Reorganization of retinotopic cortical maps in adult mammals after lesions of the retina

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  13 Apr 1990:
Vol. 248, Issue 4952, pp. 229-231
DOI: 10.1126/science.2326637


The organization of the visual cortex has been considered to be highly stable in adult mammals. However, 5 degrees to 10 degrees lesions of the retina in the contralateral eye markedly altered the systematic representations of the retina in primary and secondary visual cortex when matched inputs from the ipsilateral eye were also removed. Cortical neurons that normally have receptive fields in the lesioned region of the retina acquired new receptive fields in portions of the retina surrounding the lesions. The capacity for such changes may be important for normal adjustments of sensory systems to environmental contingencies and for recoveries from brain damage.

Stay Connected to Science