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Stream-dependent development of higher visual cortical areas.

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Multiple cortical areas contribute to visual processing in mice. However, the functional organization and development of higher visual areas are unclear. Here we used intrinsic signal optical imaging and two-photon calcium imaging to map visual responses in adult and developing mice. We found that visually driven activity was well correlated among higher visual areas within two distinct subnetworks resembling the dorsal and ventral visual streams. Visual response magnitude in dorsal stream areas slowly increased over the first 2 weeks of visual experience. By contrast, ventral stream areas exhibited strong responses shortly after eye opening. Neurons in a dorsal stream area showed little change in their tuning sharpness to oriented gratings while those in a ventral stream area increased stimulus selectivity and expanded their receptive fields significantly. Together, these findings provide a functional basis for grouping subnetworks of mouse visual areas and revealed stream differences in the development of receptive field properties.

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