Effects of different forms of monocular deprivation on primary visual cortex maps
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 August 2012
Monocular deprivation (MD) by lid suture is one of the classic paradigms for the study of developmental plasticity in the cerebral cortex, and we have detailed knowledge of its anatomical and physiological consequences as well as underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms. However, the effects of other forms of manipulating visual input through one eye on the functional architecture of the primary visual cortex (V1) have not yet been examined directly. We compared MD by lid suture with the effects of daily monocular lens wear using either a frosted lens or a neutral density (ND) filter. We used optical imaging of intrinsic signals and visually evoked potentials (VEPs) to assess responses in V1 to monocular stimulation. We found that loss of stimulus contrast through monocular frosted lens wear resulted in marked takeover of cortical territory by the nondeprived eye (NDE) similar to that caused by classic MD, and in virtual absence of orientation-selective responses following stimulation of the deprived eye (DE). Furthermore, amplitudes of VEPs in response to gratings of a range of spatial frequencies were significantly reduced in the DE compared to the NDE. In contrast, differences in luminance between two eyes caused by an ND filter in front of one eye did not affect ocular dominance and orientation maps, and there was no significant difference in the amplitude of VEPs elicited through the two eyes. Our results are consistent with previous electrophysiological studies in demonstrating that binocular pattern information is necessary to maintain normal functional maps in both eyes, while reduced luminance in one eye has little effect on the overall functional architecture and visual responses in V1.
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