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Sample records for cat visual cortex

  1. Surround Suppression Maps in the Cat Primary Visual Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthieu P Vanni

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In the primary visual cortex and higher-order areas, it is well known that the stimulation of areas surrounding the classical receptive field of a neuron can inhibit its responses. In the primate area MT, this surround suppression was shown to be spatially organized into high and low suppression modules. However, such an organization hasn’t been demonstrated yet in the primary visual cortex. Here, we used optical imaging of intrinsic signals to spatially evaluate surround suppression in the cat visual cortex. The magnitude of the response was measured in areas 17 and 18 for stimuli with different diameters, presented at different eccentricities. Delimited regions of the cortex were revealed by circumscribed stimulations of the visual field (cortical response field. Increasing the stimulus diameter increased the spread of cortical activation. In the cortical response field, the optimal stimulation diameter and the level of suppression were evaluated. Most pixels (3/4 exhibited surround suppression profiles. The optimal diameter, corresponding to a population of receptive fields, was smaller in area 17 (22 deg. than in area 18 (36 deg. in accordance with electrophysiological data. No difference in the suppression strength was observed between both areas (A17: 25%, A18: 21%. Further analysis of our data revealed the presence of surround modulation maps, organized in low and high suppression domains. We also developed a statistical method to confirm the existence of this cortical map and its neuronal origin. The organization for center/surround suppression observed here at the level of the primary visual cortex is similar to those found in higher order areas in primates (e.g. area MT and could represent a strategy to optimize figure ground discrimination.

  2. Surround suppression maps in the cat primary visual cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Vanni, Matthieu P.; Casanova, Christian

    2013-01-01

    In the primary visual cortex and higher-order areas, it is well known that the stimulation of areas surrounding the classical receptive field of a neuron can inhibit its responses. In the primate area middle temporal (MT), this surround suppression was shown to be spatially organized into high and low suppression modules. However, such an organization has not been demonstrated yet in the primary visual cortex. Here, we used optical imaging of intrinsic signals to spatially evaluate surround s...

  3. Reduced synchronization in the visual cortex of cats with strabismic amblyopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelfsema, P. R.; König, P.; Engel, A. K.; Sireteanu, R.; Singer, W.

    1994-01-01

    Synchronous firing of spatially separate neurons was studied with multi-electrode recordings in area 17 of the visual cortex of strabismic cats which had developed behaviourally verified amblyopia of the deviated eye. Responses of neurons were evoked with moving light bars or gratings of different

  4. The Development and Activity-Dependent Expression of Aggrecan in the Cat Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengpiel, F.; Beaver, C. J.; Crocker-Buque, A.; Kelly, G. M.; Matthews, R. T.; Mitchell, D. E.

    2013-01-01

    The Cat-301 monoclonal antibody identifies aggrecan, a chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan in the cat visual cortex and dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN). During development, aggrecan expression increases in the dLGN with a time course that matches the decline in plasticity. Moreover, examination of tissue from selectively visually deprived cats shows that expression is activity dependent, suggesting a role for aggrecan in the termination of the sensitive period. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that the onset of aggrecan expression in area 17 also correlates with the decline in experience-dependent plasticity in visual cortex and that this expression is experience dependent. Dark rearing until 15 weeks of age dramatically reduced the density of aggrecan-positive neurons in the extragranular layers, but not in layer IV. This effect was reversible as dark-reared animals that were subsequently exposed to light showed normal numbers of Cat-301-positive cells. The reduction in aggrecan following certain early deprivation regimens is the first biochemical correlate of the functional changes to the γ-aminobutyric acidergic system that have been reported following early deprivation in cats. PMID:22368089

  5. Congenital Deafness Reduces, But Does Not Eliminate Auditory Responsiveness in Cat Extrastriate Visual Cortex.

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    Land, Rüdiger; Radecke, Jan-Ole; Kral, Andrej

    2018-04-01

    Congenital deafness not only affects the development of the auditory cortex, but also the interrelation between the visual and auditory system. For example, congenital deafness leads to visual modulation of the deaf auditory cortex in the form of cross-modal plasticity. Here we asked, whether congenital deafness additionally affects auditory modulation in the visual cortex. We demonstrate that auditory activity, which is normally present in the lateral suprasylvian visual areas in normal hearing cats, can also be elicited by electrical activation of the auditory system with cochlear implants. We then show that in adult congenitally deaf cats auditory activity in this region was reduced when tested with cochlear implant stimulation. However, the change in this area was small and auditory activity was not completely abolished despite years of congenital deafness. The results document that congenital deafness leads not only to changes in the auditory cortex but also affects auditory modulation of visual areas. However, the results further show a persistence of fundamental cortical sensory functional organization despite congenital deafness. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Stimulus-entrained oscillatory activity propagates as waves from area 18 to 17 in cat visual cortex.

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    Lian Zheng

    Full Text Available Previous studies in cat visual cortex reported that area 18 can actively drive neurons in area 17 through cortico-cortical projections. However, the dynamics of such cortico-cortical interaction remains unclear. Here we used multielectrode arrays to examine the spatiotemporal pattern of neuronal activity in cat visual cortex across the 17/18 border. We found that full-field contrast reversal gratings evoked oscillatory wave activity propagating from area 18 to 17. The wave direction was independent of the grating orientation, and could not be accounted for by the spatial distribution of receptive field latencies, suggesting that the waves are largely mediated by intrinsic connections in the cortex. Different from the evoked waves, spontaneous waves propagated along both directions across the 17/18 border. Together, our results suggest that visual stimulation may enhance the flow of information from area 18 to 17.

  7. L-dopa methyl ester attenuates amblyopia-induced neuronal injury in visual cortex of amblyopic cat.

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    Li, Rong; Liang, Tao; Chen, Zhaoni; Zhang, Shijun; Lin, Xing; Huang, Renbin

    2013-09-15

    In the present study, we aimed to assess the potential anti-amblyopic effects of L-dopa methyl ester (LDME) on visual cortex area 17 in an amblyopic feline model induced by monocular vision deprivation. After LDME administration, pathophysiologic and ultrastructural observations were utilized to examine the morphological changes of nerve cells in visual cortex area 17. Dopamine (DA) and its metabolite contents in visual cortex area 17 were investigated through HPLC analysis. Apoptotic cells in visual cortex area 17 were evaluated by TUNEL assay. Additionally, the c-fos expression both at gene and protein levels was assessed using RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry analyses, respectively. The contents of DA and its metabolites were elevated in visual cortex area 17. Neuronal rejuvenation which occurred in visual cortex area 17 was observed through anatomical and physiological assessments. Similarly, TUNEL results showed that neuronal apoptosis was inhibited in the visual cortex of amblyopic cats by both L-dopa and LDME therapies. Meanwhile, the c-fos expression was notably up-regulated at both the mRNA and protein levels by the treatments. These findings suggested that LDME treatment could effectively increase DA and its metabolite contents, and restrain the apoptotic process, as well as elevate the c-fos expression in nerve cells of visual cortex area 17. Taken together, LDME might ameliorate the functional cytoarchitecture in visual cortex area 17 through mechanisms that elevate DA content and increase endogenous c-fos expression, as well as inhibit neuronal lesion in visual cortex tissue. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Laminar and regional distribution of galanin binding sites in cat and monkey visual cortex determined by in vitro receptor autoradiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosier, A.M.; Vandesande, F.; Orban, G.A.

    1991-01-01

    The distribution of galanin (GAL) binding sites in the visual cortex of cat and monkey was determined by autoradiographic visualization of [ 125 I]-GAL binding to tissue sections. Binding conditions were optimized and, as a result, the binding was saturable and specific. In cat visual cortex, GAL binding sites were concentrated in layers I, IVc, V, and VI. Areas 17, 18, and 19 exhibited a similar distribution pattern. In monkey primary visual cortex, the highest density of GAL binding sites was observed in layers II/III, lower IVc, and upper V. Layers IVA and VI contained moderate numbers of GAL binding sites, while layer I and the remaining parts of layer IV displayed the lowest density. In monkey secondary visual cortex, GAL binding sites were mainly concentrated in layers V-VI. Layer IV exhibited a moderate density, while the supragranular layers contained the lowest proportion of GAL binding sites. In both cat and monkey, we found little difference between regions subserving central and those subserving peripheral vision. Similarities in the distribution of GAL and acetylcholine binding sites are discussed

  9. Asymmetrical interhemispheric connections develop in cat visual cortex after early unilateral convergent strabismus: Anatomy, physiology and mechanisms

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    Emmanuel eBui Quoc

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In the mammalian primary visual cortex, the corpus callosum contributes to the unification of the visual hemifields that project to the two hemispheres. Its development depends on visual experience. When the latter is abnormal, callosal connections must undergo dramatic anatomical and physiological changes. However, such data are sparse and incomplete. Thus, little is known about the consequences of abnormal postnatal visual experience on the development of callosal connections and their role in unifying representation of the two hemifields. Here, the effects of early unilateral convergent strabismus (a model of abnormal visual experience were fully characterized with respect to the development of the callosal connections in cat visual cortex, an experimental model for humans. Electrophysiological responses and 3D reconstruction of single callosal axons show that abnormally asymmetrical callosal connections develop after unilateral convergent strabismus, resulting from an extension of axonal branches of specific orders in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the deviated eye and a decreased number of nodes and terminals in the other (ipsilateral to the non deviated eye. Furthermore this asymmetrical organization prevents the establishment of a unifying representation of the two visual hemifields. As a general rule, we suggest that crossed and uncrossed retino-geniculo-cortical pathways contribute in succession to the development of the callosal maps in visual cortex.

  10. Age-related changes of structures in cerebellar cortex of cat

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    We studied the structures of the cerebellar cortex of young adult and old cats for age-related changes, which were statistically analysed. Nissl staining was used to visualize the cortical neurons. The immunohistochemical method was used to display glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-immunoreactive (IR) astrocytes and ...

  11. Preparatory attention in visual cortex.

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    Battistoni, Elisa; Stein, Timo; Peelen, Marius V

    2017-05-01

    Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a preparatory phase before stimulus onset in which the attended dimension is internally represented. Here, we review neurophysiological, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies investigating the neural basis of preparatory attention, both when attention is directed to a location in space and when it is directed to nonspatial stimulus attributes (content-based attention) ranging from low-level features to object categories. Results show that both spatial and content-based attention lead to increased baseline activity in neural populations that selectively code for the attended attribute. TMS studies provide evidence that this preparatory activity is causally related to subsequent attentional selection and behavioral performance. Attention thus acts by preactivating selective neurons in the visual cortex before stimulus onset. This appears to be a general mechanism that can operate on multiple levels of representation. We discuss the functional relevance of this mechanism, its limitations, and its relation to working memory, imagery, and expectation. We conclude by outlining open questions and future directions. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.

  12. Monocular Visual Deprivation Suppresses Excitability in Adult Human Visual Cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lou, Astrid Rosenstand; Madsen, Kristoffer Hougaard; Paulson, Olaf Bjarne

    2011-01-01

    The adult visual cortex maintains a substantial potential for plasticity in response to a change in visual input. For instance, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies have shown that binocular deprivation (BD) increases the cortical excitability for inducing phosphenes with TMS. Here, we...... employed TMS to trace plastic changes in adult visual cortex before, during, and after 48 h of monocular deprivation (MD) of the right dominant eye. In healthy adult volunteers, MD-induced changes in visual cortex excitability were probed with paired-pulse TMS applied to the left and right occipital cortex....... Stimulus–response curves were constructed by recording the intensity of the reported phosphenes evoked in the contralateral visual field at range of TMS intensities. Phosphene measurements revealed that MD produced a rapid and robust decrease in cortical excitability relative to a control condition without...

  13. Visual Categorization and the Parietal Cortex

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    Jamie K Fitzgerald

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The primate brain is adept at rapidly grouping items and events into functional classes, or categories, in order to recognize the significance of stimuli and guide behavior. Higher cognitive functions have traditionally been considered the domain of frontal areas. However, increasing evidence suggests that parietal cortex is also involved in categorical and associative processes. Previous work showed that the parietal cortex is highly involved in spatial processing, attention and saccadic eye movement planning, and more recent studies have found decision-making signals in LIP. We recently found that a subdivision of parietal cortex, the lateral intraparietal area (LIP, reflects learned categories for multiple types of visual stimuli. Additionally, a comparison of categorization signals in parietal and frontal areas found stronger and earlier categorization signals in parietal cortex, arguing that parietal abstract association or category signals are unlikely to arise via feedback from prefrontal cortex (PFC.

  14. Preparatory attention in visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Battistoni, E.; Stein, T.; Peelen, M.V.

    2017-01-01

    Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a

  15. Preparatory attention in visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Battistoni, E.; Stein, T.; Peelen, M.V.

    Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a

  16. Visual cortex entrains to sign language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookshire, Geoffrey; Lu, Jenny; Nusbaum, Howard C; Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Casasanto, Daniel

    2017-06-13

    Despite immense variability across languages, people can learn to understand any human language, spoken or signed. What neural mechanisms allow people to comprehend language across sensory modalities? When people listen to speech, electrophysiological oscillations in auditory cortex entrain to slow ([Formula: see text]8 Hz) fluctuations in the acoustic envelope. Entrainment to the speech envelope may reflect mechanisms specialized for auditory perception. Alternatively, flexible entrainment may be a general-purpose cortical mechanism that optimizes sensitivity to rhythmic information regardless of modality. Here, we test these proposals by examining cortical coherence to visual information in sign language. First, we develop a metric to quantify visual change over time. We find quasiperiodic fluctuations in sign language, characterized by lower frequencies than fluctuations in speech. Next, we test for entrainment of neural oscillations to visual change in sign language, using electroencephalography (EEG) in fluent speakers of American Sign Language (ASL) as they watch videos in ASL. We find significant cortical entrainment to visual oscillations in sign language sign is strongest over occipital and parietal cortex, in contrast to speech, where coherence is strongest over the auditory cortex. Nonsigners also show coherence to sign language, but entrainment at frontal sites is reduced relative to fluent signers. These results demonstrate that flexible cortical entrainment to language does not depend on neural processes that are specific to auditory speech perception. Low-frequency oscillatory entrainment may reflect a general cortical mechanism that maximizes sensitivity to informational peaks in time-varying signals.

  17. Differential Modification of Cortical and Thalamic Projections to Cat Primary Auditory Cortex Following Early- and Late-Onset Deafness.

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    Chabot, Nicole; Butler, Blake E; Lomber, Stephen G

    2015-10-15

    Following sensory deprivation, primary somatosensory and visual cortices undergo crossmodal plasticity, which subserves the remaining modalities. However, controversy remains regarding the neuroplastic potential of primary auditory cortex (A1). To examine this, we identified cortical and thalamic projections to A1 in hearing cats and those with early- and late-onset deafness. Following early deafness, inputs from second auditory cortex (A2) are amplified, whereas the number originating in the dorsal zone (DZ) decreases. In addition, inputs from the dorsal medial geniculate nucleus (dMGN) increase, whereas those from the ventral division (vMGN) are reduced. In late-deaf cats, projections from the anterior auditory field (AAF) are amplified, whereas those from the DZ decrease. Additionally, in a subset of early- and late-deaf cats, area 17 and the lateral posterior nucleus (LP) of the visual thalamus project concurrently to A1. These results demonstrate that patterns of projections to A1 are modified following deafness, with statistically significant changes occurring within the auditory thalamus and some cortical areas. Moreover, we provide anatomical evidence for small-scale crossmodal changes in projections to A1 that differ between early- and late-onset deaf animals, suggesting that potential crossmodal activation of primary auditory cortex differs depending on the age of deafness onset. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Compressive Temporal Summation in Human Visual Cortex.

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    Zhou, Jingyang; Benson, Noah C; Kay, Kendrick N; Winawer, Jonathan

    2018-01-17

    Combining sensory inputs over space and time is fundamental to vision. Population receptive field models have been successful in characterizing spatial encoding throughout the human visual pathways. A parallel question, how visual areas in the human brain process information distributed over time, has received less attention. One challenge is that the most widely used neuroimaging method, fMRI, has coarse temporal resolution compared with the time-scale of neural dynamics. Here, via carefully controlled temporally modulated stimuli, we show that information about temporal processing can be readily derived from fMRI signal amplitudes in male and female subjects. We find that all visual areas exhibit subadditive summation, whereby responses to longer stimuli are less than the linear prediction from briefer stimuli. We also find fMRI evidence that the neural response to two stimuli is reduced for brief interstimulus intervals (indicating adaptation). These effects are more pronounced in visual areas anterior to V1-V3. Finally, we develop a general model that shows how these effects can be captured with two simple operations: temporal summation followed by a compressive nonlinearity. This model operates for arbitrary temporal stimulation patterns and provides a simple and interpretable set of computations that can be used to characterize neural response properties across the visual hierarchy. Importantly, compressive temporal summation directly parallels earlier findings of compressive spatial summation in visual cortex describing responses to stimuli distributed across space. This indicates that, for space and time, cortex uses a similar processing strategy to achieve higher-level and increasingly invariant representations of the visual world. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Combining sensory inputs over time is fundamental to seeing. Two important temporal phenomena are summation, the accumulation of sensory inputs over time, and adaptation, a response reduction for repeated

  19. Experience-dependent spatial expectations in mouse visual cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fiser, Aris; Mahringer, David; Oyibo, Hassana K.

    2016-01-01

    primary visual cortex (V1) becomes increasingly informative of spatial location. We found that a subset of V1 neurons exhibited responses that were predictive of the upcoming visual stimulus in a spatially dependent manner and that the omission of an expected stimulus drove strong responses in V1....... Stimulus-predictive responses also emerged in V1-projecting anterior cingulate cortex axons, suggesting that anterior cingulate cortex serves as a source of predictions of visual input to V1. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that visual cortex forms an internal representation of the visual...

  20. Neural Anatomy of Primary Visual Cortex Limits Visual Working Memory.

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    Bergmann, Johanna; Genç, Erhan; Kohler, Axel; Singer, Wolf; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-01

    Despite the immense processing power of the human brain, working memory storage is severely limited, and the neuroanatomical basis of these limitations has remained elusive. Here, we show that the stable storage limits of visual working memory for over 9 s are bound by the precise gray matter volume of primary visual cortex (V1), defined by fMRI retinotopic mapping. Individuals with a bigger V1 tended to have greater visual working memory storage. This relationship was present independently for both surface size and thickness of V1 but absent in V2, V3 and for non-visual working memory measures. Additional whole-brain analyses confirmed the specificity of the relationship to V1. Our findings indicate that the size of primary visual cortex plays a critical role in limiting what we can hold in mind, acting like a gatekeeper in constraining the richness of working mental function. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. The spatiotopic 'visual' cortex of the blind

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    Likova, Lora

    2012-03-01

    Visual cortex activity in the blind has been shown in sensory tasks. Can it be activated in memory tasks? If so, are inherent features of its organization meaningfully employed? Our recent results in short-term blindfolded subjects imply that human primary visual cortex (V1) may operate as a modality-independent 'sketchpad' for working memory (Likova, 2010a). Interestingly, the spread of the V1 activation approximately corresponded to the spatial extent of the images in terms of their angle of projection to the subject. We now raise the questions of whether under long-term visual deprivation V1 is also employed in non-visual memory task, in particular in congenitally blind individuals, who have never had visual stimulation to guide the development of the visual area organization, and whether such spatial organization is still valid for the same paradigm that was used in blindfolded individuals. The outcome has implications for an emerging reconceptualization of the principles of brain architecture and its reorganization under sensory deprivation. Methods: We used a novel fMRI drawing paradigm in congenitally and late-onset blind, compared with sighted and blindfolded subjects in three conditions of 20s duration, separated by 20s rest-intervals, (i) Tactile Exploration: raised-line images explored and memorized; (ii) Tactile Memory Drawing: drawing the explored image from memory; (iii) Scribble: mindless drawing movements with no memory component. Results and Conclusions: V1 was strongly activated for Tactile Memory Drawing and Tactile Exploration in these totally blind subjects. Remarkably, after training, even in the memory task, the mapping of V1 activation largely corresponded to the angular projection of the tactile stimuli relative to the ego-center (i.e., the effective visual angle at the head); beyond this projective boundary, peripheral V1 signals were dramatically reduced or even suppressed. The matching extent of the activation in the congenitally blind

  2. Migraine with visual aura associated with thicker visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaist, David; Hougaard, Anders; Garde, Ellen; Reislev, Nina Linde; Wiwie, Rikke; Iversen, Pernille; Madsen, Camilla Gøbel; Blaabjerg, Morten; Nielsen, Helle Hvilsted; Krøigård, Thomas; Østergaard, Kamilla; Kyvik, Kirsten Ohm; Hjelmborg, Jacob; Madsen, Kristoffer; Siebner, Hartwig Roman; Ashina, Messoud

    2018-01-18

    Until recent years it was believed that migraine with aura was a disorder causing intermittent neurological symptoms, with no impact on brain structure. However, recent MRI studies have reported increased cortical thickness of visual and somatosensory areas in patients with migraine with aura, suggesting that such structural alterations were either due to increased neuronal density in the areas involved, or a result of multiple episodes of cortical spreading depression as part of aura attacks. Subsequent studies have yielded conflicting results, possibly due to methodological reasons, e.g. small number of subjects. In this cross-sectional study, we recruited females aged 30-60 years from the nationwide Danish Twin Registry. Brain MRI of females with migraine with aura (patients), their co-twins, and unrelated migraine-free twins (controls) were performed at a single centre and assessed for cortical thickness in predefined cortical areas (V1, V2, V3A, MT, somatosensory cortex), blinded to headache diagnoses. The difference in cortical thickness between patients and controls adjusted for age, and other potential confounders was assessed. Comparisons of twin pairs discordant for migraine with aura were also performed. Comparisons were based on 166 patients, 30 co-twins, and 137 controls. Compared with controls, patients had a thicker cortex in areas V2 [adjusted mean difference 0.032 mm (95% confidence interval 0.003 to 0.061), V3A [adjusted mean difference 0.037 mm (95% confidence interval 0.008 to 0.067)], while differences in the remaining areas examined were not statistically significant [adjusted mean difference (95% confidence interval): V1 0.022 (-0.007 to 0.052); MT: 0.018 (-0.011 to 0.047); somatosensory cortex: 0.020 (-0.009 to 0.049)]. We found no association between the regions of interest and active migraine, or number of lifetime aura attacks. Migraine with aura discordant twin pairs (n = 30) only differed in mean thickness of V2 (0.039 mm, 95% CI 0

  3. Sensitivity to syntax in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dikker, Suzanne; Rabagliati, Hugh; Pylkkänen, Liina

    2009-03-01

    One of the most intriguing findings on language comprehension is that violations of syntactic predictions can affect event-related potentials as early as 120 ms, in the same time-window as early sensory processing. This effect, the so-called early left-anterior negativity (ELAN), has been argued to reflect word category access and initial syntactic structure building (Friederici, 2002). In two experiments, we used magnetoencephalography to investigate whether (a) rapid word category identification relies on overt category-marking closed-class morphemes and (b) whether violations of word category predictions affect modality-specific sensory responses. Participants read sentences containing violations of word category predictions. Unexpected items varied in whether or not their word category was marked by an overt function morpheme. In Experiment 1, the amplitude of the visual evoked M100 component was increased for unexpected items, but only when word category was overtly marked by a function morpheme. Dipole modeling localized the generator of this effect to the occipital cortex. Experiment 2 replicated the main results of Experiment 1 and eliminated two non-morphology-related explanations of the M100 contrast we observed between targets containing overt category-marking and targets that lacked such morphology. Our results show that during reading, syntactically relevant cues in the input can affect activity in occipital regions at around 125 ms, a finding that may shed new light on the remarkable rapidity of language processing.

  4. Migraine with visual aura associated with thicker visual cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gaist, David; Hougaard, Anders; Garde, Ellen

    2018-01-01

    Until recent years it was believed that migraine with aura was a disorder causing intermittent neurological symptoms, with no impact on brain structure. However, recent MRI studies have reported increased cortical thickness of visual and somatosensory areas in patients with migraine with aura...... number of subjects. In this cross-sectional study, we recruited females aged 30-60 years from the nationwide Danish Twin Registry. Brain MRI of females with migraine with aura (patients), their co-twins, and unrelated migraine-free twins (controls) were performed at a single centre and assessed...... for cortical thickness in predefined cortical areas (V1, V2, V3A, MT, somatosensory cortex), blinded to headache diagnoses. The difference in cortical thickness between patients and controls adjusted for age, and other potential confounders was assessed. Comparisons of twin pairs discordant for migraine...

  5. Preprocessing of emotional visual information in the human piriform cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, Patrick; Bestgen, Anne-Kathrin; Lech, Robert K; Kuchinke, Lars; Suchan, Boris

    2017-08-23

    This study examines the processing of visual information by the olfactory system in humans. Recent data point to the processing of visual stimuli by the piriform cortex, a region mainly known as part of the primary olfactory cortex. Moreover, the piriform cortex generates predictive templates of olfactory stimuli to facilitate olfactory processing. This study fills the gap relating to the question whether this region is also capable of preprocessing emotional visual information. To gain insight into the preprocessing and transfer of emotional visual information into olfactory processing, we recorded hemodynamic responses during affective priming using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Odors of different valence (pleasant, neutral and unpleasant) were primed by images of emotional facial expressions (happy, neutral and disgust). Our findings are the first to demonstrate that the piriform cortex preprocesses emotional visual information prior to any olfactory stimulation and that the emotional connotation of this preprocessing is subsequently transferred and integrated into an extended olfactory network for olfactory processing.

  6. Visual Information Present in Infragranular Layers of Mouse Auditory Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrill, Ryan J; Hasenstaub, Andrea R

    2018-03-14

    The cerebral cortex is a major hub for the convergence and integration of signals from across the sensory modalities; sensory cortices, including primary regions, are no exception. Here we show that visual stimuli influence neural firing in the auditory cortex of awake male and female mice, using multisite probes to sample single units across multiple cortical layers. We demonstrate that visual stimuli influence firing in both primary and secondary auditory cortex. We then determine the laminar location of recording sites through electrode track tracing with fluorescent dye and optogenetic identification using layer-specific markers. Spiking responses to visual stimulation occur deep in auditory cortex and are particularly prominent in layer 6. Visual modulation of firing rate occurs more frequently at areas with secondary-like auditory responses than those with primary-like responses. Auditory cortical responses to drifting visual gratings are not orientation-tuned, unlike visual cortex responses. The deepest cortical layers thus appear to be an important locus for cross-modal integration in auditory cortex. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The deepest layers of the auditory cortex are often considered its most enigmatic, possessing a wide range of cell morphologies and atypical sensory responses. Here we show that, in mouse auditory cortex, these layers represent a locus of cross-modal convergence, containing many units responsive to visual stimuli. Our results suggest that this visual signal conveys the presence and timing of a stimulus rather than specifics about that stimulus, such as its orientation. These results shed light on both how and what types of cross-modal information is integrated at the earliest stages of sensory cortical processing. Copyright © 2018 the authors 0270-6474/18/382854-09$15.00/0.

  7. Classification of Real and Imagined Sounds in Early Visual Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra Vetter

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Early visual cortex has been thought to be mainly involved in the detection of low-level visual features. Here we show that complex natural sounds can be decoded from early visual cortex activity, in the absence of visual stimulation and both when sounds are actually displayed and when they are merely imagined. Blindfolded subjects listened to three complex natural sounds (bird singing, people talking, traffic noise; Exp. 1 or received word cues (“forest”, “people”, “traffic”; Exp 2 to imagine the associated scene. fMRI BOLD activation patterns from retinotopically defined early visual areas were fed into a multivariate pattern classification algorithm (a linear support vector machine. Actual sounds were discriminated above chance in V2 and V3 and imagined sounds were decoded in V1. Also cross-classification, ie, training the classifier to real sounds and testing it to imagined sounds and vice versa, was successful. Two further experiments showed that an orthogonal working memory task does not interfere with sound classification in early visual cortex (Exp. 3, however, an orthogonal visuo-spatial imagery task does (Exp. 4. These results demonstrate that early visual cortex activity contains content-specific information from hearing and from imagery, challenging the view of a strict modality-specific function of early visual cortex.

  8. Contextual modulation of primary visual cortex by auditory signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petro, L S; Paton, A T; Muckli, L

    2017-02-19

    Early visual cortex receives non-feedforward input from lateral and top-down connections (Muckli & Petro 2013 Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 23, 195-201. (doi:10.1016/j.conb.2013.01.020)), including long-range projections from auditory areas. Early visual cortex can code for high-level auditory information, with neural patterns representing natural sound stimulation (Vetter et al. 2014 Curr. Biol. 24, 1256-1262. (doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.04.020)). We discuss a number of questions arising from these findings. What is the adaptive function of bimodal representations in visual cortex? What type of information projects from auditory to visual cortex? What are the anatomical constraints of auditory information in V1, for example, periphery versus fovea, superficial versus deep cortical layers? Is there a putative neural mechanism we can infer from human neuroimaging data and recent theoretical accounts of cortex? We also present data showing we can read out high-level auditory information from the activation patterns of early visual cortex even when visual cortex receives simple visual stimulation, suggesting independent channels for visual and auditory signals in V1. We speculate which cellular mechanisms allow V1 to be contextually modulated by auditory input to facilitate perception, cognition and behaviour. Beyond cortical feedback that facilitates perception, we argue that there is also feedback serving counterfactual processing during imagery, dreaming and mind wandering, which is not relevant for immediate perception but for behaviour and cognition over a longer time frame.This article is part of the themed issue 'Auditory and visual scene analysis'. © 2017 The Authors.

  9. "Visual" Cortex Responds to Spoken Language in Blind Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedny, Marina; Richardson, Hilary; Saxe, Rebecca

    2015-08-19

    Plasticity in the visual cortex of blind individuals provides a rare window into the mechanisms of cortical specialization. In the absence of visual input, occipital ("visual") brain regions respond to sound and spoken language. Here, we examined the time course and developmental mechanism of this plasticity in blind children. Nineteen blind and 40 sighted children and adolescents (4-17 years old) listened to stories and two auditory control conditions (unfamiliar foreign speech, and music). We find that "visual" cortices of young blind (but not sighted) children respond to sound. Responses to nonlanguage sounds increased between the ages of 4 and 17. By contrast, occipital responses to spoken language were maximal by age 4 and were not related to Braille learning. These findings suggest that occipital plasticity for spoken language is independent of plasticity for Braille and for sound. We conclude that in the absence of visual input, spoken language colonizes the visual system during brain development. Our findings suggest that early in life, human cortex has a remarkably broad computational capacity. The same cortical tissue can take on visual perception and language functions. Studies of plasticity provide key insights into how experience shapes the human brain. The "visual" cortex of adults who are blind from birth responds to touch, sound, and spoken language. To date, all existing studies have been conducted with adults, so little is known about the developmental trajectory of plasticity. We used fMRI to study the emergence of "visual" cortex responses to sound and spoken language in blind children and adolescents. We find that "visual" cortex responses to sound increase between 4 and 17 years of age. By contrast, responses to spoken language are present by 4 years of age and are not related to Braille-learning. These findings suggest that, early in development, human cortex can take on a strikingly wide range of functions. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3511674-08$15.00/0.

  10. Human primary visual cortex topography imaged via positron tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwartz, E.L.; Christman, D.R.; Wolf, A.P.

    1984-01-01

    The visuotopic structure of primary visual cortex was studied in a group of 7 human volunteers using positron emission transaxial tomography (PETT) and 18 F-labeled 2-deoxy-2-fluoro-D-glucose ([ 18 F]DG). A computer animation was constructed with a spatial structure which was matched to estimates of human cortical magnification factor and to striate cortex stimulus preferences. A lateralized cortical 'checker-board' pattern of [ 18 F]DG was stimulated in primary visual cortex by having subjects view this computer animation following i.v. injection of [ 18 F]DG. The spatial structure of the stimulus was designed to produce an easily recognizable 'signature' in a series of 9 serial PETT scans obtained from each of a group of 7 volunteers. The predicted lateralized topographic 'signature' was observed in 6 of 7 subjects. Applications of this method for further PETT studies of human visual cortex are discussed. (Auth.)

  11. Attentional Modulation in Visual Cortex Is Modified during Perceptual Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.

    2011-01-01

    Practicing a visual task commonly results in improved performance. Often the improvement does not transfer well to a new retinal location, suggesting that it is mediated by changes occurring in early visual cortex, and indeed neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies both demonstrate that perceptual learning is associated with altered activity…

  12. Spatial working memory effects in early visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Munneke, J.; Heslenfeld, D.J.; Theeuwes, J.

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigated how spatial working memory recruits early visual cortex. Participants were required to maintain a location in working memory while changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals were measured during the retention interval in which no visual stimulation was

  13. Spatial Working Memory Effects in Early Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munneke, Jaap; Heslenfeld, Dirk J.; Theeuwes, Jan

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigated how spatial working memory recruits early visual cortex. Participants were required to maintain a location in working memory while changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals were measured during the retention interval in which no visual stimulation was present. We show working memory effects during the…

  14. High-intensity Erotic Visual Stimuli De-activate the Primary Visual Cortex in Women

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huynh, Hieu K.; Beers, Caroline; Willemsen, Antoon; Lont, Erna; Laan, Ellen; Dierckx, Rudi; Jansen, Monique; Sand, Michael; Schultz, Willibrord Weijmar; Holstege, Gert

    Introduction. The primary visual cortex, Brodmann's area (BA 17), plays a vital role in basic survival mechanisms in humans. In most neuro-imaging studies in which the volunteers have to watch pictures or movies, the primary visual cortex is similarly activated independent of the content of the

  15. High-intensity Erotic Visual Stimuli De-activate the Primary Visual Cortex in Women

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huynh, Hieu K.; Beers, Caroline; Willemsen, Antoon; Lont, Erna; Laan, Ellen; Dierckx, Rudi; Jansen, Monique; Sand, Michael; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; Holstege, Gert

    2012-01-01

    Introduction. The primary visual cortex, Brodmann's area (BA 17), plays a vital role in basic survival mechanisms in humans. In most neuro-imaging studies in which the volunteers have to watch pictures or movies, the primary visual cortex is similarly activated independent of the content of the

  16. Cortical and thalamic connectivity to the second auditory cortex of the cat is resilient to the onset of deafness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Blake E; de la Rua, Alexandra; Ward-Able, Taylor; Lomber, Stephen G

    2018-03-01

    It has been well established that following sensory loss, cortical areas that would normally be involved in perceiving stimuli in the absent modality are recruited to subserve the remaining senses. Despite this compensatory functional reorganization, there is little evidence to date for any substantial change in the patterns of anatomical connectivity between sensory cortices. However, while many auditory areas are contracted in the deaf, the second auditory cortex (A2) of the cat undergoes a volumetric expansion following hearing loss, suggesting this cortical area may demonstrate a region-specific pattern of structural reorganization. To address this hypothesis, and to complement existing literature on connectivity within auditory cortex, we injected a retrograde neuronal tracer across the breadth and cortical thickness of A2 to provide the first comprehensive quantification of projections from cortical and thalamic auditory and non-auditory regions to the second auditory cortex, and to determine how these patterns are affected by the onset of deafness. Neural projections arising from auditory, visual, somatomotor, and limbic cortices, as well as thalamic nuclei, were compared across normal hearing, early-deaf, and late-deaf animals. The results demonstrate that, despite previously identified changes in A2 volume, the pattern of projections into this cortical region are unaffected by the onset of hearing loss. These results fail to support the idea that crossmodal plasticity reflects changes in the pattern of projections between cortical regions and provides evidence that the pattern of connectivity that supports normal hearing is retained in the deaf brain.

