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Nature. 1987 Mar 12-18;326(6109):183-5.

Ketamine-xylazine anaesthesia blocks consolidation of ocular dominance changes in kitten visual cortex.


In the visual cortex of mammals, response properties of single neurons can be changed by restricted visual experience during early postnatal development. Covering one eye for four to eight hours when kittens are at the peak of the sensitive period is sufficient to weaken the influence of the occluded eye on cortical neurons resulting in a noticeable shift of ocular dominance towards the open eye. The underlying changes in synaptic connections do not occur so readily when a kitten is anaesthetized and paralysed. We report here that an ocular dominance shift is prevented in alert kittens that receive repeated brief monocular exposures when these are followed by ketamine-xylazine anaesthesia. This retrograde effect on cortical plasticity suggests that the process by which synaptic activity is converted into structural changes has been disturbed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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