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Ontogenesis of receptive field characteristics in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of the rabbit

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The responses of rabbit dorsal lateral geniculate neurons to light or optic nerve shock were tested for 415 units in 43 rabbit pups 2–20 days of age. Units were driven by optic nerve shock at the youngest ages tested, but could not be driven by light until postnatal day six. Examples of each of the three prominent categories of receptive fields found in the adult were first observed at 8 days of age. Cells with receptive field properties not characteristic of the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of the adult were encountered until 17 days of age. The percentage of neurons with uniform and motion sensitive receptive fields approached adult levels soon after eye opening (11–12 days) but the percentage of cells with concentric receptive fields showed a steady increase throughout the neonatal period studied. The relevance of our data to the development of the visual response in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus and striate cortex is discussed.

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Rapisardi, S.C., Chow, K.L. & Mathers, L.H. Ontogenesis of receptive field characteristics in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of the rabbit. Exp Brain Res 22, 295–305 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00234771

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Key words

  • Dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus
  • Receptive field
  • Development
  • Single units
  • Rabbit