Author(s): Jones KR, Kalil RE, Spear PD. Effects of strabismus on responsivity, spatial resolution, and contrast sensitivity of cat lateral geniculate neurons. J Neurophysiol. 1984 Sep;52(3):538-52.
Journal: Journal Of Neurophysiology, Volume 52, Issue 3, Sep 1984
Rearing cats with esotropia is known to cause a number of deficits in visual behavior tested through the deviated eye. These include a loss of orienting response to stimuli presented in the nasal visual field of the deviated eye, a reduction in visual acuity, and a general reduction in contrast sensitivity at all spatial frequencies. To assess the involvement of the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) in these deficits, we measured the following: 1) the visual responsiveness of lamina A1 cells with peripheral (more than 10 degrees from area centralis) receptive fields in three esotropic and three normal cats and 2) the spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity of lamina A X-cells with central (within 5 degrees of the area centralis) receptive fields in six esotropic and six normal cats. For comparison, we also measured LGN X-cell spatial resolutions in four exotropic cats and in two cats raised with an esotropia in one eye and the lids of the other eye sutured shut (MD-estropes). Recordings from the lateral portion of lamina A1 in esotropic cats yielded similar numbers of visually responsive cells with far nasal receptive fields as were seen in normal animals. Peak and mean response rates to a flashing spot also were normal. In addition, no differences were found between esotropes and normals in the percentages of X- and Y-cells encountered. These results suggest that the loss of orienting response to stimuli presented in the nasal field (12, 20) is not due to a loss of neural responses in the LGN of esotropic cats. In addition, they suggest that decreases in cell size in lamina A1 of esotropic cats (13, 36; R. E. Kalil, unpublished observations) are not accompanied by marked functional abnormalities of the cells and that cortical abnormalities ipsilateral to the deviated eye (22) are likely to have their origin within striate cortex itself. Recordings from lamina A cells with receptive fields near area centralis revealed that the average X-cell spatial resolution in esotropes (2.1 cycles/deg) was significantly lower than that in normal cats (3.1 cycles/deg). This reduction was seen in all esotropic cats tested and was due both to an increase in the proportion of X-cells with very low spatial resolution and to a loss of X-cells responding to high spatial frequencies (greater than 3.25 cycles/deg). The average spatial resolution of X-cells driven by the deviated eye in MD-esotropes fell midway between those of esotropes and normals. In exotropes, mean X-cell spatial resolution was normal.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)