Effects of experimental strabismus on the architecture of macaque monkey striate cortex

Suzanne B. Fenstemaker, Lynne Kiorpes, J. Anthony Movshon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Strabismus, a misalignment of the eyes, results in a loss of binocular visual function in humans. The effects are similar in monkeys, where a loss of binocular convergence onto single cortical neurons is always found. Changes in the anatomical organization of primary visual cortex (V1) may be associated with these physiological deficits, yet few have been reported. We examined the distributions of several anatomical markers in V1 of two experimentally strabismic Macaca nemestrina monkeys. Staining patterns in tangential sections were related to the ocular dominance (OD) column structure as deduced from cytochrome oxidase (CO) staining. CO staining appears roughly normal in the superficial layers, but in layer 4C, one eye's columns were pale. Thin, dark stripes falling near OD column borders are evident in Nissl-stained sections in all layers and in immunoreactivity for calbindin, especially in layers 3 and 4B. The monoclonal antibody SMI32, which labels a neurofilament protein found in pyramidal cells, is reduced in one eye's columns and absent at OD column borders. The pale SMI32 columns are those that are dark with CO in layer 4. Gallyas staining for myelin reveals thin stripes through layers 2-5; the dark stripes fall at OD column centers. All these changes appear to be related to the loss of binocularity in cortical neurons, which has its most profound effects near OD column borders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-317
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 24 2001


  • Cytochrome oxidase
  • Ocular dominance
  • Visual cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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