A model of ocular dominance column development by competition for trophic factor: Effects of excess trophic factor with monocular deprivation and effects of antagonist of trophic factor

Anthony E. Harris, G. Bard Ermentrout, Steven L. Small

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent experimental evidence has implicated neurotrophic factors (NTs) in the competitive process believed to drive the development of ocular dominance (OD) columns. Application of excess amounts of particular NTs can prevent the segregation process, suggesting that they could be the substance for which geniculocortical afferents compete during development. We have previously presented a model that accounts for normal OD development as well as the prevention of that development with excess NT. The model uses a Hebbian learning rule in combination with competition for a limiting supply of cortical trophic factor to drive OD segregation, without any weight normalization procedures. Subsequent experimental evidence has further suggested that NTs may be causally involved in the competitive process. Application of NT antagonist can prevent OD columns by causing inputs from both eyes to be eliminated, suggesting that NTs may be the substance for which geniculocortical afferents compete. Also, excess NT can mitigate the shift to the open eye normally caused by monocular deprivation (MD). In this article, we show that the current model can account for these subsequent experiments. We show that deprivation of NT causes inputs from both eyes to decay and that excess NT can mitigate the shift to the open eye normally seen with MD. We then present predictions of the model concerning the effects of NT on the length of the critical period during which MD is effective. The model presents a novel mechanism for competition between neural populations inspired by particular biological evidence. It accounts for three specific experimental results, and provides several testable predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-250
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Computational Neuroscience
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

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ocular Dominance
Nerve Growth Factors
Learning

Keywords

  • Critical period
  • Mathematical model
  • Neurotrophin
  • Ocular dominance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

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