Topographic reorganization in area 18 of adult cats following circumscribed monocular retinal lesions in adolescence
Circumscribed laser lesions were made in the nasal retinae of one eye in adolescent cats. Ten to sixteen months later, about 80 % of single neurones recorded in the lesion projection zone (LPZ) of contralateral area 18 (parastriate cortex, area V2) were binocular but when stimulated via the lesioned eye had ectopic discharge fields (displaced to normal retina in the vicinity of the lesion). Although the clear majority of binocular cells recorded from the LPZ responded with higher peak discharge rates to stimuli presented via the non-lesioned eye, the orientation and direction selectivities as well as preferred and upper cut-off velocities for stimuli presented through either eye were very similar. Furthermore, the sizes of the ectopic discharge fields of binocular cells recorded from the LPZ were not significantly different from those of their counterparts plotted via the non-lesioned eye. Thus, monocular retinal lesions performed in adolescent cats induce topographic reorganization in the LPZ of area 18. Although a similar reorganization occurs in area 17 (striate cortex, area V1) of cats in which monocular retinal lesions were made either in adulthood or adolescence, in view of the very different velocity response profiles of ectopic discharge fields in areas 17 and those in area 18, it appears that ectopic discharge fields in area 17 are largely independent of excitatory feedback input from area 18.