Population representation of visual information in areas V1 and V2 of amblyopic macaques

Christopher Shooner, Luke E. Hallum, Romesh D. Kumbhani, Corey M. Ziemba, Virginia Garcia-Marin, Jenna G. Kelly, Najib J. Majaj, J. Anthony Movshon, Lynne Kiorpes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Amblyopia is a developmental disorder resulting in poor vision in one eye. The mechanism by which input to the affected eye is prevented from reaching the level of awareness remains poorly understood. We recorded simultaneously from large populations of neurons in the supragranular layers of areas V1 and V2 in 6 macaques that were made amblyopic by rearing with artificial strabismus or anisometropia, and 1 normally reared control. In agreement with previous reports, we found that cortical neuronal signals driven through the amblyopic eyes were reduced, and that cortical neurons were on average more strongly driven by the non-amblyopic than by the amblyopic eyes. We analyzed multiunit recordings using standard population decoding methods, and found that visual signals from the amblyopic eye, while weakened, were not degraded enough to explain the behavioral deficits. Thus additional losses must arise in downstream processing. We tested the idea that under monocular viewing conditions, only signals from neurons dominated by - rather than driven by - the open eye might be used. This reduces the proportion of neuronal signals available from the amblyopic eye, and amplifies the interocular difference observed at the level of single neurons. We conclude that amblyopia might arise in part from degradation in the neuronal signals from the amblyopic eye, and in part from a reduction in the number of signals processed by downstream areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-67
Number of pages12
JournalVision research
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Amblyopia
  • Contrast sensitivity
  • Ocular dominance
  • Visual cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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