NMDA receptor-dependent ocular dominance plasticity in adult visual cortex

Neuron. 2003 Jun 19;38(6):977-85. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(03)00323-4.


The binocular region of mouse visual cortex is strongly dominated by inputs from the contralateral eye. Here we show in adult mice that depriving the dominant contralateral eye of vision leads to a persistent, NMDA receptor-dependent enhancement of the weak ipsilateral-eye inputs. These data provide in vivo evidence for metaplasticity as a mechanism for binocular competition and demonstrate that an ocular dominance shift can occur solely by the mechanisms of response enhancement. They also show that adult mouse visual cortex has a far greater potential for experience-dependent plasticity than previously appreciated. These insights may force a revision in how data on ocular dominance plasticity in mutant mice have been interpreted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Dominance, Ocular / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials
  • Integrases / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / deficiency
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / genetics
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / physiology*
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Vision, Monocular
  • Visual Cortex / growth & development
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*


  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Viral Proteins
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases