Jianhua Cang Professor of Neurobiology

Research Interests

Functional Development of the Visual Cortex

A fascinating question in Neurobiology is how precise patterns of synaptic connections emerge during development. It is known that neuronal activity, both spontaneous and sensory-induced, plays an important role in the formation and maturation of neural circuits. Recent findings have uncovered two new opportunities for studying the neural basis of activity-dependent development in the mammalian visual cortex. By integrating electrophysiology, functional imaging, anatomy, and molecular biology techniques, and by taking advantage of mouse genetics, we take on these opportunities and pursue two lines of closely related research: (1) revealing the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the refinement of cortical retinotopic maps by patterned activity in the developing brain; and (2) determining how early visual experience reorganizes and fine-tunes synaptic connections in the cortex to ensure normal cortical function.

Selected Publications

Visual Cortex Modulates the Magnitude but Not the Selectivity of Looming-Evoked Responses in the Superior Colliculus of Awake Mice
. Zhao X, Liu M, and Cang J. Neuron. 2014 October 1;84(1):202-213.

Genetic disruption of the On visual pathway affects cortical orientation selectivity and contrast sensitivity in mice. Sarnaik R, Chen R, Liu X, and Cang J. Journal of Neurophysiology. 2014 June 1;111(11):2276-2286.

Different roles of axon guidance cues and patterned spontaneous activity in establishing receptive fields in the mouse superior colliculus. Liu M, Wang L, and Cang J. Frontiers in Neural Circuits. 2014 March 26;8:23.

Environmental Enrichment Rescues Binocular Matching of Orientation Preference in Mice that Have a Precocious Critical Period. Wang B-S, Feng L, Liu M, Liu X, and Cang J. Neuron. 2013 October 2;80(1):198-209.

Orientation-selective Responses in the Mouse Lateral Geniculate Nucleus. Zhao X, Chen H, Liu X, and Cang J. Journal of Neuroscience. 2013 July 31;33(31):12751-12763.

Developmental Mechanisms of Topographic Map Formation and AlignmentCang J and Feldheim DA. Annual Review of Neuroscience. 2013 July;36:51-77.

Sublinear binocular integration preserves orientation selectivity in mouse visual cortex. Zhao X, Liu M, and Cang J. Nature Communications. 2013 June 26;4:2088.

New Model of Retinocollicular Mapping Predicts the Mechanisms of Axonal Competition and Explains the Role of Reverse Molecular Signaling during Development. Grimbert F and Cang J. Journal of Neuroscience. 2012 July 11;32(28):9755-9768.

Overexpression of Neurotrophin-3 Stimulates a Second Wave of Dopaminergic Amacrine Cell Genesis after Birth in the Mouse Retina. Yoshida M, Feng L, Grimbert F, Rangarajan KV, Buggele W, Copenhagen DR, Cang J, and Liu X. Journal of Neuroscience.2011 August 31;31(35):12663-12673.

Detection of Visual Deficits in Aging DBA/2J Mice by Two Behavioral Assays. Rangarajan KV, Lawhn-Heath C, Feng L, Kim TS,Cang J, and Liu X. Current Eye Research. 2011 May;36(5):481-491.

View all publications by Jianhua Cang listed in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). Current and former IBiS students in blue.