Innate and environmental factors in the development of the kitten's visual cortex

J Physiol. 1975 Jul;248(3):663-716. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1975.sp010995.


1. This is a study of the receptive fields of 771 cells recorded in the visual cortex of twenty-five kittens reared normally or subjected to various kinds of visual deprivation or environmental manipulation. 2. Kittens deprived of patterned visual experience, by dark rearing or diffuse occlusion of the eyes, have a majority of cirtical neurones with little or no specificity for the orientation or axis of movement of visual stimuli. However, in such deprived animals, especially those younger than 3 weeks, there are a number of genuinely orientation selective cells. They are broadly "turned" (by adult standards), they are almost always of the simple type, are heavily dominated by one eye, and are found mainly in the deeper layers of the cortex, especially layer IV. 3...

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Environment, Controlled
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Sensory Deprivation*
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Cortex / growth & development*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology