The long-term goal of our research is to understand the cortical mechanisms that limit vision development in primates. Normal infants and amblyopic adults perform poorly in global perceptual tasks. The primary goal of this proposal is to examine the hypothesis that the immature/subnormal receptive-field (RF) structures of neurons in the earliest stages of extrastriate processing (V2 and V3), in particular, the inability of these neurons to precisely pool local feature information over space, impose significant limits on the development of the perceptual decision-making mechanisms downstream. With our microelectrode recording methods, we will study the receptive-field center and surround structures of V2 and V3 neurons of macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta) at key developmental ages, and we will ask how experiencing binocularly discordant images early in life alters the RF structures of these extrastriate neurons. To reveal the RF center and surround structure of each neuron, we will quantitatively analyze the spatial organization (geometric map) of 'subfields'(local sensitivities) within the RF center and the 'sub-regions'of the RF surround. We will also study the nature (i.e., facilitatory or suppressive) and the strength of signal interactions between subfields within the RF center, and between the RF center and surround sub-regions. To explore a link between immature extrastriate cortical physiology of infants and anomalous visual processing in amblyopic adults, we will examine the hypothesis that robust binocular suppression, highly prevalent in the striate visual cortex (V1) of strabismic monkeys during early infancy, arrests and/or disrupts the normal development of neuronal circuits underlying the RF structures of V2 and V3 neurons of amblyopic monkeys. The proposed research will provide a better understanding of how neuronal processing in one cortical area can influence neural events in other areas. More importantly, we will gain insights into how such complex striate/extrastriate interactions mature under normal and abnormal visual environments.

Public Health Relevance

Amblyopia ('lazy eye') is a developmental vision disorder. This investigation proposes to explore the neuronal mechanisms in the primate visual brain that limit visual performance of amblyopic adults and normal infants using electrophysiological and behavioral methods. The primary goal is to establish a link between immature cortical physiology in normal infants and abnormal visual processing in amblyopic patients. The proposed research will generate the information that will have a significant impact on the development of effective strategies for the prevention and treatment of vision disorders.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01EY008128-22
Application #
8215689
Study Section
Central Visual Processing Study Section (CVP)
Program Officer
Araj, Houmam H
Project Start
2010-02-01
Project End
2015-01-31
Budget Start
2012-02-01
Budget End
2013-01-31
Support Year
22
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$360,000
Indirect Cost
$120,000
Name
University of Houston
Department
None
Type
Schools of Optometry/Ophthalmol
DUNS #
036837920
City
Houston
State
TX
Country
United States
Zip Code
77204
Tao, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Bin; Shen, Guofu et al. (2014) Early monocular defocus disrupts the normal development of receptive-field structure in V2 neurons of macaque monkeys. J Neurosci 34:13840-54
Shen, Guofu; Tao, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Bin et al. (2014) Oblique effect in visual area 2 of macaque monkeys. J Vis 14:
Zhang, Bin; Tao, Xiaofeng; Shen, Guofu et al. (2013) Receptive-field subfields of V2 neurons in macaque monkeys are adult-like near birth. J Neurosci 33:2639-49
Vreysen, Samme; Zhang, Bin; Chino, Yuzo M et al. (2012) Dynamics of spatial frequency tuning in mouse visual cortex. J Neurophysiol 107:2937-49
Baldwin, Mary K L; Kaskan, Peter M; Zhang, Bin et al. (2012) Cortical and subcortical connections of V1 and V2 in early postnatal macaque monkeys. J Comp Neurol 520:544-69
Tao, X; Zhang, B; Smith 3rd, E L et al. (2012) Local sensitivity to stimulus orientation and spatial frequency within the receptive fields of neurons in visual area 2 of macaque monkeys. J Neurophysiol 107:1094-110
Bi, H; Zhang, B; Tao, X et al. (2011) Neuronal responses in visual area V2 (V2) of macaque monkeys with strabismic amblyopia. Cereb Cortex 21:2033-45
Zhang, Bin; Tao, Xiaofeng; Wensveen, Janice M et al. (2011) Effects of brief daily periods of unrestricted vision during early monocular form deprivation on development of visual area 2. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 52:7222-31
Van den Bergh, Gert; Zhang, Bin; Arckens, Lutgarde et al. (2010) Receptive-field properties of V1 and V2 neurons in mice and macaque monkeys. J Comp Neurol 518:2051-70
Zhang, Bin; Stevenson, Scott S; Cheng, Han et al. (2008) Effects of fixation instability on multifocal VEP (mfVEP) responses in amblyopes. J Vis 8:16.1-14

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