Advertisement

Learning to See: Mechanisms in Experience-dependent Development

  • W. Singer
Part of the Dahlem Workshop Reports book series (DAHLEM, volume 29)

Abstract

Data are reviewed which suggest the following conclusions:
  1. 1)

    Neuronal activity is an important shaping factor in the self-organization of the developing nervous system.

     
  2. 2)

    Postnatal signals from sensory surfaces modulate neuronal activity and hence interfere with the self-organizing processes.

     
  3. 3)

    In the mammalian visual cortex these experience-dependent modifications are restricted to a critical period of postnatal development.

     
  4. 4)

    The rules which determine the direction of an activity-dependent change of neuronal connectivity resemble those postulated by Hebb for adaptive synaptic connections: Whether a connection is strengthened or weakened depends on the correlation between pre-and postsynaptic activity.

     
  5. 5)

    For a change to occur it is a prerequisite that the postsynaptic neuron is active. Hence, only sensory patterns capable of activating cortical neurons can induce modifications.

     
  6. 6)

    In addition to appropriate senory activity, internally generated permissive gating signals are necessary to permit experience-dependent modification. Thus, whether a change can occur in response to sensory stimulation does depend on the central state of the nervous system.

     
  7. 7)

    Stimulation conditions suitable for inducing long-term modifications are associated with an entry of Ca++-ions into intracellular compartments, suggesting the possibility that Ca++-ions serve as a trigger signal for the processes which cause long-term modifications of excitatory transmission. It is proposed that the experience-dependent modifications of neuronal interactions have an associative function and serve to assemble neurons according to functional criteria. The resulting selective interactions are thought to be the prerequisite for the development of cooperatively-coupled neuron assemblies.

     

