Since the ground-breaking discovery that in-egg light exposure triggers the emergence of visual lateralisation, domestic chicks became a crucial model for research on the interaction of environmental and genetic influences for brain development. In domestic chick embryos, light exposure induces neuroanatomical asymmetries in the strength of visual projections from the thalamus to the visual Wulst. Consequently, the right visual Wulst receives more bilateral information from the two eyes than the left one. How this impacts visual Wulst’s physiology is still unknown. This paper investigates the visual response properties of neurons in the left and right Wulst of dark- and light-incubated chicks, studying the effect of light incubation on bilaterally responsive cells that integrate information from both eyes. We recorded from a large number of visually responsive units, providing the first direct evidence of lateralisation in the neural response properties of units of the visual Wulst. While we confirm that some forms of lateralisation are induced by embryonic light exposure, we found also many cases of light-independent asymmetries. Moreover, we found a strong effect of in-egg light exposure on the general development of the functional properties of units in the two hemispheres. This indicates that the effect of embryonic stimulation goes beyond its contribution to the emergence of some forms of lateralisation, with influences on the maturation of visual units in both hemispheres.

Light-incubation effects on lateralisation of single unit responses in the visual Wulst of domestic chicks / Costalunga, G.; Kobylkov, D.; Rosa-Salva, O.; Vallortigara, G.; Mayer, U.. - In: BRAIN STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION. - ISSN 1863-2653. - 2021/227:(2021), pp. 497-513. [10.1007/s00429-021-02259-y]

Light-incubation effects on lateralisation of single unit responses in the visual Wulst of domestic chicks

Rosa-Salva O.;Vallortigara G.;Mayer U.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Since the ground-breaking discovery that in-egg light exposure triggers the emergence of visual lateralisation, domestic chicks became a crucial model for research on the interaction of environmental and genetic influences for brain development. In domestic chick embryos, light exposure induces neuroanatomical asymmetries in the strength of visual projections from the thalamus to the visual Wulst. Consequently, the right visual Wulst receives more bilateral information from the two eyes than the left one. How this impacts visual Wulst’s physiology is still unknown. This paper investigates the visual response properties of neurons in the left and right Wulst of dark- and light-incubated chicks, studying the effect of light incubation on bilaterally responsive cells that integrate information from both eyes. We recorded from a large number of visually responsive units, providing the first direct evidence of lateralisation in the neural response properties of units of the visual Wulst. While we confirm that some forms of lateralisation are induced by embryonic light exposure, we found also many cases of light-independent asymmetries. Moreover, we found a strong effect of in-egg light exposure on the general development of the functional properties of units in the two hemispheres. This indicates that the effect of embryonic stimulation goes beyond its contribution to the emergence of some forms of lateralisation, with influences on the maturation of visual units in both hemispheres.
Costalunga, G.; Kobylkov, D.; Rosa-Salva, O.; Vallortigara, G.; Mayer, U.
Light-incubation effects on lateralisation of single unit responses in the visual Wulst of domestic chicks / Costalunga, G.; Kobylkov, D.; Rosa-Salva, O.; Vallortigara, G.; Mayer, U.. - In: BRAIN STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION. - ISSN 1863-2653. - 2021/227:(2021), pp. 497-513. [10.1007/s00429-021-02259-y]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/306692
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