Depletion of brain catecholamines: failure of ocular dominance shift after monocular occlusion in kittens

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Science  08 Oct 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4261, pp. 206-209
DOI: 10.1126/science.959850


Monocularly deprived kittens were compared with littermates that had had their eyelids sutured for the same time but that had, in addition, been treated with 6-hydroxydopamine to deplete their forebrains of catecholamines. The visual cortices of all the catecholamine-depleted kittens showed high proportions of binocular neurons, in contrast to the control group, most of whose visual cortical neurons were driven exclusively by the nondeprived eye. Catecholamines may play an important role in the maintenance of cortical plasticity during the critical period.