Keywords

Visual Cortex Receptive Field Cortical Cell Visual Experience Striate Cortex 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. (1).
    Bear, M.F.; Paradiso, M.A.; and Daniels, J.D. 1982. Visual cortical plasticity: deficit after acute, but not chronic, noradrenergic denervation with 6-hydroxydopamine. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 8: 4.Google Scholar
  2. (2).
    Blakemore, C., and Cooper, G.F. 1970. Development of the brain depends on the visual environment. Nature 228: 477–478.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. (3).
    Blakemore, C., and Van Sluyters, R.C. 1974. Experimental analysis of amblyopia and strabismus. Brit. J. Ophthal. 58: 176–182.Google Scholar
  4. (4).
    Blakemore, C.; Van Sluyters, R.C.; Peck, C.K.; and Hein, A. 1975. Development of cat visual cortex following rotation of one eye. Nature 257: 584–586.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. (5).
    Buisseret, P.; Gary-Bobo, E.; and Imbert, M. 1978. Ocular motility and recovery of orientational properties of visual cortical neurones in dark-reared kittens. Nature 272: 816–817.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. (6).
    Buisseret, P., and Singer, W. 1983. Proprioceptive signals from extraocular muscles gate experience dependent modifications of receptive fields in the kitten visual cortex. Exp. Brain Res. 51: 443–450.Google Scholar
  7. (7).
    Changeux, J.-P., and Danchin, A. 1976. Selective stabilization of developing synapse as a mechanism for the specification of neuronal networks. Nature 264: 705–712.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. (8).
    Cynader, M. 1977. Extension of the critical period in cat visual cortex. Paper presented to the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Sarasota, Florida.Google Scholar
  9. (9).
    Freeman, R.D., and Bonds, A.B. 1979. Cortical plasticity in monocularly deprived immobilized kittens depends on eye movement. Science 206: 1093–1095.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Geiger, H., and Singer, W. 1982. The role of Ca++-ions in developmental plasticity of cat striate cortex. Int. I. Dev. Neurosci. Suppl. R328.Google Scholar
  11. (11).
    Hebb, D.O. 1949. The Organization of Behaviour. New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  12. (12).
    Hirsch, H.V.B., and Spinelli, D.N. 1970. Visual experience modifies distribution of horizontally and vertically oriented receptive fields in cats. Science 168: 869–871.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. (13).
    Hubel, D.H. 1960. Single unit activity in lateral geniculate body and optic tract of unrestrained cats. J. Physiol. (Long.) 150: 91–104.Google Scholar
  14. (14).
    Hubel, D.H., and Wiesel, T.N. 1962. Receptive fields, binocular interaction and functional architecture in the cat’s visual cortex. J. Physiol. (tond.) 160: 106–154.Google Scholar
  15. (15).
    Hubel, D.H., and Wiesel, T.N. 1963. Receptive field of cells in striate cortex of very young, visually inexperienced kittens. J. Neurophysiol. 26: 994–1002.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. (16).
    Hubel, D.H., and Wiesel, T.N. 1965. Binocular interaction in striate cortex of kittens reared with artificial squint. J. Neurophysiol. 28: 1041–1059.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. (17).
    Hubel, D.H., and Wiesel, T.N. 1974. Uniformity of monkey striate cortex: A parallel relationship between field size, scatter and magnification factor. J. Comp. Neurol. 158: 295–306.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. (18).
    Hubel, D.H.; Wiesel, T.N.; and LeVay, S. 1977. Plasticity of ocular dominance columns in monkey striate cortex. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 278: 377–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. (19).
    Hubel, D.H.; Wiesel, T.N.; and Stryker, M.P. 1978. Anatomical demonstration of orientation columns in macaque monkey. J. Comp. Neurol. 177: 361–380.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. (20).
    Imbert, M., and Buisseret, P. 1975. Receptive field characteristics and plastic properties of visual cortical cells in kittens reared with or without visual experience. Exp. Brain Res. 22: 25–36.Google Scholar
  21. Jansen, J.K.S., and Lomo, T. 1981. Development of neuromuscular connections. Trends Neurosci. July: 178–181.Google Scholar
  22. (22).
    Kasamatsu, T., and Pettigrew, J.D. 1979. Preservation of binocularity after monocular deprivation in the striate cortex of kittens treated with 6-hydroxydopamine. J. Comp. Neurol. 185: 139–162.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. (23).
    Kasamatsu, T.; Pettigrew, J.D.; and Ary, M. 1979. Restoration of visual cortical plasticity by local microperfusion of norepinephrine. J. Comp. Neurol. 185: 163–181.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. (24).
    Keating, M.J. 1976. The formation of visual neuronal connections: An appraisal of the present status of the theory of “neuronal specificity”. Stud. Dev. Behay. Nerv. Syst. 3: 59–110.Google Scholar
  25. (25).
    Minas, R. 1979. The role of calcium in neuronal function. In The Neurosciences, Fourth Study Program, eds. F.O. Schmitt and F.G. Worden, pp. 555–571. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  26. (26).
    Mariani, J., and Changeux, J.-P. 1981. Ontogenesis of olivocerebral relationships II. Spontaneous activity of inferior olivery neurons and climbing fiber mediated activity of cerebellar purkinje cells in developing rats. J. Neurosci. 1: 703–709.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. (27).
    Meyer, R.L. 1982. Tetrodotoxin blocks the formation of ocular dominance columns in goldfish. Science 218: 589–591.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. (28).
    Movshon, J.A., and Van Sluyters, R. 1981. Visual neural development. Ann. Rev. Psychol. 32: 477–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. (29).
    Rakic, P. 1977. Prenatal development of the visual system in the rhesus monkey. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 278: 245–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. (30).
    Rauschecker, J.P., and Singer, W. 1979. Changes in the circuitry of the kitten visual cortex are gated by postsynaptic activity. Nature 280: 58–60.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. (31).
    Rauschecker, J.P., and Singer, W. 1981. The effects of early visual experience on the cat’s visual cortex and their possible explanation by Hebb synapses. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 310: 215–239.Google Scholar
  32. (32).
    Singer, W. 1977. Control of thalamic transmission by corticofugal and ascending reticular pathways in the visual system. Physiol. Rev. 57: 386–420.Google Scholar
  33. (33).
    Singer, W. 1979. Central-core control of visual cortex functions. In The Neurosciences, Fourth Study Program, eds. F.O. Schmitt and F.G. Worden, pp. 1093–1109. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  34. (34).
    Singer, W. 1982. Central core control of developmental plasticity in the kitten visual cortex: I. Diencephalic lesions. Exp. Brain Res. 47: 209–222.Google Scholar
  35. (35).
    Singer, W.; Freeman, B.; and Rauschecker, J. 1981. Restriction of visual experience to a single orientation affects the organization or orientation columns in cat visual vortex: A study with Deoxyglucose. Exp. Brain Res. 41: 199–215.Google Scholar
  36. (36).
    Singer, W., and Rauschecker, J. 1982. Central core control of developmental plasticity in the kitten visual cortex: II. Electrical activation of mesencephalic and diencephalic projections. Exp. Brain Res. 47: 223–233.Google Scholar
  37. (37).
    Singer, W.; Rauschecker, J.; and Werth, R. 1977. The effect of monocular exposure to temporal contrasts on ocular dominance in kittens. Brain Res. 134: 568–572.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Singer, W., and Tretter, F. 1976. Unusually large receptive fields in cats with restricted visual experience. Exp. Brain Res. 26: 171184.Google Scholar
  39. (39).
    Singer, W.; Tretter, F.; and Yinon, U. 1982. Central gating of developmental plasticity in kitten visual cortex. J. Physiol. 324: 221–237.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. (40).
    Steriade, M. 1981. Mechanisms underlying cortical activation: Neuronal organization and properties of the midbrain reticular core and intralaminar thalamic nuclei. In Brain Mechanisms and Perceptual Awareness, eds. O. Pompeiano and C. Ajmone Marsan, pp. 327–377. New York: Raven Press.Google Scholar
  41. (41).
    Stryker, M.P. 1981. Late segregation of geniculate afferents to the cat visual cortex after recovery from binocular impulse blockade. Neurosci. Abstr. 7: 842.Google Scholar
  42. (42).
    Trotter, Y.; Gary-Bobo, E.; and Buisseret, P. 1981. Recovery of orientation selectivity in kitten primary visual cortex is slowed down by bilateral section of ophthalmic trigeminal effects. Dev. Brain Res. 1: 450–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. (43).
    Wiesel, T.N., and Hubel, D.H. 1965. Comparison of the effects of unilateral and bilateral eye closure on cortical unit responses in kittens. J. Neurophysiol. 28: 1029–1040.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Wiesel, T.N., and Hubel, D.H. 1965. Extent of recovery from the effects of visual deprivation in kittens. J. Neurophysiol. 28: 1060–1072.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. (45).
    Wurtz, R.H.; Goldberg, M.E.; and Robinson, D.L. 1980. Behavioral modulation of visual response in the monkey: stimulus selection for attention and movement. Progr. Psychobiol. Physiol. Psychol. 9: 43–83.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Berlin, Heildelberg, New York, Tokyo: Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Singer
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für HirnforschungFrankfurt/Main 71F.R. Germany

Personalised recommendations