Transient period of correlated bursting activity during development of the mammalian retina

Neuron. 1993 Nov;11(5):923-38. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(93)90122-8.


The refinement of early connections in the visual pathway requires electrical activity in the retina before the onset of vision. Using a multielectrode array, we have shown that the spontaneous activity of cells in the neonatal ferret retina is correlated by patterns of periodically generated traveling waves. Here, we examine developmental changes in the characteristics of the waves and show that retinal ganglion cells participate in these patterns of activity, which are seen during the same period as synaptic modification in the lateral geniculate nucleus; that the waves subside gradually as the connectivity in the lateral geniculate nucleus stabilizes; and that their spatial structure allows for refinement of the retinotopic map, as well as for eye-specific segregation in the lateral geniculate nucleus.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Electrophysiology
  • Ferrets
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / growth & development
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology
  • Time Factors