Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neuron. 2005 Mar 24;45(6):941-51.

Functional imaging reveals rapid development of visual response properties in the zebrafish tectum.

Author information

  • 1Neutosciences Program, Department of Molecular and Cell Physiology, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


The visual pathway from the retina to the optic tectum in fish and frogs has long been studied as a model for neural circuit formation. Although morphological aspects, such as axonal and dendritic arborization, have been well characterized, less is known about how this translates into functional properties of tectal neurons during development. We developed a system to provide controlled visual stimuli to larval zebrafish, while performing two-photon imaging of tectal neurons loaded with a fluorescent calcium indicator, allowing us to determine visual response properties in intact fish. In relatively mature larvae, we describe receptive field sizes, visual topography, and direction and size selectivity. We also characterize the onset and development of visual responses, beginning when retinal axons first arborize in the tectum. Surprisingly, most of these properties are established soon after dendrite growth and synaptogenesis begin and do not require patterned visual experience or a protracted period of refinement.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk