Brief Communication abstract

Nature Neuroscience 12, 390 - 392 (2009)
Published online: 1 March 2009 | doi:10.1038/nn.2284

Thalamic activity that drives visual cortical plasticity

Monica L Linden1,2, Arnold J Heynen1, Robert H Haslinger2,3 & Mark F Bear1,2


Manipulations of activity in one retina can profoundly affect binocular connections in the visual cortex. Retinal activity is relayed to the cortex by the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN). We compared the qualities and amount of activity in the dLGN following monocular eyelid closure and monocular retinal inactivation in awake mice. Our findings substantially alter the interpretation of previous studies and define the afferent activity patterns that trigger cortical plasticity.

  1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
  2. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
  3. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA.

Correspondence to: Mark F Bear1,2 e-mail:


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