Experimentally induced visual projections into auditory thalamus and cortex

Mriganka Sur, Preston E. Garraghty, Anna W. Roe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

302 Scopus citations


Retinal cells have been induced to project into the medial geniculate nucleus, the principal auditory thalamic nucleus, in newborn ferrets by reduction of targets of retinal axons in one hemisphere and creation of alternative terminal space for these fibers in the auditory thalamus. Many cells in the medial geniculate nucleus are then visually driven, have large receptive fields, and receive input from retinal ganglion cells with small somata and slow conduction velocities. Visual cells with long conduction latencies and large contralateral receptive fields can also be recorded in primary auditory cortex. Some visual cells in auditory cortex are direction selective or have oriented receptive fields that resemble those of complex cells in primary visual cortex. Thus, functional visual projections can be routed into nonvisual structures in higher mammals, suggesting that the modality of a sensory thalamic nucleus or cortical area may be specified by its inputs during development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1437-1441
Number of pages5
Issue number4884
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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