Creation of direction selectivity in adult strobe-reared cats

T. Pasternak, J. Anthony Movshon, W. H. Merigant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Animals raised in a stroboscopically illuminated environment have deficits in several visual functions, including visuo-motor integration, discrimination learning and spatial contrast sensitivity. Moreover, recordings from the visual pathways of strobe-reared animals show severe functional abnormalities, including greatly reduced selectivity for orientation and for directional motion in neurones of the visual cortex and superior colliculus. Subsequent normal visual experience improves cortical orientation selectivity, but does not alter the neural deficit in direction selectivity. As the motion-analysing capacities of strobe-reared animals have not been studied, we examined the ability of strobe-reared cats to discriminate stationary from moving patterns. We report here that the cats detected motion in the direction for which they had originally been trained much better than motion in other directions. In recordings from striate cortex in these animals, orientation and direction-selective neurones were encountered with a frequency much higher than that seen in strobe-reared cats not trained in motion discrimination, and comparable with that in normal cats. Moreover, the distribution of the preferred directions of these neurones was sharply biased towards the direction first seen in training. We conclude that there exists an extended period of cortical plasticity in strobe-reared animals, which, in contrast to that previously reported, includes plasticity of direction selectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-836
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume292
Issue number5826
StatePublished - 1981

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Cats
Visual Cortex
Neurons
Discrimination Learning
Contrast Sensitivity
Aptitude
Visual Pathways
Superior Colliculi
Direction compound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Pasternak, T., Movshon, J. A., & Merigant, W. H. (1981). Creation of direction selectivity in adult strobe-reared cats. Nature, 292(5826), 834-836.

Creation of direction selectivity in adult strobe-reared cats. / Pasternak, T.; Movshon, J. Anthony; Merigant, W. H.

In: Nature, Vol. 292, No. 5826, 1981, p. 834-836.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pasternak, T, Movshon, JA & Merigant, WH 1981, 'Creation of direction selectivity in adult strobe-reared cats', Nature, vol. 292, no. 5826, pp. 834-836.
Pasternak T, Movshon JA, Merigant WH. Creation of direction selectivity in adult strobe-reared cats. Nature. 1981;292(5826):834-836.
Pasternak, T. ; Movshon, J. Anthony ; Merigant, W. H. / Creation of direction selectivity in adult strobe-reared cats. In: Nature. 1981 ; Vol. 292, No. 5826. pp. 834-836.
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