Background: The development of a visual prosthesis has been limited by an incomplete understanding of functional changes of the visual cortex accompanying deafferentation. In particular, the role of the corpus callosum in modulating these changes has not been fully evaluated. Recent experimental evidence suggests that through synaptic modulation, short-term (4-5 days) visual deafferentation can induce plastic changes in the visual cortex, leading to adaptive enhancement of residual visual input. We therefore investigated whether a compensatory rerouting of visual information can occur via the indirect transcallosal linkage after deafferentation and the influence of this interhemispheric communication on the visual evoked response of each hemisphere. Methods: In albino rabbits, misrouting of uncrossed optic fibres reduces ipsilateral input to a negligible degree. We thus took advantage of this congenital anomaly to model unilateral cortical and ocular deafferentation by eliminating visual input from one eye and recorded the visual evoked potential (VEP) from the intact eye. Results: In keeping with the chiasmal anomaly, no VEP was elicited from the hemisphere ipsilateral to the intact eye. This remained unchanged following unilateral visual deafferentation. The amplitude and latency of the VEP in the fellow hemisphere, however, were significantly decreased in the deafferented animals. Conclusion: Our data suggest that callosal linkage does not contribute to visual evoked responses and this is not changed after short-term deafferentation. The decrease in amplitude and latency of evoked responses in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the treated eye, however, confirms the facilitatory role of callosal transfer. This observation highlights the importance of bicortical stimulation in the future design of a cortical visual prosthesis.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2007|
- Corpus callosum
- Visual evoked potentials
- Visual prosthesis