IMR Press / FBL / Volume 13 / Issue 9 / DOI: 10.2741/2933

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Binocular phasic coactivation does not prevent ocular dominance segregation
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1 Laboratory of Cortical function and dynamics, Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt
2 Neurophysiology, MaxPlanck-Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt, Germany
3 Institute of General Zoology and Animal Physiology, FriedrichSchiller-Universitaet, Jena, Germany

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Jochen Graw

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2008, 13(9), 3381–3390;
Published: 1 May 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of vision and cognition)

The segregation of geniculo-cortical afferents into ocular dominance columns is an activity-dependent process. It was hypothesized that this process is susceptible to the temporal patterning of the retinal input. Accordingly, asynchronous activation of the two eyes should enhance ocular dominance segregation but synchronous activation should decrease or prevent it. In order to test the second part of the hypothesis, kitten were raised in strobe light which phasically coactivated the retinal inputs during 10 microsecond flashes at 8Hz. Strobe rearing prevents retinal motion signals but allows vision of stationary contours. At the age of 10-14 weeks, ocular dominance columns were labeled either transneuronally by [3H]-proline or by [14C]-2-deoxyglucose autoradiography. Contrary to the hypothesis, ocular dominance columns were very well segregated and the pattern closely resembled the pattern observed in squinting cats. We conlude that the light flashes were sufficient to enable binocular competition and that ocular dominance segregation was supported by the mismatch of the stationary contours. Our result thus emphasizes a feature-selective mechanism over mere global temporal patterning of retinal signals.

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