Title

Receptive field characteristics of superior colliculus neurons and visually guided behavior in dark‐reared hamsters

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-1978

Journal

Journal of Comparative Neurology

Volume

177

Issue

1

DOI

10.1002/cne.901770104

Abstract

Visual response properties of single neurons in the superior colliculus of golden hamsters reared from birth to adulthood in total darkness were compared to those of normal hamsters. Directional selectivity, speed preferences, and receptive field organization in dark‐reared hamsters were essentially the same as those found in normally reared animals. Subtle neurophysiological effects of visual deprivation were indicated by the longer latencies of “on” responses to flashed spots of light in the dark‐reared animals. Also, in the visually deprived animals three cells were encountered which changed their responses from phasic to tonic as the size of the visual stimulus was increased. In normally reared animals all cells responding to stationary stimuli showed only phasic responses regardless of spot size. Behaviorally, dark‐reared animals could not be distinguished from normal animals on the basis of visual orienting and following tests. It was concluded that in the golden hamster visual experience during development has a minimal role in the induction or maintenance of the normal functional development of the superior colliculus. Copyright © 1978 The Wistar Institute Press

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