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Receptive field characteristics and plastic properties of visual cortical cells in kittens reared with or without visual experience

, : Receptive field characteristics and plastic properties of visual cortical cells in kittens reared with or without visual experience. Experimental Brain Research 22(1): 25-36

The functional organization of visual cortical cells was studied in two groups of five week old kittens: one group normally reared, the other reared in total darkness from the third day after birth. The following results were obtained: 1. The cells of the normally reared kittens were similar to adult cells except for some aspects of immaturity. In contrast, the cells of the dark-reared kittens were totally non-specific. Their receptive field showed neither orientational nor directional properties. 2. The distribution of cells according to the ocular dominance was not different in either group and was similar to that previously described for "adult" cells. 3. A few hours of visual experience was sufficient to provide specific receptive field properties to the cortical cells of a dark-reared kitten. 4. Conditioning exposure with an oriented grating induced changes in orientational sensitivity in normally reared kittens but not in dark-reared kittens.

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Accession: 041186113

PMID: 1116499

DOI: 10.1007/bf00235409

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