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Author Notes:

Correspondence should be addressed to Professor Garrett B. Stanley, Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology & Emory University, 313 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332. garrett.stanley@bme.gatech.edu

G.B.S., M.J.B., and J.-M.A. designed research; J.J., Y.W., and J.-M.A. performed research; G.B.S., J.J., Q.W., and J.-M.A. analyzed data; G.B.S., G.D., M.J.B., and J.-M.A. wrote the paper.

We thank Christopher Rozell for helpful comments on the work, and Jonathan Pillow for providing code for the GLM fitting.

Subjects:

Research Funding:

This work was supported by NSF Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience Grant IIS-0904630 (G.B.S., M.J.B., J.-M.A.), NSF Grant IIS-0534858 (M.J.B.), and NIH Grant EY005253 (J.-M.A.).

Keywords:

  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Neurosciences
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • NEUROSCIENCES
  • LATERAL GENICULATE-NUCLEUS
  • CATS STRIATE CORTEX
  • RECEPTIVE-FIELD PROPERTIES
  • NEURONS IN-VIVO
  • SIMPLE CELLS
  • NATURAL SCENES
  • FEEDFORWARD INHIBITION
  • COINCIDENCE DETECTION
  • SOMATOSENSORY CORTEX
  • STIMULUS SELECTIVITY

Visual Orientation and Directional Selectivity through Thalamic Synchrony

Tools:

Journal Title:

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing

Volume:

Volume 32, Number 26

Publisher:

, Pages 9073-9088

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF

Abstract:

Thalamic neurons respond to visual scenes by generating synchronous spike trains on the timescale of 10-20 ms that are very effective at driving cortical targets. Here we demonstrate that this synchronous activity contains unexpectedly rich information about fundamental properties of visual stimuli. We report that the occurrence of synchronous firing of cat thalamic cells with highly overlapping receptive fields is strongly sensitive to the orientation and the direction of motion of the visual stimulus. We show that this stimulus selectivity is robust, remaining relatively unchanged under different contrasts and temporal frequencies (stimulus velocities). A computational analysis based on an integrate-and-fire model of the direct thalamic input to a layer 4 cortical cell reveals a strong correlation between the degree of thalamic synchrony and the nonlinear relationship between cortical membrane potential and the resultant firing rate. Together, these findings suggest a novel population code in the synchronous firing of neurons in the early visual pathway that could serve as the substrate for establishing cortical representations of the visual scene.

Copyright information:

© 2012 the authors.

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