Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The development of orientation selectivity in the primary visual cortex is described by first-order kinetics between three functional compartments chained in a catenary mode. A first model is presented, in which two unidirectional kinetics with constant exchange coefficients, symmetrical in their effects, function in an alternating mode depending on the presence or absence of visual experience. The failure of this model to simulate the modifications induced by a delayed visual experience, when the exchange coefficients are identified to fit normal and dark rearing, supports the hypothesis that the maturation process consequent to interaction with visual environment is dependent on the date at which it is allowed to take place. A second model is then proposed, in which exchange coefficients are piecewise linear functions of time. In order to correctly predict the functional effects of restricted visual experience following prior dark rearing, it is assumed that visuomotor experience during the critical period permits the expression of a non-linear “modifiability gradient” which may have been masked up to this point by the absence of vision or eye movements.
Type of Medium: