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Retinocollicular mapping explained?



We review and comment on the recent model of Grimbert and Cang of the development of topographically ordered maps from the retina to the superior colliculus. This model posits a phase in which arbors are created in zones permitted by Eph and ephrin signaling, followed by a phase in which activity-dependent synaptic plasticity refines the map. We show that it is not possible to generate the arborization probability functions used in the simulations of Grimbert and Cang using gradients of Ephs and ephrins and the interaction mechanism that Grimbert and Cang propose in their results. Furthermore, the arborization probabilities we do generate are far less sharp than we imagine truly “permissive” ones would be. It remains to be seen if maps can be generated from the nonpermissive arborization probabilities generated from gradients.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence to: David C. Sterratt, Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB, UK. E-mail:


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Retinocollicular mapping explained?



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