Postnatal development of the visual cortex and the influence of environment

  title={Postnatal development of the visual cortex and the influence of environment},
  author={Torsten N. Wiesel},
The following is the lecture delivered by the author in Stockholm on 8 December 1981 when he received the Nobel Prize in Medicine, which he shared with Roger Sperry and David H. Hubel The article is published here with permission from the Nobel Foundation and will also be included in the complete volume of Les Prix Nobel en 1981 as well as in the series Nobel Lectures (in English) lished by Elsevier. 


  • H. KennedyG. Orban
  • Biology
    Ophthalmic & physiological optics : the journal of the British College of Ophthalmic Opticians
  • 1984
Cais reared under stroboscopic conditions, when only a series of “frozen” retinal images is received and the neural channels responsible for movement analysis are put into competitive disadvantage, show severe deficits in the proportion of direction‐selective cells in areas 17 and 18 and markedly abnormal oplokinetic nystagmus responses.

Behavioural and Neurophysiological Correlates of Visual Movement Deprivation in the Cat

This work has used a quantitative approach which is particularly interesting in that it provides, in mechanistic terms, a description of neuronal deficits in deprived animals.

Cortical circuitry in a dish

  • J. Bolz
  • Biology
    Current Opinion in Neurobiology
  • 1994

Development and Plasticity of the Tectofugal Visual Pathway in the Zebra Finch

In the recent years the development of the visual system of mammals and its alterability by environmental influences has been addressed by hundreds of investigations, but there were almost no developmental studies of other stations of the tectofugal pathway until recently.

The Development of Projections from Cerebral Cortex

The intriguing and fascinating complexity of biological structures probably reflects constraints imposed by three processes: phylogenesis, development and function. The latter provides the strongest

Development and plasticity of the cerebral cortex: from molecules to maps.

A special issue devoted to the role played by environmental influences in the development of the nervous system is introduced and a synthetic view highlighting the role of the thalamo-cortical reciprocal projection in visual cortex is proposed.

Development of vision in infants and young children.

  • D. Friendly
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Pediatric clinics of North America
  • 1993

Anatomical demonstration of ocular segregation in the retinogeniculocortical pathway of the new world capuchin monkey (Cebus apella)

Changes in staining for cytochrome oxidase following unilateral enucleation served to indicate the organization of the representation of the two eyes in the retinogeniculocortical pathway.

Competition in the development of nerve connections: a review of models

The establishment and refinement of neural circuits involve both the formation of new connections and the elimination of already existing connections. Elimination of connections occurs, for example,

Perceptual learning in amnesia




Exploration of the primary visual cortex, 1955–78

The following article is the lecture delivered by the author in Stockholm on 8 December 1981 when he received the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology which he shared with Roger Sperry and Torsten

Development of the Brain depends on the Visual Environment

They reared kittens with one eye viewing vertical stripes, the other horizontal, and found that out of twenty-one neurones with elongated receptive fields all were monocularly driven, and in all but one case the orientation of the receptive field closely matched the pattern experienced by that eye.

The effect of visual experience on the development of stimulus specificity by kitten cortical neurones

  • J. Pettigrew
  • Biology, Psychology
    The Journal of physiology
  • 1974
1. 284 single cortical neurones were studied in area seventeen of twenty‐five normal kittens and of fifteen kittens, binocularly deprived, whose first visual experience had been delayed until the

Visual experience and cortical development

The past twelve years have been exciting for those interested in the classical question, “How much do our visual capacities depend on innate developmental factors, how much on the moulding effects of

Ocular dominance columns and their development in layer IV of the cat's visual cortex: A quantitative study

The distribution of geniculocortical afferents serving the left and right eyes was studied in abult cats and in kittens of various ages. Methods used were autoradiography of transneuronally

The development of ocular dominance columns in normal and visually deprived monkeys

The main purpose of this study was to examine the normal postnatal development of ocular dominance columns in the striate cortex of the macaque monkey and to determine how this developmental process

Innate and environmental factors in the development of the kitten's visual cortex.

A study of the receptive fields of 771 cells recorded in the visual cortex of twenty‐five kittens reared normally or subjected to various kinds of visual deprivation or environmental manipulation finds that in deprived animals, there are a number of genuinely orientation selective cells.

Functional plasticity in the immature striate cortex of the monkey shown by the [14C]deoxyglucose method.

Autoradiographic representation of the local rates of cerebral glucose utilization and local cerebral functional activity by means of the [14C]deoxyglucose technique reveals the existence of the


To UNDERSTAND VISION in physiological terms represents a formidable problem for the biologist, and one approach is to stimulate the retina with patterns of light while recording from single cells or fibers at various points along the visual pathway.