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Thalamic activity that drives visual cortical plasticity


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.

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Figure 1: Firing rate and ISI distributions before and after visual manipulation.
Figure 2: Analysis of bursting activity before and after visual manipulation.
Figure 3: Eyelid closure and retinal inactivation have opposite effects on correlative dLGN firing.


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We thank M. Shuler, J. Coleman, M. Lamprecht, B. Blais, H. Shouval, E. Sklar, K. Oram and S. Meagher. This work was partly supported by grants from the National Eye Institute and a National Research Service Award fellowship from the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (M.L.L.).

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Correspondence to Mark F Bear.

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Supplementary Figures 1–6, Supplementary Discussion and Supplementary Methods (PDF 9532 kb)

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Linden, M., Heynen, A., Haslinger, R. et al. Thalamic activity that drives visual cortical plasticity. Nat Neurosci 12, 390–392 (2009).

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