Activity-dependent development of visual receptive fields

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2017 Feb;42:136-143. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2016.12.007. Epub 2017 Jan 11.


It is widely appreciated that neuronal activity contributes to the development of brain representations of the external world. In the visual system, in particular, it is well known that activity cooperates with molecular cues to establish the topographic organization of visual maps on a macroscopic scale [1,2] (Huberman et al., 2008; Cang and Feldheim, 2013), mapping axons in a retinotopic and eye-specific manner. In recent years, significant progress has been made in elucidating the role of activity in driving the finer-scale circuit refinement that shapes the receptive fields of individual cells. In this review, we focus on these recent breakthroughs-primarily in mice, but also in other mammals where noted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Cues
  • Retina / physiology
  • Visual Fields / genetics
  • Visual Fields / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology