Neuronal activity in the lateral geniculate nucleus associated with ponto-geniculo-occipital waves lacks lamina specificity

Gerald A. Marks, Howard P. Roffwarg, James P. Shaffery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Ponto-geniculo-occipital (PGO) waves are spontaneously occurring field potentials recorded in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) just prior to and during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Facilitated discharge rates of LGN neurons are associated with PGO waves. In kittens during the critical period of visual system development, both visual experience and PGO waves appear capable of influencing the course of development through activity- dependent mechanisms. Retinal innervation of LGN segregates into eye-specific laminae and is critical to supporting the role of binocular visual experience in development. We sought to determine whether neuronal activity associated with PGO waves also exhibits lamina specificity. PGO wave-related discharges were examined in LGN neurons identified as to lamina location in adult cats administered urethane anesthesia and the reserpine-like compound, RO4-1284. Spontaneous activity of LGN neurons was related to the occurrence of PGO- like waves in all cells studied. No factors could be found that differentiated lamina location and PGO wave-related discharges. We conclude that the PGO wave influence on neuronal activity in the visual system is fundamentally different from that derived from visual experience. The implications of this difference for the role of the two sources of activation in the control of neural activity in development are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 1999


  • Activity-dependent development
  • Cat
  • REM sleep
  • RO4- 1284
  • Thalamus
  • Visual system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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