Environmental Enrichment Rescues Binocular Matching of Orientation Preference in Mice that Have a Precocious Critical Period

Bor Shuen Wang, Liang Feng, Mingna Liu, Xiaorong Liu*, Jianhua Cang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Experience shapes neural circuits during critical periods in early life. The timing of critical periods is regulated by both genetics and the environment. Here we study the functional significance of such temporal regulations in the mouse primary visual cortex, where critical period plasticity drives binocular matching of orientation preference. We find that thebinocular matching is permanently disrupted in mice that have a precocious critical period due to genetically enhanced inhibition. The disruption is specific to one type of neuron, the complex cells, which, as we reveal, normally match after the simple cells. Early environmental enrichment completely rescues the deficit by inducing histone acetylation and consequently advancing the matching process to coincide with the precocious plasticity. Our experiments thus demonstrate that the proper timing of the critical period is essential for establishing normal binocularity and the detrimental impact of its genetic misregulation can be ameliorated by environmental manipulations via epigenetic mechanisms

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-209
Number of pages12
JournalNeuron
Volume80
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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