Neuronal Recognition in the Retinotectal System

  • Marcus Jacobson
Part of the Current Topics in Neurobiology book series (CTNB)


Regularity of association between cells is ubiquitous; it is the sine qua non of any organized system, but the nervous system shows a greater range and variety of regular and orderly cellular relationships than any other system. For example, glial cells and neurons are always found in association, and there are very many examples of exclusive association between neurons of specific types. If the same neurons are always found together, either lying in close proximity, forming nonsynaptic intercellular junctions, or making synaptic contact, the embryologist asks how such intercellular contacts developed. Is the intercellular relationship, regular as it may be, merely the result of a web of circumstances that cannot be traced directly to any single cell, or is the orderly relationship the direct result of the properties and activities of certain, identifiable cells? The question has some pragmatic interest—it is likely to be far more difficult to discover the mechanisms of cellular association if they are distributed through the developing system in time as well as space than if the mechanisms are intrinsic properties and functions of the associating cells. Such intrinsic mechanisms might therefore be expressed by cells that are experimentally isolated from the entire system in vitro or in cells that by transplantation are put into novel spatial and/or temporal contexts in the developing nervous system.


Retinal Ganglion Cell Positional Information Optic Tectum Optic Nerve Fiber Retinal Axon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Attardi, D. G., and Sperry, R. W., 1963, Preferential selection of central pathways by regenerating optic fibers, Exp. Neurol. 7: 46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chung, S. H., Keating, M. J., and Bliss, T. V. P., 1974, Functional synaptic relations during the development of the retino-tectal projection in amphibians, Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 187: 449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Crossland, W. J., Cowan, W. M., Rogers, L. A., and Kelly, J. P., 1974, The specification of the retino-tectal projection in the chick, J. Comp. Neurol. 155: 127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dixon, J. S., and Cronly-Dillon, J. R., 1972, The fine structure of the developing retina in Xenopus laevis, J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 28: 659.Google Scholar
  5. Gaze, R. M., and Jacobson, M., 1963, A study of the retino-tectal projection during regeneration of the optic nerve in the frog, Proc. Soc. London Ser. B 157: 420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gaze, R. M., and Keating, M. J., 1972, The visual system and “neuronal specificity,” Nature (London) 237: 375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gaze, R. M., and Sharma, S. C., 1970, Axial differences in the reinnervation of the goldfish optic tectum by regenerating optic nerve fibers, Exp. Brain Res. 10: 171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gaze, R. M., Chung, S. H., and Keating, M. J., 1972, Development of the retinotectal projection in Xenopus, Nature (London) New Biol. 236: 133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gaze, R. M., Keating, M. J., and Chung, S. H., 1974, The evolution of the retinotectal map during development in Xenopus, Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 185: 301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gottlieb, D. I., and Cowan, W. M., 1972, Evidence for a temporal factor in the occupation of available synaptic sites during the development of the dentate gyrus, Brain Res. 41: 452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hunt, R. K., and Jacobson, M., 1972, Development and stability of positional information in Xenopus retinal ganglion cells, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 69: 780.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hunt, R. K., and Jacobson, M., 1973, Specification of positional information in retinal ganglion cells of Xenopus: Assays for analysis of the unspecified state, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 70: 507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hunt, R. K., and Jacobson, M., 1974, Neuronal specificity revisited, Curr. Top. Derr. Biol. 8: 203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jacobson, M., 1961, The recovery of electrical activity in the optic tectum of the frog during early regeneration of the optic nerve, J. Physiol. (London) 157: 27 P.Google Scholar
  15. Jacobson, M., 1962, The representation of the retina on the optic tectum of the frog: Correlation between retinotectal magnification factor and retinal ganglion cell count, Q. J. Exp. Physiol. 47: 170.Google Scholar
  16. Jacobson, M., 1968a, Development of neuronal specificity in retinal ganglion cells of Xenopus, Derr. Biol. 17: 202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jacobson, M., 1968b, Cessation of DNA synthesis in retinal ganglion cells correlated with the time of specification of their central connections, Dev. Biol. 17: 219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jacobson, M., 1970, Developmental Neurobiology, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Jacobson, M., and Gaze, R. M., 1965, Selection of appropriate tectal connections by regenerating optic nerve fibers in adult goldfish, Exp. Neurol. 13: 418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jacobson, M., and Hunt, R. K., 1973, The origins of nerve cell specificity, Sci. Am. 228: 26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jacobson, M., and Levine, R. L., 1975a, Plasticity in the adult frog brain: Filling the visual scotoma after excision or translocation of parts of the optic tectum, Brain Res. 88: 339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jacobson, M., and Levine, R. L., 1975b, Stability of implanted duplicate tectal positional markers serving as targets for optic axons in adult frogs, Brain Res. 92: 468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kahn, A. J., 1973, Ganglion cell formation in the chick neural retina, Brain Res. 63: 285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Levine, R., and Jacobson, M., 1974, Deployment of optic nerve fibers is determined by positional markers in the frog’s brain, Exp. Neurol. 43: 527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mark, R. F., 1969, Matching muscles and motoneurones: A review of some experiments on motor nerve regeneration, Brain Res. 14: 245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mark, R. F., 1974, Memory and Nerve Cell Connections, Clarenden Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  27. Scott, T. M., 1974, The development of the retinotectal projection in Xenopus laevis: An autoradiographic and degeneration study, J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 31: 409.Google Scholar
  28. Sharma, S. C., 1972, Reformation of retinotectal projections after various tectal ablations in adult goldfish, Exp. Neurol. 34: 171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Skarf, B., and Jacobson, M., 1974, Development of binocularly driven single units in frogs raised with asymmetrical visual stimulation, Exp. Neurol. 42: 669.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sperry, R. W., 1963, Chemoaffinity in the orderly growth of nerve fiber patterns and connections, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 50: 703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sperry, R. W., 1965, Embryogenesis of behavioral nerve nets, in: Organogenesis ( R. C. DeHaan and H. Ursprung, eds.), pp. 161–186, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York.Google Scholar
  32. Straznicky, K, and Gaze, R. M., 1971, Growth of the retina in Xenopus laevis: an autoradiographic study, J. Embryol. Exp. Morph. 26: 69.Google Scholar
  33. Yoon, M., 1971, Reorganization of retinotectal projection following surgical operations on the optic tectum in goldfish, Exp. Neurol. 33: 395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yoon, M., 1972a, Reversibility of the reorganization of retinotectal projection in goldfish, Exp. Neurol. 35: 565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Yoon, M., 1972b, Transposition of the visual projection from the nasal hemiretina onto the foreign rostral zone of the optic tectum in goldfish, Exp. Neurol. 37:451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Yoon, M., 1973, Retention of the original topographic polarity by the 180’ rotated tectal reimplant in young adult goldfish, J. Physiol. (London) 233: 575.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcus Jacobson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of Miami School of MedicineMiamiUSA

Personalised recommendations