Additionally, domains sharing the ocular dominance and orientation preference of the neurons at the injection sites were visualized by 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) autoradiography. Quantitative analysis revealed that 56% of the retrogradely labeled cells within the injected area 17 and 60% of the transcallosally labeled neurons were located in the 2-DG-labeled iso-orientation domains. This indicates: (1) that strabismus does not interfere with the tendency of long-range horizontal fibers to link predominantly neurons of similar orientation preference; and (2) that the selection mechanisms for the stabilization of callosal connections are similar to those that are responsible for the specification of the tangential intrinsic connections.[1]


  1. Functional specificity of long-range intrinsic and interhemispheric connections in the visual cortex of strabismic cats. Schmidt, K.E., Kim, D.S., Singer, W., Bonhoeffer, T., Löwel, S. J. Neurosci. (1997) [Pubmed]
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