Activity-dependent competition is thought to guide the normal development of specific patterns of neural connections. Such competition generally favors more active inputs, making them larger and stronger, while less active inputs become smaller and weaker. We pharmacologically inhibited the activity of visual cortical cells and measured the three-dimensional structure of inputs serving the two eyes when one eye was occluded. The more active inputs serving the open eye actually became smaller than the deprived inputs from the occluded eye, which were similar to those in normal animals. These findings demonstrate in vivo that it is not the amount of afferent activity but the correlation between cortical and afferent activity that regulates the growth or retraction of these inputs.