  17. Cortico-Cortical Receptive Field Estimates in Human Visual Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koen V Haak

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Human visual cortex comprises many visual areas that contain a map of the visual field (Wandell et al 2007, Neuron 56, 366–383. These visual field maps can be identified readily in individual subjects with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI during experimental sessions that last less than an hour (Wandell and Winawer 2011, Vis Res 718–737. Hence, visual field mapping with fMRI has been, and still is, a heavily used technique to examine the organisation of both normal and abnormal human visual cortex (Haak et al 2011, ACNR, 11(3, 20–21. However, visual field mapping cannot reveal every aspect of human visual cortex organisation. For example, the information processed within a visual field map arrives from somewhere and is sent to somewhere, and visual field mapping does not derive these input/output relationships. Here, we describe a new, model-based analysis for estimating the dependence between signals in distinct cortical regions using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data. Just as a stimulus-referred receptive field predicts the neural response as a function of the stimulus contrast, the neural-referred receptive field predicts the neural response as a function of responses elsewhere in the nervous system. When applied to two cortical regions, this function can be called the cortico-cortical receptive field (CCRF. We model the CCRF as a Gaussian-weighted region on the cortical surface and apply the model to data from both stimulus-driven and resting-state experimental conditions in visual cortex.

  18. Deep Hierarchies in the Primate Visual Cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krüger, Norbert; Jannsen, Per; Kalkan, S.

    2013-01-01

    of the processing hierarchies present in the primate visual system considering recent discoveries in neurophysiology. The hierarchal processing in the primate visual system is characterized by a sequence of different levels of processing (in the order of ten) that constitute a deep hierarchy in contrast to the flat...... vision architectures predominantly used in today's mainstream computer vision. We hope that the functional description of the deep hierarchies realized in the primate visual system provides valuable insights for the design of computer vision algorithms, fostering increasingly productive interaction......Computational modeling of the primate visual system yields insights of potential relevance to some of the challenges that computer vision is facing, such as object recognition and categorization, motion detection and activity recognition or vision-based navigation and manipulation. This article...

  19. Population response characteristics of intrinsic signals in the cat somatosensory cortex following canine mechanical stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Jianxiang; Wang, Jian; Li, Zhong; Meng, Jianjun; Yu, Hongbo

    2016-08-04

    Intrinsic signal optical imaging has been widely used to measure functional maps in various sensory cortices due to better spatial resolution and sensitivity for detecting cortical neuroplasticity. However, application of this technique in dentistry has not been reported. In this study, intrinsic signal optical imaging was used to investigate mechanically driven responses in the cat somatosensory cortex, when punctate mechanical stimuli were applied to maxillary canines. The global signal and its spatial organization pattern were obtained. Global signal strength gradually increased with stimulus strength. There was no significant difference in response strength between contralateral and ipsilateral mechanical stimulation. A slightly greater response was recorded in the sigmoidal gyrus than in the coronal gyrus. The cat somatosensory cortex activated by sensory inputs from mechanical stimulation of canines lacks both topographical and functional organization. It is not organized into columns that represent sensory input from each tooth or direction of stimulation. These results demonstrate that intrinsic signal optical imaging is a valid tool for investigating neural responses and neuroplasticity in the somatosensory cortex that represents teeth. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Adaptation to sensory input tunes visual cortex to criticality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shew, Woodrow L.; Clawson, Wesley P.; Pobst, Jeff; Karimipanah, Yahya; Wright, Nathaniel C.; Wessel, Ralf

    2015-08-01

    A long-standing hypothesis at the interface of physics and neuroscience is that neural networks self-organize to the critical point of a phase transition, thereby optimizing aspects of sensory information processing. This idea is partially supported by strong evidence for critical dynamics observed in the cerebral cortex, but the impact of sensory input on these dynamics is largely unknown. Thus, the foundations of this hypothesis--the self-organization process and how it manifests during strong sensory input--remain unstudied experimentally. Here we show in visual cortex and in a computational model that strong sensory input initially elicits cortical network dynamics that are not critical, but adaptive changes in the network rapidly tune the system to criticality. This conclusion is based on observations of multifaceted scaling laws predicted to occur at criticality. Our findings establish sensory adaptation as a self-organizing mechanism that maintains criticality in visual cortex during sensory information processing.

  1. Auditory and visual connectivity gradients in frontoparietal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braga, Rodrigo M; Hellyer, Peter J; Wise, Richard J S; Leech, Robert

    2017-01-01

    A frontoparietal network of brain regions is often implicated in both auditory and visual information processing. Although it is possible that the same set of multimodal regions subserves both modalities, there is increasing evidence that there is a differentiation of sensory function within frontoparietal cortex. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in humans was used to investigate whether different frontoparietal regions showed intrinsic biases in connectivity with visual or auditory modalities. Structural connectivity was assessed with diffusion tractography and functional connectivity was tested using functional MRI. A dorsal-ventral gradient of function was observed, where connectivity with visual cortex dominates dorsal frontal and parietal connections, while connectivity with auditory cortex dominates ventral frontal and parietal regions. A gradient was also observed along the posterior-anterior axis, although in opposite directions in prefrontal and parietal cortices. The results suggest that the location of neural activity within frontoparietal cortex may be influenced by these intrinsic biases toward visual and auditory processing. Thus, the location of activity in frontoparietal cortex may be influenced as much by stimulus modality as the cognitive demands of a task. It was concluded that stimulus modality was spatially encoded throughout frontal and parietal cortices, and was speculated that such an arrangement allows for top-down modulation of modality-specific information to occur within higher-order cortex. This could provide a potentially faster and more efficient pathway by which top-down selection between sensory modalities could occur, by constraining modulations to within frontal and parietal regions, rather than long-range connections to sensory cortices. Hum Brain Mapp 38:255-270, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 The Authors Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. [Effects of blokade of the dopaminergic D1/D2 receptors on the single and network neuronal activity in the frontal and visual cortices and behavior of cats].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuleshova, E P; Zaleshin, A V; Sidorina, V V; Merzhanova, G Kh

    2010-01-01

    The results obtained at the levels of single and network neuronal activity in the frontal and visual cortices of cats with different types of behavior revealed features of activity of these structures in normal conditions and after local introductions of antagonists of DI/D2 receptors (SCH23390 and raclopride) into the n. accumbens and frontal cortex. Under the influence of the antagonists, long-latency reactions were characterized by a significant increase in the average frequency of neuronal activity in the frontal cortex, whereas in the visual cortex the average frequency decreased as compared to norm. At the same time, the network activity of the same neurons in the frontal cortex did not change but weakened in the visual cortex, which was expressed in a reduction of the number of neuronal interactions within the visual cortex and between the neurons of the frontal and visual cortices. Normally, during the long-latency conditioned reactions, the average frequency of single neuronal activity and the rate of neuronal interactions in the structures under study were significantly higher as compared to the loss of conditioned reactions. Administration of the dopamine antagonists did not change these features. The results suggest different dopamine modulations of the network activity of the cortical zones under study during the conditioned performance, which is expressed in responsiveness of the cortical projection of a trigger signal (the visual cortex) and visual-frontal networks generated in the course of training.

  3. Neuronal connections of eye-dominance columns in the cat cerebral cortex after monocular deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alekseenko, S V; Toporova, S N; Shkorbatova, P Yu

    2008-09-01

    Plastic changes in intrahemisphere neuronal connections of the eye-dominance columns of cortical fields 17 and 18 were studied in monocularly deprived cats. The methodology consisted of microintophoretic administration of horseradish peroxidase into cortical columns and three-dimensional reconstruction of the areas of retrograde labeled cells. The eye dominance of columns was established, as were their coordinates in the projection of the visual field. In field 17, the horizontal connections of columns receiving inputs from the non-deprived eye via the crossed-over visual tracts were longer than the connections of the "non-crossed" columns of this eye and were longer than in normal conditions; the connections of the columns of the deprived eye were significantly reduced. Changes in the spatial organization of horizontal connections in field 17 were seen for the columns of the non-deprived eye (areas of labeled cells were rounder and the density of labeled cells in these areas were non-uniform). The longest horizontal connections in deprived cats were no longer than the lengths of these connections in cats with strabismus. It is suggested that the axon length of cells giving rise to the horizontal connections of cortical columns has a limit which is independent of visual stimulation during the critical period of development of the visual system.

  4. Electrical Stimulation of Visual Cortex: Relevance for the Development of Visual Cortical Prosthetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosking, William H; Beauchamp, Michael S; Yoshor, Daniel

    2017-09-15

    Electrical stimulation of the cerebral cortex is a powerful tool for exploring cortical function. Stimulation of early visual cortical areas is easily detected by subjects and produces simple visual percepts known as phosphenes. A device implanted in visual cortex that generates patterns of phosphenes could be used as a substitute for natural vision in blind patients. We review the possibilities and limitations of such a device, termed a visual cortical prosthetic. Currently, we can predict the location and size of phosphenes produced by stimulation of single electrodes. A functional prosthetic, however, must produce spatial temporal patterns of activity that will result in the perception of complex visual objects. Although stimulation of later visual cortical areas alone usually does not lead to a visual percept, it can alter visual perception and the performance of visual behaviors, and training subjects to use signals injected into these areas may be possible.

  5. Hemodynamic traveling waves in human visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin M Aquino

    Full Text Available Functional MRI (fMRI experiments rely on precise characterization of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD signal. As the spatial resolution of fMRI reaches the sub-millimeter range, the need for quantitative modelling of spatiotemporal properties of this hemodynamic signal has become pressing. Here, we find that a detailed physiologically-based model of spatiotemporal BOLD responses predicts traveling waves with velocities and spatial ranges in empirically observable ranges. Two measurable parameters, related to physiology, characterize these waves: wave velocity and damping rate. To test these predictions, high-resolution fMRI data are acquired from subjects viewing discrete visual stimuli. Predictions and experiment show strong agreement, in particular confirming BOLD waves propagating for at least 5-10 mm across the cortical surface at speeds of 2-12 mm s-1. These observations enable fundamentally new approaches to fMRI analysis, crucial for fMRI data acquired at high spatial resolution.

  6. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the human primary visual cortex during visual stimulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miki, Atsushi; Abe, Haruki; Nakajima, Takashi; Fujita, Motoi; Watanabe, Hiroyuki; Kuwabara, Takeo; Naruse, Shoji; Takagi, Mineo.

    1995-01-01

    Signal changes in the human primary visual cortex during visual stimulation were evaluated using non-invasive functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The experiments were performed on 10 normal human volunteers and 2 patients with homonymous hemianopsia, including one who was recovering from the exacerbation of multiple sclerosis. The visual stimuli were provided by a pattern generator using the checkerboard pattern for determining the visual evoked potential of full-field and hemifield stimulation. In normal volunteers, a signal increase was observed on the bilateral primary visual cortex during the full-field stimulation and on the contra-lateral cortex during hemifield stimulation. In the patient with homonymous hemianopsia after cerebral infarction, the signal change was clearly decreased on the affected side. In the other patient, the one recovering from multiple sclerosis with an almost normal visual field, the fMRI was within normal limits. These results suggest that it is possible to visualize the activation of the visual cortex during visual stimulation, and that there is a possibility of using this test as an objective method of visual field examination. (author)

  7. Is there a role of visual cortex in spatial hearing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmer, Ulrike; Lewald, Jörg; Erb, Michael; Grodd, Wolfgang; Karnath, Hans-Otto

    2004-12-01

    The integration of auditory and visual spatial information is an important prerequisite for accurate orientation in the environment. However, while visual spatial information is based on retinal coordinates, the auditory system receives information on sound location in relation to the head. Thus, any deviation of the eyes from a central position results in a divergence between the retinal visual and the head-centred auditory coordinates. It has been suggested that this divergence is compensated for by a neural coordinate transformation, using a signal of eye-in-head position. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated which cortical areas of the human brain participate in such auditory-visual coordinate transformations. Sounds were produced with different interaural level differences, leading to left, right or central intracranial percepts, while subjects directed their gaze to visual targets presented to the left, to the right or straight ahead. When gaze was to the left or right, we found the primary visual cortex (V1/V2) activated in both hemispheres. The occipital activation did not occur with sound lateralization per se, but was found exclusively in combination with eccentric eye positions. This result suggests a relation of neural processing in the visual cortex and the transformation of auditory spatial coordinates responsible for maintaining the perceptual alignment of audition and vision with changes in gaze direction.

  8. Visual cortex in aging and Alzheimer's disease: changes in visual field maps and population receptive fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, Alyssa A.; Barton, Brian

    2012-01-01

    Although several studies have suggested that cortical alterations underlie such age-related visual deficits as decreased acuity, little is known about what changes actually occur in visual cortex during healthy aging. Two recent studies showed changes in primary visual cortex (V1) during normal aging; however, no studies have characterized the effects of aging on visual cortex beyond V1, important measurements both for understanding the aging process and for comparison to changes in age-related diseases. Similarly, there is almost no information about changes in visual cortex in Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common form of dementia. Because visual deficits are often reported as one of the first symptoms of AD, measurements of such changes in the visual cortex of AD patients might improve our understanding of how the visual system is affected by neurodegeneration as well as aid early detection, accurate diagnosis and timely treatment of AD. Here we use fMRI to first compare the visual field map (VFM) organization and population receptive fields (pRFs) between young adults and healthy aging subjects for occipital VFMs V1, V2, V3, and hV4. Healthy aging subjects do not show major VFM organizational deficits, but do have reduced surface area and increased pRF sizes in the foveal representations of V1, V2, and hV4 relative to healthy young control subjects. These measurements are consistent with behavioral deficits seen in healthy aging. We then demonstrate the feasibility and first characterization of these measurements in two patients with mild AD, which reveal potential changes in visual cortex as part of the pathophysiology of AD. Our data aid in our understanding of the changes in the visual processing pathways in normal aging and provide the foundation for future research into earlier and more definitive detection of AD. PMID:24570669

  9. Visual short-term memory: activity supporting encoding and maintenance in retinotopic visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sneve, Markus H; Alnæs, Dag; Endestad, Tor; Greenlee, Mark W; Magnussen, Svein

    2012-10-15

    Recent studies have demonstrated that retinotopic cortex maintains information about visual stimuli during retention intervals. However, the process by which transient stimulus-evoked sensory responses are transformed into enduring memory representations is unknown. Here, using fMRI and short-term visual memory tasks optimized for univariate and multivariate analysis approaches, we report differential involvement of human retinotopic areas during memory encoding of the low-level visual feature orientation. All visual areas show weaker responses when memory encoding processes are interrupted, possibly due to effects in orientation-sensitive primary visual cortex (V1) propagating across extrastriate areas. Furthermore, intermediate areas in both dorsal (V3a/b) and ventral (LO1/2) streams are significantly more active during memory encoding compared with non-memory (active and passive) processing of the same stimulus material. These effects in intermediate visual cortex are also observed during memory encoding of a different stimulus feature (spatial frequency), suggesting that these areas are involved in encoding processes on a higher level of representation. Using pattern-classification techniques to probe the representational content in visual cortex during delay periods, we further demonstrate that simply initiating memory encoding is not sufficient to produce long-lasting memory traces. Rather, active maintenance appears to underlie the observed memory-specific patterns of information in retinotopic cortex. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Behavioral detection of intra-cortical microstimulation in the primary and secondary auditory cortex of cats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenling eZhao

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Although neural responses to sound stimuli have been thoroughly investigated in various areas of the auditory cortex, the results electrophysiological recordings cannot establish a causal link between neural activation and brain function. Electrical microstimulation, which can selectively perturb neural activity in specific parts of the nervous system, is an important tool for exploring the organization and function of brain circuitry. To date, the studies describing the behavioral effects of electrical stimulation have largely been conducted in the primary auditory cortex. In this study, to investigate the potential differences in the effects of electrical stimulation on different cortical areas, we measured the behavioral performance of cats in detecting intra-cortical microstimulation (ICMS delivered in the primary and secondary auditory fields (A1 and A2, respectively. After being trained to perform a Go/No-Go task cued by sounds, we found that cats could also learn to perform the task cued by ICMS; furthermore, the detection of the ICMS was similarly sensitive in A1 and A2. Presenting wideband noise together with ICMS substantially decreased the performance of cats in detecting ICMS in A1 and A2, consistent with a noise masking effect on the sensation elicited by the ICMS. In contrast, presenting ICMS with pure-tones in the spectral receptive field of the electrode-implanted cortical site reduced ICMS detection performance in A1 but not A2. Therefore, activation of A1 and A2 neurons may produce different qualities of sensation. Overall, our study revealed that ICMS-induced neural activity could be easily integrated into an animal’s behavioral decision process and had an implication for the development of cortical auditory prosthetics.

  11. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex mediates visual attention during facial emotion recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Richard C; Philippi, Carissa L; Motzkin, Julian C; Baskaya, Mustafa K; Koenigs, Michael

    2014-06-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is known to play a crucial role in regulating human social and emotional behaviour, yet the precise mechanisms by which it subserves this broad function remain unclear. Whereas previous neuropsychological studies have largely focused on the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in higher-order deliberative processes related to valuation and decision-making, here we test whether ventromedial prefrontal cortex may also be critical for more basic aspects of orienting attention to socially and emotionally meaningful stimuli. Using eye tracking during a test of facial emotion recognition in a sample of lesion patients, we show that bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage impairs visual attention to the eye regions of faces, particularly for fearful faces. This finding demonstrates a heretofore unrecognized function of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex-the basic attentional process of controlling eye movements to faces expressing emotion. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. High-intensity erotic visual stimuli de-activate the primary visual cortex in women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huynh, Hieu K; Beers, Caroline; Willemsen, Antoon; Lont, Erna; Laan, Ellen; Dierckx, Rudi; Jansen, Monique; Sand, Michael; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; Holstege, Gert

    2012-06-01

    The primary visual cortex, Brodmann's area (BA 17), plays a vital role in basic survival mechanisms in humans. In most neuro-imaging studies in which the volunteers have to watch pictures or movies, the primary visual cortex is similarly activated independent of the content of the pictures or movies. However, in case the volunteers perform demanding non-visual tasks, the primary visual cortex becomes de-activated, although the amount of incoming visual sensory information is the same. Do low- and high-intensity erotic movies, compared to neutral movies, produce similar de-activation of the primary visual cortex? Brain activation/de-activation was studied by Positron Emission Tomography scanning of the brains of 12 healthy heterosexual premenopausal women, aged 18-47, who watched neutral, low- and high-intensity erotic film segments. We measured differences in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the primary visual cortex during watching neutral, low-intensity erotic, and high-intensity erotic film segments. Watching high-intensity erotic, but not low-intensity erotic movies, compared to neutral movies resulted in strong de-activation of the primary (BA 17) and adjoining parts of the secondary visual cortex. The strong de-activation during watching high-intensity erotic film might represent compensation for the increased blood supply in the brain regions involved in sexual arousal, also because high-intensity erotic movies do not require precise scanning of the visual field, because the impact is clear to the observer. © 2012 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

  13. Higher Order Spike Synchrony in Prefrontal Cortex during visual memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon ePipa

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Precise temporal synchrony of spike firing has been postulated as an important neuronal mechanism for signal integration and the induction of plasticity in neocortex. As prefrontal cortex plays an important role in organizing memory and executive functions, the convergence of multiple visual pathways onto PFC predicts that neurons should preferentially synchronize their spiking when stimulus information is processed. Furthermore, synchronous spike firing should intensify if memory processes require the induction of neuronal plasticity, even if this is only for short-term. Here we show with multiple simultaneously recorded units in ventral prefrontal cortex that neurons participate in 3 ms precise synchronous discharges distributed across multiple sites separated by at least 500 µm. The frequency of synchronous firing is modulated by behavioral performance and is specific for the memorized visual stimuli. In particular, during the memory period in which activity is not stimulus driven, larger groups of up to 7 sites exhibit performance dependent modulation of their spike synchronization.

  14. [Functional asymmetry of the frontal cortex and lateral hypothalamus of cats during food instrumental conditioning].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanetsiian, G L; Pavlova, I V

    2003-01-01

    The synchronism and latency of auditory evoked potentials (EP) recorded in symmetric points of the frontal cortex and lateral hypothalamus of cats were measured at different stages of instrumental food conditioning and after the urgent transition to 30% reinforcement. Correlation coefficients between EPs in the cortex and hypothalamus were high (with left-side dominance) at the beginning of the experiments, when food motivation was high, and during the whole experiments in cases of high-probability of conditioned performance. Analysis of early positive P55-80 EP component showed that at all conditioning stages the peak latency of this component was shorter in the left cortical areas than in symmetrical points, whereas in the hypothalamus the shorter latency at the left side was observed at the stage of unstable conditioned reflex, and at the stage of stable reflex the latency of the studied component was shorter at the right side. During transition to 30% reinforcement, the latency was also shorter in the right hypothalamus. It is suggested that the high left-side correlation between the hypothalamus and cortex was associated with motivational and motor component of behavior rather than reflected the emotional stress induced by transition to another stereotype of food reinforcement (30%).

  15. The role of human ventral visual cortex in motion perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saygin, Ayse P.; Lorenzi, Lauren J.; Egan, Ryan; Rees, Geraint; Behrmann, Marlene

    2013-01-01

    Visual motion perception is fundamental to many aspects of visual perception. Visual motion perception has long been associated with the dorsal (parietal) pathway and the involvement of the ventral ‘form’ (temporal) visual pathway has not been considered critical for normal motion perception. Here, we evaluated this view by examining whether circumscribed damage to ventral visual cortex impaired motion perception. The perception of motion in basic, non-form tasks (motion coherence and motion detection) and complex structure-from-motion, for a wide range of motion speeds, all centrally displayed, was assessed in five patients with a circumscribed lesion to either the right or left ventral visual pathway. Patients with a right, but not with a left, ventral visual lesion displayed widespread impairments in central motion perception even for non-form motion, for both slow and for fast speeds, and this held true independent of the integrity of areas MT/V5, V3A or parietal regions. In contrast with the traditional view in which only the dorsal visual stream is critical for motion perception, these novel findings implicate a more distributed circuit in which the integrity of the right ventral visual pathway is also necessary even for the perception of non-form motion. PMID:23983030

  16. Neural computation of visual imaging based on Kronecker product in the primary visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guozheng Yao

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background What kind of neural computation is actually performed by the primary visual cortex and how is this represented mathematically at the system level? It is an important problem in the visual information processing, but has not been well answered. In this paper, according to our understanding of retinal organization and parallel multi-channel topographical mapping between retina and primary visual cortex V1, we divide an image into orthogonal and orderly array of image primitives (or patches, in which each patch will evoke activities of simple cells in V1. From viewpoint of information processing, this activated process, essentially, involves optimal detection and optimal matching of receptive fields of simple cells with features contained in image patches. For the reconstruction of the visual image in the visual cortex V1 based on the principle of minimum mean squares error, it is natural to use the inner product expression in neural computation, which then is transformed into matrix form. Results The inner product is carried out by using Kronecker product between patches and function architecture (or functional column in localized and oriented neural computing. Compared with Fourier Transform, the mathematical description of Kronecker product is simple and intuitive, so is the algorithm more suitable for neural computation of visual cortex V1. Results of computer simulation based on two-dimensional Gabor pyramid wavelets show that the theoretical analysis and the proposed model are reasonable. Conclusions Our results are: 1. The neural computation of the retinal image in cortex V1 can be expressed to Kronecker product operation and its matrix form, this algorithm is implemented by the inner operation between retinal image primitives and primary visual cortex's column. It has simple, efficient and robust features, which is, therefore, such a neural algorithm, which can be completed by biological vision. 2. It is more suitable

  17. Remodeling of inhibitory synaptic connections in developing ferret visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalva Matthew B

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the visual cortex, as in many other regions of the developing brain, excitatory synaptic connections undergo substantial remodeling during development. While evidence suggests that local inhibitory synapses may behave similarly, the extent and mechanisms that mediate remodeling of inhibitory connections are not well understood. Results Using scanning laser photostimulation in slices of developing ferret visual cortex, we assessed the overall patterns of developing inhibitory and excitatory synaptic connections converging onto individual neurons. Inhibitory synaptic inputs onto pyramidal neurons in cortical layers 2 and 3 were already present as early as postnatal day 20, well before eye opening, and originated from regions close to the recorded neurons. During the ensuing 2 weeks, the numbers of synaptic inputs increased, with the numbers of inhibitory (and excitatory synaptic inputs peaking near the time of eye opening. The pattern of inhibitory inputs refined rapidly prior to the refinement of excitatory inputs. By uncaging the neurotransmtter GABA in brain slices from animals of different ages, we find that this rapid refinement correlated with a loss of excitatory activity by GABA. Conclusion Inhibitory synapses, like excitatory synapses, undergo significant postnatal remodeling. The time course of the remodeling of inhibitory connections correlates with the emergence of orientation tuning in the visual cortex, implicating these rearrangements in the genesis of adult cortical response properties.

  18. Decoding Visual Object Categories in Early Somatosensory Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Fraser W.; Goodale, Melvyn A.

    2015-01-01

    Neurons, even in the earliest sensory areas of cortex, are subject to a great deal of contextual influence from both within and across modality connections. In the present work, we investigated whether the earliest regions of somatosensory cortex (S1 and S2) would contain content-specific information about visual object categories. We reasoned that this might be possible due to the associations formed through experience that link different sensory aspects of a given object. Participants were presented with visual images of different object categories in 2 fMRI experiments. Multivariate pattern analysis revealed reliable decoding of familiar visual object category in bilateral S1 (i.e., postcentral gyri) and right S2. We further show that this decoding is observed for familiar but not unfamiliar visual objects in S1. In addition, whole-brain searchlight decoding analyses revealed several areas in the parietal lobe that could mediate the observed context effects between vision and somatosensation. These results demonstrate that even the first cortical stages of somatosensory processing carry information about the category of visually presented familiar objects. PMID:24122136

  19. Higher Level Visual Cortex Represents Retinotopic, Not Spatiotopic, Object Location

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanwisher, Nancy

    2012-01-01

    The crux of vision is to identify objects and determine their locations in the environment. Although initial visual representations are necessarily retinotopic (eye centered), interaction with the real world requires spatiotopic (absolute) location information. We asked whether higher level human visual cortex—important for stable object recognition and action—contains information about retinotopic and/or spatiotopic object position. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging multivariate pattern analysis techniques, we found information about both object category and object location in each of the ventral, dorsal, and early visual regions tested, replicating previous reports. By manipulating fixation position and stimulus position, we then tested whether these location representations were retinotopic or spatiotopic. Crucially, all location information was purely retinotopic. This pattern persisted when location information was irrelevant to the task, and even when spatiotopic (not retinotopic) stimulus position was explicitly emphasized. We also conducted a “searchlight” analysis across our entire scanned volume to explore additional cortex but again found predominantly retinotopic representations. The lack of explicit spatiotopic representations suggests that spatiotopic object position may instead be computed indirectly and continually reconstructed with each eye movement. Thus, despite our subjective impression that visual information is spatiotopic, even in higher level visual cortex, object location continues to be represented in retinotopic coordinates. PMID:22190434

  20. Auditory-visual integration in fields of the auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubota, Michinori; Sugimoto, Shunji; Hosokawa, Yutaka; Ojima, Hisayuki; Horikawa, Junsei

    2017-03-01

    While multimodal interactions have been known to exist in the early sensory cortices, the response properties and spatiotemporal organization of these interactions are poorly understood. To elucidate the characteristics of multimodal sensory interactions in the cerebral cortex, neuronal responses to visual stimuli with or without auditory stimuli were investigated in core and belt fields of guinea pig auditory cortex using real-time optical imaging with a voltage-sensitive dye. On average, visual responses consisted of short excitation followed by long inhibition. Although visual responses were observed in core and belt fields, there were regional and temporal differences in responses. The most salient visual responses were observed in the caudal belt fields, especially posterior (P) and dorsocaudal belt (DCB) fields. Visual responses emerged first in fields P and DCB and then spread rostroventrally to core and ventrocaudal belt (VCB) fields. Absolute values of positive and negative peak amplitudes of visual responses were both larger in fields P and DCB than in core and VCB fields. When combined visual and auditory stimuli were applied, fields P and DCB were more inhibited than core and VCB fields beginning approximately 110 ms after stimuli. Correspondingly, differences between responses to auditory stimuli alone and combined audiovisual stimuli became larger in fields P and DCB than in core and VCB fields after approximately 110 ms after stimuli. These data indicate that visual influences are most salient in fields P and DCB, which manifest mainly as inhibition, and that they enhance differences in auditory responses among fields. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Differential Sampling of Visual Space in Ventral and Dorsal Early Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silson, Edward H; Reynolds, Richard C; Kravitz, Dwight J; Baker, Chris I

    2018-02-28

    A fundamental feature of cortical visual processing is the separation of visual processing for the upper and lower visual fields. In early visual cortex (EVC), the upper visual field is processed ventrally, with the lower visual field processed dorsally. This distinction persists into several category-selective regions of occipitotemporal cortex, with ventral and lateral scene-, face-, and object-selective regions biased for the upper and lower visual fields, respectively. Here, using an elliptical population receptive field (pRF) model, we systematically tested the sampling of visual space within ventral and dorsal divisions of human EVC in both male and female participants. We found that (1) pRFs tend to be elliptical and oriented toward the fovea with distinct angular distributions for ventral and dorsal divisions of EVC, potentially reflecting a radial bias; and (2) pRFs in ventral areas were larger (∼1.5×) and more elliptical (∼1.2×) than those in dorsal areas. These differences potentially reflect a tendency for receptive fields in ventral temporal cortex to overlap the fovea with less emphasis on precise localization and isotropic representation of space compared with dorsal areas. Collectively, these findings suggest that ventral and dorsal divisions of EVC sample visual space differently, likely contributing to and/or stemming from the functional differentiation of visual processing observed in higher-level regions of the ventral and dorsal cortical visual pathways. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The processing of visual information from the upper and lower visual fields is separated in visual cortex. Although ventral and dorsal divisions of early visual cortex (EVC) are commonly assumed to sample visual space equivalently, we demonstrate systematic differences using an elliptical population receptive field (pRF) model. Specifically, we demonstrate that (1) ventral and dorsal divisions of EVC exhibit diverging distributions of pRF angle, which are biased

  2. Visual Motion Discrimination by Propagating Patterns in Primate Cerebral Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townsend, Rory G; Solomon, Selina S; Martin, Paul R; Solomon, Samuel G; Gong, Pulin

    2017-10-18

    Visual stimuli can evoke waves of neural activity that propagate across the surface of visual cortical areas. The relevance of these waves for visual processing is unknown. Here, we measured the phase and amplitude of local field potentials (LFPs) in electrode array recordings from the motion-processing medial temporal (MT) area of anesthetized male marmosets. Animals viewed grating or dot-field stimuli drifting in different directions. We found that, on individual trials, the direction of LFP wave propagation is sensitive to the direction of stimulus motion. Propagating LFP patterns are also detectable in trial-averaged activity, but the trial-averaged patterns exhibit different dynamics and behaviors from those in single trials and are similar across motion directions. We show that this difference arises because stimulus-sensitive propagating patterns are present in the phase of single-trial oscillations, whereas the trial-averaged signal is dominated by additive amplitude effects. Our results demonstrate that propagating LFP patterns can represent sensory inputs at timescales relevant to visually guided behaviors and raise the possibility that propagating activity patterns serve neural information processing in area MT and other cortical areas. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Propagating wave patterns are widely observed in the cortex, but their functional relevance remains unknown. We show here that visual stimuli generate propagating wave patterns in local field potentials (LFPs) in a movement-sensitive area of the primate cortex and that the propagation direction of these patterns is sensitive to stimulus motion direction. We also show that averaging LFP signals across multiple stimulus presentations (trial averaging) yields propagating patterns that capture different dynamic properties of the LFP response and show negligible direction sensitivity. Our results demonstrate that sensory stimuli can modulate propagating wave patterns reliably in the cortex. The relevant

  3. Sensory experience-dependent formation of perineuronal nets and expression of Cat-315 immunoreactive components in the mouse somatosensory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueno, Hiroshi; Suemitsu, Shunsuke; Okamoto, Motoi; Matsumoto, Yosuke; Ishihara, Takeshi

    2017-07-04

    Perineuronal nets (PNNs) are structures of extracellular matrix molecules surrounding the cell bodies and proximal dendrites of certain neurons. While PNNs are present throughout the mouse cerebral cortex, recent studies have shown that the components differ among cortical sub-regions and layers, suggesting region-specific functions. Parvalbumin-expressing interneurons (PV neurons) may be important regulators of cortical plasticity during the early "critical period" that is sensitive to sensory input. Here we examined the distribution and developmental functions of PNN components associated with PV neurons in the somatosensory cortex during the critical period. Aggrecan, brevican, neurocan, phosphacan, and tenascin-R were identified as PNN components in the mouse somatosensory cortex. High-magnification analysis revealed that some lectin Wisteria floribunda agglutinin (WFA)-reactive molecules did not co-localize with monoclonal antibody Cat-315 recognition molecules around the cell body. During postnatal development, Cat-315-positive (Cat-315 + ) PNNs appeared later than PNNs binding to the lectin WFA (WFA + PNNs). These WFA + PNNs changed from granular-like to reticular-like structures during normal cortical development, while this transition was delayed by sensory deprivation. This study indicates that the formation of reticular-like WFA + PNNs is dependent on sensory experience in the mouse somatosensory cortex. We suggest that Cat-315 + molecules and WFA expression in PNNs are involved in the early critical period of input-dependent cortical plasticity. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. On the Nature of the Intrinsic Connectivity of the Cat Motor Cortex: Evidence for a Recurrent Neural Network Topology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Capaday, Charles; Ethier, C; Brizzi, L

    2009-01-01

    Capaday C, Ethier C, Brizzi L, Sik A, van Vreeswijk C, Gingras D. On the nature of the intrinsic connectivity of the cat motor cortex: evidence for a recurrent neural network topology. J Neurophysiol 102: 2131-2141, 2009. First published July 22, 2009; doi: 10.1152/jn.91319.2008. The details...

  5. Collateralization of the pathways descending from the cerebral cortex to brain stem and spinal cord in cat and monkey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    K. Keizer (Koos)

    1989-01-01

    textabstractThe present study deals with the collateralization of the descending pathways from the cerebral cortex to the brain stem and the spinal cord in cat and monkey. The distributions of the branching cortical neurons were studied using retrograde fluorescent tracers. In addition, a new

  6. Specialization for sound localization in fields A1, DZ, and PAF of cat auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Chen-Chung; Middlebrooks, John C

    2013-02-01

    Cortical deactivation studies in cats have implicated the primary auditory cortex (A1), the dorsal zone (DZ), and the posterior auditory field (PAF) in sound localization behavior, and physiological studies in anesthetized conditions have demonstrated clear differences in spatial sensitivity among those areas. We trained cats to perform two listening tasks and then we recorded from cortical neurons in off-task and in both on-task conditions during single recording sessions. The results confirmed some of the results from anesthetized conditions and revealed unexpected differences. Neurons in each field showed a variety of firing patterns, including onset-only, complex onset and long latency, and suppression or offset. A substantial minority of units showed sharpening of spatial sensitivity, particularly that of onset responses, during task performance: 44 %, 35 %, and 31 % of units in areas A1, DZ, and PAF, respectively, showed significant spatial sharpening. Field DZ was distinguished by a larger percentage of neurons responding best to near-midline locations, whereas the spatial preferences of PAF neurons were distributed more uniformly throughout the contralateral hemifield. Those directional biases also were evident in measures of the accuracy with which neural spike patterns could signal sound locations. Field DZ provided the greatest accuracy for midline locations. The location dependence of accuracy in PAF was orthogonal to that of DZ, with the greatest accuracy for lateral locations. The results suggest a view of spatial representation in the auditory cortex in which DZ exhibits an overrepresentation of the frontal areas around the midline, whereas PAF provides a more uniform representation of contralateral space, including areas behind the head. Spatial preferences of area A1 neurons were intermediate between those of DZ and PAF, sharpening as needed for localization tasks.

  7. Effects of deafness and cochlear implant use on temporal response characteristics in cat primary auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fallon, James B; Shepherd, Robert K; Nayagam, David A X; Wise, Andrew K; Heffer, Leon F; Landry, Thomas G; Irvine, Dexter R F

    2014-09-01

    We have previously shown that neonatal deafness of 7-13 months duration leads to loss of cochleotopy in the primary auditory cortex (AI) that can be reversed by cochlear implant use. Here we describe the effects of a similar duration of deafness and cochlear implant use on temporal processing. Specifically, we compared the temporal resolution of neurons in AI of young adult normal-hearing cats that were acutely deafened and implanted immediately prior to recording with that in three groups of neonatally deafened cats. One group of neonatally deafened cats received no chronic stimulation. The other two groups received up to 8 months of either low- or high-rate (50 or 500 pulses per second per electrode, respectively) stimulation from a clinical cochlear implant, initiated at 10 weeks of age. Deafness of 7-13 months duration had no effect on the duration of post-onset response suppression, latency, latency jitter, or the stimulus repetition rate at which units responded maximally (best repetition rate), but resulted in a statistically significant reduction in the ability of units to respond to every stimulus in a train (maximum following rate). None of the temporal response characteristics of the low-rate group differed from those in acutely deafened controls. In contrast, high-rate stimulation had diverse effects: it resulted in decreased suppression duration, longer latency and greater jitter relative to all other groups, and an increase in best repetition rate and cut-off rate relative to acutely deafened controls. The minimal effects of moderate-duration deafness on temporal processing in the present study are in contrast to its previously-reported pronounced effects on cochleotopy. Much longer periods of deafness have been reported to result in significant changes in temporal processing, in accord with the fact that duration of deafness is a major factor influencing outcome in human cochlear implantees. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Distributed fading memory for stimulus properties in the primary visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danko Nikolić

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available It is currently not known how distributed neuronal responses in early visual areas carry stimulus-related information. We made multielectrode recordings from cat primary visual cortex and applied methods from machine learning in order to analyze the temporal evolution of stimulus-related information in the spiking activity of large ensembles of around 100 neurons. We used sequences of up to three different visual stimuli (letters of the alphabet presented for 100 ms and with intervals of 100 ms or larger. Most of the information about visual stimuli extractable by sophisticated methods of machine learning, i.e., support vector machines with nonlinear kernel functions, was also extractable by simple linear classification such as can be achieved by individual neurons. New stimuli did not erase information about previous stimuli. The responses to the most recent stimulus contained about equal amounts of information about both this and the preceding stimulus. This information was encoded both in the discharge rates (response amplitudes of the ensemble of neurons and, when using short time constants for integration (e.g., 20 ms, in the precise timing of individual spikes (

  9. Verbal memory retrieval engages visual cortex in musicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Z; Zhang, J X; Yang, Z; Dong, G; Wu, J; Chan, A S; Weng, X

    2010-06-16

    As one major line of research on brain plasticity, many imaging studies have been conducted to identify the functional and structural reorganization associated with musical expertise. Based on previous behavioral research, the present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify the neural correlates of superior verbal memory performance in musicians. Participants with and without musical training performed a verbal memory task to first encode a list of words auditorily delivered and then silently recall as many words as possible. They performed in separate blocks a control task involving pure tone pitch judgment. Post-scan recognition test showed better memory performance in musicians than non-musicians. During memory retrieval, the musicians showed significantly greater activations in bilateral though left-lateralized visual cortex relative to the pitch judgment baseline. In comparison, no such visual cortical activations were found in the non-musicians. No group differences were observed during the encoding stage. The results echo a previous report of visual cortical activation during verbal memory retrieval in the absence of any visual sensory stimulation in the blind population, who are also known to possess superior verbal memory. It is suggested that the visual cortex can be recruited to serve as extra memory resources and contributes to the superior verbal memory in special situations. While in the blind population, such cross-modal functional reorganization may be induced by sensory deprivation; in the musicians it may be induced by the long-term and demanding nature of musical training to use as much available neural resources as possible. 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Functional MRI of the visual cortex and visual testing in patients with previous optic neuritis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Langkilde, Annika Reynberg; Frederiksen, J.L.; Rostrup, Egill

    2002-01-01

    of the activated area and the signal change following ON, and compared the results with results of neuroophthalmological testing. We studied nine patients with previous acute ON and 10 healthy persons served as controls using fMRI with visual stimulation. In addition to a reduced activated volume, patients showed...... a reduced blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal increase and a greater asymmetry in the visual cortex, compared with controls. The volume of visual cortical activation was significantly correlated to the result of the contrast sensitivity test. The BOLD signal increase correlated significantly......The volume of cortical activation as detected by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in the visual cortex has previously been shown to be reduced following optic neuritis (ON). In order to understand the cause of this change, we studied the cortical activation, both the size...

  11. GABAA receptors in visual and auditory cortex and neural activity changes during basic visual stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pengmin eQin

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent imaging studies have demonstrated that levels of resting GABA in the visual cortex predict the degree of stimulus-induced activity in the same region. These studies have used the presentation of discrete visual stimulus; the change from closed eyes to open also represents a simple visual stimulus, however, and has been shown to induce changes in local brain activity and in functional connectivity between regions. We thus aimed to investigate the role of the GABA system, specifically GABAA receptors, in the changes in brain activity between the eyes closed (EC and eyes open (EO state in order to provide detail at the receptor level to complement previous studies of GABA concentrations. We conducted an fMRI study involving two different modes of the change from EC to EO: An EO and EC block design, allowing the modelling of the haemodynamic response, followed by longer periods of EC and EO to allow the measuring of functional connectivity. The same subjects also underwent [18F]Flumazenil PET measure GABAA receptor binding potentials. It was demonstrated that the local-to-global ratio of GABAA receptor binding potential in the visual cortex predicted the degree of changes in neural activity from EC to EO. This same relationship was also shown in the auditory cortex. Furthermore, the local-to-global ratio of GABAA receptor binding potential in the visual cortex also predicts the change of functional connectivity between visual and auditory cortex from EC to EO. These findings contribute to our understanding of the role of GABAA receptors in stimulus-induced neural activity in local regions and in inter-regional functional connectivity.

  12. Visual attentional load influences plasticity in the human motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamke, Marc R; Hall, Michelle G; Lye, Hayley F; Sale, Martin V; Fenlon, Laura R; Carroll, Timothy J; Riek, Stephan; Mattingley, Jason B

    2012-05-16

    Neural plasticity plays a critical role in learning, memory, and recovery from injury to the nervous system. Although much is known about the physical and physiological determinants of plasticity, little is known about the influence of cognitive factors. In this study, we investigated whether selective attention plays a role in modifying changes in neural excitability reflecting long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity. We induced LTP-like effects in the hand area of the human motor cortex using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). During the induction of plasticity, participants engaged in a visual detection task with either low or high attentional demands. Changes in neural excitability were assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials in a small hand muscle before and after the TMS procedures. In separate experiments plasticity was induced either by paired associative stimulation (PAS) or intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS). Because these procedures induce different forms of LTP-like effects, they allowed us to investigate the generality of any attentional influence on plasticity. In both experiments reliable changes in motor cortex excitability were evident under low-load conditions, but this effect was eliminated under high-attentional load. In a third experiment we investigated whether the attentional task was associated with ongoing changes in the excitability of motor cortex, but found no difference in evoked potentials across the levels of attentional load. Our findings indicate that in addition to their role in modifying sensory processing, mechanisms of attention can also be a potent modulator of cortical plasticity.

  13. Is theta burst stimulation applied to visual cortex able to modulate peripheral visual acuity?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Brückner

    Full Text Available Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is usually applied to visual cortex to explore the effects on cortical excitability. Most researchers therefore concentrate on changes of phosphene threshold, rarely on consequences for visual performance. Thus, we investigated peripheral visual acuity in the four quadrants of the visual field using Landolt C optotypes before and after repetitive stimulation of the visual cortex. We applied continuous and intermittend theta burst stimulation with various stimulation intensities (60%, 80%, 100%, 120% of individual phosphene threshold as well as monophasic and biphasic 1 Hz stimulation, respectively. As an important result, no serious adverse effects were observed. In particular, no seizure was induced, even with theta burst stimulation applied with 120% of individual phosphene threshold. In only one case stimulation was ceased because the subject reported intolerable pain. Baseline visual acuity decreased over sessions, indicating a continuous training effect. Unexpectedly, none of the applied transcranial magnetic stimulation protocols had an effect on performance: no change in visual acuity was found in any of the four quadrants of the visual field. Binocular viewing as well as the use of peripheral instead of foveal presentation of the stimuli might have contributed to this result. Furthermore, intraindividual variability could have masked the TMS- induced effects on visual acuity.

  14. [Interaction between neurons of the frontal cortex and hippocampus during the realization of choice of food reinforcement quality in cats].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merzhanova, G Kh; Dolbakian, E E; Khokhlova, V N

    2003-01-01

    Six cats were subjected to the procedure of appetitive instrumental conditioning (with light as a conditioned stimuls) by the method of the "active choice" of reinforcement quality. Short-delay conditioned bar-press responses were rewarded with bread-meat mixture, and the delayed responses were reinforced by meat. The animals differed in behavior strategy: four animals preferred the bar-pressing with a long delay (the so-called "self-control" group), and two cats preferred the bar-pressing with a short delay (the so-called "impulsive" group). Multiunit activity in the frontal cortex and hippocampus (CA3) was recorded via chronically implanted nichrome wire semimicroelectrodes. An interaction between the neighboring neurons in the frontal cortex and hippocampus (within local neural networks) and between the neurons of the frontal cortex and hippocampus (distributed neural networks in frontal-hippocampal and hippocampal-frontal directions) was evaluated by means of statistical crosscorrelation analysis of spike trains. Crosscorrelations between neuronal spike trains in the delay range of 0-100 ms were explored. It was shown that the number of crosscorrelations between the neuronal discharges both in the local and distributed networks was significantly higher in the "self-control" cats. It was suggested that the local and distributed neural networks of the frontal cortex and hippocampus are involved in the system of brain structures which determine the behavioral strategy of animals in the "self-control" group.

  15. Functionally Specific Oscillatory Activity Correlates between Visual and Auditory Cortex in the Blind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schepers, Inga M.; Hipp, Joerg F.; Schneider, Till R.; Roder, Brigitte; Engel, Andreas K.

    2012-01-01

    Many studies have shown that the visual cortex of blind humans is activated in non-visual tasks. However, the electrophysiological signals underlying this cross-modal plasticity are largely unknown. Here, we characterize the neuronal population activity in the visual and auditory cortex of congenitally blind humans and sighted controls in a…

  16. Human Parahippocampal Cortex Supports Spatial Binding in Visual Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dundon, Neil Michael; Katshu, Mohammad Zia Ul Haq; Harry, Bronson; Roberts, Daniel; Leek, E Charles; Downing, Paul; Sapir, Ayelet; Roberts, Craig; d'Avossa, Giovanni

    2017-09-15

    Studies investigating the functional organization of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) suggest that parahippocampal cortex (PHC) generates representations of spatial and contextual information used by the hippocampus in the formation of episodic memories. However, evidence from animal studies also implicates PHC in spatial binding of visual information held in short term, working memory. Here we examined a 46-year-old man (P.J.), after he had recovered from bilateral medial occipitotemporal cortex strokes resulting in ischemic lesions of PHC and hippocampal atrophy, and a group of age-matched healthy controls. When recalling the color of 1 of 2 objects, P.J. misidentified the target when cued by its location, but not shape. When recalling the position of 1 of 3 objects, he frequently misidentified the target, which was cued by its color. Increasing the duration of the memory delay had no impact on the proportion of binding errors, but did significantly worsen recall precision in both P.J. and controls. We conclude that PHC may play a crucial role in spatial binding during encoding of visual information in working memory. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Decoding Visual Location From Neural Patterns in the Auditory Cortex of the Congenitally Deaf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Jorge; He, Dongjun; Chen, Quanjing; Mahon, Bradford Z.; Zhang, Fan; Gonçalves, Óscar F.; Fang, Fang; Bi, Yanchao

    2016-01-01

    Sensory cortices of individuals who are congenitally deprived of a sense can exhibit considerable plasticity and be recruited to process information from the senses that remain intact. Here, we explored whether the auditory cortex of congenitally deaf individuals represents visual field location of a stimulus—a dimension that is represented in early visual areas. We used functional MRI to measure neural activity in auditory and visual cortices of congenitally deaf and hearing humans while they observed stimuli typically used for mapping visual field preferences in visual cortex. We found that the location of a visual stimulus can be successfully decoded from the patterns of neural activity in auditory cortex of congenitally deaf but not hearing individuals. This is particularly true for locations within the horizontal plane and within peripheral vision. These data show that the representations stored within neuroplastically changed auditory cortex can align with dimensions that are typically represented in visual cortex. PMID:26423461

  18. Radiographically visualized skeletal changes associated with mucopolysaccharidosis VI in cats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konde, L.J.; Thrall, M.A.; Gasper, P.; Dial, S.M.; McBiles, K.; Colgan, S.; Haskins, M.

    1987-01-01

    The radiographic skeletal form and structure of all cats with mucopolysaccharidosis VI is described. Common manifestations included epiphyseal dysplasia, generalized osteoporosis, abnormal nasal turbinate development, his subluxation, impaired development of skeletal growth, pectus excavatum, hyoid hypoplasia, aplasia, hypoplasia and fragmentation or abnormal ossification of the dens, and aplasia or hypoplasia of frontal and sphenoid sinuses. The skeletal measurements of two affected cats were compared with those of normal, sex-matched littermates, and the measurements of two affected female cats were compared with those of a normal male littermate

  19. Reorganization of early visual cortex functional connectivity following selective peripheral and central visual loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabbah, Norman; Sanda, Nicolae; Authié, Colas N; Mohand-Saïd, Saddek; Sahel, José-Alain; Habas, Christophe; Amedi, Amir; Safran, Avinoam B

    2017-02-24

    Behavioral alterations emerging after central or peripheral vision loss suggest that cerebral reorganization occurs for both the afferented and deafferented early visual cortex (EVC). We explored the functional reorganization of the central and peripheral EVC following visual field defects specifically affecting central or peripheral vision. Compared to normally sighted, afferented central and peripheral EVC enhance their functional connectivity with areas involved in visual processing, whereas deafferented central and peripheral EVC increase their functional connectivity with more remote regions. The connectivity pattern of afferented EVC suggests adaptive changes that might enhance the visual processing capacity whereas the connectivity pattern of deafferented EVC may reflect the involvement of these regions in high-order mechanisms. Characterizing and understanding the plastic changes induced by these visual defects is essential for any attempt to develop efficient rehabilitation strategies.

  20. Task-dependent recurrent dynamics in visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tajima, Satohiro; Koida, Kowa; Tajima, Chihiro I; Suzuki, Hideyuki; Aihara, Kazuyuki; Komatsu, Hidehiko

    2017-01-01

    The capacity for flexible sensory-action association in animals has been related to context-dependent attractor dynamics outside the sensory cortices. Here, we report a line of evidence that flexibly modulated attractor dynamics during task switching are already present in the higher visual cortex in macaque monkeys. With a nonlinear decoding approach, we can extract the particular aspect of the neural population response that reflects the task-induced emergence of bistable attractor dynamics in a neural population, which could be obscured by standard unsupervised dimensionality reductions such as PCA. The dynamical modulation selectively increases the information relevant to task demands, indicating that such modulation is beneficial for perceptual decisions. A computational model that features nonlinear recurrent interaction among neurons with a task-dependent background input replicates the key properties observed in the experimental data. These results suggest that the context-dependent attractor dynamics involving the sensory cortex can underlie flexible perceptual abilities. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.26868.001 PMID:28737487

  1. Avalanche analysis from multi-electrode ensemble recordings in cat, monkey and human cerebral cortex during wakefulness and sleep.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nima eDehghani

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Self-organized critical states are found in many natural systems, from earthquakes to forest fires, they have also been observed in neural systems, particularly, in neuronal cultures. However, the presence of critical states in the awake brain remains controversial. Here, we compared avalanche analyses performed on different in vivo preparations during wakefulness, slow-wave sleep and REM sleep, using high-density electrode arrays in cat motor cortex (96 electrodes, monkey motor cortex and premotor cortex and human temporal cortex (96 electrodes in epileptic patients. In neuronal avalanches defined from units (up to 160 single units, the size of avalanches never clearly scaled as power-law, but rather scaled exponentially or displayed intermediate scaling. We also analyzed the dynamics of local field potentials (LFPs and in particular LFP negative peaks (nLFPs among the different electrodes (up to 96 sites in temporal cortex or up to 128 sites in adjacent motor and pre-motor cortices. In this case, the avalanches defined from nLFPs displayed power-law scaling in double logarithmic representations, as reported previously in monkey. However, avalanche defined as positive LFP (pLFP peaks, which are less directly related to neuronal firing, also displayed apparent power-law scaling. Closer examination of this scaling using the more reliable cumulative distribution function (CDF and other rigorous statistical measures, did not confirm power-law scaling. The same pattern was seen for cats, monkey and human, as well as for different brain states of wakefulness and sleep. We also tested other alternative distributions. Multiple exponential fitting yielded optimal fits of the avalanche dynamics with bi-exponential distributions. Collectively, these results show no clear evidence for power-law scaling or self-organized critical states in the awake and sleeping brain of mammals, from cat to man.

  2. Fluctuations of extracellular glucose and lactate in the mouse primary visual cortex during visual stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Béland-Millar, Alexandria; Messier, Claude

    2018-02-16

    We measured the extracellular glucose and lactate in the primary visual cortex in the CD-1 mouse using electrochemical electrodes. To gain some additional information on brain metabolism, we examined the impact of systemic injections of lactate and fructose on the brain extracellular glucose and lactate changes observed during visual stimulation. We found that simple stimulation using a flashlight produced a decrease in visual cortex extracellular glucose and an increase in extracellular lactate. Similar results were observed following visual stimulation with an animated movie without soundtrack or the presentation of a novel object. Specificity of these observations was confirmed by the absence of extracellular glucose and lactate changes when the mice were presented a second time with the same object. Previous experiments have shown that systemic injections of fructose and lactate lead to an increase in blood lactate but no change in blood glucose while they both increase brain extracellular glucose but they do not increase brain extracellular lactate. When mice were visually stimulated after they had received these injections, we found that lactate, and to a slightly lesser degree fructose, both reduced the amplitude of the changes in extracellular glucose and lactate that accompanied visual stimulation. Thus, neural activation leads to an increase in extracellular lactate and a decrease in extracellular glucose. Novelty, attentional resources and availability of metabolic fuels modulate these fluctuations. The observations are consistent with a modified view of brain metabolism that takes into account the blood and brain glucose availability. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Visual cortex plasticity evokes excitatory alterations in the hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marian Tsanov

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available The integration of episodic sequences in the hippocampus is believed to occur during theta rhythm episodes, when cortico-hippocampal dialog results in reconfiguration of neuronal assemblies. As the visual cortex (VC is a major source of sensory information to the hippocampus, information processing in the cortex may affect hippocampal network oscillations, facilitating the induction of synaptic modifications. We investigated to what degree the field activity in the primary VC, elicited by sensory or electrical stimulation, correlates with hippocampal oscillatory and synaptic responsiveness, in freely behaving adult rats. We found that the spectral power of theta rhythm (4-10Hz in the dentate gyrus (DG, increases in parallel with high-frequency oscillations in layer 2/3 of the VC and that this correlation depends on the degree of exploratory activity. When we mimic robust thalamocortical activity by theta-burst application to dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus, a hippocampal theta increase occurs, followed by a persistent potentiation of the DG granule field population spike. Furthermore, the potentiation of DG neuronal excitability tightly correlates with the concurrently occurring VC plasticity. The concurrent enhancement of VC and DG activity is also combined with a highly negative synchronization between hippocampal and cortical low frequency oscillations. Exploration of familiar environment decreases the degree of this synchrony. Our data propose that novel visual information can induce high-power fluctuations in intrinsic excitability for both VC and hippocampus, potent enough to induce experience-dependent modulation of cortico-hippocampal connections. This interaction may comprise one of the endogenous triggers for long-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

  4. Effect of eye rotation on visual-field map onto superior colliculus and visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, B; Moran, J; Presson, J

    1983-09-01

    We used multiunit recording to assess the effect of rotating one eye approximately 90 degrees at about the time of normal eye opening. Rotation of the eye did not alter the topography of the retinal maps onto visual cortex or superior colliculus. The intorted eye drove cells at most recording points in the contralateral visual cortex and superior colliculus. In its ipsilateral colliculus the intorted eye drove cells at about 10% of the recording points; that is, the temporal retina of this eye was quite ineffective in driving collicular cells. In its ipsilateral cortex the intorted eye drove cells at about 30% of the recording sites. The unoperated eye drove cells at all locations in both colliculus and cortex on both sides of the brain. The effects of extorsion were studied only in the superior colliculus. Extorsion and intorsion produced similar results except that extorsion produced a less severe deficit in the ability of the temporal retina to drive cells in its ipsilateral colliculus. Cutting all the extraocular muscles without eye rotation was studied only in the colliculus and produced results similar to those produced by intorsion and extorsion. However, the temporal retina of the operated eye was more effective after muscle cut alone than after intorsion or extorsion. Forcing the animal to use the rotated right eye alone on alternate days during the first 3 mo of life did not decrease the deficits. Almost all recording sites in the right colliculus were driven only by the unoperated left eye. If the left eye was sutured when the right eye was rotated, only the right eye drove cells in the left colliculus, but the two eyes were about equally effective in the right colliculus; however, rather few sites in the right colliculus were binocularly driven. We conclude that both extraocular muscle section and eye rotation reduce the effectiveness of the uncrossed input from the operated eye to the superior colliculus and visual cortex. The effects on the superior

  5. Visual cortex and auditory cortex activation in early binocularly blind macaques: A BOLD-fMRI study using auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rong; Wu, Lingjie; Tang, Zuohua; Sun, Xinghuai; Feng, Xiaoyuan; Tang, Weijun; Qian, Wen; Wang, Jie; Jin, Lixin; Zhong, Yufeng; Xiao, Zebin

    2017-04-15

    Cross-modal plasticity within the visual and auditory cortices of early binocularly blind macaques is not well studied. In this study, four healthy neonatal macaques were assigned to group A (control group) or group B (binocularly blind group). Sixteen months later, blood oxygenation level-dependent functional imaging (BOLD-fMRI) was conducted to examine the activation in the visual and auditory cortices of each macaque while being tested using pure tones as auditory stimuli. The changes in the BOLD response in the visual and auditory cortices of all macaques were compared with immunofluorescence staining findings. Compared with group A, greater BOLD activity was observed in the bilateral visual cortices of group B, and this effect was particularly obvious in the right visual cortex. In addition, more activated volumes were found in the bilateral auditory cortices of group B than of group A, especially in the right auditory cortex. These findings were consistent with the fact that there were more c-Fos-positive cells in the bilateral visual and auditory cortices of group B compared with group A (p visual cortices of binocularly blind macaques can be reorganized to process auditory stimuli after visual deprivation, and this effect is more obvious in the right than the left visual cortex. These results indicate the establishment of cross-modal plasticity within the visual and auditory cortices. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The role of visual cortex acetylcholine in learning to discriminate temporally modulated visual stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor H Minces

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain innervate discrete regions of the cortical mantle, bestowing the cholinergic system with the potential to dynamically modulate sub-regions of the cortex according to behavioral demands. Cortical cholinergic activity has been shown to facilitate learning and modulate attention. Experiments addressing these issues have primarily focused on widespread cholinergic depletions, extending to areas involved in general cognitive processes and sleep cycle regulation, making a definitive interpretation of the behavioral role of cholinergic projections difficult. Furthermore, a review of the electrophysiological literature suggests that cholinergic modulation is particularly important in representing the fine temporal details of stimuli, an issue rarely addressed in behavioral experimentation. The goal of this work is to understand the role cholinergic projections, specific to the sensory cortex, in learning to discriminate fine differences in the temporal structure of stimuli. A novel visual Go/No-Go task was developed to assess the ability of rats to learn and discriminate fine differences in the temporal structure of visual stimuli (lights flashing at various frequencies. The cholinergic contribution to this task was examined by selectively eliminating acetylcholine projections to visual cortex (using 192 IgG-saporin, either before or after discrimination training.We find that in the face of compromised cholinergic input to the visual cortex, the rats’ ability to learn to perform fine discriminations is impaired, whereas their ability to perform discriminations remains unaffected.These results suggest that acetylcholine serves the role of facilitating plastic changes in the sensory cortices that are needed for an animal to refine their sensitivity to the temporal characteristics of relevant stimuli.

  7. Can Retinal Ganglion Cell Dipoles Seed Iso-Orientation Domains in the Visual Cortex?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schottdorf, Manuel; Eglen, Stephen J.; Wolf, Fred; Keil, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    It has been argued that the emergence of roughly periodic orientation preference maps (OPMs) in the primary visual cortex (V1) of carnivores and primates can be explained by a so-called statistical connectivity model. This model assumes that input to V1 neurons is dominated by feed-forward projections originating from a small set of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). The typical spacing between adjacent cortical orientation columns preferring the same orientation then arises via Moiré-Interference between hexagonal ON/OFF RGC mosaics. While this Moiré-Interference critically depends on long-range hexagonal order within the RGC mosaics, a recent statistical analysis of RGC receptive field positions found no evidence for such long-range positional order. Hexagonal order may be only one of several ways to obtain spatially repetitive OPMs in the statistical connectivity model. Here, we investigate a more general requirement on the spatial structure of RGC mosaics that can seed the emergence of spatially repetitive cortical OPMs, namely that angular correlations between so-called RGC dipoles exhibit a spatial structure similar to that of OPM autocorrelation functions. Both in cat beta cell mosaics as well as primate parasol receptive field mosaics we find that RGC dipole angles are spatially uncorrelated. To help assess the level of these correlations, we introduce a novel point process that generates mosaics with realistic nearest neighbor statistics and a tunable degree of spatial correlations of dipole angles. Using this process, we show that given the size of available data sets, the presence of even weak angular correlations in the data is very unlikely. We conclude that the layout of ON/OFF ganglion cell mosaics lacks the spatial structure necessary to seed iso-orientation domains in the primary visual cortex. PMID:24475081

  8. Transcranial magnetic stimulation of visual cortex in memory: cortical state, interference and reactivation of visual content in memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Ven, Vincent; Sack, Alexander T

    2013-01-01

    Memory for perceptual events includes the neural representation of the sensory information at short or longer time scales. Recent transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies of human visual cortex provided evidence that sensory cortex contributes to memory functions. In this review, we provide an exhaustive overview of these studies and ascertain how well the available evidence supports the idea of a causal role of sensory cortex in memory retention and retrieval. We discuss the validity and implications of the studies using a number of methodological and theoretical criteria that are relevant for brain stimulation of visual cortex. While most studies applied TMS to visual cortex to interfere with memory functions, a handful of pioneering studies used TMS to 'reactivate' memories in visual cortex. Interestingly, similar effects of TMS on memory were found in different memory tasks, which suggests that different memory systems share a neural mechanism of memory in visual cortex. At the same time, this neural mechanism likely interacts with higher order brain areas. Based on this overview and evaluation, we provide a first attempt to an integrative framework that describes how sensory processes contribute to memory in visual cortex, and how higher order areas contribute to this mechanism. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Functional MRI of the visual cortex and visual testing in patients with previous optic neuritis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Langkilde, Annika Reynberg; Frederiksen, J.L.; Rostrup, Egill

    2002-01-01

    of the activated area and the signal change following ON, and compared the results with results of neuroophthalmological testing. We studied nine patients with previous acute ON and 10 healthy persons served as controls using fMRI with visual stimulation. In addition to a reduced activated volume, patients showed...... to both the results of the contrast sensitivity test and to the Snellen visual acuity. Our results indicate that fMRI is a useful method for the study of ON, even in cases where the visual acuity is severely impaired. The reduction in activated volume could be explained as a reduced neuronal input......The volume of cortical activation as detected by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in the visual cortex has previously been shown to be reduced following optic neuritis (ON). In order to understand the cause of this change, we studied the cortical activation, both the size...

  10. Study on the primary visual cortex of visually impaired subjects by means of 123I-IMP SPECT and MRI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ishikawa, Nobuyoshi; Satou, Motohiro; Takeda, Tohoru; Itai, Yuji; Nishijo, Kazushi.

    1995-01-01

    We conducted a study of rCBF in the primary visual cortex of visually impaired subjects who have not been subjected to external stimulation for a long period, by means of 123 I-IMP SPECT and MRI. The four subjects had lost their sight due to brain tumors (n=2), glaucoma (n=1) and trauma (n=1). 123 I-IMP SPECT showed no differences between the visually impaired group and a visually sound control group on visual analysis as well as semiquantitative analysis. MRI of the visually impaired subjects showed no organic changes, such as atrophy, in the occipital cortex. In conclusion, visually impaired subjects have no decrease in rCBF and no anatomical changes in the primary visual cortex. (author)

  11. Transcranial focused ultrasound stimulation of human primary visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Wonhye; Kim, Hyun-Chul; Jung, Yujin; Chung, Yong An; Song, In-Uk; Lee, Jong-Hwan; Yoo, Seung-Schik

    2016-09-01

    Transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) is making progress as a new non-invasive mode of regional brain stimulation. Current evidence of FUS-mediated neurostimulation for humans has been limited to the observation of subjective sensory manifestations and electrophysiological responses, thus warranting the identification of stimulated brain regions. Here, we report FUS sonication of the primary visual cortex (V1) in humans, resulting in elicited activation not only from the sonicated brain area, but also from the network of regions involved in visual and higher-order cognitive processes (as revealed by simultaneous acquisition of blood-oxygenation-level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging). Accompanying phosphene perception was also reported. The electroencephalo graphic (EEG) responses showed distinct peaks associated with the stimulation. None of the participants showed any adverse effects from the sonication based on neuroimaging and neurological examinations. Retrospective numerical simulation of the acoustic profile showed the presence of individual variability in terms of the location and intensity of the acoustic focus. With exquisite spatial selectivity and capability for depth penetration, FUS may confer a unique utility in providing non-invasive stimulation of region-specific brain circuits for neuroscientific and therapeutic applications.

  12. Postoperative increase in grey matter volume in visual cortex after unilateral cataract surgery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lou, Astrid R.; Madsen, Kristoffer Hougaard; Julian, Hanne O.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose:  The developing visual cortex has a strong potential to undergo plastic changes. Little is known about the potential of the ageing visual cortex to express plasticity. A pertinent question is whether therapeutic interventions can trigger plastic changes in the ageing visual cortex...... surgery induces a regional increase in grey matter in areas V1 and V2 of the visual cortex. Results:  In all patients, cataract surgery immediately improved visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and mean sensitivity in the visual field of the operated eye. The improvement in vision was stable throughout...... the 6 weeks after operation. VBM revealed a regional expansion of grey matter volume in area V2 contralateral to the operated eye during the 6-week period after surgery. Individual increases in grey matter were predicted by the symmetry in visual acuity between the operated eye and nonoperated eye...

  13. Neurometabolic coupling between neural activity, glucose, and lactate in activated visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Baowang; Freeman, Ralph D

    2015-11-01

    Neural activity is closely coupled with energy metabolism but details of the association remain to be identified. One basic area involves the relationships between neural activity and the main supportive substrates of glucose and lactate. This is of fundamental significance for the interpretation of non-invasive neural imaging. Here, we use microelectrodes with high spatial and temporal resolution to determine simultaneous co-localized changes in glucose, lactate, and neural activity during visual activation of the cerebral cortex in the cat. Tissue glucose and lactate concentration levels are measured with electrochemical microelectrodes while neural spiking activity and local field potentials are sampled by a microelectrode. These measurements are performed simultaneously while neurons are activated by visual stimuli of different contrast levels, orientations, and sizes. We find immediate decreases in tissue glucose concentration and simultaneous increases in lactate during neural activation. Both glucose and lactate signals return to their baseline levels instantly as neurons cease firing. No sustained changes or initial dips in glucose or lactate signals are elicited by visual stimulation. However, co-localized measurements of cerebral blood flow and neural activity demonstrate a clear delay in the cerebral blood flow signal such that it does not correlate temporally with the neural response. These results provide direct real-time evidence regarding the coupling between co-localized energy metabolism and neural activity during physiological stimulation. They are also relevant to a current question regarding the role of lactate in energy metabolism in the brain during neural activation. Dynamic changes in energy metabolites can be measured directly with high spatial and temporal resolution by use of enzyme-based microelectrodes. Here, to examine neuro-metabolic coupling during brain activation, we use combined microelectrodes to simultaneously measure

  14. Functional organization and visual representations in human ventral lateral prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annie Wai Yiu Chan

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies in both human and non-human primates have identified face selective activation in the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex even in the absence of working memory demands. Further, research has suggested that this face-selective response is largely driven by the presence of the eyes. However, the nature and origin of visual category responses in the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex remain unclear. Further, in a broader sense, how do these findings relate to our current understandings of lateral prefrontal cortex? What do these findings tell us about the underlying function and organization principles of the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex? What is the future direction for investigating visual representations in this cortex? This review focuses on the function, topography, and circuitry of the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex to enhance our understanding of the evolution and development of this cortex.

