Resting-State Retinotopic Organization in the Absence of Retinal Input and Visual Experience.
Bock AS., Binda P., Benson NC., Bridge H., Watkins KE., Fine I.
Early visual areas have neuronal receptive fields that form a sampling mosaic of visual space, resulting in a series of retinotopic maps in which the same region of space is represented in multiple visual areas. It is not clear to what extent the development and maintenance of this retinotopic organization in humans depend on retinal waves and/or visual experience. We examined the corticocortical receptive field organization of resting-state BOLD data in normally sighted, early blind, and anophthalmic (in which both eyes fail to develop) individuals and found that resting-state correlations between V1 and V2/V3 were retinotopically organized for all subject groups. These results show that the gross retinotopic pattern of resting-state connectivity across V1-V3 requires neither retinal waves nor visual experience to develop and persist into adulthood. Significance statement: Evidence from resting-state BOLD data suggests that the connections between early visual areas develop and are maintained even in the absence of retinal waves and visual experience.