Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

ON and OFF activity gradients in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat: A combined 14C 2-deoxyglucose and D, L-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid study

  • G. A. Thurlow (a1), D. B. Bowling (a1) and R. M. Cooper (a1)

Experiments on the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the cat based on 14C 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) autoradiography and intraocular injections of 2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid (APB) provided evidence for gradients of metabolic activity in the ON and OFF pathways in layer A, but only very weakly, if at all, in layer Al. Alert and freely moving cats were exposed to square-wave gratings over a 45-min period after injection of the 2-DG. When one eye had been treated previously with APB, contralateral layer A showed a clear gradient of 2-DG label indicating that the remaining OFF pathway was most active ventrally in the layer and, by implication, that the ON pathway is normally most active dorsally. No gradient was apparent in layer Al ipsilateral to the APB eye. Control experiments based on binocular injections of tetrodotoxin (TTX) demonstrated that no gradients were present in the baseline activity within the layers. Finally, monocular injections of TTX provided evidence for gradients of nondominant eye activity in layers A and Al that were maximal near the interlaminar zone between layers A and A1 and declined in mirror-symmetric fashion toward the dorsal border of A and the ventral border of A1.

Combined with earlier anatomical studies showing depth-dependent patterns of geniculo-cortical projection, these results indicate that in the cat, as in several other species, the visual input to striate cortex is partly organized around ON and OFF pathways. In addition, the results suggest that a systematic variation of binocular interaction, perhaps related to ocular dominance, exists through the depths of the geniculate layers. Understanding how the ON and OFF pathways, and binocular interactions, are organized in the thalamus may provide insight into the functional merging of these systems in the cortex.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

D.B. Bowling & E. Wieniawa-Narkiewicz (1986). The distribution of ON- and OFF-centre X- and Y-like cells in the A layers of the cat's lateral geniculate nucleus. Journal of Physiology 375, 561572.

D.B. Bowling & E. Wieniawa-Narkiewicz (1987). Differences in the amplitude of X-cell responses as a function of depth in layer A of lateral geniculate nucleus in cat. Journal of Physiology 390, 201212.

D.B. Bowling (1989). Evidence for sublaminar organization of the cells of origin of the geniculo-striate pathway in the cat: A novel method for cortical deposition of HRP. Brain Research 502, 180186.

D.B. Bowling & J.I. Caverhill (1989). ON/OFF organization in the cat lateral geniculate nucleus: Sublaminae vs. columns. Journal of Comparative Neurology 283, 161168.

R.W. Guillery (1966). A study of Golgi preparations from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of the adult cat. Journal of Comparative Neurology 128, 2150.

A.L. Humphrey , M. Sur , D.J. Uhlrich & S.M. Sherman (1985). Projection patterns of individual X- and Y-cell axons from the lateral geniculate nucleus to cortical area 17 in the cat. Journal of Comparative Neurology 233, 159189.

S. LeVay & S.K. McConnell (1982). ON and OFF layers in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the mink. Nature 300, 350351.

S.K. McConnell & S. LeVay (1986). Anatomical organization of the visual system of the mink (Mustela vison). Journal of Comparative Neurology 250, 109132.

T.T. Norton , G. Rager & R. Kretz (1985). ON and OFF regions in layer IV of striate cortex. Brain Research 327, 319323.

P.H. Schiller , J.H. Sandell & J.H.R. Maunsell (1986). Functions of the ON and OFF channels of the visual system. Nature 322, 824825.

P.H. Schiller (1992). The ON and OFF channels in the visual system. Trends in Neuroscience 15, 8692.

M.M. Slaughter & R.F. Miller (1981). 2-Amino-4-phosphobutyric acid: A new pharmacological tool for retinal research. Science 211, 182185.

M. Wong-Riley & D.A. Riley (1983). The effect of impulse blockage on cytochrome oxidase activity in the cat visual system. Brain Research 261, 185193.

J.T. Xue , A.S. Ramoa , T. Carney & R.D. Freeman (1987). Binocular interaction in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat. Experimental Brain Research 68, 305310.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Visual Neuroscience
  • ISSN: 0952-5238
  • EISSN: 1469-8714
  • URL: /core/journals/visual-neuroscience
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 3 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 76 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 27th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.