Binocularity and excitability loss in visual cortex cells of corpus callosum transected kittens and cats

U. Yinon*, M. Chen, S. Gelerstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The contribution of the corpus callosum to binocularity of visual cortex cells and to their responsiveness was studied in cats. Electrophysiological recordings of the responses of single cells to visual stimulation was performed in the callosal projection zone, visual cortex area 17-18 boundary in callosotomized cats. Callosotomy was carried out by transection of the visual segment of the corpus callosum in 6-7-week-old kittens and in acute and chronic adult cats (postoperative recovery time: 11 days-39 months). While in our normal cats the common proportion of binocularly driven cells (79.8%) was found (66.3% in the sham controls), a remarkable diminution (29.7%) was found in the callosotomized kittens, in the acute (39.7%) and in the chronic (50.6%)-operated cats. We have also found a change in the amount of binocularity as function of postoperative recovery time. While the proportion of binocular cells was conceivable (60.7%) in the short- and intermediate-term callosotomized cats (postoperative time: 0.3-5.5 months), it was diminished (36.9%) in the longterm (6.5-39 months) chronic cats. As to the responsiveness level, it was found that visual responsive cells constituted 88% of the cells in the normal and 80.3% in the sham controls. In comparison, they constituted 69.2% in the acute, 54.4% in the chronic and 52.8% in the callosotomized kittens. Furthermore, callosal transection had produced a symmetric effect in the two hemispheres, regarding binocularity and responsiveness. It has been thus concluded that the corpus callosum is essential for the mediation of binocular functions between the two hemispheres; in addition, cortical excitability has been also found to depend on callosal integrity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-552
Number of pages12
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1992


  • Binocularity
  • Corpus callosum
  • Receptive fields
  • Unit recording
  • Visual cortex


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