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The refinement of early connections in the visual pathway requires electrical activity in the retina before the onset of vision. Using a multielectrode array, we have shown that the spontaneous activity of cells in the neonatal ferret retina is correlated by patterns of periodically generated traveling waves. Here, we examine developmental changes in the(More)
The development of orderly connections in the mammalian visual system depends on action potentials in the optic nerve fibers, even before the retina receives visual input. In particular, it has been suggested that correlated firing of retinal ganglion cells in the same eye directs the segregation of their synaptic terminals into eye-specific layers within(More)
We describe a technique for rapid labeling of a large number of cells in the nervous system with many different colors. By delivering lipophilic dye-coated particles to neuronal preparations with a "gene gun," individual neurons and glia whose membranes are contacted by the particles are quickly labeled. Using particles that are each coated with different(More)
We demonstrate that within the intact and spontaneously active retina, dendritic processes of ganglion cells exhibit rapid and extensive movements during the period of synaptogenesis. Marked restructuring occurs in seconds, but structural changes are relatively balanced across the dendritic arbor, maintaining overall arbor size and complexity over hours.(More)
Even before birth and the onset of sensory experience, neural activity plays an important role in shaping the vertebrate nervous system. In the embryonic chick visual system, activity in the retina before vision has been implicated in the refinement of retinotopic maps, the elimination of transient projections, and the survival of a full complement of(More)
During the first 3 weeks of postnatal development in the ferret retina, cells in the ganglion cell layer spontaneously generate waves of electrical activity that travel across the retina in the absence of mature photoreceptors (Meister et al., 1991; Wong et al., 1993). Since few chemical synapses are present at the earliest stages when waves are present, we(More)
Competition for postsynaptic targets during development is thought to be driven by differences in temporal patterns of neuronal activity. In the ferret visual system, retinal ganglion cells that are responsive either to the onset (On) or to the offset (Off) of light exhibit similar patterns of spontaneous bursting activity early in development but later(More)
In the adult mammalian retina, the principal direction of information flow is along a vertical pathway from photoreceptors to retinal interneurons to ganglion cells, the output neurons of the retina. We report here, however, that initially in development, at a time when the photoreceptors are not yet even present, there are already functionally defined(More)
Ionotropic GABA receptors can mediate presynaptic and postsynaptic inhibition. We assessed the contributions of GABA(A) and GABA(C) receptors to inhibition at the dendrites and axon terminals of ferret retinal bipolar cells by recording currents evoked by focal application of GABA in the retinal slice. Currents elicited at the dendrites were mediated(More)
Major technical advances in the imaging of live cells have led to a recent flurry of studies demonstrating how dendrites remodel dynamically during development. Taken together with our current understanding of axonal development, these studies help provide a more unified picture of how neural circuits might be formed altered or maintained throughout life.