Synaptic competition in the kitten's visual cortex

C. Blakemore, R. C. Van Sluyters, J. Anthony Movshon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Almost all visual cortical neurons of kittens with one eyelid sutured during the sensitive period, from natural eye opening through 4 months of age, become responsive only to the unsutured (open) eye. During the same period, resuturing the previously open eye and opening the previously sutured eye results in rapid reversal of ocular dominance, so that almost all the neurons quickly become responsive only to the newly open eye. The resuturing effect on ocular dominance requires only a few days. Beyond the sensitive period, resuturing has little effect on ocular dominance. Patterns of binocular orientation preference and the group of columnar pattern of change of ocular dominance suggest that the change in ocular dominance following resuturing may represent reactivation of 'silent synapses' by some mechanisms similar to the original development of stimulus specificity in neonatal kittens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSymposia on Quantitative Biology
Number of pages9
VolumeVol. 40
StatePublished - 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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