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J Comp Neurol. 2014 Oct 1;522(14):3208-28. doi: 10.1002/cne.23591. Epub 2014 May 5.

Developmental remodeling of corticocortical feedback circuits in ferret visual cortex.

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Department of Biology MR526, City College of New York, New York, New York; Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York, New York.


Visual cortical areas in the mammalian brain are linked through a system of interareal feedforward and feedback connections, which presumably underlie different visual functions. We characterized the refinement of feedback projections to primary visual cortex (V1) from multiple sources in juvenile ferrets ranging in age from 4-10 weeks postnatal. We studied whether the refinement of different aspects of feedback circuitry from multiple visual cortical areas proceeds at a similar rate in all areas. We injected the neuronal tracer cholera toxin B (CTb) into V1 and mapped the areal and laminar distribution of retrogradely labeled cells in extrastriate cortex. Around the time of eye opening at 4 weeks postnatal, the retinotopic arrangement of feedback appears essentially adult-like; however, suprasylvian cortex supplies the greatest proportion of feedback, whereas area 18 supplies the greatest proportion in the adult. The density of feedback cells and the ratio of supragranular/infragranular feedback contribution declined in this period at a similar rate in all cortical areas. We also found significant feedback to V1 from layer IV of all extrastriate areas. The regularity of cell spacing, the proportion of feedback arising from layer IV, and the tangential extent of feedback in each area all remained essentially unchanged during this period, except for the infragranular feedback source in area 18, which expanded. Thus, while much of the basic pattern of cortical feedback to V1 is present before eye opening, there is major synchronous reorganization after eye opening, suggesting a crucial role for visual experience in this remodeling process.


RRID: AB_10013220; RRID: nif-0000-10294; RRID: nlx_153890; V1; extrastriate; feedback projections; neuroanatomy; visual development

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