Roles of ephrin-as and structured activity in the development of functional maps in the superior colliculus

Jianhua Cang*, Lupeng Wang, Michael P. Stryker, David A. Feldheim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


The orderly projections from retina to superior colliculus (SC) preserve a continuous retinotopic representation of the visual world. The development of retinocollicular maps depend on a combination of molecular guidance cues and patterned neural activity. Here, we characterize the functional retinocollicular maps in mice lacking the guidance molecules ephrin-A2, -A3, and -A5 and in mice deficient in both ephrin-As and structured spontaneous retinal activity, using a method of Fourier imaging of intrinsic signals. We find that the SC of ephrin-A2/A3/A5 triple knock-out mice contains functional maps that are disrupted selectively along the nasotemporal (azimuth) axis of the visual space. These maps are discontinuous, with patches of SC responding to topographically incorrect locations. The patches disappear in mice that are deficient in both ephrin-As and structured activity, resulting in a near-absence of azimuthmapin the SC. These results indicate that ephrin-As guide the formation of functional topography in the SC, and patterned retinal activity clusters cells based on their correlated firing patterns. Comparison of the SC and visual cortical mapping defects in these mice suggests that although ephrin-As are required for mapping in both SC and visual cortex, ephrin-A-independent mapping mechanisms are more important in visual cortex than in the SC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11015-11023
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 22 2008


  • Axonal guidance
  • Chemoaffinity
  • Optical imaging
  • Retinal waves
  • Topography
  • Visual system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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