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Theoretical and experimental studies of relationship between pinwheel centers and ocular dominance columns in the visual cortex.

Authors
  • Nakagama, Hayato
  • Tani, Toshiki
  • Tanaka, Shigeru
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neuroscience research
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2006
Volume
55
Issue
4
Pages
370–382
Identifiers
PMID: 16780978
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In the visual cortex, pinwheel centers, which appear as point singularities in orientation maps, are likely to be found at the centers of ocular dominance columns in normal cats and monkeys. To elucidate the mechanism underlying the geometrical relationship, we performed computer simulation based on our correlation-based self-organization model. The simulation showed that pinwheel centers tended to be located at the ocular dominance centers at higher correlations of activities between the left- and right-eye specific pathways, whereas they tended to appear along the borders of ocular dominance columns at lower correlations. This tendency was mathematically analyzed with a formula describing the condition determining the geometrical relationship between pinwheel centers and ocular dominance columns. Moreover, to examine the effect of activity correlations in the eye-specific pathways on the column formation, we conducted intrinsic signal optical imaging using normally reared cats and dark-reared cats. The between-eye activity correlation in dark-reared cats is expected to be lower than that in normal cats due to the lack of common visual input in the two eyes. The statistical analysis of experimental data showed that while more pinwheel centers tended to be located in the center subregion of ocular dominance columns than in the border subregion in the normal cats, a weak tendency in the opposite direction was found in the dark-reared cats. Based on the consistent results from the model and experiment, it is suggested that the activity correlation between the left- and right-eye specific pathways has influence on the establishment of geometrical relationship in the cortical representation between orientation preference and ocular dominance.

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