The organization of afferents to the lateral posterior nucleus in the golden hamster after different combinations of neonatal lesions.
After a neonatal lesion of the ipsilateral superior colliculus, the projections to the lateral posterior nucleus from the contralateral superior colliculus and retina expand their terminal fields until they share a common border. In the first experiment described in this paper, we removed both superior colliculi at birth and used the Fink-Heimer method to show that the optic tract projection could expand even further and enter the region which would have been occupied by the terminals of the crossed colliculus projection. Similarly, in the second experiment, we showed that the crossed collicular projection could be increased even more if the contralateral eye as well as the ipsilateral colliculus was removed at birth. Another result of a neonatal superior colliculus lesion is that the projection from the optic tract shares a border with the posterior neocortical projection. In the third experiment, we removed both the ipsilateral superior colliculus and the posterior neocortex at birth and demonstrated that the optic tract projection expanded more than after an ipsilateral colliculus lesion alone. Our results support the hypotheses that the projections from the ipsilateral and contralateral superior colliculi and the retina compete for synaptic space in the lateral posterior nucleus, and that a similar competition between the retinal and cortical projections may also occur.
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