Plasticity of Binocular Visual Connections in the Frog: From R.M. Gaze to NMDA

  • Simon Grant
  • Stephen G. Brickley
  • Michael J. Keating


The adult brain contains numerous topographic representations of the receptor epithelia, underpinned by highly ordered sets of neuronal connections that link each receptor surface to various target structures within the central nervous system (CNS). The development of receptotopic maps has been extensively studied in respect of the connections from the retina to the midbrain optic tectum in both lower vertebrates and mammals. In general accord with the seminal ideas of Sperry (1963) and their subsequent elaboration by Gaze and colleagues, the formation of the retinotectal map seems to be governed entirely by intrinsic developmental processes. These processes, involving mainly cell surface interactions, guide outgrowing retinal ganglion cell axons in an orderly fashion down selected pathways to the tectum, and cause them to distribute their terminations so as to more-or-less faithfully replicate the topology of their parent cell bodies. Temporally correlated patterns of neural activity between neighboring retinal ganglion cells and between adjacent tectal neurons may impart additional topological information to these connections, serving to refine the spatial order of the initial map (Cline and Constantine-Paton, 1989; Chapter 14, this volume). Activity generated by the neuronal elements themselves (i.e., intrinsically), however, appears sufficient for the map refinement, since the ordering of retinotectal connections is unperturbed by the absence of extrinsic activity arising through visual stimulation (Keating et al., 1986; Olson and Meyer, 1991).


Xenopus Laevis Optic Lobe Visual Deprivation Retinal Ganglion Cell Axon Metamorphic Climax 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Grant
  • Stephen G. Brickley
  • Michael J. Keating

There are no affiliations available

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