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Article Summary

Title : The period of susceptibility of visual cortical binocularity to unilateral proprioceptive deafferentation of extraocular muscles
Authors : Yves Trotter, Yves Frégnac and P Buisseret
Year : 1987
Journal : J Neurophysiol
Volume : 58
Pages : 795-815


1. The electrophysiological effects of section of extraocular muscle proprioceptive afferents have been investigated in kitten area 17. Extraocular proprioceptive afferents were interrupted by cutting the ophthalmic branch of the fifth trigeminal nerve (V1 nerve) unilaterally in 15 normally reared kittens (NR) between 3 and 12 wk postnatal, in 3 NR adult cats, and in 7 dark-reared (DR) kittens at 6 wk postnatal. Bilateral sections of the V1 nerve were performed in two kittens at 6 wk postnatal. NR kittens were maintained in a normal environment after the section. DR kittens were returned to the darkroom until the recording session. Receptive-field properties of area 17 neurons were studied after a postsurgical delay of 4-7 wk in most NR kittens and of 4 days to 5 wk in DR kittens. In one NR kitten and in the operated adult cats, the delay was 1-2.5 yr. This study is based on a total sample of 1,190 visual cortical units. 2. When performed in NR kittens between 4 and 8 wk of age, the unilateral section of extraocular proprioceptive afferents significantly reduced the proportion of binocular cells: 1 mo after the section of the V1 nerve, half of the visual cortical cells were monocularly activated. A similar reduction in the proportion of binocular cells was also observed in DR kittens operated at 6 wk of age and then maintained in the dark for 5-7 wk. In contrast to the unilateral section, the bilateral section of the V1 nerve performed in 6-wk-old NR kittens did not disrupt cortical binocularity. 3. In 10 of the 22 kittens that had undergone unilateral sections, there was a strong asymmetry in the ocular dominance distribution in favor of one eye. This asymmetry was not related to the side of the section and was the same in both hemispheres for a given kitten. 4. The postsurgical delay played an important role in the appearance of the cortical deficit: binocularity loss was not found within the week following the section but was present 1 mo after the section. This functional impairment appeared to be permanent, since it was still observed 2.5 yr after the section. 5. Cortical cells were classified in two ways on the basis of their receptive-field organization: 1) into S- or C-types (38, 73), and 2) into small area slow (SAS), large area slow (LAS), or Fast (F)-types (42, 57).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)