New lab members

These are suggested readings for people who are new to the lab.

Vision and Visual Cortex

Eye, Brain, and Vision by David Hubel. 1995, Scientific American (A whole book; a little out of date but still very important)

Van Hooser 2007: Similarity and Diversity in Visual Cortex: Is There a Unifying Theory of Cortical Computation? The Neuroscientist

Van Hooser and Nelson, 2005: Visual System, in Encyclopedia of the Life Sciences (a short chapter giving basic overview of visual system; already a bit out of date, especially with respect to color processing)

Lyon 2006 The evolution of visual cortex and visual systems. In: The Evolution of the Nervous System in Mammals, Vol. 3. Academic Press, Oxford, pp. 267-306. [This is a preprint, please do not redistribute outside the lab.]

Development of direction selectivity

Li, White, and Fitzpatrick 2006: The development of direction selectivity in ferret visual cortex requires early visual experience, Nature Neurosci.

Li/Van Hooser et al., 2008: Experience with moving visual stimuli drives the early development of cortical direction selectivity, Nature

Van Hooser/Li/Christensson et al., 2012: Initial neighborhood biases and the quality of motion stimulation jointly influence the rapid emergence of direction preference in visual cortex. J Neurosci. 2012 May 23;32(21):7258-66. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0230-12.2012.

White and Fitzpatrick 2007: Vision and Cortical Map Development, Neuron [Review]

Clemens et al. 2012: The laminar development of direction selectivity in ferret visual cortex. J Neurosci 32:18177–18185

Van Hooser et al. 2014:

Emerging feed-forward inhibition allows the robust formation of direction selectivity in the developing ferret visual cortex. J Neurophys 111:2355-7.

Ritter et al. 2017: Visual Stimulus Speed Does Not Influence the Rapid Emergence of Direction Selectivity in Ferret Visual Cortex. J Neurosci 37:1557-1567.

Roy/Wang et al. 2020: An Early Phase of Instructive Plasticity Before the Typical Onset of Sensory Experience. Nature Comm: 11:11.

Ferret cortex

A Primer on Ferret Visual Cortex, by Len White [this was a Fitzpatrick lab meeting presentation; please do not redistribute outside the lab without Len White's permission]

The forebrain of the ferret. Lockard. Laboratory Animal Science. 35(3):216-228 1985

White et al., 1999: Maps of Central Visual Space in Ferret V1 and V2 Lack Matching Inputs from the Two Eyes, J Neurosci 19:7089–7099

Coppola and White 2004: Visual experience promotes the isotropic representation of orientation preference. Visual Neuroscience 21:39-51.

Law et al. 1988 Organization of Primary Visual Cortex (Area 17) in the Ferret. J. Comp. Neurol. 278:157-180.

Drawing of the map of visual space onto the ferret cortical surface (modified from Law et al. 1988)

Ferret visual cortex development, before eye opening

From Issa et al., 1999: The critical period for ocular dominance plasticity in the Ferret's visual cortex. Figure 7, J Neurosci 9(16):6965-78.

From Sur and Leamey, 2001: Development and plasticity of cortical areas and networks. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2:251-262.

A slide from Ye Li's 2007 talk at the Duke Neurobiology Retreat. Please don't share with Ye's permission:

Gao WJ, Newman DE, Wormington AB, Pallas SL. Development of inhibitory circuitry in visual and auditory cortex of postnatal ferrets: immunocytochemical localization of GABAergic neurons. J Comp Neurol. 1999 Jun 28;409(2):261-73.

Gao WJ, Wormington AB, Newman DE, Pallas SL. Development of inhibitory circuitry in visual and auditory cortex of postnatal ferrets: immunocytochemical localization of calbindin- and parvalbumin-containing neurons. J Comp Neurol. 2000 Jun 19;422(1):140-57.

Stacy AK, Van Hooser SD. Development of Functional Properties in the Early Visual System: New Appreciations of the Roles of Lateral Geniculate Nucleus. Curr Topics Behav Neurosci 2022

Ferret LGN

A drawing of where to insert an electrode to find ferret LGN in an adult female ferret (may change a lot for males, younger animals). This is from Farran Briggs and shouldn't be shared outside the lab without her permission.

Ferret Atlas

A PDF of the ferret atlas. Right now we are "borrowing" this but we will buy it if/when the new R01 comes in. Don't pass outside of the lab right now.


Foundations of Neurophysiology (Johnston and Wu, 1995), Chapter 14: Extracellular field recordings; covers physics of extracellular recordings and current source density (CSD)

Intrinsic Imaging

Ratzlaff and Grinvald 1991, A tandem-lens epifluorescence macroscope: hundred-fold brightness advantage for wide-field imaging, J Neurosci Methods

Hillman EMC. 2007 Optical brain imaging in vivo: techniques and applications from animal to man, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 12 051402.

Harrison et al., 2009:remember which one I coped. Harrison et al., 2009: Simple and cost-effective hardware and software for functional brain mapping using intrinsic optical signal imaging. J Neurosci Methods


Optics, 4th or 3rd Edition, by Eugene Hecht. 2001 Addison Wesley [Book]

Speed tuning

Presentation by Steve of Priebe, Lisberger, Movshon: Tuning for Spatiotemporal Frequency and Speed in Directionally Selective Neurons of Macaque Striate Cortex. J Neurosci: 2005