One of the theories in the development of amblyopia is binocular inhibition. Support for this theory come from neurotransmitter studies. Dopamine is a modulatory neurotransmitter and may have a significant role in normal visual maturation and in the cortical plasticity during the critical period. This preliminary study assessed and compared, through autoradiographic techniques, the dopamine distribution in human fetal and neonatal visual cortex to adult primary visual cortex. The results shows a laminar and ontogenic distribution of dopamine receptor binding sites in adult and child visual cortex,with binding most distinct in layer IVc. The results suggests a role for dopamine in early visual development.
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