The Neocortex pp 219-227 | Cite as

Visual Responses of Neurons in Somatosensory Cortex of Hamsters with Experimentally Induced Retinal Projections to Somatosensory Thalamus

  • Christine Métin
  • Douglas O. Frost
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 200)


In thalamic nuclei and cortical areas of the visual and somatosensory systems, information about peripheral stimuli is abstracted by single neurons that respond preferentially to particular values of one or more stimulus parameters. To what extent is information processing in the two systems similar and how do these systems differentiate during ontogeny? To study these questions, we exploited the fact that in newborn hamsters, retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons can be surgically induced to form permanent, retinotopic projections to the primary somatosensory (ventrobasal, VB) thalamic nucleus (Campbell and Frost, 1988; Frost, 1981; 1982; 1986; Frost and Metin, 1985). We made neurophysiological recordings from single neurons in the principal targets of VB, the first and second somatosensory cortices (SI and SII, respectively), of neona-tally operated, adult hamsters. We quantitatively compared the visually evoked responses of these neurons with those of single neurons in the primary visual cortex (VI, area 17) of normal, adult hamsters. We found that in operated hamsters, SI/SII neurons normally associated with somatic sensation have visual response properties that resemble those of neurons in VI of normal animals.


Retinal Ganglion Cell Superior Colliculus Somatosensory Cortex Thalamic Nucleus Retinal Projection 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Métin
    • 1
  • Douglas O. Frost
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire des Neurosciences de la VisionUniversité de ParisParisFrance
  2. 2.Dept. of NeurologyMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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