  15. Isolated unilateral absence of the right pulmonary artery in two cats visualized by computed tomography angiography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyler JM Jordan

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Case series summary Two cats were evaluated for progressive exercise intolerance, dyspnea and unilateral infiltrate of the left lung. Computed tomography angiography (CTA revealed absence of the right pulmonary artery in both cats with systemic arterial collateral vessels perfusing the right segmental pulmonary arteries. In one case, the collateral vessels arose from the esophageal artery, while in the other case they derived off the right costocervical trunk. One cat was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and was euthanized owing to progressive respiratory distress despite medical management with sildenafil, pimobendan, clopidogrel and furosemide. The other cat, without echocardiographic evidence of pulmonary hypertension, was successfully managed with furosemide and enalapril for more than 4 years. Relevance and novel information CTA allowed visualization of a rare congenital heart malformation, unilateral absence of the right pulmonary artery, in two cats and accurately characterized the source of collateral blood supply to the affected lung. Severe pulmonary hypertension may be a negative prognostic factor in cats with this condition as medical therapy in the cat without evidence of pulmonary hypertension resolved clinical signs, while the cat with severe pulmonary hypertension died from the disease.

  16. Selective visual attention to emotional words: Early parallel frontal and visual activations followed by interactive effects in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, Sebastian; Kissler, Johanna

    2016-10-01

    Human brains spontaneously differentiate between various emotional and neutral stimuli, including written words whose emotional quality is symbolic. In the electroencephalogram (EEG), emotional-neutral processing differences are typically reflected in the early posterior negativity (EPN, 200-300 ms) and the late positive potential (LPP, 400-700 ms). These components are also enlarged by task-driven visual attention, supporting the assumption that emotional content naturally drives attention. Still, the spatio-temporal dynamics of interactions between emotional stimulus content and task-driven attention remain to be specified. Here, we examine this issue in visual word processing. Participants attended to negative, neutral, or positive nouns while high-density EEG was recorded. Emotional content and top-down attention both amplified the EPN component in parallel. On the LPP, by contrast, emotion and attention interacted: Explicit attention to emotional words led to a substantially larger amplitude increase than did explicit attention to neutral words. Source analysis revealed early parallel effects of emotion and attention in bilateral visual cortex and a later interaction of both in right visual cortex. Distinct effects of attention were found in inferior, middle and superior frontal, paracentral, and parietal areas, as well as in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Results specify separate and shared mechanisms of emotion and attention at distinct processing stages. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3575-3587, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Representation of visual scenes by local neuronal populations in layer 2/3 of mouse visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bjorn M Kampa

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available How are visual scenes encoded in local neural networks of visual cortex? In rodents, visual cortex lacks a columnar organization so that processing of diverse features from a spot in visual space could be performed locally by populations of neighboring neurons. To examine how complex visual scenes are represented by local microcircuits in mouse visual cortex we measured visually-evoked responses of layer 2/3 neuronal populations using 3D two-photon calcium imaging. Both natural and artificial movie scenes (10-s duration evoked distributed and sparsely organized responses in local populations of 70 to 150 neurons within the sampled volumes. About 50% of neurons showed calcium transients during visual scene presentation, of which about half displayed reliable temporal activation patterns. The majority of the reliably responding neurons were activated primarily by one of the four visual scenes applied. Consequently, single neurons performed poorly in decoding, which visual scene had been presented. In contrast, high levels of decoding performance (>80% were reached when considering population responses, requiring about 80 randomly picked cells or 20 reliable responders. Furthermore, reliable responding neurons tended to have neighbors sharing the same stimulus preference. Because of this local redundancy, it was beneficial for efficient scene decoding to read out activity from spatially distributed rather than locally clustered neurons. Our results suggest a population code in layer 2/3 of visual cortex, where the visual environment is dynamically represented in the activation of distinct functional sub-networks.

  18. The logic of single-cell projections from visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Yunyun; Kebschull, Justus M; Campbell, Robert A A; Cowan, Devon; Imhof, Fabia; Zador, Anthony M; Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas D

    2018-04-05

    Neocortical areas communicate through extensive axonal projections, but the logic of information transfer remains poorly understood, because the projections of individual neurons have not been systematically characterized. It is not known whether individual neurons send projections only to single cortical areas or distribute signals across multiple targets. Here we determine the projection patterns of 591 individual neurons in the mouse primary visual cortex using whole-brain fluorescence-based axonal tracing and high-throughput DNA sequencing of genetically barcoded neurons (MAPseq). Projections were highly diverse and divergent, collectively targeting at least 18 cortical and subcortical areas. Most neurons targeted multiple cortical areas, often in non-random combinations, suggesting that sub-classes of intracortical projection neurons exist. Our results indicate that the dominant mode of intracortical information transfer is not based on 'one neuron-one target area' mapping. Instead, signals carried by individual cortical neurons are shared across subsets of target areas, and thus concurrently contribute to multiple functional pathways.

  19. Spatial organization of astrocytes in ferret visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    López‐Hidalgo, Mónica; Hoover, Walter B.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Astrocytes form an intricate partnership with neural circuits to influence numerous cellular and synaptic processes. One prominent organizational feature of astrocytes is the “tiling” of the brain with non‐overlapping territories. There are some documented species and brain region–specific astrocyte specializations, but the extent of astrocyte diversity and circuit specificity are still unknown. We quantitatively defined the rules that govern the spatial arrangement of astrocyte somata and territory overlap in ferret visual cortex using a combination of in vivo two‐photon imaging, morphological reconstruction, immunostaining, and model simulations. We found that ferret astrocytes share, on average, half of their territory with other astrocytes. However, a specific class of astrocytes, abundant in thalamo‐recipient cortical layers (“kissing” astrocytes), overlap markedly less. Together, these results demonstrate novel features of astrocyte organization indicating that different classes of astrocytes are arranged in a circuit‐specific manner and that tiling does not apply universally across brain regions and species. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3561–3576, 2016. © 2016 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27072916

  20. Age-related changes of structures in cerebellar cortex of cat

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Astrocytes in old cats were significantly denser than in young adult ones, and accompanied by evident hypertrophy of the cell bodies and enhanced immunoreaction of GFAP substance. Purkinje cells (PCs) in old cats showed much fewer NF-IR dendrites than those in young adults. The above findings indicate a loss of ...

  1. Detailed illustration of the visual field representation along the visual pathway to the primary visual cortex: a graphical summary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wärntges, Simone; Michelson, Georg

    2014-01-01

    In the literature, different graphic illustrations are available, which depict different parts of the visual pathway in relation to visual field sectors, to retinal sectors, the layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), or sections of the primary visual cortex (V1). However, a complete overview is missing, which may be useful for a more precise differentiation of predominantly ophthalmological from intracerebral diseases. It may also be of interest to investigate additional intracerebral reasons that are involved in impaired vision of largely unknown pathophysiology. This work combines the scientific knowledge of partial graphics in one detailed illustration that allows exact follow-up of the neuronal connections from individual visual field sectors to the V1 areas. A selective search for peer-reviewed graphics of the visual pathway was performed in PubMed and Google Pictures. Sixteen different visual field sectors and their 16 corresponding retinal sectors were set in relation to 64 LGN sections and 20 areas of V1. Segmented cross-sectional areas of the optic nerve supplemented the graphical representation of the fiber orientation in relation to the visual field. The detailed illustration of the visual field projection along the visual pathway structures may facilitate a more precise calculation of correlations between morphological and functional measurements of ophthalmological and neuroradiological examinations. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  2. Visual Stimulus Speed Does Not Influence the Rapid Emergence of Direction Selectivity in Ferret Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritter, Neil J; Anderson, Nora M; Van Hooser, Stephen D

    2017-02-08

    development of basic sensory detectors in primary visual cortex. We found that, although visual experience is required for the development of direction selectivity, tuning for stimulus speed could not be altered by specific experience with slow or fast stimuli. These results suggest that the tuning parameters for direction selectivity are specified independently of an animal's sensory experience, and that a range of experiences can promote the proper mature expression of direction selectivity in primary visual cortex. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/371557-11$15.00/0.

  3. Visual Prediction Error Spreads Across Object Features in Human Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Jiefeng; Summerfield, Christopher; Egner, Tobias

    2016-12-14

    Visual cognition is thought to rely heavily on contextual expectations. Accordingly, previous studies have revealed distinct neural signatures for expected versus unexpected stimuli in visual cortex. However, it is presently unknown how the brain combines multiple concurrent stimulus expectations such as those we have for different features of a familiar object. To understand how an unexpected object feature affects the simultaneous processing of other expected feature(s), we combined human fMRI with a task that independently manipulated expectations for color and motion features of moving-dot stimuli. Behavioral data and neural signals from visual cortex were then interrogated to adjudicate between three possible ways in which prediction error (surprise) in the processing of one feature might affect the concurrent processing of another, expected feature: (1) feature processing may be independent; (2) surprise might "spread" from the unexpected to the expected feature, rendering the entire object unexpected; or (3) pairing a surprising feature with an expected feature might promote the inference that the two features are not in fact part of the same object. To formalize these rival hypotheses, we implemented them in a simple computational model of multifeature expectations. Across a range of analyses, behavior and visual neural signals consistently supported a model that assumes a mixing of prediction error signals across features: surprise in one object feature spreads to its other feature(s), thus rendering the entire object unexpected. These results reveal neurocomputational principles of multifeature expectations and indicate that objects are the unit of selection for predictive vision. We address a key question in predictive visual cognition: how does the brain combine multiple concurrent expectations for different features of a single object such as its color and motion trajectory? By combining a behavioral protocol that independently varies expectation of

  4. Object-centered shifts of receptive field positions in monkey primary visual cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Ni, Amy. M.; Murray, Scott. O.; Horwitz, Gregory. D.

    2014-01-01

    Stimuli that project the same retinal visual angle can appear to occupy very different proportions of the visual field if they are perceived to be at different distances (Fig. 1A) [1–8]. Previous research shows that perceived angular size alters the spatial distribution of activity in early retinotopic visual cortex [7, 9–11]. For example, a sphere superimposed on the far end of a corridor scene appears to occupy a larger visual angle and activates a larger region of primary visual cortex (V1...

  5. Visual cortex in aging and Alzheimer’s disease: Changes in visual field maps and population receptive fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alyssa A. Brewer

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Although several studies have suggested that cortical alterations underlie such age-related visual deficits as decreased acuity, little is known about what changes actually occur in visual cortex during healthy aging. Two recent studies showed changes in primary visual cortex (V1 during normal aging; however, no studies have characterized the effects of aging on visual cortex beyond V1, important measurements both for understanding the aging process and for comparison to changes in age-related diseases. Similarly, there is almost no information about changes in visual cortex in Alzheimer’s disease (AD, the most common form of dementia. Because visual deficits are often reported as one of the first symptoms of AD, measurements of such changes in the visual cortex of AD patients might improve our understanding of how the visual system is affected by neurodegeneration as well as aid early detection, accurate diagnosis and timely treatment of AD. Here we use fMRI to first compare the visual field map (VFM organization and population receptive fields (pRFs between young adults and healthy aging subjects for occipital VFMs V1, V2, V3, and hV4. Healthy aging subjects do not show major VFM organizational deficits, but do have reduced surface area and increased pRF sizes in the foveal representations of V1, V2, and hV4 relative to healthy young control subjects. These measurements are consistent with behavioral deficits seen in healthy aging. We then demonstrate the feasibility and first characterization of these measurements in two patients with mild AD, which reveal potential changes in visual cortex as part of the pathophysiology of AD. Our data aid in our understanding of the changes in the visual processing pathways in normal aging and provide the foundation for future research into earlier and more definitive detection of AD.

  6. Heterogenous migraine aura symptoms correlate with visual cortex functional magnetic resonance imaging responses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arngrim, Nanna; Hougaard, Anders; Ahmadi, Khazar

    2017-01-01

    response to visual stimulation was measured in retinotopic mapping–defined visual cortex areas V1 to V4. Results: We found reduced BOLD response in patients reporting scotoma and increased response in patients who only experienced positive symptoms. Furthermore, patients with bilateral visual symptoms had...

  7. Slow GABAA mediated synaptic transmission in rat visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sceniak Michael P

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous reports of inhibition in the neocortex suggest that inhibition is mediated predominantly through GABAA receptors exhibiting fast kinetics. Within the hippocampus, it has been shown that GABAA responses can take the form of either fast or slow response kinetics. Our findings indicate, for the first time, that the neocortex displays synaptic responses with slow GABAA receptor mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs. These IPSCs are kinetically and pharmacologically similar to responses found in the hippocampus, although the anatomical specificity of evoked responses is unique from hippocampus. Spontaneous slow GABAA IPSCs were recorded from both pyramidal and inhibitory neurons in rat visual cortex. Results GABAA slow IPSCs were significantly different from fast responses with respect to rise times and decay time constants, but not amplitudes. Spontaneously occurring GABAA slow IPSCs were nearly 100 times less frequent than fast sIPSCs and both were completely abolished by the chloride channel blocker, picrotoxin. The GABAA subunit-specific antagonist, furosemide, depressed spontaneous and evoked GABAA fast IPSCs, but not slow GABAA-mediated IPSCs. Anatomical specificity was evident using minimal stimulation: IPSCs with slow kinetics were evoked predominantly through stimulation of layer 1/2 apical dendritic zones of layer 4 pyramidal neurons and across their basal dendrites, while GABAA fast IPSCs were evoked through stimulation throughout the dendritic arborization. Many evoked IPSCs were also composed of a combination of fast and slow IPSC components. Conclusion GABAA slow IPSCs displayed durations that were approximately 4 fold longer than typical GABAA fast IPSCs, but shorter than GABAB-mediated inhibition. The anatomical and pharmacological specificity of evoked slow IPSCs suggests a unique origin of synaptic input. Incorporating GABAA slow IPSCs into computational models of cortical function will help

  8. A cardinal orientation bias in scene-selective visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasr, Shahin; Tootell, Roger B H

    2012-10-24

    It has long been known that human vision is more sensitive to contours at cardinal (horizontal and vertical) orientations, compared with oblique orientations; this is the "oblique effect." However, the real-world relevance of the oblique effect is not well understood. Experiments here suggest that this effect is linked to scene perception, via a common bias in the image statistics of scenes. This statistical bias for cardinal orientations is found in many "carpentered environments" such as buildings and indoor scenes, and some natural scenes. In Experiment 1, we confirmed the presence of a perceptual oblique effect in a specific set of scene stimuli. Using those scenes, we found that a well known "scene-selective" visual cortical area (the parahippocampal place area; PPA) showed distinctively higher functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activity to cardinal versus oblique orientations. This fMRI-based oblique effect was not observed in other cortical areas (including scene-selective areas transverse occipital sulcus and retrosplenial cortex), although all three scene-selective areas showed the expected inversion effect to scenes. Experiments 2 and 3 tested for an analogous selectivity for cardinal orientations using computer-generated arrays of simple squares and line segments, respectively. The results confirmed the preference for cardinal orientations in PPA, thus demonstrating that the oblique effect can also be produced in PPA by simple geometrical images, with statistics similar to those in scenes. Thus, PPA shows distinctive fMRI selectivity for cardinal orientations across a broad range of stimuli, which may reflect a perceptual oblique effect.

  9. Hippocampus, Perirhinal Cortex, and Complex Visual Discriminations in Rats and Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hales, Jena B.; Broadbent, Nicola J.; Velu, Priya D.; Squire, Larry R.; Clark, Robert E.

    2015-01-01

    Structures in the medial temporal lobe, including the hippocampus and perirhinal cortex, are known to be essential for the formation of long-term memory. Recent animal and human studies have investigated whether perirhinal cortex might also be important for visual perception. In our study, using a simultaneous oddity discrimination task, rats with…

  10. Temporal Sequence of Visuo-Auditory Interaction in Multiple Areas of the Guinea Pig Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Masataka; Song, Wen-Jie

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies in humans and monkeys have reported that acoustic stimulation influences visual responses in the primary visual cortex (V1). Such influences can be generated in V1, either by direct auditory projections or by feedback projections from extrastriate cortices. To test these hypotheses, cortical activities were recorded using optical imaging at a high spatiotemporal resolution from multiple areas of the guinea pig visual cortex, to visual and/or acoustic stimulations. Visuo-auditory interactions were evaluated according to differences between responses evoked by combined auditory and visual stimulation, and the sum of responses evoked by separate visual and auditory stimulations. Simultaneous presentation of visual and acoustic stimulations resulted in significant interactions in V1, which occurred earlier than in other visual areas. When acoustic stimulation preceded visual stimulation, significant visuo-auditory interactions were detected only in V1. These results suggest that V1 is a cortical origin of visuo-auditory interaction. PMID:23029483

  11. Temporal sequence of visuo-auditory interaction in multiple areas of the guinea pig visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masataka Nishimura

    Full Text Available Recent studies in humans and monkeys have reported that acoustic stimulation influences visual responses in the primary visual cortex (V1. Such influences can be generated in V1, either by direct auditory projections or by feedback projections from extrastriate cortices. To test these hypotheses, cortical activities were recorded using optical imaging at a high spatiotemporal resolution from multiple areas of the guinea pig visual cortex, to visual and/or acoustic stimulations. Visuo-auditory interactions were evaluated according to differences between responses evoked by combined auditory and visual stimulation, and the sum of responses evoked by separate visual and auditory stimulations. Simultaneous presentation of visual and acoustic stimulations resulted in significant interactions in V1, which occurred earlier than in other visual areas. When acoustic stimulation preceded visual stimulation, significant visuo-auditory interactions were detected only in V1. These results suggest that V1 is a cortical origin of visuo-auditory interaction.

  12. Two distinct neural mechanisms in early visual cortex determine subsequent visual processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Christianne; de Graaf, Tom A; Sack, Alexander T

    2014-10-01

    Neuroscience research has conventionally focused on how the brain processes sensory information, after the information has been received. Recently, increased interest focuses on how the state of the brain upon receiving inputs determines and biases their subsequent processing and interpretation. Here, we investigated such 'pre-stimulus' brain mechanisms and their relevance for objective and subjective visual processing. Using non-invasive focal brain stimulation [transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)] we disrupted spontaneous brain state activity within early visual cortex (EVC) before onset of visual stimulation, at two different pre-stimulus-onset-asynchronies (pSOAs). We found that TMS pulses applied to EVC at either 20 msec or 50 msec before onset of a simple orientation stimulus both prevented this stimulus from reaching visual awareness. Interestingly, only the TMS-induced visual suppression following TMS at a pSOA of ?20 msec was retinotopically specific, while TMS at a pSOA of ?50 msec was not. In a second experiment, we used more complex symbolic arrow stimuli, and found TMS-induced suppression only when disrupting EVC at a pSOA of ? ?60 msec, which, in line with Experiment 1, was not retinotopically specific. Despite this topographic unspecificity of the ?50 msec effect, the additional control measurements as well as tracking and removal of eye blinks, suggested that also this effect was not the result of an unspecific artifact, and thus neural in origin. We therefore obtained evidence of two distinct neural mechanisms taking place in EVC, both determining whether or not subsequent visual inputs are successfully processed by the human visual system.

  13. Neural sources of visual working memory maintenance in human parietal and ventral extrastriate visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becke, Andreas; Müller, Notger; Vellage, Anne; Schoenfeld, Mircea Ariel; Hopf, Jens-Max

    2015-04-15

    Maintaining information in visual working memory is reliably indexed by the contralateral delay activity (CDA) - a sustained modulation of the event-related potential (ERP) with a topographical maximum over posterior scalp regions contralateral to the memorized input. Based on scalp topography, it is hypothesized that the CDA reflects neural activity in the parietal cortex, but the precise cortical origin of underlying electric activity was never determined. Here we combine ERP recordings with magnetoencephalography based source localization to characterize the cortical current sources generating the CDA. Observers performed a cued delayed match to sample task where either the color or the relative position of colored dots had to be maintained in memory. A detailed source-localization analysis of the magnetic activity in the retention interval revealed that the magnetic analog of the CDA (mCDA) is generated by current sources in the parietal cortex. Importantly, we find that the mCDA also receives contribution from current sources in the ventral extrastriate cortex that display a time-course similar to the parietal sources. On the basis of the magnetic responses, forward modeling of ERP data reveals that the ventral sources have non-optimal projections and that these sources are therefore concealed in the ERP by overlapping fields with parietal projections. The present observations indicate that visual working memory maintenance, as indexed by the CDA, involves the parietal cortical regions as well as the ventral extrastriate regions, which code the sensory representation of the memorized content. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Cross-Modal Functional Reorganization of Visual and Auditory Cortex in Adult Cochlear Implant Users Identified with fNIRS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ling-Chia; Sandmann, Pascale; Thorne, Jeremy D; Bleichner, Martin G; Debener, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Cochlear implant (CI) users show higher auditory-evoked activations in visual cortex and higher visual-evoked activation in auditory cortex compared to normal hearing (NH) controls, reflecting functional reorganization of both visual and auditory modalities. Visual-evoked activation in auditory cortex is a maladaptive functional reorganization whereas auditory-evoked activation in visual cortex is beneficial for speech recognition in CI users. We investigated their joint influence on CI users' speech recognition, by testing 20 postlingually deafened CI users and 20 NH controls with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Optodes were placed over occipital and temporal areas to measure visual and auditory responses when presenting visual checkerboard and auditory word stimuli. Higher cross-modal activations were confirmed in both auditory and visual cortex for CI users compared to NH controls, demonstrating that functional reorganization of both auditory and visual cortex can be identified with fNIRS. Additionally, the combined reorganization of auditory and visual cortex was found to be associated with speech recognition performance. Speech performance was good as long as the beneficial auditory-evoked activation in visual cortex was higher than the visual-evoked activation in the auditory cortex. These results indicate the importance of considering cross-modal activations in both visual and auditory cortex for potential clinical outcome estimation.

  15. Cross-Modal Functional Reorganization of Visual and Auditory Cortex in Adult Cochlear Implant Users Identified with fNIRS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling-Chia Chen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Cochlear implant (CI users show higher auditory-evoked activations in visual cortex and higher visual-evoked activation in auditory cortex compared to normal hearing (NH controls, reflecting functional reorganization of both visual and auditory modalities. Visual-evoked activation in auditory cortex is a maladaptive functional reorganization whereas auditory-evoked activation in visual cortex is beneficial for speech recognition in CI users. We investigated their joint influence on CI users’ speech recognition, by testing 20 postlingually deafened CI users and 20 NH controls with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS. Optodes were placed over occipital and temporal areas to measure visual and auditory responses when presenting visual checkerboard and auditory word stimuli. Higher cross-modal activations were confirmed in both auditory and visual cortex for CI users compared to NH controls, demonstrating that functional reorganization of both auditory and visual cortex can be identified with fNIRS. Additionally, the combined reorganization of auditory and visual cortex was found to be associated with speech recognition performance. Speech performance was good as long as the beneficial auditory-evoked activation in visual cortex was higher than the visual-evoked activation in the auditory cortex. These results indicate the importance of considering cross-modal activations in both visual and auditory cortex for potential clinical outcome estimation.

  16. Frequency spectrum might act as communication code between retina and visual cortex I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xu; Gong, Bo; Lu, Jian-Wei

    2015-01-01

    To explore changes and possible communication relationship of local potential signals recorded simultaneously from retina and visual cortex I (V1). Fourteen C57BL/6J mice were measured with pattern electroretinogram (PERG) and pattern visually evoked potential (PVEP) and fast Fourier transform has been used to analyze the frequency components of those signals. The amplitude of PERG and PVEP was measured at about 36.7 µV and 112.5 µV respectively and the dominant frequency of PERG and PVEP, however, stay unchanged and both signals do not have second, or otherwise, harmonic generation. The results suggested that retina encodes visual information in the way of frequency spectrum and then transfers it to primary visual cortex. The primary visual cortex accepts and deciphers the input visual information coded from retina. Frequency spectrum may act as communication code between retina and V1.

  17. Internal state of monkey primary visual cortex (V1) predicts figure ground perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Super, H.; Spekreijse, H.; Lamme, V.A.F.

    2003-01-01

    When stimulus information enters the visual cortex, it is rapidly processed for identification. However, sometimes the processing of thestimulus is inadequate and the subject fails to notice the stimulus. Human psychophysical studies show that this occurs during states ofinattention or

  18. Multisensory and Modality Specific Processing of Visual Speech in Different Regions of the Premotor Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eCallan

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Behavioral and neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that brain regions involved with speech production also support speech perception, especially under degraded conditions. The premotor cortex has been shown to be active during both observation and execution of action (‘Mirror System’ properties, and may facilitate speech perception by mapping unimodal and multimodal sensory features onto articulatory speech gestures. For this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study, participants identified vowels produced by a speaker in audio-visual (saw the speaker’s articulating face and heard her voice, visual only (only saw the speaker’s articulating face, and audio only (only heard the speaker’s voice conditions with varying audio signal-to-noise ratios in order to determine the regions of the premotor cortex involved with multisensory and modality specific processing of visual speech gestures. The task was designed so that identification could be made with a high level of accuracy from visual only stimuli to control for task difficulty and differences in intelligibility. The results of the fMRI analysis for visual only and audio-visual conditions showed overlapping activity in inferior frontal gyrus and premotor cortex. The left ventral inferior premotor cortex showed properties of multimodal (audio-visual enhancement with a degraded auditory signal. The left inferior parietal lobule and right cerebellum also showed these properties. The left ventral superior and dorsal premotor cortex did not show this multisensory enhancement effect, but there was greater activity for the visual only over audio-visual conditions in these areas. The results suggest that the inferior regions of the ventral premotor cortex are involved with integrating multisensory information, whereas, more superior and dorsal regions of the premotor cortex are involved with mapping unimodal (in this case visual sensory features of the speech signal with

  19. Spontaneous Activity Patterns in Primary Visual Cortex Predispose to Visual Hallucinations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pajani, Auréliane; Kok, Peter; Kouider, Sid; de Lange, Floris P

    2015-09-16

    According to theoretical frameworks casting perception as inference, vision results from the integration of bottom-up visual input with top-down expectations. Under conditions of strongly degraded sensory input, this may occasionally result in false perceptions in the absence of a sensory signal, also termed "hallucinations." Here, we investigated whether spontaneous prestimulus activity patterns in sensory circuits, which may embody a participant's prior expectations, predispose the observer toward false perceptions. Specifically, we used fMRI to investigate whether the representational content of prestimulus activity in early visual cortex is linked to subsequent perception during a challenging detection task. Human participants were asked to detect oriented gratings of a particular orientation that were embedded in noise. We found two characteristics of prestimulus activity that predisposed participants to hallucinations: overall lower prestimulus activity and a bias in the prestimulus activity patterns toward the to-be-detected (expected) grating. These results suggest that perceptual hallucinations may be due to an imprecise and biased state of sensory circuits preceding sensory evidence collection. When sensory stimulation is strongly degraded, we occasionally misperceive a stimulus when only noise is present: a perceptual hallucination. Using fMRI in healthy participants, we investigated whether the state of early visual cortex preceding stimulus onset predisposes an observer to hallucinations. We found two characteristics of prestimulus activity that predisposed participants to hallucinations: overall lower prestimulus activity and a bias in the prestimulus activity patterns toward the expected grating. These results suggest that perceptual hallucinations are due to an imprecise and biased state of sensory circuits preceding sensation. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3512947-07$15.00/0.

  20. Causal evidence for retina-dependent and -independent visual motion computations in mouse cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillier, Daniel; Fiscella, Michele; Drinnenberg, Antonia; Trenholm, Stuart; Rompani, Santiago B; Raics, Zoltan; Katona, Gergely; Juettner, Josephine; Hierlemann, Andreas; Rozsa, Balazs; Roska, Botond

    2017-07-01

    How neuronal computations in the sensory periphery contribute to computations in the cortex is not well understood. We examined this question in the context of visual-motion processing in the retina and primary visual cortex (V1) of mice. We disrupted retinal direction selectivity, either exclusively along the horizontal axis using FRMD7 mutants or along all directions by ablating starburst amacrine cells, and monitored neuronal activity in layer 2/3 of V1 during stimulation with visual motion. In control mice, we found an over-representation of cortical cells preferring posterior visual motion, the dominant motion direction an animal experiences when it moves forward. In mice with disrupted retinal direction selectivity, the over-representation of posterior-motion-preferring cortical cells disappeared, and their responses at higher stimulus speeds were reduced. This work reveals the existence of two functionally distinct, sensory-periphery-dependent and -independent computations of visual motion in the cortex.

  1. Causal evidence for retina dependent and independent visual motion computations in mouse cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillier, Daniel; Fiscella, Michele; Drinnenberg, Antonia; Trenholm, Stuart; Rompani, Santiago B.; Raics, Zoltan; Katona, Gergely; Juettner, Josephine; Hierlemann, Andreas; Rozsa, Balazs; Roska, Botond

    2017-01-01

    How neuronal computations in the sensory periphery contribute to computations in the cortex is not well understood. We examined this question in the context of visual-motion processing in the retina and primary visual cortex (V1) of mice. We disrupted retinal direction selectivity – either exclusively along the horizontal axis using FRMD7 mutants or along all directions by ablating starburst amacrine cells – and monitored neuronal activity in layer 2/3 of V1 during stimulation with visual motion. In control mice, we found an overrepresentation of cortical cells preferring posterior visual motion, the dominant motion direction an animal experiences when it moves forward. In mice with disrupted retinal direction selectivity, the overrepresentation of posterior-motion-preferring cortical cells disappeared, and their response at higher stimulus speeds was reduced. This work reveals the existence of two functionally distinct, sensory-periphery-dependent and -independent computations of visual motion in the cortex. PMID:28530661

  2. No Modulation of Visual Cortex Excitability by Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Brückner

    Full Text Available Measuring phosphene thresholds (PTs is often used to investigate changes in the excitability of the human visual cortex through different brain stimulation methods like repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS. In several studies, PT increase or decrease has been shown after rTMS or tDCS application. Recently, using PT measurements we showed that the state of the neurons in the visual cortex after rTMS might have an influence on the modulatory effects of stimulation. In the present study we aimed to investigate whether visual cortex activity following stimulation influences the modulatory effects of tDCS as well. In a between-group design, anodal or cathodal tDCS was applied to the visual cortex twice per subject, with either high or low visual demand following stimulation. We observed no modulation of PT neither directly following both anodal and cathodal tDCS nor following the visual demand periods. We rather found high inter-individual variability in the response to tDCS, and intra-individual reliability in the direction of modulation was observed for cathodal tDCS only. Thus, our results do not confirm the modulatory effects of tDCS on visual cortex excitability published previously. Moreover, they support the confirmation that tDCS effects have little reliability on varied TMS outcome measurements.

  3. Stimulation of dural vessels excites the SI somatosensory cortex of the cat via a relay in the thalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Geoffrey A; Hoskin, Karen L; Michalicek, Jan; Panahi, Seyed E; Truong, Linda; Zagami, Alessandro S

    2014-04-01

    We carried out experiments in cats to determine the thalamo-cortical projection sites of trigeminovascular sensory neurons. 1) We stimulated the middle meningeal artery (MMA) with C-fibre intensity electrical shocks and made field potential recordings over the somatosensory cortical surface. 2) We then recorded neurons in the ventroposteromedial (VPM) nucleus of the thalamus in search of neurons which could be activated from the skin, MMA and superior sagittal sinus. 3) Finally, we attempted to antidromically activate the neurons found in stage 2 by stimulating the responsive cortical areas revealed in stage 1. VPM neurons received trigeminovascular input, input from the V1 facial skin and could also be activated by electrical stimulation of the somatosensory cortex. VPM neurons activated from the cortex responded with short and invariant latencies (6.7 ± 7.7 msec mean and SD). They could follow high rates of stimulation and sometimes showed collision with orthodromic action potentials. We conclude that somatosensory (SI) cortical stimulation excites trigeminovascular VPM neurons antidromically. In consequence, these VPM neurons project to the somatosensory cortex. These findings may help to explain the ability of migraineurs with headache in the trigeminal distribution to localise their pain to a particular region in this distribution.

  4. The Corpus Callosum and the Visual Cortex: Plasticity Is a Game for Two

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Pietrasanta

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Throughout life, experience shapes and selects the most appropriate brain functional connectivity to adapt to a changing environment. An ideal system to study experience-dependent plasticity is the visual cortex, because visual experience can be easily manipulated. In this paper, we focus on the role of interhemispheric, transcallosal projections in experience-dependent plasticity of the visual cortex. We review data showing that deprivation of sensory experience can modify the morphology of callosal fibres, thus altering the communication between the two hemispheres. More importantly, manipulation of callosal input activity during an early critical period alters developmental maturation of functional properties in visual cortex and modifies its ability to remodel in response to experience. We also discuss recent data in rat visual cortex, demonstrating that the corpus callosum plays a role in binocularity of cortical neurons and is involved in the plastic shift of eye preference that follows a period of monocular eyelid suture (monocular deprivation in early age. Thus, experience can modify the fine connectivity of the corpus callosum, and callosal connections represent a major pathway through which experience can mediate functional maturation and plastic rearrangements in the visual cortex.

  5. Laminar pattern of cholinergic and adrenergic receptors in rat visual cortex using quantitative receptor autoradiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schliebs, R.; Walch, C.

    1989-01-01

    The laminar distribution of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, including the M1-receptor subtype, of beta-adrenergic receptors, and noradrenaline uptake sites, was studied in the adult rat visual, frontal, somatosensory and motor cortex, using quantitative receptor autoradiography. In the visual cortex, the highest density of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors was found in layer I. From layer II/III to layer V binding decreases continueously reaching a constant binding level in layers V and VI. This laminar pattern of muscarinic receptor density differs somewhat from that observed in the non-visual cortical regions examined: layer II/III contained the highest receptor density followed by layer I and IV: lowest density was found in layer V and VI. The binding profile of the muscarinic cholinergic M1-subtype through the visual cortex shows a peak in cortical layer II and in the upper part of layer VI, whereas in the non-visual cortical regions cited the binding level was high in layer II/III, moderate in layer I and IV, and low in layer VI. Layers I to IV of the visual cortex contained the highest beta-adrenergic receptor densities, whereas only low binding levels were observed in the deeper layers. A similar laminar distribution was found also in the frontal, somatosensory and motor cortex. The density of noradrenaline uptake sites was high in all layers of the cortical regions studied, but with noradrenaline uptake sites somewhat more concentrated in the superficial layers than in deeper ones. The distinct laminar pattern of cholinergic and noradrenergic receptor sites indicates a different role for acetylcholine and noradrenaline in the functional anatomy of the cerebral cortex, and in particular, the visual cortex. (author)

  6. Visual cortex activation recorded by dynamic emission computed tomography of inhaled xenon 133

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, L; Paulson, O B; Lassen, N A

    1981-01-01

    to be well suited for detecting focal ischemia. In the present study its ability to detect focal hyperemia was investigated in 13 normal subjects studied during rest and during visual stimulation. A flickering light "seen' with eyes open and closed, increased blood flow in the visual cortex by 35% and 22...

