Retinal lesions induce a topographic reorganization in the corresponding lesion projection zone (LPZ) in the visual cortex of adult cats. To gain a better insight into the reactivation dynamics, we investigated the alterations in cortical activity throughout area 17. We implemented in situ hybridization and real-time polymerase chain reaction to analyze the spatiotemporal expression patterns of the activity marker genes zif268 and c-fos. The immediate early gene (IEG) data confirmed a strong and permanent activity decrease in the center of the LPZ as previously described by electrophysiology. A recovery of IEG expression was clearly measured in the border of the LPZ. We were able to register reorganization over 2.5-6 mm. We also present evidence that the central retinal lesions concomitantly influence the activity in far peripheral parts of area 17. Its IEG expression levels appeared dependent of time and distance from the LPZ. We therefore propose that coupled changes in activity occur inside and outside the LPZ. In conclusion, alterations in activity reporter gene expression throughout area 17 contribute to the lesion-induced functional reorganization.