Physiological studies of visual cortex reorganization following cortical deafferentation in neonatal cats

U Yinon, Rafael Shemesh, H Arda, M Rosner, P P Jaros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whether restoration takes place in the visual cortex of neonates was physiologically studied in cortical cells of cats following their deafferentation. Deafferentation was performed by a parasagittal incision made in the visual cortex, separating the medial part of it from the thalamocortical and other visual fibers. Responsiveness (percentage of responsive cells) in the middle zone (the middle sector along the cortical incision) of the deafferented region was 82.5%, compared with 91.7% in the afferented (lateral to the incision) region (p = 0.5). In comparison, the responsiveness level was 32.3 and 81.3% (p < 0.05) in the respective zones of the similarly deafferented adult controls. The ocular dominance distribution and binocularity were almost normal in the deafferented region of the neonatally operated cats, whereas binocularity was remarkably diminished in the adult controls. Recovery was also found in the specificity of the cells to orientation and direction in the neonatally operated cats, but not in the adult-operated cats. Thus, functional reorganization of the columnar organizations takes place in the neonatally deafferented but not in the adult-operated cats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1378-88
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Animals, Suckling
  • Cats
  • Denervation
  • Neuronal Plasticity/physiology
  • Visual Cortex/physiology


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