  7. The role of the primary visual cortex in higher level vision.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mumford, D.; Romero, R.; Lamme, V.A.F.; Lee, T.S.

    1998-01-01

    In the classical feed-forward, modular view of visual processing, the primary visual cortex (area V1) is a module that serves to extract local features such as edges and bars. Representation and recognition of objects are thought to be functions of higher extrastriate cortical areas. This paper

  8. Visual perception is dependent on visuospatial working memory and thus on the posterior parietal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisella, Laure

    2017-06-01

    Visual perception involves complex and active processes. We will start by explaining why visual perception is dependent on visuospatial working memory, especially the spatiotemporal integration of the perceived elements through the ocular exploration of visual scenes. Then we will present neuropsychology, transcranial magnetic stimulation and neuroimaging data yielding information on the specific role of the posterior parietal cortex of the right hemisphere in visuospatial working memory. Within the posterior parietal cortex, neuropsychology data also suggest that there might be dissociated neural substrates for deployment of attention (superior parietal lobules) and spatiotemporal integration (right inferior parietal lobule). Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  9. Task alters category representations in prefrontal but not high-level visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugatus, Lior; Weiner, Kevin S; Grill-Spector, Kalanit

    2017-07-15

    A central question in neuroscience is how cognitive tasks affect category representations across the human brain. Regions in lateral occipito-temporal cortex (LOTC), ventral temporal cortex (VTC), and ventro-lateral prefrontal cortex (VLFPC) constitute the extended "what" pathway, which is considered instrumental for visual category processing. However, it is unknown (1) whether distributed responses across LOTC, VTC, and VLPFC explicitly represent category, task, or some combination of both, and (2) in what way representations across these subdivisions of the extended 'what' pathway may differ. To fill these gaps in knowledge, we scanned 12 participants using fMRI to test the effect of category and task on distributed responses across LOTC, VTC, and VLPFC. Results reveal that task and category modulate responses in both high-level visual regions, as well as prefrontal cortex. However, we found fundamentally different types of representations across the brain. Distributed responses in high-level visual regions are more strongly driven by category than task, and exhibit task-independent category representations. In contrast, distributed responses in prefrontal cortex are more strongly driven by task than category, and contain task-dependent category representations. Together, these findings of differential representations across the brain support a new idea that LOTC and VTC maintain stable category representations allowing efficient processing of visual information, while prefrontal cortex contains flexible representations in which category information may emerge only when relevant to the task. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Construction of direction selectivity through local energy computations in primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lochmann, Timm; Blanche, Timothy J; Butts, Daniel A

    2013-01-01

    Despite detailed knowledge about the anatomy and physiology of neurons in primary visual cortex (V1), the large numbers of inputs onto a given V1 neuron make it difficult to relate them to the neuron's functional properties. For example, models of direction selectivity (DS), such as the Energy Model, can successfully describe the computation of phase-invariant DS at a conceptual level, while leaving it unclear how such computations are implemented by cortical circuits. Here, we use statistical modeling to derive a description of DS computation for both simple and complex cells, based on physiologically plausible operations on their inputs. We present a new method that infers the selectivity of a neuron's inputs using extracellular recordings in macaque in the context of random bar stimuli and natural movies in cat. Our results suggest that DS is initially constructed in V1 simple cells through summation and thresholding of non-DS inputs with appropriate spatiotemporal relationships. However, this de novo construction of DS is rare, and a majority of DS simple cells, and all complex cells, appear to receive both excitatory and suppressive inputs that are already DS. For complex cells, these numerous DS inputs typically span a fraction of their overall receptive fields and have similar spatiotemporal tuning but different phase and spatial positions, suggesting an elaboration to the Energy Model that incorporates spatially localized computation. Furthermore, we demonstrate how these computations might be constructed from biologically realizable components, and describe a statistical model consistent with the feed-forward framework suggested by Hubel and Wiesel.

  11. Construction of direction selectivity through local energy computations in primary visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timm Lochmann

    Full Text Available Despite detailed knowledge about the anatomy and physiology of neurons in primary visual cortex (V1, the large numbers of inputs onto a given V1 neuron make it difficult to relate them to the neuron's functional properties. For example, models of direction selectivity (DS, such as the Energy Model, can successfully describe the computation of phase-invariant DS at a conceptual level, while leaving it unclear how such computations are implemented by cortical circuits. Here, we use statistical modeling to derive a description of DS computation for both simple and complex cells, based on physiologically plausible operations on their inputs. We present a new method that infers the selectivity of a neuron's inputs using extracellular recordings in macaque in the context of random bar stimuli and natural movies in cat. Our results suggest that DS is initially constructed in V1 simple cells through summation and thresholding of non-DS inputs with appropriate spatiotemporal relationships. However, this de novo construction of DS is rare, and a majority of DS simple cells, and all complex cells, appear to receive both excitatory and suppressive inputs that are already DS. For complex cells, these numerous DS inputs typically span a fraction of their overall receptive fields and have similar spatiotemporal tuning but different phase and spatial positions, suggesting an elaboration to the Energy Model that incorporates spatially localized computation. Furthermore, we demonstrate how these computations might be constructed from biologically realizable components, and describe a statistical model consistent with the feed-forward framework suggested by Hubel and Wiesel.

  12. Feature-coding transitions to conjunction-coding with progression through human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowell, Rosemary A; Leger, Krystal R; Serences, John T

    2017-12-01

    Identifying an object and distinguishing it from similar items depends upon the ability to perceive its component parts as conjoined into a cohesive whole, but the brain mechanisms underlying this ability remain elusive. The ventral visual processing pathway in primates is organized hierarchically: Neuronal responses in early stages are sensitive to the manipulation of simple visual features, whereas neuronal responses in subsequent stages are tuned to increasingly complex stimulus attributes. It is widely assumed that feature-coding dominates in early visual cortex whereas later visual regions employ conjunction-coding in which object representations are different from the sum of their simple feature parts. However, no study in humans has demonstrated that putative object-level codes in higher visual cortex cannot be accounted for by feature-coding and that putative feature codes in regions prior to ventral temporal cortex are not equally well characterized as object-level codes. Thus the existence of a transition from feature- to conjunction-coding in human visual cortex remains unconfirmed, and if a transition does occur its location remains unknown. By employing multivariate analysis of functional imaging data, we measure both feature-coding and conjunction-coding directly, using the same set of visual stimuli, and pit them against each other to reveal the relative dominance of one vs. the other throughout cortex. Our results reveal a transition from feature-coding in early visual cortex to conjunction-coding in both inferior temporal and posterior parietal cortices. This novel method enables the use of experimentally controlled stimulus features to investigate population-level feature and conjunction codes throughout human cortex. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We use a novel analysis of neuroimaging data to assess representations throughout visual cortex, revealing a transition from feature-coding to conjunction-coding along both ventral and dorsal pathways. Occipital

  13. Golgi Analysis of Neuron Morphology in the Presumptive Somatosensory Cortex and Visual Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates neuron morphology in presumptive primary somatosensory (S1) and primary visual (V1) cortices of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as revealed by Golgi impregnation. Sirenians, including manatees, have an aquatic lifestyle, a large body size, and a relatively large lissencephalic brain. The present study examines neuron morphology in 3 cortical areas: in S1, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2) and in V1, dorsolateral cortex area 4 (DL4). Neurons exhibited a variety of morphological types, with pyramidal neurons being the most common. The large variety of neuron types present in the manatee cortex was comparable to that seen in other eutherian mammals, except for rodents and primates, where pyramid-shaped neurons predominate. A comparison between pyramidal neurons in S1 and V1 indicated relatively greater dendritic branching in S1. Across all 3 areas, the dendritic arborization pattern of pyramidal neurons was also similar to that observed previously in the afrotherian rock hyrax, cetartiodactyls, opossums, and echidnas but did not resemble the widely bifurcated dendrites seen in the large-brained African elephant. Despite adaptations for an aquatic environment, manatees did not share specific neuron types such as tritufted and star-like neurons that have been found in cetaceans. Manatees exhibit an evolutionarily primitive pattern of cortical neuron morphology shared with most other mammals and do not appear to have neuronal specializations for an aquatic niche. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. Primary visual cortex volume and total neuron number are reduced in schizophrenia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dorph-Petersen, Karl-Anton; Pierri, Joseph H.; Wu, Qiang

    2007-01-01

    with schizophrenia reported an increased density of neurons in the primary visual cortex (Brodmann's area 17, BA17). The observed changes in visual processing may thus be reflected in structural changes in the circuitry of BA17. To characterize the structural changes further we used stereological methods based...... area allocated to primary visual perception. This finding suggests the existence of a schizophrenia-related change in cortical parcellation...

  15. Functional organization and visual representations of human ventral lateral prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Annie W.-Y.

    2013-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies in both human and non-human primates have identified face selective activation in the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) even in the absence of working memory (WM) demands. Further, research has suggested that this face-selective response is largely driven by the presence of the eyes. However, the nature and origin of visual category responses in the VLPFC remain unclear. In a broader sense, how do these findings relate to our current understandings of lateral prefrontal cortex? What do these findings tell us about the underlying function and organization principles of the VLPFC? What is the future direction for investigating visual representations in this cortex? This review focuses on the function, topography, and circuitry of the VLPFC to enhance our understanding of the evolution and development of this cortex. PMID:23847558

  16. Age-related changes of structures in cerebellar cortex of cat

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Madhu

    The cerebellum is a region of the brain that is important for a number of motor and cognitive functions, including motor learning, time perception and precise movement (Thach. 1998; Salman 2002; Matsumura et al 2004). The cortex has become the focus of particularly intense research because it is presumed to be ...

  17. Top-down modulation of human early visual cortex after stimulus offset supports successful postcued report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergent, Claire; Ruff, Christian C; Barbot, Antoine; Driver, Jon; Rees, Geraint

    2011-08-01

    Modulations of sensory processing in early visual areas are thought to play an important role in conscious perception. To date, most empirical studies focused on effects occurring before or during visual presentation. By contrast, several emerging theories postulate that sensory processing and conscious visual perception may also crucially depend on late top-down influences, potentially arising after a visual display. To provide a direct test of this, we performed an fMRI study using a postcued report procedure. The ability to report a target at a specific spatial location in a visual display can be enhanced behaviorally by symbolic auditory postcues presented shortly after that display. Here we showed that such auditory postcues can enhance target-specific signals in early human visual cortex (V1 and V2). For postcues presented 200 msec after stimulus termination, this target-specific enhancement in visual cortex was specifically associated with correct conscious report. The strength of this modulation predicted individual levels of performance in behavior. By contrast, although later postcues presented 1000 msec after stimulus termination had some impact on activity in early visual cortex, this modulation no longer related to conscious report. These results demonstrate that within a critical time window of a few hundred milliseconds after a visual stimulus has disappeared, successful conscious report of that stimulus still relates to the strength of top-down modulation in early visual cortex. We suggest that, within this critical time window, sensory representation of a visual stimulus is still under construction and so can still be flexibly influenced by top-down modulatory processes.

  18. Early Visual Cortex as a Multiscale Cognitive Blackboard

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelfsema, Pieter R.; de Lange, Floris P.

    2016-01-01

    Neurons in early visual cortical areas not only represent incoming visual information but are also engaged by higher level cognitive processes, including attention, working memory, imagery, and decision-making. Are these cognitive effects an epiphenomenon or are they functionally relevant for these

  19. Early visual cortex as a multiscale cognitive blackboard.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelfsema, P.R.; De Lange, Floris

    2016-01-01

    Neurons in early visual cortical areas not only represent incoming visual information but are also engaged by higher level cognitive processes, including attention, working memory, imagery, and decision-making. Are these cognitive effects an epiphenomenon or are they functionally relevant for these

  20. Saturation in Phosphene Size with Increasing Current Levels Delivered to Human Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosking, William H; Sun, Ping; Ozker, Muge; Pei, Xiaomei; Foster, Brett L; Beauchamp, Michael S; Yoshor, Daniel

    2017-07-26

    Electrically stimulating early visual cortex results in a visual percept known as a phosphene. Although phosphenes can be evoked by a wide range of electrode sizes and current amplitudes, they are invariably described as small. To better understand this observation, we electrically stimulated 93 electrodes implanted in the visual cortex of 13 human subjects who reported phosphene size while stimulation current was varied. Phosphene size increased as the stimulation current was initially raised above threshold, but then rapidly reached saturation. Phosphene size also depended on the location of the stimulated site, with size increasing with distance from the foveal representation. We developed a model relating phosphene size to the amount of activated cortex and its location within the retinotopic map. First, a sigmoidal curve was used to predict the amount of activated cortex at a given current. Second, the amount of active cortex was converted to degrees of visual angle by multiplying by the inverse cortical magnification factor for that retinotopic location. This simple model accurately predicted phosphene size for a broad range of stimulation currents and cortical locations. The unexpected saturation in phosphene sizes suggests that the functional architecture of cerebral cortex may impose fundamental restrictions on the spread of artificially evoked activity and this may be an important consideration in the design of cortical prosthetic devices. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding the neural basis for phosphenes, the visual percepts created by electrical stimulation of visual cortex, is fundamental to the development of a visual cortical prosthetic. Our experiments in human subjects implanted with electrodes over visual cortex show that it is the activity of a large population of cells spread out across several millimeters of tissue that supports the perception of a phosphene. In addition, we describe an important feature of the production of phosphenes by

  1. What are the effects of severe visual impairment on the cortical organization and connectivity of primary visual cortex?

    OpenAIRE

    DeLaine D Larsen; Julie D Luu; Marie E Burns; Marie E Burns; Leah Krubitzer; Leah Krubitzer

    2009-01-01

    The organization and connections of the primary visual area (V1) were examined in mice that lacked functional rods (Gnat-/-), but had normal cone function. Because mice are nocturnal and rely almost exclusively on rod vision for normal behaviors, the Gnat-/- mice used in the present study are considered functionally blind. Our goal was to determine if visual cortex is reorganized in these mice, and to examine the neuroanatomical connections that may subserve reorganization. We found that m...

  2. Retinal Structures and Visual Cortex Activity are Impaired Prior to Clinical Vision Loss in Glaucoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Matthew C.; Conner, Ian P.; Teng, Cindy Y.; Lawrence, Jesse D.; Safiullah, Zaid; Wang, Bo; Bilonick, Richard A.; Kim, Seong-Gi; Wollstein, Gadi; Schuman, Joel S.; Chan, Kevin C.

    2016-01-01

    Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide and its pathogenesis remains unclear. In this study, we measured the structure, metabolism and function of the visual system by optical coherence tomography and multi-modal magnetic resonance imaging in healthy subjects and glaucoma patients with different degrees of vision loss. We found that inner retinal layer thinning, optic nerve cupping and reduced visual cortex activity occurred before patients showed visual field impairment. The primary visual cortex also exhibited more severe functional deficits than higher-order visual brain areas in glaucoma. Within the visual cortex, choline metabolism was perturbed along with increasing disease severity in the eye, optic radiation and visual field. In summary, this study showed evidence that glaucoma deterioration is already present in the eye and the brain before substantial vision loss can be detected clinically using current testing methods. In addition, cortical cholinergic abnormalities are involved during trans-neuronal degeneration and can be detected non-invasively in glaucoma. The current results can be of impact for identifying early glaucoma mechanisms, detecting and monitoring pathophysiological events and eye-brain-behavior relationships, and guiding vision preservation strategies in the visual system, which may help reduce the burden of this irreversible but preventable neurodegenerative disease. PMID:27510406

  3. Visual cortex activity predicts subjective experience after reading books with colored letters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colizoli, Olympia; Murre, Jaap M J; Scholte, H Steven; van Es, Daniel M; Knapen, Tomas; Rouw, Romke

    2016-07-29

    One of the most astonishing properties of synesthesia is that the evoked concurrent experiences are perceptual. Is it possible to acquire similar effects after learning cross-modal associations that resemble synesthetic mappings? In this study, we examine whether brain activation in early visual areas can be directly related to letter-color associations acquired by training. Non-synesthetes read specially prepared books with colored letters for several weeks and were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging. If the acquired letter-color associations were visual in nature, then brain activation in visual cortex while viewing the trained black letters (compared to untrained black letters) should predict the strength of the associations, the quality of the color experience, or the vividness of visual mental imagery. Results showed that training-related activation of area V4 was correlated with differences in reported subjective color experience. Trainees who were classified as having stronger 'associator' types of color experiences also had more negative activation for trained compared to untrained achromatic letters in area V4. In contrast, the strength of the acquired associations (measured as the Stroop effect) was not reliably reflected in visual cortex activity. The reported vividness of visual mental imagery was related to veridical color activation in early visual cortex, but not to the acquired color associations. We show for the first time that subjective experience related to a synesthesia-training paradigm was reflected in visual brain activation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Images of illusory motion in primary visual cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, A.; Madsen, Kristoffer Hougaard; Lund, T.E.

    2006-01-01

    Illusory motion can be generated by successively flashing a stationary visual stimulus in two spatial locations separated by several degrees of visual angle. In appropriate conditions, the apparent motion is indistinguishable from real motion: The observer experiences a luminous object traversing...... a continuous path from one stimulus location to the other through intervening positions where no physical stimuli exist. The phenomenon has been extensively investigated for nearly a century but little is known about its neurophysiological foundation. Here we present images of activations in the primary visual...

  5. Visual short-term memory load reduces retinotopic cortex response to contrast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konstantinou, Nikos; Bahrami, Bahador; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli

    2012-11-01

    Load Theory of attention suggests that high perceptual load in a task leads to reduced sensory visual cortex response to task-unrelated stimuli resulting in "load-induced blindness" [e.g., Lavie, N. Attention, distraction and cognitive control under load. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 143-148, 2010; Lavie, N. Distracted and confused?: Selective attention under load. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 75-82, 2005]. Consideration of the findings that visual STM (VSTM) involves sensory recruitment [e.g., Pasternak, T., & Greenlee, M. Working memory in primate sensory systems. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 6, 97-107, 2005] within Load Theory led us to a new hypothesis regarding the effects of VSTM load on visual processing. If VSTM load draws on sensory visual capacity, then similar to perceptual load, high VSTM load should also reduce visual cortex response to incoming stimuli leading to a failure to detect them. We tested this hypothesis with fMRI and behavioral measures of visual detection sensitivity. Participants detected the presence of a contrast increment during the maintenance delay in a VSTM task requiring maintenance of color and position. Increased VSTM load (manipulated by increased set size) led to reduced retinotopic visual cortex (V1-V3) responses to contrast as well as reduced detection sensitivity, as we predicted. Additional visual detection experiments established a clear tradeoff between the amount of information maintained in VSTM and detection sensitivity, while ruling out alternative accounts for the effects of VSTM load in terms of differential spatial allocation strategies or task difficulty. These findings extend Load Theory to demonstrate a new form of competitive interactions between early visual cortex processing and visual representations held in memory under load and provide a novel line of support for the sensory recruitment hypothesis of VSTM.

  6. Organization of texture segregation processing in primate visual cortex.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamme, V.A.F.; van Dijk, B.W.; Spekreijse, H.

    1993-01-01

    Investigated which cortical areas and layers are involved in global feature interactions underlying texture segregation in humans and monkeys. Visual stimulation was assessed with an electrostatic monitor, and scalp or intracortical recordings with electrodes were made. Signal processing and

  7. Imaging a Computational Process in the Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanifuji, Manabu; Toyama, Keisuke

    1996-11-01

    Visual perception is a computational process reconstructing the 3D visual world based on the 2D images viewed by the two eyes, which inherently contains ill-posed problems due to information deficiency. A typical example is the correspondence problem in finding partner points between the two retinal images. A neural network model for solution of the correspondence problem was proposed by Marr (1982, Vision. San Francisco: Freeman and Co.), constructed of groups of neurons selectively responsive to different disparities of visual stimuli shown to the two eyes. This model solves the correspondence problem as a relaxation process of excitation working between the neuronal groups responding to the same disparity antagonized by inhibition working between those responding to different disparity. Optical recording of responses evoked in the rat visual cortical slice by electrical stimulation of the white matter demonstrated the relaxation process of excitation antagonized by inhibition. Copyright 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  8. The prefrontal cortex shows context-specific changes in effective connectivity to motor or visual cortex during the selection of action or colour

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rowe, James B.; Stephan, Klaas E.; Friston, Karl

    2005-01-01

    The role of the prefrontal cortex remains controversial. Neuroimaging studies support modality-specific and process-specific functions related to working memory and attention. Its role may also be defined by changes in its influence over other brain regions including sensory and motor cortex. We...... used functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) to study the free selection of actions and colours. Control conditions used externally specified actions and colours. The prefrontal cortex was activated during free selection, regardless of modality, in contrast to modality-specific activations outside...... included high-order interactions between modality, selection and regional activity. There was greater coupling between prefrontal cortex and motor cortex during free selection and action tasks, and between prefrontal cortex and visual cortex during free selection of colours. The results suggest...

  9. Assessing the Effect of Early Visual Cortex Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Working Memory Consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lamsweerde, Amanda E; Johnson, Jeffrey S

    2017-07-01

    Maintaining visual working memory (VWM) representations recruits a network of brain regions, including the frontal, posterior parietal, and occipital cortices; however, it is unclear to what extent the occipital cortex is engaged in VWM after sensory encoding is completed. Noninvasive brain stimulation data show that stimulation of this region can affect working memory (WM) during the early consolidation time period, but it remains unclear whether it does so by influencing the number of items that are stored or their precision. In this study, we investigated whether single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (spTMS) to the occipital cortex during VWM consolidation affects the quantity or quality of VWM representations. In three experiments, we disrupted VWM consolidation with either a visual mask or spTMS to retinotopic early visual cortex. We found robust masking effects on the quantity of VWM representations up to 200 msec poststimulus offset and smaller, more variable effects on WM quality. Similarly, spTMS decreased the quantity of VWM representations, but only when it was applied immediately following stimulus offset. Like visual masks, spTMS also produced small and variable effects on WM precision. The disruptive effects of both masks and TMS were greatly reduced or entirely absent within 200 msec of stimulus offset. However, there was a reduction in swap rate across all time intervals, which may indicate a sustained role of the early visual cortex in maintaining spatial information.

  10. Vestibular Activation Differentially Modulates Human Early Visual Cortex and V5/MT Excitability and Response Entropy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzman-Lopez, Jessica; Arshad, Qadeer; Schultz, Simon R; Walsh, Vincent; Yousif, Nada

    2013-01-01

    Head movement imposes the additional burdens on the visual system of maintaining visual acuity and determining the origin of retinal image motion (i.e., self-motion vs. object-motion). Although maintaining visual acuity during self-motion is effected by minimizing retinal slip via the brainstem vestibular-ocular reflex, higher order visuovestibular mechanisms also contribute. Disambiguating self-motion versus object-motion also invokes higher order mechanisms, and a cortical visuovestibular reciprocal antagonism is propounded. Hence, one prediction is of a vestibular modulation of visual cortical excitability and indirect measures have variously suggested none, focal or global effects of activation or suppression in human visual cortex. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced phosphenes to probe cortical excitability, we observed decreased V5/MT excitability versus increased early visual cortex (EVC) excitability, during vestibular activation. In order to exclude nonspecific effects (e.g., arousal) on cortical excitability, response specificity was assessed using information theory, specifically response entropy. Vestibular activation significantly modulated phosphene response entropy for V5/MT but not EVC, implying a specific vestibular effect on V5/MT responses. This is the first demonstration that vestibular activation modulates human visual cortex excitability. Furthermore, using information theory, not previously used in phosphene response analysis, we could distinguish between a specific vestibular modulation of V5/MT excitability from a nonspecific effect at EVC. PMID:22291031

  11. Evoked potentials in large-scale cortical networks elicited by TMS of the visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossman, Emily D.; Srinivasan, Ramesh

    2011-01-01

    Single pulses of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) result in distal and long-lasting oscillations, a finding directly challenging the virtual lesion hypothesis. Previous research supporting this finding has primarily come from stimulation of the motor cortex. We have used single-pulse TMS with simultaneous EEG to target seven brain regions, six of which belong to the visual system [left and right primary visual area V1, motion-sensitive human middle temporal cortex, and a ventral temporal region], as determined with functional MRI-guided neuronavigation, and a vertex “control” site to measure the network effects of the TMS pulse. We found the TMS-evoked potential (TMS-EP) over visual cortex consists mostly of site-dependent theta- and alphaband oscillations. These site-dependent oscillations extended beyond the stimulation site to functionally connected cortical regions and correspond to time windows where the EEG responses maximally diverge (40, 200, and 385 ms). Correlations revealed two site-independent oscillations ∼350 ms after the TMS pulse: a theta-band oscillation carried by the frontal cortex, and an alpha-band oscillation over parietal and frontal cortical regions. A manipulation of stimulation intensity at one stimulation site (right hemisphere V1-V3) revealed sensitivity to the stimulation intensity at different regions of cortex, evidence of intensity tuning in regions distal to the site of stimulation. Together these results suggest that a TMS pulse applied to the visual cortex has a complex effect on brain function, engaging multiple brain networks functionally connected to the visual system with both invariant and site-specific spatiotemporal dynamics. With this characterization of TMS, we propose an alternative to the virtual lesion hypothesis. Rather than a technique that simulates lesions, we propose TMS generates natural brain signals and engages functional networks. PMID:21715670

  12. Circuit Mechanisms Governing Local vs. Global Motion Processing in Mouse Visual Cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Rune; Yonehara, Keisuke

    2017-01-01

    A withstanding question in neuroscience is how neural circuits encode representations and perceptions of the external world. A particularly well-defined visual computation is the representation of global object motion by pattern direction-selective (PDS) cells from convergence of motion of local...... components represented by component direction-selective (CDS) cells. However, how PDS and CDS cells develop their distinct response properties is still unresolved. The visual cortex of the mouse is an attractive model for experimentally solving this issue due to the large molecular and genetic toolbox...... literature on global motion processing based on works in primates and mice. Lastly, we propose what types of experiments could illuminate what circuit mechanisms are governing cortical global visual motion processing. We propose that PDS cells in mouse visual cortex appear as the perfect arena...

  13. Primary Generators of Visually Evoked Field Potentials Recorded in the Macaque Auditory Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kajikawa, Yoshinao; Smiley, John F; Schroeder, Charles E

    2017-10-18

    Prior studies have reported "local" field potential (LFP) responses to faces in the macaque auditory cortex and have suggested that such face-LFPs may be substrates of audiovisual integration. However, although field potentials (FPs) may reflect the synaptic currents of neurons near the recording electrode, due to the use of a distant reference electrode, they often reflect those of synaptic activity occurring in distant sites as well. Thus, FP recordings within a given brain region (e.g., auditory cortex) may be "contaminated" by activity generated elsewhere in the brain. To determine whether face responses are indeed generated within macaque auditory cortex, we recorded FPs and concomitant multiunit activity with linear array multielectrodes across auditory cortex in three macaques (one female), and applied current source density (CSD) analysis to the laminar FP profile. CSD analysis revealed no appreciable local generator contribution to the visual FP in auditory cortex, although we did note an increase in the amplitude of visual FP with cortical depth, suggesting that their generators are located below auditory cortex. In the underlying inferotemporal cortex, we found polarity inversions of the main visual FP components accompanied by robust CSD responses and large-amplitude multiunit activity. These results indicate that face-evoked FP responses in auditory cortex are not generated locally but are volume-conducted from other face-responsive regions. In broader terms, our results underscore the caution that, unless far-field contamination is removed, LFPs in general may reflect such "far-field" activity, in addition to, or in absence of, local synaptic responses. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Field potentials (FPs) can index neuronal population activity that is not evident in action potentials. However, due to volume conduction, FPs may reflect activity in distant neurons superimposed upon that of neurons close to the recording electrode. This is problematic as the

  14. Primary Generators of Visually Evoked Field Potentials Recorded in the Macaque Auditory Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiley, John F.; Schroeder, Charles E.

    2017-01-01

    Prior studies have reported “local” field potential (LFP) responses to faces in the macaque auditory cortex and have suggested that such face-LFPs may be substrates of audiovisual integration. However, although field potentials (FPs) may reflect the synaptic currents of neurons near the recording electrode, due to the use of a distant reference electrode, they often reflect those of synaptic activity occurring in distant sites as well. Thus, FP recordings within a given brain region (e.g., auditory cortex) may be “contaminated” by activity generated elsewhere in the brain. To determine whether face responses are indeed generated within macaque auditory cortex, we recorded FPs and concomitant multiunit activity with linear array multielectrodes across auditory cortex in three macaques (one female), and applied current source density (CSD) analysis to the laminar FP profile. CSD analysis revealed no appreciable local generator contribution to the visual FP in auditory cortex, although we did note an increase in the amplitude of visual FP with cortical depth, suggesting that their generators are located below auditory cortex. In the underlying inferotemporal cortex, we found polarity inversions of the main visual FP components accompanied by robust CSD responses and large-amplitude multiunit activity. These results indicate that face-evoked FP responses in auditory cortex are not generated locally but are volume-conducted from other face-responsive regions. In broader terms, our results underscore the caution that, unless far-field contamination is removed, LFPs in general may reflect such “far-field” activity, in addition to, or in absence of, local synaptic responses. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Field potentials (FPs) can index neuronal population activity that is not evident in action potentials. However, due to volume conduction, FPs may reflect activity in distant neurons superimposed upon that of neurons close to the recording electrode. This is

  15. Sensory modality specificity of neural activity related to memory in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, J R; Maunsell, J H

    1997-09-01

    Previous studies have shown that when monkeys perform a delayed match-to-sample (DMS) task, some neurons in inferotemporal visual cortex are activated selectively during the delay period when the animal must remember particular visual stimuli. This selective delay activity may be involved in short-term memory. It does not depend on visual stimulation: both auditory and tactile stimuli can trigger selective delay activity in inferotemporal cortex when animals expect to respond to visual stimuli in a DMS task. We have examined the overall modality specificity of delay period activity using a variety of auditory/visual cross-modal and unimodal DMS tasks. The cross-modal DMS tasks involved making specific long-term memory associations between visual and auditory stimuli, whereas the unimodal DMS tasks were standard identity matching tasks. Delay activity existed in auditory/visual cross-modal DMS tasks whether the animal anticipated responding to visual or auditory stimuli. No evidence of selective delay period activation was seen in a purely auditory DMS task. Delay-selective cells were relatively common in one animal where they constituted up to 53% neurons tested with a given task. This was only the case for up to 9% of cells in a second animal. In the first animal, a specific long-term memory representation for learned cross-modal associations was observed in delay activity, indicating that this type of representation need not be purely visual. Furthermore, in this same animal, delay activity in one cross-modal task, an auditory-to-visual task, predicted correct and incorrect responses. These results suggest that neurons in inferotemporal cortex contribute to abstract memory representations that can be activated by input from other sensory modalities, but these representations are specific to visual behaviors.

  16. Visual hallucinations are associated with hyperconnectivity between the amygdala and visual cortex in people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Judith M; Palzes, Vanessa A; Roach, Brian J; Potkin, Steven G; van Erp, Theo G M; Turner, Jessica A; Mueller, Bryon A; Calhoun, Vincent D; Voyvodic, Jim; Belger, Aysenil; Bustillo, Juan; Vaidya, Jatin G; Preda, Adrian; McEwen, Sarah C; Mathalon, Daniel H

    2015-01-01

    While auditory verbal hallucinations (AH) are a cardinal symptom of schizophrenia, people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia (SZ) may also experience visual hallucinations (VH). In a retrospective analysis of a large sample of SZ and healthy controls (HC) studied as part of the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) Biomedical Informatics Research Network (FBIRN), we asked if SZ who endorsed experiencing VH during clinical interviews had greater connectivity between visual cortex and limbic structures than SZ who did not endorse experiencing VH. We analyzed resting state fMRI data from 162 SZ and 178 age- and gender-matched HC. SZ were sorted into groups according to clinical ratings on AH and VH: SZ with VH (VH-SZ; n = 45), SZ with AH but no VH (AH-SZ; n = 50), and SZ with neither AH nor VH (NoH-SZ; n = 67). Our primary analysis was seed based, extracting connectivity between visual cortex and the amygdala (because of its role in fear and negative emotion) and visual cortex and the hippocampus (because of its role in memory). Compared with the other groups, VH-SZ showed hyperconnectivity between the amygdala and visual cortex, specifically BA18, with no differences in connectivity among the other groups. In a voxel-wise, whole brain analysis comparing VH-SZ with AH-SZ, the amygdala was hyperconnected to left temporal pole and inferior frontal gyrus in VH-SZ, likely due to their more severe thought broadcasting. VH-SZ have hyperconnectivity between subcortical areas subserving emotion and cortical areas subserving higher order visual processing, providing biological support for distressing VH in schizophrenia. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Methylmercury intoxication and histochemical demonstration of NADPH-diaphorase activity in the striate cortex of adult cats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.B. Oliveira

    1998-09-01

    Full Text Available The effects of methylmercury (MeHg on histochemical demonstration of the NADPH-diaphorase (NADPH-d activity in the striate cortex were studied in 4 adult cats. Two animals were used as control. The contaminated animals received 50 ml milk containing 0.42 µg MeHg and 100 g fish containing 0.03 µg MeHg daily for 2 months. The level of MeHg in area 17 of intoxicated animals was 3.2 µg/g wet weight brain tissue. Two cats were perfused 24 h after the last dose (group 1 and the other animals were perfused 6 months later (group 2. After microtomy, sections were processed for NADPHd histochemistry procedures using the malic enzyme method. Dendritic branch counts were performed from camera lucida drawings for control and intoxicated animals (N = 80. Average, standard deviation and Student t-test were calculated for each data group. The concentrations of mercury (Hg in milk, fish and brain tissue were measured by acid digestion of samples, followed by reduction of total Hg in the digested sample to metallic Hg using stannous chloride followed by atomic fluorescence analysis. Only group 2 revealed a reduction of the neuropil enzyme activity and morphometric analysis showed a reduction in dendritic field area and in the number of distal dendrite branches of the NADPHd neurons in the white matter (P<0.05. These results suggest that NADPHd neurons in the white matter are more vulnerable to the long-term effects of MeHg than NADPHd neurons in the gray matter.

  18. Deep Hierarchies in the Primate Visual Cortex: What Can We Learn for Computer Vision?

    OpenAIRE

    Kruger, Norbert; Janssen, Peter; Kalkan, Sinan; Lappe, Markus; Leonardis, Ales; Piater, Justus; Rodriguez-Sanchez, Antonio J.; Wiskott, Laurenz

    2013-01-01

    Computational modeling of the primate visual system yields insights of potential relevance to some of the challenges that computer vision is facing, such as object recognition and categorization, motion detection and activity recognition or vision-based navigation and manipulation. This article reviews some functional principles and structures that are generally thought to underlie the primate visual cortex, and attempts to extract biological principles that could further advance computer ...

