Control of thalamocortical afferent rearrangement by postsynaptic activity in developing visual cortex

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Science  16 Sep 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5179, pp. 1732-1735
DOI: 10.1126/science.8085163


The formation of specific connections in the developing central nervous system is thought to result from mechanisms that increase the strengths of synapses at which pre- and postsynaptic activity are correlated and decrease it otherwise. In the visual cortex, initially widespread inputs normally sort out into eye-specific patches during early life. If only one eye can see during this period, its patches are much larger than normal, and patches from the occluded eye become much smaller. Anatomical experiments here show that closed-eye inputs expand within a region of cortex that is silenced, establishing that inhibition of common target cells gives less active inputs a competitive advantage.

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