Lateral geniculate nucleus in dark-reared cats: loss of Y cells without changes in cell size

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Science  30 Mar 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4387, pp. 1353-1355
DOI: 10.1126/science.424758


In cats reared in the dark from birth until 4 months of age, the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus contained few normal Y cells in either the binocular or monocular segments. Although most of the neurons appeared to be normal X cells unaffected by light deprivation, many cells with abnormal receptive field and response charcteristics were encountered. These effects were permanent, since 1 to 2 years of normal visual experience following initial light deprivation did not lead to any functional recovery. The sizes of cell bodies in cats reared in the dark were similar to those of normal animals, an indication that changes in geniculate cell physiology need not be related to changes in cell size.