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Developmental refinement of visual callosal inputs to ferret area 17

Khalil, R;Gonzalez, C;Alsuwaidi, S;Levitt, JB;

Corticocortical connections link visual cortical areas in both the ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres. We studied the postnatal refinement of callosal connections linking multiple cortical areas with ferret area 17 during the period from just before eye opening (4 weeks) to 10 weeks of age. We aimed to determine (a) whether callosal projections from multiple visual cortical areas to area 17 refine with a similar rate and (b) whether the refinement of callosal projections parallels that of intrahemispheric cortical circuits. We injected the bidirectional tracer CTb into area 17, and mapped the areal and laminar distribution of labeled cells in visual areas of the contralateral hemisphere. Like intrahemispheric projections, callosal inputs to area 17 before eye opening are dominated by Suprasylvian area Ssy (with lesser and comparable input from areas 17, 18, 19, and 21), but within two weeks of eye opening are jointly dominated by area 18 Ssy inputs; however, there are fewer labeled cells in the contralateral hemisphere. Unlike intrahemispheric projections, there is no laminar reorganization of callosal inputs; in all visual areas and at all ages studied the greatest proportion of callosal projections arises from the infragranular layers. Also unlike intrahemispheric projections, the peak density of callosal cells in each area projecting to area 17 declines more modestly. These results reveal important similarities and differences in the postnatal reorganization of inter- and intrahemispheric projections to area 17. This article is protected by