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Neuron. 2004 Dec 16;44(6):917-23.

How monocular deprivation shifts ocular dominance in visual cortex of young mice.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Picower Center for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


We used a chronic recording method to document the kinetics of ocular dominance (OD) plasticity induced by temporary lid closure in young mice. We find that monocular deprivation (MD) induces two separate modifications: (1) rapid, deprivation-induced response depression and (2) delayed, deprivation-enabled, experience-dependent response potentiation. To gain insight into how altering retinal activity triggers these cortical responses, we compared the effects of MD by lid closure with monocular inactivation (MI) by intravitreal injection of tetrodotoxin. We find that MI fails to induce deprived-eye response depression but promotes potentiation of responses driven by the normal eye. These effects of MI in juvenile mice closely resemble the effects of MD in adult mice. Understanding how MI and MD differentially affect activity in the visual system of young mice may provide key insight into how the critical period ends.

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