Characteristics of Cytochrome Oxidase Activity in Visual System Neurons in Kittens Reared in Conditions of Flashing Illumination

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The studies reported here addressed the effects of flashing (15 Hz) lights on the metabolic activity of visual system neurons in animals reared in condition of crepuscular illumination. Activity of the respiratory enzyme cytochrome oxidase was detected in the cortex of visual areas 17 and 18 and in the lateral geniculate body in kittens. The results showed that kittens subjected to this stimulation, unlike intact kittens and kittens reared in conditions of crepuscular illumination, showed a change in the pattern of cytochrome oxidase distribution in cortical field 17 consisting of the appearance of alternating areas of increased and decreased enzyme activity in layers III and IV. In cortical field 18 and the lateral geniculate body, experimental kittens showed no changes in the cytochrome oxidase activity distribution pattern. It is suggested that flashing illumination leads to disturbance of the balance in activity in the Y and X conducting channels of the visual system.

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