Cortical activity blockade prevents ocular dominance plasticity in the kitten visual cortex

Exp Brain Res. 1986;65(1):182-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00243841.


Recordings from single units in kitten primary visual cortex show that a reversible blockade of the discharge activities of cortical neurons and geniculocortical afferent terminals by intracortical infusion of the sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX) completely prevented the ocular dominance shift that would normally be seen after monocular deprivation. The blockade of cortical plasticity, like the blockade of discharge activity, was reversible, and plasticity was restored following recovery from the effects of TTX. These results extend previous work suggesting involvement of electrical activity at the level of the cortex in the phenomenon of cortical plasticity by demonstrating an absolute requirement for discharge activities in the primary visual cortex.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Cell Count
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Ocular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Tetrodotoxin / pharmacology*
  • Visual Cortex / drug effects
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology*


  • Tetrodotoxin