  19. Decoding of faces and face components in face-sensitive human visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David F Nichols

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available A great challenge to the field of visual neuroscience is to understand how faces are encoded and represented within the human brain. Here we show evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI for spatially distributed processing of the whole face and its components in face-sensitive human visual cortex. We used multi-class linear pattern classifiers constructed with a leave-one-scan-out verification procedure to discriminate brain activation patterns elicited by whole faces, the internal features alone, and the external head outline alone. Furthermore, our results suggest that whole faces are represented disproportionately in the fusiform cortex (FFA whereas the building blocks of faces are represented disproportionately in occipitotemporal cortex (OFA. Faces and face components may therefore be organized with functional clustering within both the FFA and OFA, but with specialization for face components in the OFA and the whole face in the FFA.

  20. A functional magnetic resonance imaging investigation of visual hallucinations in the human striate cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abid, Hina; Ahmad, Fayyaz; Lee, Soo Y; Park, Hyun W; Im, Dongmi; Ahmad, Iftikhar; Chaudhary, Safee U

    2016-11-29

    Human beings frequently experience fear, phobia, migraine and hallucinations, however, the cerebral mechanisms underpinning these conditions remain poorly understood. Towards this goal, in this work, we aim to correlate the human ocular perceptions with visual hallucinations, and map them to their cerebral origins. An fMRI study was performed to examine the visual cortical areas including the striate, parastriate and peristriate cortex in the occipital lobe of the human brain. 24 healthy subjects were enrolled and four visual patterns including hallucination circle (HCC), hallucination fan (HCF), retinotopy circle (RTC) and retinotopy cross (RTX) were used towards registering their impact in the aforementioned visual related areas. One-way analysis of variance was used to evaluate the significance of difference between induced activations. Multinomial regression and and K-means were used to cluster activation patterns in visual areas of the brain. Significant activations were observed in the visual cortex as a result of stimulus presentation. The responses induced by visual stimuli were resolved to Brodmann areas 17, 18 and 19. Activation data clustered into independent and mutually exclusive clusters with HCC registering higher activations as compared to HCF, RTC and RTX. We conclude that small circular objects, in rotation, tend to leave greater hallucinating impressions in the visual region. The similarity between observed activation patterns and those reported in conditions such as epilepsy and visual hallucinations can help elucidate the cortical mechanisms underlying these conditions. Trial Registration 1121_GWJUNG.

  1. Layer-specificity in the effects of attention and working memory on activity in primary visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Kerkoerle, Timo; Self, Matthew W.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal activity in early visual cortex depends on attention shifts but the contribution to working memory has remained unclear. Here, we examine neuronal activity in the different layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) in an attention-demanding and a working memory task. A current-source density

  2. Markers of Alzheimer’s Disease in Primary Visual Cortex in Normal Aging in Mice

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    Luis Fernando Hernández-Zimbrón

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Aging is the principal risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD. The hallmarks of AD are accumulation of the amyloid-β peptide 1–42 (Aβ42 and abnormal hyperphosphorylation of Tau (p-Tau protein in different areas of the brain and, more recently reported, in the visual cortex. Recently, Aβ42 peptide overproduction has been involved in visual loss. Similar to AD, in normal aging, there is a significant amyloid deposition related to the overactivation of the aforementioned mechanisms. However, the mechanisms associated with visual loss secondary to age-induced visual cortex affectation are not completely understood. Young and aged mice were used as model to analyze the presence of Aβ42, p-Tau, glial-acidic fibrillary protein (GFAP, and presenilin-2, one of the main enzymes involved in Aβ42 production. Our results show a significant increase of Aβ42 deposition in aged mice in the following cells and/or tissues: endothelial cells and blood vessels and neurons of the visual cortex; they also show an increase of the expression of GFAP and presenilin-2 in this region. These results provide a comprehensive framework for the role of Aβ42 in visual loss due to inflammation present with aging and offer some clues for fruitful avenues for the study of healthy aging.

  3. Study of physiology of visual cortex activated by rotating grating with functional MRI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liang Ping; Shao Qing; Zhang Zhiqiang; Lu Guangming

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To research the physiology of visual cortex activated by rotating grating with functional-MRI (fMRI), and to identify the components of the activation. Methods: Functional MRI was performed in 9 healthy volunteers by using GRE-EPI sequences on a 1.5 T MR scanner. In the block designing, rotating grating, static grating, and luminance were plotted as task states, while static grating, luminance, and darkness were set as control states. The stimuli tasks included six steps. Imaging processing and statistical analysis was carried out off-line using SPM99 in single-subject method. Results: Some respective areas of visual cortex were activated by the various stimuli information supplied by rotating grating. The strong activation in the middle of occipital lobe located at primary vision area was related to the stimuli of white luminance. Its average maximum points were at 13, -98, -2 and 11, -100, -41 The bilateral activations of Brodmann 19th area located at MT area were related to visual motion perception. Its average maximum points were at 46, -72, -2 and -44, -74, 0. The mild activation in the middle of occipital lobe was related to form perception. Its average maximum points were at -12, -98, -6 and -16, -96, -6. Conclusion: The plotting of control state is important in bock design. The effective visual information of rotating grating includes components of luminance, visual motion perception, and form perception. FMRI has potential as a tool for studying the basic physiology of visual cortex. (authors)

  4. Markers of Alzheimer's Disease in Primary Visual Cortex in Normal Aging in Mice

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    Perez-Hernández, Montserrat; Torres-Romero, Abigail; Gorostieta-Salas, Elisa; Gulias-Cañizo, Rosario; Quiroz-Mercado, Hugo

    2017-01-01

    Aging is the principal risk factor for the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The hallmarks of AD are accumulation of the amyloid-β peptide 1–42 (Aβ42) and abnormal hyperphosphorylation of Tau (p-Tau) protein in different areas of the brain and, more recently reported, in the visual cortex. Recently, Aβ42 peptide overproduction has been involved in visual loss. Similar to AD, in normal aging, there is a significant amyloid deposition related to the overactivation of the aforementioned mechanisms. However, the mechanisms associated with visual loss secondary to age-induced visual cortex affectation are not completely understood. Young and aged mice were used as model to analyze the presence of Aβ42, p-Tau, glial-acidic fibrillary protein (GFAP), and presenilin-2, one of the main enzymes involved in Aβ42 production. Our results show a significant increase of Aβ42 deposition in aged mice in the following cells and/or tissues: endothelial cells and blood vessels and neurons of the visual cortex; they also show an increase of the expression of GFAP and presenilin-2 in this region. These results provide a comprehensive framework for the role of Aβ42 in visual loss due to inflammation present with aging and offer some clues for fruitful avenues for the study of healthy aging. PMID:29138750

  5. Pre-Orthographic Character String Processing and Parietal Cortex: A Role for Visual Attention in Reading?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobier, Muriel; Peyrin, Carole; Le Bas, Jean-Francois; Valdois, Sylviane

    2012-01-01

    The visual front-end of reading is most often associated with orthographic processing. The left ventral occipito-temporal cortex seems to be preferentially tuned for letter string and word processing. In contrast, little is known of the mechanisms responsible for pre-orthographic processing: the processing of character strings regardless of…

  6. Medial Prefrontal Cortex Is Selectively Involved in Response Selection Using Visual Context in the Background

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Inah; Shin, Ji Yun

    2012-01-01

    The exact roles of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in conditional choice behavior are unknown and a visual contextual response selection task was used for examining the issue. Inactivation of the mPFC severely disrupted performance in the task. mPFC inactivations, however, did not disrupt the capability of perceptual discrimination for visual…

  7. Higher Brain Functions Served by the Lowly Rodent Primary Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavornik, Jeffrey P.; Bear, Mark F.

    2014-01-01

    It has been more than 50 years since the first description of ocular dominance plasticity--the profound modification of primary visual cortex (V1) following temporary monocular deprivation. This discovery immediately attracted the intense interest of neurobiologists focused on the general question of how experience and deprivation modify the brain…

  8. Theory for the Development of Neuron Selectivity: Orientation Specificity and Binocular Interaction in Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-06-05

    approximately the same half-width at half-height. ( Think *for instance of triangularly shaped tuning curves.) Typical values for orientation...Innate and enviromental factors in the development of the kitten’s visual cortex. J. Physiol. 248: 663-716. Brindley. G. S. (1969) Nerve net models of

  9. Integration of Visual Information in Auditory Cortex Promotes Auditory Scene Analysis through Multisensory Binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atilgan, Huriye; Town, Stephen M; Wood, Katherine C; Jones, Gareth P; Maddox, Ross K; Lee, Adrian K C; Bizley, Jennifer K

    2018-02-07

    How and where in the brain audio-visual signals are bound to create multimodal objects remains unknown. One hypothesis is that temporal coherence between dynamic multisensory signals provides a mechanism for binding stimulus features across sensory modalities. Here, we report that when the luminance of a visual stimulus is temporally coherent with the amplitude fluctuations of one sound in a mixture, the representation of that sound is enhanced in auditory cortex. Critically, this enhancement extends to include both binding and non-binding features of the sound. We demonstrate that visual information conveyed from visual cortex via the phase of the local field potential is combined with auditory information within auditory cortex. These data provide evidence that early cross-sensory binding provides a bottom-up mechanism for the formation of cross-sensory objects and that one role for multisensory binding in auditory cortex is to support auditory scene analysis. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Population coding in mouse visual cortex : Response reliability and dissociability of stimulus tuning and noise correlation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Montijn, J.S.; Vinck, M.; Pennartz, C.M.A.

    2014-01-01

    The primary visual cortex is an excellent model system for investigating how neuronal populations encode information, because of well-documented relationships between stimulus characteristics and neuronal activation patterns. We used two-photon calcium imaging data to relate the performance of

  11. Connectivity Reveals Sources of Predictive Coding Signals in Early Visual Cortex During Processing of Visual Optic Flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, Andreas; Bartels, Andreas

    2017-05-01

    Superimposed on the visual feed-forward pathway, feedback connections convey higher level information to cortical areas lower in the hierarchy. A prominent framework for these connections is the theory of predictive coding where high-level areas send stimulus interpretations to lower level areas that compare them with sensory input. Along these lines, a growing body of neuroimaging studies shows that predictable stimuli lead to reduced blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) responses compared with matched nonpredictable counterparts, especially in early visual cortex (EVC) including areas V1-V3. The sources of these modulatory feedback signals are largely unknown. Here, we re-examined the robust finding of relative BOLD suppression in EVC evident during processing of coherent compared with random motion. Using functional connectivity analysis, we show an optic flow-dependent increase of functional connectivity between BOLD suppressed EVC and a network of visual motion areas including MST, V3A, V6, the cingulate sulcus visual area (CSv), and precuneus (Pc). Connectivity decreased between EVC and 2 areas known to encode heading direction: entorhinal cortex (EC) and retrosplenial cortex (RSC). Our results provide first evidence that BOLD suppression in EVC for predictable stimuli is indeed mediated by specific high-level areas, in accord with the theory of predictive coding. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Reduced visual cortex grey matter volume in children and adolescents with reactive attachment disorder

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    Koji Shimada

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Child maltreatment increases the risk for psychiatric disorders throughout childhood and into adulthood. One negative outcome of child maltreatment can be a disorder of emotional functioning, reactive attachment disorder (RAD, where the child displays wary, watchful, and emotionally withdrawn behaviours. Despite its clinical importance, little is known about the potential neurobiological consequences of RAD. The aim of this study was to elucidate whether RAD was associated with alterations in grey matter volume (GMV. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging datasets were obtained for children and adolescents with RAD (n = 21; mean age = 12.76 years and typically developing (TD control subjects (n = 22; mean age = 12.95 years. Using a whole-brain voxel-based morphometry approach, structural images were analysed controlling for age, gender, full scale intelligence quotient, and total brain volume. The GMV was significantly reduced by 20.6% in the left primary visual cortex (Brodmann area 17 of the RAD group compared to the TD group (p = .038, family-wise error-corrected cluster level. This GMV reduction was related to an internalising problem measure of the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire. The visual cortex has been viewed as part of the neurocircuit regulating the stress response to emotional visual images. Combined with previous studies of adults with childhood maltreatment, early adverse experience (e.g. sensory deprivation may affect the development of the primary visual system, reflecting in the size of the visual cortex in children and adolescents with RAD. These visual cortex GMV abnormalities may also be associated with the visual emotion regulation impairments of RAD, leading to an increased risk for later psychopathology.

  13. Encoding of temporal information by timing, rate, and place in cat auditory cortex.

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    Kazuo Imaizumi

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available A central goal in auditory neuroscience is to understand the neural coding of species-specific communication and human speech sounds. Low-rate repetitive sounds are elemental features of communication sounds, and core auditory cortical regions have been implicated in processing these information-bearing elements. Repetitive sounds could be encoded by at least three neural response properties: 1 the event-locked spike-timing precision, 2 the mean firing rate, and 3 the interspike interval (ISI. To determine how well these response aspects capture information about the repetition rate stimulus, we measured local group responses of cortical neurons in cat anterior auditory field (AAF to click trains and calculated their mutual information based on these different codes. ISIs of the multiunit responses carried substantially higher information about low repetition rates than either spike-timing precision or firing rate. Combining firing rate and ISI codes was synergistic and captured modestly more repetition information. Spatial distribution analyses showed distinct local clustering properties for each encoding scheme for repetition information indicative of a place code. Diversity in local processing emphasis and distribution of different repetition rate codes across AAF may give rise to concurrent feed-forward processing streams that contribute differently to higher-order sound analysis.

  14. Four-Month-Old Infants' Visual Investigation of Cats and Dogs: Relations with Pet Experience and Attentional Strategy

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    Kovack-Lesh, Kristine A.; McMurray, Bob; Oakes, Lisa M.

    2014-01-01

    We assessed the eye-movements of 4-month-old infants (N = 38) as they visually inspected pairs of images of cats or dogs. In general, infants who had previous experience with pets exhibited more sophisticated inspection than did infants without pet experience, both directing more visual attention to the informative head regions of the animals,…

  15. Prior auditory information shapes visual category-selectivity in ventral occipito-temporal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Ruth; Noppeney, Uta

    2010-10-01

    Objects in our natural environment generate signals in multiple sensory modalities. This fMRI study investigated the influence of prior task-irrelevant auditory information on visually-evoked category-selective activations in the ventral occipito-temporal cortex. Subjects categorized pictures as landmarks or animal faces, while ignoring the preceding congruent or incongruent sound. Behaviorally, subjects responded slower to incongruent than congruent stimuli. At the neural level, the lateral and medial prefrontal cortices showed increased activations for incongruent relative to congruent stimuli consistent with their role in response selection. In contrast, the parahippocampal gyri combined visual and auditory information additively: activation was greater for visual landmarks than animal faces and landmark-related sounds than animal vocalizations resulting in increased parahippocampal selectivity for congruent audiovisual landmarks. Effective connectivity analyses showed that this amplification of visual landmark-selectivity was mediated by increased negative coupling of the parahippocampal gyrus with the superior temporal sulcus for congruent stimuli. Thus, task-irrelevant auditory information influences visual object categorization at two stages. In the ventral occipito-temporal cortex auditory and visual category information are combined additively to sharpen visual category-selective responses. In the left inferior frontal sulcus, as indexed by a significant incongruency effect, visual and auditory category information are integrated interactively for response selection. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Distinct causal mechanisms of attentional guidance by working memory and repetition priming in early visual cortex.

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    Soto, David; Llewelyn, Dafydd; Silvanto, Juha

    2012-03-07

    Human attention may be guided by representations held in working memory (WM) and also by priming from implicit memory. Neurophysiological data suggest that WM and priming may be associated with distinct neural mechanisms, but this prior evidence is only correlative. Furthermore, the role of the visual cortex in attention biases from memory remains unclear, because most previous studies conflated memory and selection processes. Here, we manipulated memory and attention in an orthogonal fashion and used an interventional approach to demonstrate the functional significance of WM and priming states in visual cortex for attentional biasing. Observers searched for a Landolt target that was preceded by a nonpredictive color cue that either had to be held in WM for a later recognition test or merely attended (priming counterpart). The application of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the occipital cortex modulated the impact of memory on search. Critically, the direction of this modulation depended on the memory state. In the WM condition, the application of TMS on validly cued trials (when the cue surrounded the sought target) enhanced search accuracy relative to the invalid trials (when the cue surrounded a distracter); the opposite pattern was observed in the priming condition. That the effects of occipital TMS on selection were contingent on memory context demonstrates that WM and priming represent distinct states in the early visual cortex that play a causal role in memory-based guidance of attention.

  17. Dopamine Is Signaled by Mid-frequency Oscillations and Boosts Output Layers Visual Information in Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaldivar, Daniel; Goense, Jozien; Lowe, Scott C; Logothetis, Nikos K; Panzeri, Stefano

    2018-01-22

    Neural oscillations are ubiquitously observed in cortical activity, and are widely believed to be crucial for mediating transmission of information across the cortex. Yet, the neural phenomena contributing to each oscillation band, and their effect on information coding and transmission, are largely unknown. Here, we investigated whether individual frequency bands specifically reflect changes in the concentrations of dopamine, an important neuromodulator, and how dopamine affects oscillatory information processing. We recorded the local field potential (LFP) at different depths of primary visual cortex (V1) in anesthetized monkeys (Macaca mulatta) during spontaneous activity and during visual stimulation with Hollywood movie clips while pharmacologically mimicking dopaminergic neuromodulation by systemic injection of L-DOPA (a metabolic precursor of dopamine). We found that dopaminergic neuromodulation had marked effects on both spontaneous and movie-evoked neural activity. During spontaneous activity, dopaminergic neuromodulation increased the power of the LFP specifically in the [19-38 Hz] band, suggesting that the power of endogenous visual cortex oscillations in this band can be used as a robust marker of dopaminergic neuromodulation. Moreover, dopamine increased visual information encoding over all frequencies during movie stimulation. The information increase due to dopamine was prominent in the supragranular layers of cortex that project to higher cortical areas and in the gamma [50-100 Hz] band that has been previously implicated in mediating feedforward information transfer. These results thus individuate new neural mechanisms by which dopamine may promote the readout of relevant sensory information by strengthening the transmission of information from primary to higher areas. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Reward- and attention-related biasing of sensory selection in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buschschulte, Antje; Boehler, Carsten N; Strumpf, Hendrik; Stoppel, Christian; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Hopf, Jens-Max

    2014-05-01

    Attention to task-relevant features leads to a biasing of sensory selection in extrastriate cortex. Features signaling reward seem to produce a similar bias, but how modulatory effects due to reward and attention relate to each other is largely unexplored. To address this issue, it is critical to separate top-down settings defining reward relevance from those defining attention. To this end, we used a visual search paradigm in which the target's definition (attention to color) was dissociated from reward relevance by delivering monetary reward on search frames where a certain task-irrelevant color was combined with the target-defining color to form the target object. We assessed the state of neural biasing for the attended and reward-relevant color by analyzing the neuromagnetic brain response to asynchronously presented irrelevant distractor probes drawn in the target-defining color, the reward-relevant color, and a completely irrelevant color as a reference. We observed that for the prospect of moderate rewards, the target-defining color but not the reward-relevant color produced a selective enhancement of the neuromagnetic response between 180 and 280 msec in ventral extrastriate visual cortex. Increasing reward prospect caused a delayed attenuation (220-250 msec) of the response to reward probes, which followed a prior (160-180 msec) response enhancement in dorsal ACC. Notably, shorter latency responses in dorsal ACC were associated with stronger attenuation in extrastriate visual cortex. Finally, an analysis of the brain response to the search frames revealed that the presence of the reward-relevant color in search distractors elicited an enhanced response that was abolished after increasing reward size. The present data together indicate that when top-down definitions of reward relevance and attention are separated, the behavioral significance of reward-associated features is still rapidly coded in higher-level cortex areas, thereby commanding effective top

  19. LSD alters eyes-closed functional connectivity within the early visual cortex in a retinotopic fashion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roseman, Leor; Sereno, Martin I; Leech, Robert; Kaelen, Mendel; Orban, Csaba; McGonigle, John; Feilding, Amanda; Nutt, David J; Carhart-Harris, Robin L

    2016-08-01

    The question of how spatially organized activity in the visual cortex behaves during eyes-closed, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)-induced "psychedelic imagery" (e.g., visions of geometric patterns and more complex phenomena) has never been empirically addressed, although it has been proposed that under psychedelics, with eyes-closed, the brain may function "as if" there is visual input when there is none. In this work, resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) data was analyzed from 10 healthy subjects under the influence of LSD and, separately, placebo. It was suspected that eyes-closed psychedelic imagery might involve transient local retinotopic activation, of the sort typically associated with visual stimulation. To test this, it was hypothesized that, under LSD, patches of the visual cortex with congruent retinotopic representations would show greater RSFC than incongruent patches. Using a retinotopic localizer performed during a nondrug baseline condition, nonadjacent patches of V1 and V3 that represent the vertical or the horizontal meridians of the visual field were identified. Subsequently, RSFC between V1 and V3 was measured with respect to these a priori identified patches. Consistent with our prior hypothesis, the difference between RSFC of patches with congruent retinotopic specificity (horizontal-horizontal and vertical-vertical) and those with incongruent specificity (horizontal-vertical and vertical-horizontal) increased significantly under LSD relative to placebo, suggesting that activity within the visual cortex becomes more dependent on its intrinsic retinotopic organization in the drug condition. This result may indicate that under LSD, with eyes-closed, the early visual system behaves as if it were seeing spatially localized visual inputs. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3031-3040, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. The temporal dynamics of early visual cortex involvement in behavioral priming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christianne Jacobs

    Full Text Available Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS allows for non-invasive interference with ongoing neural processing. Applied in a chronometric design over early visual cortex (EVC, TMS has proved valuable in indicating at which particular time point EVC must remain unperturbed for (conscious vision to be established. In the current study, we set out to examine the effect of EVC TMS across a broad range of time points, both before (pre-stimulus and after (post-stimulus the onset of symbolic visual stimuli. Behavioral priming studies have shown that the behavioral impact of a visual stimulus can be independent from its conscious perception, suggesting two independent neural signatures. To assess whether TMS-induced suppression of visual awareness can be dissociated from behavioral priming in the temporal domain, we thus implemented three different measures of visual processing, namely performance on a standard visual discrimination task, a subjective rating of stimulus visibility, and a visual priming task. To control for non-neural TMS effects, we performed electrooculographical recordings, placebo TMS (sham, and control site TMS (vertex. Our results suggest that, when considering the appropriate control data, the temporal pattern of EVC TMS disruption on visual discrimination, subjective awareness and behavioral priming are not dissociable. Instead, TMS to EVC disrupts visual perception holistically, both when applied before and after the onset of a visual stimulus. The current findings are discussed in light of their implications on models of visual awareness and (subliminal priming.

  1. The temporal dynamics of early visual cortex involvement in behavioral priming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Christianne; de Graaf, Tom A; Goebel, Rainer; Sack, Alexander T

    2012-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) allows for non-invasive interference with ongoing neural processing. Applied in a chronometric design over early visual cortex (EVC), TMS has proved valuable in indicating at which particular time point EVC must remain unperturbed for (conscious) vision to be established. In the current study, we set out to examine the effect of EVC TMS across a broad range of time points, both before (pre-stimulus) and after (post-stimulus) the onset of symbolic visual stimuli. Behavioral priming studies have shown that the behavioral impact of a visual stimulus can be independent from its conscious perception, suggesting two independent neural signatures. To assess whether TMS-induced suppression of visual awareness can be dissociated from behavioral priming in the temporal domain, we thus implemented three different measures of visual processing, namely performance on a standard visual discrimination task, a subjective rating of stimulus visibility, and a visual priming task. To control for non-neural TMS effects, we performed electrooculographical recordings, placebo TMS (sham), and control site TMS (vertex). Our results suggest that, when considering the appropriate control data, the temporal pattern of EVC TMS disruption on visual discrimination, subjective awareness and behavioral priming are not dissociable. Instead, TMS to EVC disrupts visual perception holistically, both when applied before and after the onset of a visual stimulus. The current findings are discussed in light of their implications on models of visual awareness and (subliminal) priming.

  2. What are the effects of severe visual impairment on the cortical organization and connectivity of primary visual cortex?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DeLaine D Larsen

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The organization and connections of the primary visual area (V1 were examined in mice that lacked functional rods (Gnat-/-, but had normal cone function. Because mice are nocturnal and rely almost exclusively on rod vision for normal behaviors, the Gnat-/- mice used in the present study are considered functionally blind. Our goal was to determine if visual cortex is reorganized in these mice, and to examine the neuroanatomical connections that may subserve reorganization. We found that most neurons in V1 responded to auditory, or some combination of auditory, somatosensory, and/or visual stimulation. We also determined that cortical connections of V1 in Gnat-/- mice were similar to those in normal animals, but even in normal animals, there is sparse input from auditory cortex to V1. An important observation was that most of the subcortical inputs to V1 were from thalamic nuclei that normally project to V1 such as the lateral geniculate (LG, lateral posterior (LP, and lateral dorsal (LD nuclei. However, V1 also received some abnormal subcortical inputs from the anterior thalamic nuclei, the ventral posterior, the ventral lateral and the posterior nuclei. While the vision generated from the small number of cones appears to be sufficient to maintain most of the patterns of normal connectivity, the sparse abnormal thalamic inputs to VI, existing inputs from auditory cortex, and possibly abnormal inputs to LG and LP may be responsible for generating the alterations in the functional organization of V1.

  3. Attention Priority Map of Face Images in Human Early Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Ce; He, Dongjun; Fang, Fang

    2018-01-03

    Attention priority maps are topographic representations that are used for attention selection and guidance of task-related behavior during visual processing. Previous studies have identified attention priority maps of simple artificial stimuli in multiple cortical and subcortical areas, but investigating neural correlates of priority maps of natural stimuli is complicated by the complexity of their spatial structure and the difficulty of behaviorally characterizing their priority map. To overcome these challenges, we reconstructed the topographic representations of upright/inverted face images from fMRI BOLD signals in human early visual areas primary visual cortex (V1) and the extrastriate cortex (V2 and V3) based on a voxelwise population receptive field model. We characterized the priority map behaviorally as the first saccadic eye movement pattern when subjects performed a face-matching task relative to the condition in which subjects performed a phase-scrambled face-matching task. We found that the differential first saccadic eye movement pattern between upright/inverted and scrambled faces could be predicted from the reconstructed topographic representations in V1-V3 in humans of either sex. The coupling between the reconstructed representation and the eye movement pattern increased from V1 to V2/3 for the upright faces, whereas no such effect was found for the inverted faces. Moreover, face inversion modulated the coupling in V2/3, but not in V1. Our findings provide new evidence for priority maps of natural stimuli in early visual areas and extend traditional attention priority map theories by revealing another critical factor that affects priority maps in extrastriate cortex in addition to physical salience and task goal relevance: image configuration. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Prominent theories of attention posit that attention sampling of visual information is mediated by a series of interacting topographic representations of visual space known as

  4. Transcranial random-noise stimulation of visual cortex potentiates value-driven attentional capture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Koningsbruggen, Martijn G; Ficarella, Stefania C; Battelli, Lorella; Hickey, Clayton

    2016-09-01

    Reward feedback following visual search causes the visual characteristics of targets to become salient and attention-drawing, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying this value-driven capture effect. Here, we use transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) to demonstrate that such reward potentiation involves induced plasticity in visual cortex. Human participants completed a feature-search reward-learning task involving the selection of a red or green colored target presented among distractors of various color. Each correct trial garnered reward and the magnitude of reward was determined by the color of the target. Three groups completed this task: two groups received tRNS over either occipital or frontal cortex, and the third group received sham stimulation as a control. In a subsequent test phase of the experiment participants searched for a unique shape presented among colored distractors. During the test phase, no tRNS was applied and no reward was available. However, in some trials a single distractor had color matching that associated with reward during training. Search for the target was impacted by the presence of such reward-associated distractors in the occipital stimulation group, demonstrating that plasticity in visual cortex contributes to value-driven attentional capture. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. NMDA Receptor Antagonist Ketamine Distorts Object Recognition by Reducing Feedback to Early Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Loon, Anouk M; Fahrenfort, Johannes J; van der Velde, Bauke; Lirk, Philipp B; Vulink, Nienke C C; Hollmann, Markus W; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2016-05-01

    It is a well-established fact that top-down processes influence neural representations in lower-level visual areas. Electrophysiological recordings in monkeys as well as theoretical models suggest that these top-down processes depend on NMDA receptor functioning. However, this underlying neural mechanism has not been tested in humans. We used fMRI multivoxel pattern analysis to compare the neural representations of ambiguous Mooney images before and after they were recognized with their unambiguous grayscale version. Additionally, we administered ketamine, an NMDA receptor antagonist, to interfere with this process. Our results demonstrate that after recognition, the pattern of brain activation elicited by a Mooney image is more similar to that of its easily recognizable grayscale version than to the pattern evoked by the identical Mooney image before recognition. Moreover, recognition of Mooney images decreased mean response; however, neural representations of separate images became more dissimilar. So from the neural perspective, unrecognizable Mooney images all "look the same", whereas recognized Mooneys look different. We observed these effects in posterior fusiform part of lateral occipital cortex and in early visual cortex. Ketamine distorted these effects of recognition, but in early visual cortex only. This suggests that top-down processes from higher- to lower-level visual areas might operate via an NMDA pathway. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Drive for Consumption, Craving, and Connectivity in the Visual Cortex during the Imagery of Desired Food

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica eBullins

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available There is considerable interest in understanding food cravings given the obesogenic environment of Western Society. In this paper we examine how the imagery of palatable foods affects cravings and functional connectivity in the visual cortex for people who differ on the power of food scale (PFS. Fourteen older, overweight/obese adults came to our laboratory on two different occasions. Both times they ate a controlled breakfast meal and then were restricted from eating for 2.5 hours prior to scanning. On one day they consumed a BOOST® liquid meal after the period of food restriction, whereas on the other day they only consumed water (NO BOOST® condition. After these manipulations, they had an fMRI scan in which they were asked to image both neutral objects and their favorite snack foods; they also completed visual analogue scales for craving, hunger, and the vividness of the imagery experiences. Irrespective of the BOOST® manipulation, we observed marked increases in food cravings when older, overweight/obese adults created images of favorite foods in their minds as opposed to creating an image of neutral objects; however, the increase in food craving following the imagery of desired food was more pronounced among those scoring high than low on the PFS. Furthermore, local efficiency within the visual cortex when imaging desired food was higher for those scoring high as compared to low on the PFS. The active imagery of desired foods seemed to have overpowered the BOOST® manipulation when evaluating connectivity in the visual cortex.

  7. Scene segmentation in early visual cortex during suppression of ventral stream regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassi, Pablo R; Zaretskaya, Natalia; Bartels, Andreas

    2017-02-01

    A growing body of literature suggests that feedback modulation of early visual processing is ubiquitous and central to cortical computation. In particular stimuli with high-level content that invariably activate ventral object responsive regions have been shown to suppress early visual cortex. This suppression was typically interpreted in the framework of predictive coding and feedback from ventral regions. Here we examined early visual modulation during perception of a bistable Gestalt illusion that has previously been shown to be mediated by dorsal parietal cortex rather than by ventral regions that were not activated. The bistable dynamic stimulus consisted of moving dots that could either be perceived as corners of a large moving cube (global Gestalt) or as distributed sets of locally moving elements. We found that perceptual binding of local moving elements into an illusory Gestalt led to spatially segregated differential modulations in both, V1 and V2: representations of illusory lines and foreground were enhanced, while inducers and background were suppressed. Furthermore, correlation analyses suggest that distinct mechanisms govern fore- and background modulation. Our results demonstrate that motion-induced Gestalt perception differentially modulates early visual cortex in the absence of ventral stream activation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Model-based analysis of patterned motion processing in mouse primary visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dylan Richard Muir

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Neurons in sensory areas of neocortex show responses tuned to specific features of the environment. In visual cortex, information about features such as edges or textures with particular orientations must be integrated to recognize a visual scene or object. Connectivity studies in rodent cortex have revealed that neurons make specific connections within sub-networks sharing common input tuning. In principle, this sub-network architecture enables local cortical circuits to integrate sensory information. However, whether feature integration indeed occurs locally in rodent primary sensory areas has not been examined directly. We studied local integration of sensory features in primary visual cortex (V1 of the mouse by presenting drifting grating and plaid stimuli, while recording the activity of neuronal populations with two-photon calcium imaging. Using a Bayesian model-based analysis framework, we classified single-cell responses as being selective for either individual grating components or for moving plaid patterns. Rather than relying on trial-averaged responses, our model-based framework takes into account single-trial responses and can easily be extended to consider any number of arbitrary predictive models. Our analysis method was able to successfully classify significantly more responses than traditional partial correlation analysis, and provides a rigorous statistical framework to rank any number of models and reject poorly performing models. We also found large a proportion of cells that respond strongly to only one stimulus class. In addition, a quarter of selectively responding neurons had more complex responses that could not be explained by any simple integration model. Our results show that a broad range of pattern integration processes takes place already at the level of primary visual cortex. This diversity of integration is consistent with processing of visual inputs by local sub-networks within V1 that are tuned to combinations

  9. Locomotion Induces Stimulus-Specific Response Enhancement in Adult Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko, Megumi; Fu, Yu; Stryker, Michael P

    2017-03-29

    The responses of neurons in the visual cortex (V1) of adult mammals have long been thought to be stable over long periods. Here, we investigated whether repeated exposure to specific stimuli would enhance V1 visual responses in mice using intrinsic signal imaging through the intact skull and two-photon imaging of calcium signals in single neurons. Mice ran on Styrofoam balls floating on air while viewing one of three different, high-contrast visual stimuli. V1 responses to the stimuli that were viewed by the animal were specifically enhanced, while responses to other stimuli were unaffected. Similar exposure in stationary mice or in mice in which NMDA receptors were partially blocked did not significantly enhance responses. These findings indicate that stimulus-specific plasticity in the adult visual cortex depends on concurrent locomotion, presumably as a result of the high-gain state of the visual cortex induced by locomotion. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We report a rapid and persistent increase in visual cortical responses to visual stimuli presented during locomotion in intact mice. We first used a method that is completely noninvasive to image intrinsic signals through the intact skull. We then measured the same effects on single neurons using two-photon calcium imaging and found that the increase in response to a particular stimulus produced by locomotion depends on how well the neuron is initially driven by the stimulus. To our knowledge, this is the first time such enhancement has been described in single neurons or using noninvasive measurements. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/373532-12$15.00/0.

  10. Category Selectivity of Human Visual Cortex in Perception of Rubin Face–Vase Illusion

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    Xiaogang Wang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available When viewing the Rubin face–vase illusion, our conscious perception spontaneously alternates between the face and the vase; this illusion has been widely used to explore bistable perception. Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI studies have studied the neural mechanisms underlying bistable perception through univariate and multivariate pattern analyses; however, no studies have investigated the issue of category selectivity. Here, we used fMRI to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the Rubin face–vase illusion by introducing univariate amplitude and multivariate pattern analyses. The results from the amplitude analysis suggested that the activity in the fusiform face area was likely related to the subjective face perception. Furthermore, the pattern analysis results showed that the early visual cortex (EVC and the face-selective cortex could discriminate the activity patterns of the face and vase perceptions. However, further analysis of the activity patterns showed that only the face-selective cortex contains the face information. These findings indicated that although the EVC and face-selective cortex activities could discriminate the visual information, only the activity and activity pattern in the face-selective areas contained the category information of face perception in the Rubin face–vase illusion.

