Selective Functional Connectivity between Ocular Dominance Columns in the Primary Visual Cortex

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The primary visual cortex (V1) in humans and many animals is comprised of fine-scale neuronal ensembles that respond preferentially to the stimulation of one eye over the other, also known as the ocular dominance columns (ODCs). Despite its importance in shaping our perception, to date, the nature of the functional interactions between ODCs has remained poorly understood. In this work, we aimed to improve our understanding of the interaction mechanisms between fine-scale neuronal structures distributed within V1. To that end, we applied high-resolution functional MRI to study mechanisms of functional connectivity between ODCs. Using this technique, we quantified the level of functional connectivity between ODCs as a function of the ocular preference of ODCs, showing that alike ODCs are functionally more connected compared to unalike ones. Through these experiments, we aspired to contribute to filling the gap in our knowledge of the functional connectivity of ODCs in humans as compared to animals.

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