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Article Summary

Title : Development of orientation selectivity in the primary visual cortex of normally and dark reared kittens. I. Kinetics
Authors : Yves Frégnac
Year : 1979
Journal : Biol Cybern
Volume : 34
Pages : 187-93


Kinetics of the development of orientation tuning are inferred from quantitative analysis of extracellular recordings in the primary visual cortex of normally and dark reared kittens. 712 visual cells were classified in three functional groups: a) non-specific cells, and b) immature cells which are not as orientation selective as c) specific cells. Power regression and covariance analysis indicate that the "critical period" begins before 19 days and that the kinetics of the immature pool are the same in both rearing conditions. A catenary process of development of orientation selectivity is proposed, the immature compartment being a transit pool between non-specific and specific cells. Two sequential stages occur: 1) the realisation of an intrinsic programme of maturation, by which cortical specificity appears at eye opening and increases independently of visual experience 2) a phase of "epigenesis" beginning at 19 days, during which functional modification depends on visual experience.