  11. Tilt aftereffects in a self-organizing model of the primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bednar, J A; Miikkulainen, R

    2000-07-01

    RF-LISSOM, a self-organizing model of laterally connected orientation maps in the primary visual cortex, was used to study the psychological phenomenon known as the tilt aftereffect. The same self-organizing processes that are responsible for the long-term development of the map are shown to result in tilt aftereffects over short timescales in the adult. The model permits simultaneous observation of large numbers of neurons and connections, making it possible to relate high-level phenomena to low-level events, which is difficult to do experimentally. The results give detailed computational support for the long-standing conjecture that the direct tilt aftereffect arises from adaptive lateral interactions between feature detectors. They also make a new prediction that the indirect effect results from the normalization of synaptic efficacies during this process. The model thus provides a unified computational explanation of self-organization and both the direct and indirect tilt aftereffect in the primary visual cortex.

  12. Director field model of the primary visual cortex for contour detection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijay Singh

    Full Text Available We aim to build the simplest possible model capable of detecting long, noisy contours in a cluttered visual scene. For this, we model the neural dynamics in the primate primary visual cortex in terms of a continuous director field that describes the average rate and the average orientational preference of active neurons at a particular point in the cortex. We then use a linear-nonlinear dynamical model with long range connectivity patterns to enforce long-range statistical context present in the analyzed images. The resulting model has substantially fewer degrees of freedom than traditional models, and yet it can distinguish large contiguous objects from the background clutter by suppressing the clutter and by filling-in occluded elements of object contours. This results in high-precision, high-recall detection of large objects in cluttered scenes. Parenthetically, our model has a direct correspondence with the Landau-de Gennes theory of nematic liquid crystal in two dimensions.

  13. Pedophilia is linked to reduced activation in hypothalamus and lateral prefrontal cortex during visual erotic stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Martin; Witzel, Joachim; Wiebking, Christine; Gubka, Udo; Rotte, Michael; Schiltz, Kolja; Bermpohl, Felix; Tempelmann, Claus; Bogerts, Bernhard; Heinze, Hans Jochen; Northoff, Georg

    2007-09-15

    Although pedophilia is of high public concern, little is known about underlying neural mechanisms. Although pedophilic patients are sexually attracted to prepubescent children, they show no sexual interest toward adults. This study aimed to investigate the neural correlates of deficits of sexual and emotional arousal in pedophiles. Thirteen pedophilic patients and 14 healthy control subjects were tested for differential neural activity during visual stimulation with emotional and erotic pictures with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Regions showing differential activations during the erotic condition comprised the hypothalamus, the periaqueductal gray, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the latter correlating with a clinical measure. Alterations of emotional processing concerned the amygdala-hippocampus and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. Hypothesized regions relevant for processing of erotic stimuli in healthy individuals showed reduced activations during visual erotic stimulation in pedophilic patients. This suggests an impaired recruitment of key structures that might contribute to an altered sexual interest of these patients toward adults.

  14. Radial asymmetries in population receptive field size and cortical magnification factor in early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Maria Fatima; Brascamp, Jan W; Ferreira, Sónia; Castelo-Branco, Miguel; Dumoulin, Serge O; Harvey, Ben M

    2017-11-14

    Human visual cortex does not represent the whole visual field with the same detail. Changes in receptive field size, population receptive field (pRF) size and cortical magnification factor (CMF) with eccentricity are well established, and associated with changes in visual acuity with eccentricity. Visual acuity also changes across polar angle. However, it remains unclear how RF size, pRF size and CMF change across polar angle. Here, we examine differences in pRF size and CMF across polar angle in V1, V2 and V3 using pRF modeling of human fMRI data. In these visual field maps, we find smaller pRFs and larger CMFs in horizontal (left and right) than vertical (upper and lower) visual field quadrants. Differences increase with eccentricity, approximately in proportion to average pRF size and CMF. Similarly, we find larger CMFs in the lower than upper quadrant, and again differences increase with eccentricity. However, pRF size differences between lower and upper quadrants change direction with eccentricity. Finally, we find slightly smaller pRFs in the left than right quadrants of V2 and V3, though this difference is very small, and we find no differences in V1 and no differences in CMF. Moreover, differences in pRF size and CMF vary gradually with polar angle and are not limited to the meridians or visual field map discontinuities. PRF size and CMF differences do not consistently follow patterns of cortical curvature, despite the link between cortical curvature and polar angle in V1. Thus, the early human visual cortex has a radially asymmetric representation of the visual field. These asymmetries may underlie consistent reports of asymmetries in perceptual abilities. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Distinct Superficial and Deep Laminar Domains of Activity in the Visual Cortex during Rest and Stimulation

    OpenAIRE

    Maier, Alexander; Adams, Geoffrey K.; Aura, Christopher; Leopold, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Spatial patterns of spontaneous neural activity at rest have previously been associated with specific networks in the brain, including those pertaining to the functional architecture of the primary visual cortex (V1). However, despite the prominent anatomical differences between cortical layers, little is known about the laminar pattern of spontaneous activity in V1. We address this topic by investigating the amplitude and coherence of ongoing local field potential (LFP) signals measured from...

  16. Cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation over posterior parietal cortex enhances distinct aspects of visual working memory

    OpenAIRE

    Heinen, Klaartje; Sagliano, Laura; Candini, Michela; Husain, Masud; Cappelletti, Marinella; Zokaei, Nahid

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the effects of tDCS over the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) during a visual working memory (WM) task, which probes different sources of response error underlying the precision of WM recall. In two separate experiments, we demonstrated that tDCS enhanced WM precision when applied bilaterally over the PPC, independent of electrode configuration. In a third experiment, we demonstrated with unilateral electrode configuration over the right PPC, that only cathodal t...

  17. Neural correlates of visual motion processing without awareness in patients with striate cortex and pulvinar lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barleben, Maria; Stoppel, Christian M; Kaufmann, Jörn; Merkel, Christian; Wecke, Thoralf; Goertler, Michael; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Hopf, Jens-Max; Schoenfeld, Mircea A

    2015-04-01

    Patients with striate cortex lesions experience visual perception loss in the contralateral visual field. In few patients, however, stimuli within the blind field can lead to unconscious (blindsight) or even conscious perception when the stimuli are moving (Riddoch syndrome). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated the neural responses elicited by motion stimulation in the sighted and blind visual fields of eight patients with lesions of the striate cortex. Importantly, repeated testing ensured that none of the patients exhibited blindsight or a Riddoch syndrome. Three patients had additional lesions in the ipsilesional pulvinar. For blind visual field stimulation, great care was given that the moving stimulus was precisely presented within the borders of the scotoma. In six of eight patients, the stimulation within the scotoma elicited hemodynamic activity in area human middle temporal (hMT) while no activity was observed within the ipsilateral lesioned area of the striate cortex. One of the two patients in whom no ipsilesional activity was observed had an extensive lesion including massive subcortical damage. The other patient had an additional focal lesion within the lateral inferior pulvinar. Fiber-tracking based on anatomical and functional markers (hMT and Pulvinar) on individual diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data from each patient revealed the structural integrity of subcortical pathways in all but the patient with the extensive subcortical lesion. These results provide clear evidence for the robustness of direct subcortical pathways from the pulvinar to area hMT in patients with striate cortex lesions and demonstrate that ipsilesional activity in area hMT is completely independent of conscious perception. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Construction of Direction Selectivity through Local Energy Computations in Primary Visual Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Lochmann, Timm; Blanche, Timothy J.; Butts, Daniel A.

    2013-01-01

    Despite detailed knowledge about the anatomy and physiology of neurons in primary visual cortex (V1), the large numbers of inputs onto a given V1 neuron make it difficult to relate them to the neuron's functional properties. For example, models of direction selectivity (DS), such as the Energy Model, can successfully describe the computation of phase-invariant DS at a conceptual level, while leaving it unclear how such computations are implemented by cortical circuits. Here, we use statistica...

  19. Information processing occurs via critical avalanches in a model of the primary visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bortolotto, G. S.; Girardi-Schappo, M.; Gonsalves, J. J.; Pinto, L. T.; Tragtenberg, M. H. R.

    2016-01-01

    We study a new biologically motivated model for the Macaque monkey primary visual cortex which presents power-law avalanches after a visual stimulus. The signal propagates through all the layers of the model via avalanches that depend on network structure and synaptic parameter. We identify four different avalanche profiles as a function of the excitatory postsynaptic potential. The avalanches follow a size-duration scaling relation and present critical exponents that match experiments. The structure of the network gives rise to a regime of two characteristic spatial scales, one of which vanishes in the thermodynamic limit.

  20. Independent effects of motivation and spatial attention in the human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayer, Mareike; Rossi, Valentina; Vanlessen, Naomi; Grass, Annika; Schacht, Annekathrin; Pourtois, Gilles

    2017-01-01

    Motivation and attention constitute major determinants of human perception and action. Nonetheless, it remains a matter of debate whether motivation effects on the visual cortex depend on the spatial attention system, or rely on independent pathways. This study investigated the impact of motivation and spatial attention on the activity of the human primary and extrastriate visual cortex by employing a factorial manipulation of the two factors in a cued pattern discrimination task. During stimulus presentation, we recorded event-related potentials and pupillary responses. Motivational relevance increased the amplitudes of the C1 component at ∼70 ms after stimulus onset. This modulation occurred independently of spatial attention effects, which were evident at the P1 level. Furthermore, motivation and spatial attention had independent effects on preparatory activation as measured by the contingent negative variation; and pupil data showed increased activation in response to incentive targets. Taken together, these findings suggest independent pathways for the influence of motivation and spatial attention on the activity of the human visual cortex. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press.

  1. Asymmetric Multisensory Interactions of Visual and Somatosensory Responses in a Region of the Rat Parietal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippert, Michael T.; Takagaki, Kentaroh

    2013-01-01

    Perception greatly benefits from integrating multiple sensory cues into a unified percept. To study the neural mechanisms of sensory integration, model systems are required that allow the simultaneous assessment of activity and the use of techniques to affect individual neural processes in behaving animals. While rodents qualify for these requirements, little is known about multisensory integration and areas involved for this purpose in the rodent. Using optical imaging combined with laminar electrophysiological recordings, the rat parietal cortex was identified as an area where visual and somatosensory inputs converge and interact. Our results reveal similar response patterns to visual and somatosensory stimuli at the level of current source density (CSD) responses and multi-unit responses within a strip in parietal cortex. Surprisingly, a selective asymmetry was observed in multisensory interactions: when the somatosensory response preceded the visual response, supra-linear summation of CSD was observed, but the reverse stimulus order resulted in sub-linear effects in the CSD. This asymmetry was not present in multi-unit activity however, which showed consistently sub-linear interactions. These interactions were restricted to a specific temporal window, and pharmacological tests revealed significant local intra-cortical contributions to this phenomenon. Our results highlight the rodent parietal cortex as a system to model the neural underpinnings of multisensory processing in behaving animals and at the cellular level. PMID:23667650

  2. Large-scale functional models of visual cortex for remote sensing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brumby, Steven P [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Kenyon, Garrett [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Rasmussen, Craig E [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Swaminarayan, Sriram [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Bettencourt, Luis [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Landecker, Will [PORTLAND STATE UNIV.

    2009-01-01

    Neuroscience has revealed many properties of neurons and of the functional organization of visual cortex that are believed to be essential to human vision, but are missing in standard artificial neural networks. Equally important may be the sheer scale of visual cortex requiring {approx}1 petaflop of computation. In a year, the retina delivers {approx}1 petapixel to the brain, leading to massively large opportunities for learning at many levels of the cortical system. We describe work at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to develop large-scale functional models of visual cortex on LANL's Roadrunner petaflop supercomputer. An initial run of a simple region VI code achieved 1.144 petaflops during trials at the IBM facility in Poughkeepsie, NY (June 2008). Here, we present criteria for assessing when a set of learned local representations is 'complete' along with general criteria for assessing computer vision models based on their projected scaling behavior. Finally, we extend one class of biologically-inspired learning models to problems of remote sensing imagery.

  3. Asymmetric multisensory interactions of visual and somatosensory responses in a region of the rat parietal cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael T Lippert

    Full Text Available Perception greatly benefits from integrating multiple sensory cues into a unified percept. To study the neural mechanisms of sensory integration, model systems are required that allow the simultaneous assessment of activity and the use of techniques to affect individual neural processes in behaving animals. While rodents qualify for these requirements, little is known about multisensory integration and areas involved for this purpose in the rodent. Using optical imaging combined with laminar electrophysiological recordings, the rat parietal cortex was identified as an area where visual and somatosensory inputs converge and interact. Our results reveal similar response patterns to visual and somatosensory stimuli at the level of current source density (CSD responses and multi-unit responses within a strip in parietal cortex. Surprisingly, a selective asymmetry was observed in multisensory interactions: when the somatosensory response preceded the visual response, supra-linear summation of CSD was observed, but the reverse stimulus order resulted in sub-linear effects in the CSD. This asymmetry was not present in multi-unit activity however, which showed consistently sub-linear interactions. These interactions were restricted to a specific temporal window, and pharmacological tests revealed significant local intra-cortical contributions to this phenomenon. Our results highlight the rodent parietal cortex as a system to model the neural underpinnings of multisensory processing in behaving animals and at the cellular level.

  4. Impaired functional organization in the visual cortex of muscarinic receptor knock-out mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groleau, Marianne; Nguyen, Hoang Nam; Vanni, Matthieu P; Huppé-Gourgues, Frédéric; Casanova, Christian; Vaucher, Elvire

    2014-09-01

    Acetylcholine modulates maturation and neuronal activity through muscarinic and nicotinic receptors in the primary visual cortex. However, the specific contribution of different muscarinic receptor subtypes in these neuromodulatory mechanisms is not fully understood. The present study evaluates in vivo the functional organization and the properties of the visual cortex of different groups of muscarinic receptor knock-out (KO) mice. Optical imaging of intrinsic signals coupled to continuous and episodic visual stimulation paradigms was used. Retinotopic maps along elevation and azimuth were preserved among the different groups of mice. However, compared to their wild-type counterparts, the apparent visual field along elevation was larger in M2/M4-KO mice but smaller in M1-KO. There was a reduction in the estimated relative receptive field size of V1 neurons in M1/M3-KO and M1-KO mice. Spatial frequency and contrast selectivity of V1 neuronal populations were affected only in M1/M3-KO and M1-KO mice. Finally, the neuronal connectivity was altered by the absence of M2/M4 muscarinic receptors. All these effects suggest the distinct roles of different subtypes of muscarinic receptors in the intrinsic organization of V1 and a strong involvement of the muscarinic transmission in the detectability of visual stimuli. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Exploring BOLD changes during spatial attention in non-stimulated visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda Heinemann

    Full Text Available Blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD responses were measured in parts of primary visual cortex that represented unstimulated visual field regions at different distances from a stimulated central target location. The composition of the visual scene varied by the presence or absence of additional peripheral distracter stimuli. Bottom-up effects were assessed by comparing peripheral activity during central stimulation vs. no stimulation. Top-down effects were assessed by comparing active vs. passive conditions. In passive conditions subjects simply watched the central letter stimuli and in active conditions they had to report occurrence of pre-defined targets in a rapid serial letter stream. Onset of the central letter stream enhanced activity in V1 representations of the stimulated region. Within representations of the periphery activation decreased and finally turned into deactivation with increasing distance from the stimulated location. This pattern was most pronounced in the active conditions and during the presence of peripheral stimuli. Active search for a target did not lead to additional enhancement at areas representing the attentional focus but to a stronger deactivation in the vicinity. Suppressed neuronal activity was also found in the non distracter condition suggesting a top-down attention driven effect. Our observations suggest that BOLD signal decreases in primary visual cortex are modulated by bottom-up sensory-driven factors such as the presence of distracters in the visual field as well as by top-down attentional processes.

  6. A two-stage cascade model of BOLD responses in human visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kendrick N Kay

    Full Text Available Visual neuroscientists have discovered fundamental properties of neural representation through careful analysis of responses to controlled stimuli. Typically, different properties are studied and modeled separately. To integrate our knowledge, it is necessary to build general models that begin with an input image and predict responses to a wide range of stimuli. In this study, we develop a model that accepts an arbitrary band-pass grayscale image as input and predicts blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD responses in early visual cortex as output. The model has a cascade architecture, consisting of two stages of linear and nonlinear operations. The first stage involves well-established computations-local oriented filters and divisive normalization-whereas the second stage involves novel computations-compressive spatial summation (a form of normalization and a variance-like nonlinearity that generates selectivity for second-order contrast. The parameters of the model, which are estimated from BOLD data, vary systematically across visual field maps: compared to primary visual cortex, extrastriate maps generally have larger receptive field size, stronger levels of normalization, and increased selectivity for second-order contrast. Our results provide insight into how stimuli are encoded and transformed in successive stages of visual processing.

  7. Music and words in the visual cortex: The impact of musical expertise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mongelli, Valeria; Dehaene, Stanislas; Vinckier, Fabien; Peretz, Isabelle; Bartolomeo, Paolo; Cohen, Laurent

    2017-01-01

    How does the human visual system accommodate expertise for two simultaneously acquired symbolic systems? We used fMRI to compare activations induced in the visual cortex by musical notation, written words and other classes of objects, in professional musicians and in musically naïve controls. First, irrespective of expertise, selective activations for music were posterior and lateral to activations for words in the left occipitotemporal cortex. This indicates that symbols characterized by different visual features engage distinct cortical areas. Second, musical expertise increased the volume of activations for music and led to an anterolateral displacement of word-related activations. In musicians, there was also a dramatic increase of the brain-scale networks connected to the music-selective visual areas. Those findings reveal that acquiring a double visual expertise involves an expansion of category-selective areas, the development of novel long-distance functional connectivity, and possibly some competition between categories for the colonization of cortical space. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Single-exposure visual memory judgments are reflected in inferotemporal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Travis

    2018-01-01

    Our visual memory percepts of whether we have encountered specific objects or scenes before are hypothesized to manifest as decrements in neural responses in inferotemporal cortex (IT) with stimulus repetition. To evaluate this proposal, we recorded IT neural responses as two monkeys performed a single-exposure visual memory task designed to measure the rates of forgetting with time. We found that a weighted linear read-out of IT was a better predictor of the monkeys’ forgetting rates and reaction time patterns than a strict instantiation of the repetition suppression hypothesis, expressed as a total spike count scheme. Behavioral predictions could be attributed to visual memory signals that were reflected as repetition suppression and were intermingled with visual selectivity, but only when combined across the most sensitive neurons. PMID:29517485

  9. Single-exposure visual memory judgments are reflected in inferotemporal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Travis; Rust, Nicole

    2018-03-08

    Our visual memory percepts of whether we have encountered specific objects or scenes before are hypothesized to manifest as decrements in neural responses in inferotemporal cortex (IT) with stimulus repetition. To evaluate this proposal, we recorded IT neural responses as two monkeys performed a single-exposure visual memory task designed to measure the rates of forgetting with time. We found that a weighted linear read-out of IT was a better predictor of the monkeys' forgetting rates and reaction time patterns than a strict instantiation of the repetition suppression hypothesis, expressed as a total spike count scheme. Behavioral predictions could be attributed to visual memory signals that were reflected as repetition suppression and were intermingled with visual selectivity, but only when combined across the most sensitive neurons. © 2018, Meyer et al.

  10. Attention to Color Sharpens Neural Population Tuning via Feedback Processing in the Human Visual Cortex Hierarchy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartsch, Mandy V; Loewe, Kristian; Merkel, Christian; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Tsotsos, John K; Hopf, Jens-Max

    2017-10-25

    Attention can facilitate the selection of elementary object features such as color, orientation, or motion. This is referred to as feature-based attention and it is commonly attributed to a modulation of the gain and tuning of feature-selective units in visual cortex. Although gain mechanisms are well characterized, little is known about the cortical processes underlying the sharpening of feature selectivity. Here, we show with high-resolution magnetoencephalography in human observers (men and women) that sharpened selectivity for a particular color arises from feedback processing in the human visual cortex hierarchy. To assess color selectivity, we analyze the response to a color probe that varies in color distance from an attended color target. We find that attention causes an initial gain enhancement in anterior ventral extrastriate cortex that is coarsely selective for the target color and transitions within ∼100 ms into a sharper tuned profile in more posterior ventral occipital cortex. We conclude that attention sharpens selectivity over time by attenuating the response at lower levels of the cortical hierarchy to color values neighboring the target in color space. These observations support computational models proposing that attention tunes feature selectivity in visual cortex through backward-propagating attenuation of units less tuned to the target. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Whether searching for your car, a particular item of clothing, or just obeying traffic lights, in everyday life, we must select items based on color. But how does attention allow us to select a specific color? Here, we use high spatiotemporal resolution neuromagnetic recordings to examine how color selectivity emerges in the human brain. We find that color selectivity evolves as a coarse to fine process from higher to lower levels within the visual cortex hierarchy. Our observations support computational models proposing that feature selectivity increases over time by attenuating the

  11. A dedicated circuit links direction-selective retinal ganglion cells to the primary visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Martín, Alberto; El-Danaf, Rana N.; Osakada, Fumitaka; Sriram, Balaji; Dhande, Onkar S.; Nguyen, Phong L.; Callaway, Edward M.; Ghosh, Anirvan; Huberman, Andrew D.

    2014-03-01

    How specific features in the environment are represented within the brain is an important unanswered question in neuroscience. A subset of retinal neurons, called direction-selective ganglion cells (DSGCs), are specialized for detecting motion along specific axes of the visual field. Despite extensive study of the retinal circuitry that endows DSGCs with their unique tuning properties, their downstream circuitry in the brain and thus their contribution to visual processing has remained unclear. In mice, several different types of DSGCs connect to the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN), the visual thalamic structure that harbours cortical relay neurons. Whether direction-selective information computed at the level of the retina is routed to cortical circuits and integrated with other visual channels, however, is unknown. Here we show that there is a di-synaptic circuit linking DSGCs with the superficial layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) by using viral trans-synaptic circuit mapping and functional imaging of visually driven calcium signals in thalamocortical axons. This circuit pools information from several types of DSGCs, converges in a specialized subdivision of the dLGN, and delivers direction-tuned and orientation-tuned signals to superficial V1. Notably, this circuit is anatomically segregated from the retino-geniculo-cortical pathway carrying non-direction-tuned visual information to deeper layers of V1, such as layer 4. Thus, the mouse harbours several functionally specialized, parallel retino-geniculo-cortical pathways, one of which originates with retinal DSGCs and delivers direction- and orientation-tuned information specifically to the superficial layers of the primary visual cortex. These data provide evidence that direction and orientation selectivity of some V1 neurons may be influenced by the activation of DSGCs.

  12. Mapping arealisation of the visual cortex of non-primate species: lessons for development and evolution

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    Jihane eHomman-Ludiye

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In order to integrate and interpret visual stimuli and build a representation of the surrounding environment, the visual cortex is organised in anatomically distinct and functionally unique areas. Each area processes a particular aspect of the visual scene, with the signal flowing from one area to the next in a bottom-up processing sequence. Areal borders can be demarcated both functionally by systematic electrophysiology mapping, and anatomically by sharp changes in cellular distribution and molecular expression profiles. Primates, including humans, are heavily dependent on vision, with approximately 50% of their neocortical surface dedicated to visual processing and possess many more visual areas than any other mammal, making them often the model of choice to study visual arealisation. However, the recent identification of differential gene expression profiles between cortices in a number of species has allowed for the introduction of non-primate animal models in the field to better understand development and evolution. Profiling the mosaic of visual areas in less complex species was pivotal in understanding the mechanisms responsible for patterning the developing neocortex, specifying area identity as well as the evolutionary events that have allowed for primates to develop more areas. In addition, species with fewer areas provide a simpler system in which to study and map cortical connectivity. In this review we focus on non-primate species that have contributed to elucidating the evolution and development of the visual cortex, including small nocturnal species and carnivores. We present the current understanding of the mechanisms supporting the establishment of areal borders during development and the limitations of the predominant mouse model and the need for alternate species.

  13. Comparing development of synaptic proteins in rat visual, somatosensory, and frontal cortex

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    Pinto, Joshua G. A.; Jones, David G.; Murphy, Kathryn M.

    2013-01-01

    Two theories have influenced our understanding of cortical development: the integrated network theory, where synaptic development is coordinated across areas; and the cascade theory, where the cortex develops in a wave-like manner from sensory to non-sensory areas. These different views on cortical development raise challenges for current studies aimed at comparing detailed maturation of the connectome among cortical areas. We have taken a different approach to compare synaptic development in rat visual, somatosensory, and frontal cortex by measuring expression of pre-synaptic (synapsin and synaptophysin) proteins that regulate vesicle cycling, and post-synaptic density (PSD-95 and Gephyrin) proteins that anchor excitatory or inhibitory (E-I) receptors. We also compared development of the balances between the pairs of pre- or post-synaptic proteins, and the overall pre- to post-synaptic balance, to address functional maturation and emergence of the E-I balance. We found that development of the individual proteins and the post-synaptic index overlapped among the three cortical areas, but the pre-synaptic index matured later in frontal cortex. Finally, we applied a neuroinformatics approach using principal component analysis and found that three components captured development of the synaptic proteins. The first component accounted for 64% of the variance in protein expression and reflected total protein expression, which overlapped among the three cortical areas. The second component was gephyrin and the E-I balance, it emerged as sequential waves starting in somatosensory, then frontal, and finally visual cortex. The third component was the balance between pre- and post-synaptic proteins, and this followed a different developmental trajectory in somatosensory cortex. Together, these results give the most support to an integrated network of synaptic development, but also highlight more complex patterns of development that vary in timing and end point among the

  14. Comparing development of synaptic proteins in rat visual, somatosensory, and frontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Joshua G A; Jones, David G; Murphy, Kathryn M

    2013-01-01

    Two theories have influenced our understanding of cortical development: the integrated network theory, where synaptic development is coordinated across areas; and the cascade theory, where the cortex develops in a wave-like manner from sensory to non-sensory areas. These different views on cortical development raise challenges for current studies aimed at comparing detailed maturation of the connectome among cortical areas. We have taken a different approach to compare synaptic development in rat visual, somatosensory, and frontal cortex by measuring expression of pre-synaptic (synapsin and synaptophysin) proteins that regulate vesicle cycling, and post-synaptic density (PSD-95 and Gephyrin) proteins that anchor excitatory or inhibitory (E-I) receptors. We also compared development of the balances between the pairs of pre- or post-synaptic proteins, and the overall pre- to post-synaptic balance, to address functional maturation and emergence of the E-I balance. We found that development of the individual proteins and the post-synaptic index overlapped among the three cortical areas, but the pre-synaptic index matured later in frontal cortex. Finally, we applied a neuroinformatics approach using principal component analysis and found that three components captured development of the synaptic proteins. The first component accounted for 64% of the variance in protein expression and reflected total protein expression, which overlapped among the three cortical areas. The second component was gephyrin and the E-I balance, it emerged as sequential waves starting in somatosensory, then frontal, and finally visual cortex. The third component was the balance between pre- and post-synaptic proteins, and this followed a different developmental trajectory in somatosensory cortex. Together, these results give the most support to an integrated network of synaptic development, but also highlight more complex patterns of development that vary in timing and end point among the

  15. The cortical eye proprioceptive signal modulates neural activity in higher-order visual cortex as predicted by the variation in visual sensitivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balslev, Daniela; Siebner, Hartwig R; Paulson, Olaf B

    2012-01-01

    Whereas the links between eye movements and the shifts in visual attention are well established, less is known about how eye position affects the prioritization of visual space. It was recently observed that visual sensitivity varies with the direction of gaze and the level of excitability...... target when the right eye was rotated leftwards as compared with when it was rotated rightwards. This effect was larger after S1(EYE)-rTMS than after rTMS of a control area in the motor cortex. The neural response to retinally identical stimuli in this area could be predicted from the changes in visual...... detectability observed previously, but not from the location of the visual targets relative to the body. These results strongly argue for a modulatory connection from the eye proprioceptive area in the somatosensory cortex to the higher-order visual cortex. This connection may contribute to flexibly allocate...

  16. What are the Effects of Severe Visual Impairment on the Cortical Organization and Connectivity of Primary Visual Cortex?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Delaine D; Luu, Julie D; Burns, Marie E; Krubitzer, Leah

    2009-01-01

    The organization and connections of the primary visual area (V1) were examined in mice that lacked functional rods (Gnat-/-), but had normal cone function. Because mice are nocturnal and rely almost exclusively on rod vision for normal behaviors, the Gnat-/- mice used in the present study are considered functionally blind. Our goal was to determine if visual cortex is reorganized in these mice, and to examine the neuroanatomical connections that may subserve reorganization. We found that most neurons in V1 responded to auditory, or some combination of auditory, somatosensory, and/or visual stimulation. We also determined that cortical connections of V1 in Gnat-/- mice were similar to those in normal animals, but even in normal animals, there is sparse input from auditory cortex (AC) to V1. An important observation was that most of the subcortical inputs to V1 were from thalamic nuclei that normally project to V1 such as the lateral geniculate (LG), lateral posterior (LP), and lateral dorsal (LD) nuclei. However, V1 also received some abnormal subcortical inputs from the anterior thalamic nuclei, the ventral posterior, the ventral lateral and the posterior nuclei. While the vision generated from the small number of cones appears to be sufficient to maintain most of the patterns of normal connectivity, the sparse abnormal thalamic inputs to VI, existing inputs from AC, and possibly abnormal inputs to LG and LP may be responsible for generating the alterations in the functional organization of V1.

  17. Novel visual stimuli activate a population of neurons in the primate orbitofrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolls, Edmund T; Browning, Andrew S; Inoue, Kazuo; Hernadi, Istvan

    2005-09-01

    Neurons were found in the rhesus macaque anterior orbitofrontal cortex that respond to novel but not to familiar visual stimuli. Some of these neurons responded to all novel stimuli, and others to only a subset (e.g., to novel faces). The neurons have no responses to familiar reward- or punishment-associated visual stimuli, nor to taste, olfactory or somatosensory inputs. The responses of the neurons typically habituated with repeated presentations of a novel stimulus, and five presentations each 1s was the median number for the response to reach half-maximal. The neurons did not respond to stimuli which had been novel and shown a few times on the previous day, indicating that the neurons were involved in long-term memory. The median latency of the neuronal responses was 120 ms. The median spontaneous firing rate was 1.3 spikes/s, and the median response to novel visual stimuli was 6.0 spikes/s. These findings indicate that the long-term memory for visual stimuli is information that is represented in a region of the primate anterior orbitofrontal cortex.

  18. Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation reduces psychophysically measured surround suppression in the human visual cortex.

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    Daniel P Spiegel

    Full Text Available Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS is a safe, non-invasive technique for transiently modulating the balance of excitation and inhibition within the human brain. It has been reported that anodal tDCS can reduce both GABA mediated inhibition and GABA concentration within the human motor cortex. As GABA mediated inhibition is thought to be a key modulator of plasticity within the adult brain, these findings have broad implications for the future use of tDCS. It is important, therefore, to establish whether tDCS can exert similar effects within non-motor brain areas. The aim of this study was to assess whether anodal tDCS could reduce inhibitory interactions within the human visual cortex. Psychophysical measures of surround suppression were used as an index of inhibition within V1. Overlay suppression, which is thought to originate within the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN, was also measured as a control. Anodal stimulation of the occipital poles significantly reduced psychophysical surround suppression, but had no effect on overlay suppression. This effect was specific to anodal stimulation as cathodal stimulation had no effect on either measure. These psychophysical results provide the first evidence for tDCS-induced reductions of intracortical inhibition within the human visual cortex.

  19. A hierarchy of timescales explains distinct effects of local inhibition of primary visual cortex and frontal eye fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cocchi, Luca; Sale, Martin V; L Gollo, Leonardo; Bell, Peter T; Nguyen, Vinh T; Zalesky, Andrew; Breakspear, Michael; Mattingley, Jason B

    2016-09-06

    Within the primate visual system, areas at lower levels of the cortical hierarchy process basic visual features, whereas those at higher levels, such as the frontal eye fields (FEF), are thought to modulate sensory processes via feedback connections. Despite these functional exchanges during perception, there is little shared activity between early and late visual regions at rest. How interactions emerge between regions encompassing distinct levels of the visual hierarchy remains unknown. Here we combined neuroimaging, non-invasive cortical stimulation and computational modelling to characterize changes in functional interactions across widespread neural networks before and after local inhibition of primary visual cortex or FEF. We found that stimulation of early visual cortex selectively increased feedforward interactions with FEF and extrastriate visual areas, whereas identical stimulation of the FEF decreased feedback interactions with early visual areas. Computational modelling suggests that these opposing effects reflect a fast-slow timescale hierarchy from sensory to association areas.

  20. Adaptation in the visual cortex: influence of membrane trajectory and neuronal firing pattern on slow afterpotentials.

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    Vanessa F Descalzo

    Full Text Available The input/output relationship in primary visual cortex neurons is influenced by the history of the preceding activity. To understand the impact that membrane potential trajectory and firing pattern has on the activation of slow conductances in cortical neurons we compared the afterpotentials that followed responses to different stimuli evoking similar numbers of action potentials. In particular, we compared afterpotentials following the intracellular injection of either square or sinusoidal currents lasting 20 seconds. Both stimuli were intracellular surrogates of different neuronal responses to prolonged visual stimulation. Recordings from 99 neurons in slices of visual cortex revealed that for stimuli evoking an equivalent number of spikes, sinusoidal current injection activated a slow afterhyperpolarization of significantly larger amplitude (8.5 ± 3.3 mV and duration (33 ± 17 s than that evoked by a square pulse (6.4 ± 3.7 mV, 28 ± 17 s; p<0.05. Spike frequency adaptation had a faster time course and was larger during plateau (square pulse than during intermittent (sinusoidal depolarizations. Similar results were obtained in 17 neurons intracellularly recorded from the visual cortex in vivo. The differences in the afterpotentials evoked with both protocols were abolished by removing calcium from the extracellular medium or by application of the L-type calcium channel blocker nifedipine, suggesting that the activation of a calcium-dependent current is at the base of this afterpotential difference. These findings suggest that not only the spikes, but the membrane potential values and firing patterns evoked by a particular stimulation protocol determine the responses to any subsequent incoming input in a time window that spans for tens of seconds to even minutes.

  1. Model-based analysis of pattern motion processing in mouse primary visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muir, Dylan R.; Roth, Morgane M.; Helmchen, Fritjof; Kampa, Björn M.

