ERIC Number: EJ1041536
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Higher Brain Functions Served by the Lowly Rodent Primary Visual Cortex
Gavornik, Jeffrey P.; Bear, Mark F.
Learning & Memory, v21 n10 p527-533 Oct 2014
It has been more than 50 years since the first description of ocular dominance plasticity--the profound modification of primary visual cortex (V1) following temporary monocular deprivation. This discovery immediately attracted the intense interest of neurobiologists focused on the general question of how experience and deprivation modify the brain as a potential substrate for learning and memory. The pace of discovery has quickened considerably in recent years as mice have become the preferred species to study visual cortical plasticity, and new studies have overturned the dogma that primary sensory cortex is immutable after a developmental critical period. Recent work has shown that, in addition to ocular dominance plasticity, adult visual cortex exhibits several forms of response modification previously considered the exclusive province of higher cortical areas. These "higher brain functions" include neural reports of stimulus familiarity, reward-timing prediction, and spatiotemporal sequence learning. Primary visual cortex can no longer be viewed as a simple visual feature detector with static properties determined during early development. Rodent V1 is a rich and dynamic cortical area in which functions normally associated only with "higher" brain regions can be studied at the mechanistic level.
Descriptors: Brain Hemisphere Functions, Visual Impairments, Vision, Animals, Learning, Neurological Organization, Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A