Development of precise maps in visual cortex requires patterned spontaneous activity in the retina

Jianhua Cang, René C. Rentería, Megumi Kaneko, Xiaorong Liu, David R. Copenhagen, Michael P. Stryker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


The visual cortex is organized into retinotopic maps that preserve an orderly representation of the visual world, achieved by topographically precise inputs from the lateral geniculate nucleus. We show here that geniculocortical mapping is imprecise when the waves of spontaneous activity in the retina during the first postnatal week are disrupted genetically. This anatomical mapping defect is present by postnatal day 8 and has functional consequences, as revealed by optical imaging and microelectrode recording in adults. Pharmacological disruption of these retinal waves during the first week phenocopies the mapping defect, confirming both the site and the timing of the disruption in neural activity responsible for the defect. Analysis shows that the geniculocortical miswiring is not a trivial or necessary consequence of the retinogeniculate defect. Our findings demonstrate that disrupting early spontaneous activity in the eye alters thalamic connections to the cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-809
Number of pages13
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 8 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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