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Development of the Brain depends on the Visual Environment


IN a normal cat, neurones of the visual cortex are selective for the orientation of lines and edges in the visual field, and the preferred orientations of different cells are distributed all around the clock1. Hirsch and Spinelli2 have recently reported that early visual experience can change this organization. They reared kittens with one eye viewing vertical stripes, the other horizontal, and found that out of twenty-one neurones with elongated receptive fields all were monocularly driven, and in all but one case the orientation of the receptive field closely matched the pattern experienced by that eye.

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  2. Hirsch, H. V. B., and Spinelli, D. N., Science, 168, 869 (1970).

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  3. Hein, A., and Held, R., Science, 158, 390 (1967).

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  4. Hubel, D. H., and Wiesel, T. N., J. Physiol., 206, 419 (1970).

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BLAKEMORE, C., COOPER, G. Development of the Brain depends on the Visual Environment. Nature 228, 477–478 (1970).

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