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The purpose of the current study was to determine the progress of cortical functional degeneration in the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat. Cortical responses were measured with optical imaging of intrinsic signals using gratings of various spatial frequencies. Subsequently, electrophysiological recordings were also taken across cortical layers in response to a pulse of broad-spectrum light. We found significant degeneration in the cortical processing of visual information as early as 4 weeks of age. These results show that degeneration in the cortical response of the RCS rat starts before development has been properly completed.

Original publication




Journal article


Vision Res

Publication Date





2176 - 2185


Analysis of Variance, Animals, Electroretinography, Female, Light, Male, Models, Animal, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Photic Stimulation, Rats, Retinal Degeneration, Sensory Thresholds, Visual Cortex, Visual Perception