    2015-01-01

    Neurons in sensory areas of neocortex exhibit responses tuned to specific features of the environment. In visual cortex, information about features such as edges or textures with particular orientations must be integrated to recognize a visual scene or object. Connectivity studies in rodent cortex have revealed that neurons make specific connections within sub-networks sharing common input tuning. In principle, this sub-network architecture enables local cortical circuits to integrate sensory information. However, whether feature integration indeed occurs locally in rodent primary sensory areas has not been examined directly. We studied local integration of sensory features in primary visual cortex (V1) of the mouse by presenting drifting grating and plaid stimuli, while recording the activity of neuronal populations with two-photon calcium imaging. Using a Bayesian model-based analysis framework, we classified single-cell responses as being selective for either individual grating components or for moving plaid patterns. Rather than relying on trial-averaged responses, our model-based framework takes into account single-trial responses and can easily be extended to consider any number of arbitrary predictive models. Our analysis method was able to successfully classify significantly more responses than traditional partial correlation (PC) analysis, and provides a rigorous statistical framework to rank any number of models and reject poorly performing models. We also found a large proportion of cells that respond strongly to only one stimulus class. In addition, a quarter of selectively responding neurons had more complex responses that could not be explained by any simple integration model. Our results show that a broad range of pattern integration processes already take place at the level of V1. This diversity of integration is consistent with processing of visual inputs by local sub-networks within V1 that are tuned to combinations of sensory features. PMID

  2. Visual cortex reactivity in sedated children examined with perfusion MRI (FAIR)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Born, A.P.; Rostrup, Egill; Miranda Gimenez-Ricco, Maria Jo

    2002-01-01

    Sleeping and sedated children can respond to visual stimulation with a decrease in blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) functional MRI signal response. The contribution of metabolic and hemodynamic parameters to this inverse signal response is incompletely understood. It has been hypothesized...... that it is caused by a relatively greater increase of oxygen consumption compared to rCBF (regional cerebral blood flow) increase. We studied the rCBF changes during visual stimulation in four sedated children, aged 4-71 months, and four alert adults, with an arterial water spin labeling technique (FAIR) and BOLD f.......99-2.93), respectively. Thus, in the children, an rCBF increase could not be detected by perfusion MRI, but indications of a FAIR signal decrease were found. An rCBF decrease in the primary visual cortex during stimulation has not been reported previously, but it is a possible explanation for the negative BOLD response...

  3. Visual Deprivation Causes Refinement of Intracortical Circuits in the Auditory Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiangying Meng

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Loss of a sensory modality can lead to functional enhancement of the remaining senses. For example, short-term visual deprivations, or dark exposure (DE, can enhance neuronal responses in the auditory cortex to sounds. These enhancements encompass increased spiking rates and frequency selectivity as well as increased spiking reliability. Although we previously demonstrated enhanced thalamocortical transmission after DE, increased synaptic strength cannot account for increased frequency selectivity or reliability. We thus investigated whether other changes in the underlying circuitry contributed to improved neuronal responses. We show that DE can lead to refinement of intra- and inter-laminar connections in the mouse auditory cortex. Moreover, we use a computational model to show that the combination of increased transmission and circuit refinement can lead to increased firing reliability. Thus cross-modal influences can alter the spectral and temporal processing of sensory stimuli by refinement of thalamocortical and intracortical circuits.

  4. Playing the electric light orchestra--how electrical stimulation of visual cortex elucidates the neural basis of perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicmil, Nela; Krug, Kristine

    2015-09-19

    Vision research has the potential to reveal fundamental mechanisms underlying sensory experience. Causal experimental approaches, such as electrical microstimulation, provide a unique opportunity to test the direct contributions of visual cortical neurons to perception and behaviour. But in spite of their importance, causal methods constitute a minority of the experiments used to investigate the visual cortex to date. We reconsider the function and organization of visual cortex according to results obtained from stimulation techniques, with a special emphasis on electrical stimulation of small groups of cells in awake subjects who can report their visual experience. We compare findings from humans and monkeys, striate and extrastriate cortex, and superficial versus deep cortical layers, and identify a number of revealing gaps in the 'causal map' of visual cortex. Integrating results from different methods and species, we provide a critical overview of the ways in which causal approaches have been used to further our understanding of circuitry, plasticity and information integration in visual cortex. Electrical stimulation not only elucidates the contributions of different visual areas to perception, but also contributes to our understanding of neuronal mechanisms underlying memory, attention and decision-making.

  5. Playing the electric light orchestra—how electrical stimulation of visual cortex elucidates the neural basis of perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicmil, Nela; Krug, Kristine

    2015-01-01

    Vision research has the potential to reveal fundamental mechanisms underlying sensory experience. Causal experimental approaches, such as electrical microstimulation, provide a unique opportunity to test the direct contributions of visual cortical neurons to perception and behaviour. But in spite of their importance, causal methods constitute a minority of the experiments used to investigate the visual cortex to date. We reconsider the function and organization of visual cortex according to results obtained from stimulation techniques, with a special emphasis on electrical stimulation of small groups of cells in awake subjects who can report their visual experience. We compare findings from humans and monkeys, striate and extrastriate cortex, and superficial versus deep cortical layers, and identify a number of revealing gaps in the ‘causal map′ of visual cortex. Integrating results from different methods and species, we provide a critical overview of the ways in which causal approaches have been used to further our understanding of circuitry, plasticity and information integration in visual cortex. Electrical stimulation not only elucidates the contributions of different visual areas to perception, but also contributes to our understanding of neuronal mechanisms underlying memory, attention and decision-making. PMID:26240421

  6. A mouse model of visual perceptual learning reveals alterations in neuronal coding and dendritic spine density in the visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan eWang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Visual perceptual learning (VPL can improve spatial vision in normally sighted and visually impaired individuals. Although previous studies of humans and large animals have explored the neural basis of VPL, elucidation of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remains a challenge. Owing to the advantages of molecular genetic and optogenetic manipulations, the mouse is a promising model for providing a mechanistic understanding of VPL. Here, we thoroughly evaluated the effects and properties of VPL on spatial vision in C57BL/6J mice using a two-alternative, forced-choice visual water task. Briefly, the mice underwent prolonged training at near the individual threshold of contrast or spatial frequency (SF for pattern discrimination or visual detection for 35 consecutive days. Following training, the contrast-threshold trained mice showed an 87% improvement in contrast sensitivity (CS and a 55% gain in visual acuity (VA. Similarly, the SF-threshold trained mice exhibited comparable and long-lasting improvements in VA and significant gains in CS over a wide range of SFs. Furthermore, learning largely transferred across eyes and stimulus orientations. Interestingly, learning could transfer from a pattern discrimination task to a visual detection task, but not vice versa. We validated that this VPL fully restored VA in adult amblyopic mice and old mice. Taken together, these data indicate that mice, as a species, exhibit reliable VPL. Intrinsic signal optical imaging revealed that mice with perceptual training had higher cut-off SFs in primary visual cortex (V1 than those without perceptual training. Moreover, perceptual training induced an increase in the dendritic spine density in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of V1. These results indicated functional and structural alterations in V1 during VPL. Overall, our VPL mouse model will provide a platform for investigating the neurobiological basis of VPL.

  7. Seeing touch in the somatosensory cortex: a TMS study of the visual perception of touch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolognini, Nadia; Rossetti, Angela; Maravita, Angelo; Miniussi, Carlo

    2011-12-01

    Recent studies suggest the existence of a visuo-tactile mirror system, comprising the primary (SI) and secondary (SII) somatosensory cortices, which matches observed touch with felt touch. Here, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was used to determine whether SI or SII play a functional role in the visual processing of tactile events. Healthy participants performed a visual discrimination task with tactile stimuli (a finger touching a hand) and a control task (a finger moving without touching). During both tasks, rTMS was applied over either SI or SII, and to the occipital cortex. rTMS over SI selectively reduced subject performance for interpreting whether a contralateral visual tactile stimulus contains a tactile event, whereas SII stimulation impaired visual processing regardless of the tactile component. These findings provide evidence for a multimodal sensory-motor system with mirror properties, where somatic and visual properties of action converge. SI, a cortical area traditionally viewed as modality-specific, is selectively implicated in the visual processing of touch. These results are in line with the existence of a sensory mirror system mediating the embodied simulation concept. Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Effects of EEG-vigilance regulation patterns on early perceptual processes in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekhtereva, Valeria; Sander, Christian; Forschack, Norman; Olbrich, Sebastian; Hegerl, Ulrich; Müller, Matthias M

    2014-01-01

    To investigate influences of EEG-vigilance regulation patterns on perceptual processing during sustained visual attention in early visual areas. We compared a subject group with stable vigilance regulation to a group with unstable EEG-vigilance regulation. A rapid serial visual presentation stream (RSVP) elicited a 7.5 Hz steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP), a continuous sinusoidal brain response as a measure of attentional resource allocation during sustained attention in early visual cortex. Subjects performed a target discrimination task. 150 trials were divided into two parts (75 trials each, trial duration: 11 s). A significant interaction vigilance group by experimental part provided significantly greater SSVEP amplitudes for the unstable group in the second compared to the first part of the experiment. Both groups showed training effects with increased hit rates and d'-values in the second part of the experiment. The unexpected finding of SSVEP amplitude increase for the unstable group might be due to competitive interactions for neural resources between the alpha response and SSVEPs. Individual patterns of EEG-vigilance regulation have a moderate impact on early sensory processing during sustained visual attention that is not paralleled in task performance. Copyright © 2013 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Repetition Enhancement of Amygdala and Visual Cortex Functional Connectivity Reflects Nonconscious Memory for Negative Visual Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kark, Sarah M; Slotnick, Scott D; Kensinger, Elizabeth A

    2016-12-01

    Most studies using a recognition memory paradigm examine the neural processes that support the ability to consciously recognize past events. However, there can also be nonconscious influences from the prior study episode that reflect repetition suppression effects-a reduction in the magnitude of activity for repeated presentations of stimuli-that are revealed by comparing neural activity associated with forgotten items to correctly rejected novel items. The present fMRI study examined the effect of emotional valence (positive vs. negative) on repetition suppression effects. Using a standard recognition memory task, 24 participants viewed line drawings of previously studied negative, positive, and neutral photos intermixed with novel line drawings. For each item, participants made an old-new recognition judgment and a sure-unsure confidence rating. Collapsed across valence, repetition suppression effects were found in ventral occipital-temporal cortex and frontal regions. Activity levels in the majority of these regions were not modulated by valence. However, repetition enhancement of the amygdala and ventral occipital-temporal cortex functional connectivity reflected nonconscious memory for negative items. In this study, valence had little effect on activation patterns but had a larger effect on functional connectivity patterns that were markers of nonconscious memory. Beyond memory and emotion, these findings are relevant to other cognitive and social neuroscientists that utilize fMRI repetition effects to investigate perception, attention, social cognition, and other forms of learning and memory.

  10. Primary visual cortex activity along the apparent-motion trace reflects illusory perception.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Muckli

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available The illusion of apparent motion can be induced when visual stimuli are successively presented at different locations. It has been shown in previous studies that motion-sensitive regions in extrastriate cortex are relevant for the processing of apparent motion, but it is unclear whether primary visual cortex (V1 is also involved in the representation of the illusory motion path. We investigated, in human subjects, apparent-motion-related activity in patches of V1 representing locations along the path of illusory stimulus motion using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Here we show that apparent motion caused a blood-oxygenation-level-dependent response along the V1 representations of the apparent-motion path, including regions that were not directly activated by the apparent-motion-inducing stimuli. This response was unaltered when participants had to perform an attention-demanding task that diverted their attention away from the stimulus. With a bistable motion quartet, we confirmed that the activity was related to the conscious perception of movement. Our data suggest that V1 is part of the network that represents the illusory path of apparent motion. The activation in V1 can be explained either by lateral interactions within V1 or by feedback mechanisms from higher visual areas, especially the motion-sensitive human MT/V5 complex.

  11. Top-down modulation in human visual cortex predicts the stability of a perceptual illusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meindertsma, Thomas; Hillebrand, Arjan; van Dijk, Bob W.; Lamme, Victor A. F.; Donner, Tobias H.

    2014-01-01

    Conscious perception sometimes fluctuates strongly, even when the sensory input is constant. For example, in motion-induced blindness (MIB), a salient visual target surrounded by a moving pattern suddenly disappears from perception, only to reappear after some variable time. Whereas such changes of perception result from fluctuations of neural activity, mounting evidence suggests that the perceptual changes, in turn, may also cause modulations of activity in several brain areas, including visual cortex. In this study, we asked whether these latter modulations might affect the subsequent dynamics of perception. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to measure modulations in cortical population activity during MIB. We observed a transient, retinotopically widespread modulation of beta (12–30 Hz)-frequency power over visual cortex that was closely linked to the time of subjects' behavioral report of the target disappearance. This beta modulation was a top-down signal, decoupled from both the physical stimulus properties and the motor response but contingent on the behavioral relevance of the perceptual change. Critically, the modulation amplitude predicted the duration of the subsequent target disappearance. We propose that the transformation of the perceptual change into a report triggers a top-down mechanism that stabilizes the newly selected perceptual interpretation. PMID:25411458

  12. Feature-Specific Organization of Feedback Pathways in Mouse Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huh, Carey Y L; Peach, John P; Bennett, Corbett; Vega, Roxana M; Hestrin, Shaul

    2018-01-08

    Higher and lower cortical areas in the visual hierarchy are reciprocally connected [1]. Although much is known about how feedforward pathways shape receptive field properties of visual neurons, relatively little is known about the role of feedback pathways in visual processing. Feedback pathways are thought to carry top-down signals, including information about context (e.g., figure-ground segmentation and surround suppression) [2-5], and feedback has been demonstrated to sharpen orientation tuning of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) [6, 7]. However, the response characteristics of feedback neurons themselves and how feedback shapes V1 neurons' tuning for other features, such as spatial frequency (SF), remain largely unknown. Here, using a retrograde virus, targeted electrophysiological recordings, and optogenetic manipulations, we show that putatively feedback neurons in layer 5 (hereafter "L5 feedback") in higher visual areas, AL (anterolateral area) and PM (posteromedial area), display distinct visual properties in awake head-fixed mice. AL L5 feedback neurons prefer significantly lower SF (mean: 0.04 cycles per degree [cpd]) compared to PM L5 feedback neurons (0.15 cpd). Importantly, silencing AL L5 feedback reduced visual responses of V1 neurons preferring low SF (mean change in firing rate: -8.0%), whereas silencing PM L5 feedback suppressed responses of high-SF-preferring V1 neurons (-20.4%). These findings suggest that feedback connections from higher visual areas convey distinctly tuned visual inputs to V1 that serve to boost V1 neurons' responses to SF. Such like-to-like functional organization may represent an important feature of feedback pathways in sensory systems and in the nervous system in general. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Representation of the material properties of objects in the visual cortex of nonhuman primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goda, Naokazu; Tachibana, Atsumichi; Okazawa, Gouki; Komatsu, Hidehiko

    2014-02-12

    Information about the material from which objects are made provide rich and useful clues that enable us to categorize and identify those objects, know their state (e.g., ripeness of fruits), and properly act on them. However, despite its importance, little is known about the neural processes that underlie material perception in nonhuman primates. Here we conducted an fMRI experiment in awake macaque monkeys to explore how information about various real-world materials is represented in the visual areas of monkeys, how these neural representations correlate with perceptual material properties, and how they correspond to those in human visual areas that have been studied previously. Using a machine-learning technique, the representation in each visual area was read out from multivoxel patterns of regional activity elicited in response to images of nine real-world material categories (metal, wood, fur, etc.). The congruence of the neural representations with either a measure of low-level image properties, such as spatial frequency content, or with the visuotactile properties of materials, such as roughness, hardness, and warmness, were tested. We show that monkey V1 shares a common representation with human early visual areas reflecting low-level image properties. By contrast, monkey V4 and the posterior inferior temporal cortex represent the visuotactile properties of material, as in human ventral higher visual areas, although there were some interspecies differences in the representational structures. We suggest that, in monkeys, V4 and the posterior inferior temporal cortex are important stages for constructing information about the material properties of objects from their low-level image features.

  14. Deep neural networks rival the representation of primate IT cortex for core visual object recognition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles F Cadieu

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The primate visual system achieves remarkable visual object recognition performance even in brief presentations, and under changes to object exemplar, geometric transformations, and background variation (a.k.a. core visual object recognition. This remarkable performance is mediated by the representation formed in inferior temporal (IT cortex. In parallel, recent advances in machine learning have led to ever higher performing models of object recognition using artificial deep neural networks (DNNs. It remains unclear, however, whether the representational performance of DNNs rivals that of the brain. To accurately produce such a comparison, a major difficulty has been a unifying metric that accounts for experimental limitations, such as the amount of noise, the number of neural recording sites, and the number of trials, and computational limitations, such as the complexity of the decoding classifier and the number of classifier training examples. In this work, we perform a direct comparison that corrects for these experimental limitations and computational considerations. As part of our methodology, we propose an extension of "kernel analysis" that measures the generalization accuracy as a function of representational complexity. Our evaluations show that, unlike previous bio-inspired models, the latest DNNs rival the representational performance of IT cortex on this visual object recognition task. Furthermore, we show that models that perform well on measures of representational performance also perform well on measures of representational similarity to IT, and on measures of predicting individual IT multi-unit responses. Whether these DNNs rely on computational mechanisms similar to the primate visual system is yet to be determined, but, unlike all previous bio-inspired models, that possibility cannot be ruled out merely on representational performance grounds.

  15. 3-D vision and figure-ground separation by visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossberg, S

    1994-01-01

    cortical mechanisms of spatial attention, attentive object learning, and visual search. Adaptive resonance theory (ART) mechanisms model aspects of how prestriate visual cortex interacts reciprocally with a visual object recognition system in inferotemporal (IT) cortex for purposes of attentive object learning and categorization. Object attention mechanisms of the What cortical processing stream through IT cortex are distinguished from spatial attention mechanisms of the Where cortical processing stream through parietal cortex. Parvocellular BCS and FCS signals interact with the model What stream. Parvocellular FCS and magnocellular motion BCS signals interact with the model Where stream.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

  16. Human Visual Cortex Responses to Rapid Cone and Melanopsin-Directed Flicker.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitschan, Manuel; Datta, Ritobrato; Stern, Andrew M; Brainard, David H; Aguirre, Geoffrey K

    2016-02-03

    Signals from cones are recombined in postreceptoral channels [luminance, L + M; red-green, L - M; blue-yellow, S - (L + M)]. The melanopsin-containing retinal ganglion cells are also active at daytime light levels and recent psychophysical results suggest that melanopsin contributes to conscious vision in humans. Here, we measured BOLD fMRI responses to spectral modulations that separately targeted the postreceptoral cone channels and melanopsin. Responses to spatially uniform (27.5° field size, central 5° obscured) flicker at 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 Hz were recorded from areas V1, V2/V3, motion-sensitive area MT, and the lateral occipital complex. In V1 and V2/V3, higher temporal sensitivity was observed to L + M + S (16 Hz) compared with L - M flicker (8 Hz), consistent with psychophysical findings. Area MT was most sensitive to rapid (32 Hz) flicker of either L + M + S or L - M. We found S cone responses only in areas V1 and V2/V3 (peak frequency: 4-8 Hz). In addition, we studied an L + M modulation and found responses that were effectively identical at all temporal frequencies to those recorded for the L + M + S modulation. Finally, we measured the cortical response to melanopsin-directed flicker and compared this response with control modulations that addressed stimulus imprecision and the possibility of stimulation of cones in the shadow of retinal blood vessels (penumbral cones). For our stimulus conditions, melanopsin flicker did not elicit a cortical response exceeding that of the control modulations. We note that failure to control for penumbral cone stimulation could be mistaken for a melanopsin response. The retina contains cone photoreceptors and ganglion cells that contain the photopigment melanopsin. Cones provide brightness and color signals to visual cortex. Melanopsin influences circadian rhythm and the pupil, but its contribution to cortex and perception is less clear. We measured the response of human visual cortex with fMRI using

  17. Activation of lateral geniculate nucleus and primary visual cortex as detected by functional magnetic resonance imaging in normal subjects and in patients with visual disturbance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miki, Atsushi [Niigata Univ. (Japan). Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences

    2002-12-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during visual stimulation can detect regional cerebral blood flow changes that reflect neural activity in the lateral geniculate nucleus and primary visual cortex, which are major relay points in the human afferent visual system. FMRI has been used in the clinical evaluation of visual disorders such as homonymous hemianopia and unilateral eye diseases (optic neuritis, amblyopia, and so on). Future development in the data acquisition and data analysis may facilitate the use of fMRI for the management of patients with visual deficits and understanding of the visual disorders. (author)

  18. A switch from inter-ocular to inter-hemispheric suppression following monocular deprivation in the rat visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pietrasanta, M.; Restani, L.; Cerri, C.; Olcese, U.; Medini, P.; Caleo, M.

    2014-01-01

    Binocularity is a key property of primary visual cortex (V1) neurons that is widely used to study synaptic integration in the brain and plastic mechanisms following an altered visual experience. However, it is not clear how the inputs from the two eyes converge onto binocular neurons, and how their

  19. Metabolic changes in the visual cortex are linked to retinal nerve fiber layer thinning in multiple sclerosis.

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    Caspar F Pfueller

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To investigate the damage to the retinal nerve fiber layer as part of the anterior visual pathway as well as an impairment of the neuronal and axonal integrity in the visual cortex as part of the posterior visual pathway with complementary neuroimaging techniques, and to correlate our results to patients' clinical symptoms concerning the visual pathway. DESIGN, SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Survey of 86 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis that were subjected to retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT measurement by optical coherence tomography, to a routine MRI scan including the calculation of the brain parenchymal fraction (BPF, and to magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 3 tesla, quantifying N-acetyl aspartate (NAA concentrations in the visual cortex and normal-appearing white matter. RESULTS: RNFLT correlated significantly with BPF and visual cortex NAA, but not with normal-appearing white matter NAA. This was connected with the patients' history of a previous optic neuritis. In a combined model, both BPF and visual cortex NAA were independently associated with RNFLT. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest the existence of functional pathway-specific damage patterns exceeding global neurodegeneration. They suggest a strong interrelationship between damage to the anterior and the posterior visual pathway.

  20. Transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced 'visual echoes' are generated in early visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jolij, Jacob; Lamme, Victor A. F.

    2010-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the early visual areas can trigger perception of a flash of light, a so-called phosphene. Here we show that a very brief presentation of a stimulus can modulate features of a subsequent TMS-induced phosphene, to a level that participants mistake phosphenes

  1. The human visual cortex responds to gene therapy–mediated recovery of retinal function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashtari, Manzar; Cyckowski, Laura L.; Monroe, Justin F.; Marshall, Kathleen A.; Chung, Daniel C.; Auricchio, Alberto; Simonelli, Francesca; Leroy, Bart P.; Maguire, Albert M.; Shindler, Kenneth S.; Bennett, Jean

    2011-01-01

    Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is a rare degenerative eye disease, linked to mutations in at least 14 genes. A recent gene therapy trial in patients with LCA2, who have mutations in RPE65, demonstrated that subretinal injection of an adeno-associated virus (AAV) carrying the normal cDNA of that gene (AAV2-hRPE65v2) could markedly improve vision. However, it remains unclear how the visual cortex responds to recovery of retinal function after prolonged sensory deprivation. Here, 3 of the gene therapy trial subjects, treated at ages 8, 9, and 35 years, underwent functional MRI within 2 years of unilateral injection of AAV2-hRPE65v2. All subjects showed increased cortical activation in response to high- and medium-contrast stimuli after exposure to the treated compared with the untreated eye. Furthermore, we observed a correlation between the visual field maps and the distribution of cortical activations for the treated eyes. These data suggest that despite severe and long-term visual impairment, treated LCA2 patients have intact and responsive visual pathways. In addition, these data suggest that gene therapy resulted in not only sustained and improved visual ability, but also enhanced contrast sensitivity. PMID:21606598

  2. Deep hierarchies in the primate visual cortex: what can we learn for computer vision?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krüger, Norbert; Janssen, Peter; Kalkan, Sinan; Lappe, Markus; Leonardis, Ales; Piater, Justus; Rodríguez-Sánchez, Antonio J; Wiskott, Laurenz

    2013-08-01

    Computational modeling of the primate visual system yields insights of potential relevance to some of the challenges that computer vision is facing, such as object recognition and categorization, motion detection and activity recognition, or vision-based navigation and manipulation. This paper reviews some functional principles and structures that are generally thought to underlie the primate visual cortex, and attempts to extract biological principles that could further advance computer vision research. Organized for a computer vision audience, we present functional principles of the processing hierarchies present in the primate visual system considering recent discoveries in neurophysiology. The hierarchical processing in the primate visual system is characterized by a sequence of different levels of processing (on the order of 10) that constitute a deep hierarchy in contrast to the flat vision architectures predominantly used in today's mainstream computer vision. We hope that the functional description of the deep hierarchies realized in the primate visual system provides valuable insights for the design of computer vision algorithms, fostering increasingly productive interaction between biological and computer vision research.

  3. Neural associations of the early retinotopic cortex with the lateral occipital complex during visual perception.

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    Delong Zhang

    Full Text Available Previous studies have demonstrated that the early retinotopic cortex (ERC, i.e., V1/V2/V3 is highly associated with the lateral occipital complex (LOC during visual perception. However, it remains largely unclear how to evaluate their associations in quantitative way. The present study tried to apply a multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA to quantify the neural activity in ERC and its association with that of the LOC when participants saw visual images. To this end, we assessed whether low-level visual features (Gabor features could predict the neural activity in the ERC and LOC according to a voxel-based encoding model (VBEM, and then quantified the association of the neural activity between these regions by using an analogical VBEM. We found that the Gabor features remarkably predicted the activity of the ERC (e.g., the predicted accuracy was 52.5% for a participant instead of that of the LOC (4.2%. Moreover, the MVPA approach can also be used to establish corresponding relationships between the activity patterns in the LOC and those in the ERC (64.2%. In particular, we found that the integration of the Gabor features and LOC visual information could dramatically improve the 'prediction' of ERC activity (88.3%. Overall, the present study provides new evidences for the possibility of quantifying the association of the neural activity between the regions of ERC and LOC. This approach will help to provide further insights into the neural substrates of the visual processing.

  4. Topographic Organization of Cholinergic Innervation From the Basal Forebrain to the Visual Cortex in the Rat

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    Frédéric Huppé-Gourgues

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter for the regulation of visual attention, plasticity, and perceptual learning. It is released in the visual cortex predominantly by cholinergic projections from the basal forebrain, where stimulation may produce potentiation of visual processes. However, little is known about the fine organization of these corticopetal projections, such as whether basal forebrain neurons projecting to the primary and secondary visual cortical areas (V1 and V2, respectively are organized retinotopically. The aim of this study was to map these basal forebrain-V1/V2 projections. Microinjections of the fluorescent retrograde tracer cholera toxin b fragment in different sites within V1 and V2 in Long–Evans rats were performed. Retrogradely labeled cell bodies in the horizontal and vertical limbs of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB and VDB, respectively, nucleus basalis magnocellularis, and substantia innominata (SI, were mapped ex vivo with a computer-assisted microscope stage controlled by stereological software. Choline acetyltranferase immunohistochemistry was used to identify cholinergic cells. Our results showed a predominance of cholinergic projections coming from the HDB. These projections were not retinotopically organized but projections to V1 arised from neurons located in the anterior HDB/SI whereas projections to V2 arised from neurons located throughout the whole extent of HDB/SI. The absence of a clear topography of these projections suggests that BF activation can stimulate visual cortices broadly.

  5. Multiple distinct subtypes of GABAergic neurons in mouse visual cortex identified by triple immunostaining

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    Yuri Gonchar

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The majority of cortical interneurons use GABA (gamma amino butyric acid as inhibitory neurotransmitter. GABAergic neurons are morphologically, connectionally, electrically and chemically heterogeneous. In rat cerebral cortex three distinct groups of GABAergic interneurons have been identifi ed by the expression of parvalbumin (PV, calretinin (CR and somatostatin (SOM. Recent studies in mouse cerebral cortex have revealed a different organization in which the CR and SOM populations are partially overlapping. Because CR and SOM neurons derive from different progenitors located in different embryonic structures, the coexpression of CR + SOM suggests that the chemical differentiation of interneurons is regulated postmitotically. Here, we have taken an important fi rst step towards understanding this process by triple immunostaining mouse visual cortex with a panel of antibodies, which has been used extensively for classifying developing interneurons. We have found at least 13 distinct groups of GABAergic neurons which include PV, CR, SOM, CCK (cholecystokinin, CR + SOM, CR + NPY (neuropeptide Y, CR + VIP (vasointestinal polypeptide, SOM + NPY, SOM + VIP, VIP + ChAT (choline acetyltransferase, CCK + NPY, CR + SOM + NPY and CR + SOM + VIP expressing cells. Triple immunostaining with PV, CR and SOM antibodies during postnatal development further showed that PV is never colocalized with CR and SOM. Importantly, expression of SOM and CR + SOM developed after the percentage of CR cells that do not express SOM has reached the mature level, suggesting that the chemical differentiation of SOM and CR + SOM neurons is a postnatal event, which may be controlled by transcriptional regulation.

  6. The effect of electrode return configuration on multi-unit activity of the visual cortex from supra choroidal electrical stimulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cicione, R.; Luu, C.D.; Allen, P.J.; Morley, J.W.

    2010-01-01

    Full text: To compare differences in thresholds and spatial selec tivity of various electrode return configurations using multi-unit cortical activity in response to electrical stimulation of a supracho roidal retinal prosthesis. Methods A polyimide substrate flexible platinum electrode array was inserted into the suprachoroidal space of normally sighted anaesthe tised cats (n 8). lndividual electrodes were electrically stimulated with biphasic, cathodic first CUITent pulses (500 lS per phase, 0-725 pAl using monopolar, hexagonal and common ground stimulation. Multi-unit activity was recorded with a 32-channel array inserted into the exposed primary visual cortex. Results Both, monopolar and hexagonal stimulation elicited cortical activity with significantly lower thresholds (monopolar, 69 27 nC; hexagonal, 86 15 nC) than common ground stimulation (J 53 15 nC), however no significant difference was found between the thresholds for monopolar and hexagonal stimulation (One way RM-ANOYA, p < 0.00 I; Pairwise multiple comparisons, Tukey test). Further, cortical thresholds increased by 58 nC for the mon polar return, 79 nC for the hexagonal return, and II nC for the common ground return for every I mm change in retinal stimulating position from the retinal position that elicited the lowest cortical threshold. Conclusion A successful retinal prosthesis will need to produce discrete phosphenes at charge levels which will not harm the retina or the stimulating electrodes. Our data shows that hexagonal stimulation is efficient in inducing cortical activity both with lower charge thresholds and a higher degree of spatial selectivity compared to monopolar and common ground stimulation. Our results suggest that hexagonal stimulation is the ideal mode of stimulation for a retinal prosthesis.

  7. Neuronal integration in visual cortex elevates face category tuning to conscious face perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahrenfort, Johannes J; Snijders, Tineke M; Heinen, Klaartje; van Gaal, Simon; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2012-12-26

    The human brain has the extraordinary capability to transform cluttered sensory input into distinct object representations. For example, it is able to rapidly and seemingly without effort detect object categories in complex natural scenes. Surprisingly, category tuning is not sufficient to achieve conscious recognition of objects. What neural process beyond category extraction might elevate neural representations to the level where objects are consciously perceived? Here we show that visible and invisible faces produce similar category-selective responses in the ventral visual cortex. The pattern of neural activity evoked by visible faces could be used to decode the presence of invisible faces and vice versa. However, only visible faces caused extensive response enhancements and changes in neural oscillatory synchronization, as well as increased functional connectivity between higher and lower visual areas. We conclude that conscious face perception is more tightly linked to neural processes of sustained information integration and binding than to processes accommodating face category tuning.

  8. Functional mapping of the human visual cortex with intravoxel incoherent motion MRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Federau

    Full Text Available Functional imaging with intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM magnetic resonance imaging (MRI is demonstrated. Images were acquired at 3 Tesla using a standard Stejskal-Tanner diffusion-weighted echo-planar imaging sequence with multiple b-values. Cerebro-spinal fluid signal, which is highly incoherent, was suppressed with an inversion recovery preparation pulse. IVIM microvascular perfusion parameters were calculated according to a two-compartment (vascular and non-vascular diffusion model. The results obtained in 8 healthy human volunteers during visual stimulation are presented. The IVIM blood flow related parameter fD* increased 170% during stimulation in the visual cortex, and 70% in the underlying white matter.

  9. Random Wiring, Ganglion Cell Mosaics, and the Functional Architecture of the Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schottdorf, Manuel; Keil, Wolfgang; Coppola, David; White, Leonard E; Wolf, Fred

    2015-11-01

    The architecture of iso-orientation domains in the primary visual cortex (V1) of placental carnivores and primates apparently follows species invariant quantitative laws. Dynamical optimization models assuming that neurons coordinate their stimulus preferences throughout cortical circuits linking millions of cells specifically predict these invariants. This might indicate that V1's intrinsic connectome and its functional architecture adhere to a single optimization principle with high precision and robustness. To validate this hypothesis, it is critical to closely examine the quantitative predictions of alternative candidate theories. Random feedforward wiring within the retino-cortical pathway represents a conceptually appealing alternative to dynamical circuit optimization because random dimension-expanding projections are believed to generically exhibit computationally favorable properties for stimulus representations. Here, we ask whether the quantitative invariants of V1 architecture can be explained as a generic emergent property of random wiring. We generalize and examine the stochastic wiring model proposed by Ringach and coworkers, in which iso-orientation domains in the visual cortex arise through random feedforward connections between semi-regular mosaics of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and visual cortical neurons. We derive closed-form expressions for cortical receptive fields and domain layouts predicted by the model for perfectly hexagonal RGC mosaics. Including spatial disorder in the RGC positions considerably changes the domain layout properties as a function of disorder parameters such as position scatter and its correlations across the retina. However, independent of parameter choice, we find that the model predictions substantially deviate from the layout laws of iso-orientation domains observed experimentally. Considering random wiring with the currently most realistic model of RGC mosaic layouts, a pairwise interacting point process, the

  10. Random Wiring, Ganglion Cell Mosaics, and the Functional Architecture of the Visual Cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Schottdorf

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The architecture of iso-orientation domains in the primary visual cortex (V1 of placental carnivores and primates apparently follows species invariant quantitative laws. Dynamical optimization models assuming that neurons coordinate their stimulus preferences throughout cortical circuits linking millions of cells specifically predict these invariants. This might indicate that V1's intrinsic connectome and its functional architecture adhere to a single optimization principle with high precision and robustness. To validate this hypothesis, it is critical to closely examine the quantitative predictions of alternative candidate theories. Random feedforward wiring within the retino-cortical pathway represents a conceptually appealing alternative to dynamical circuit optimization because random dimension-expanding projections are believed to generically exhibit computationally favorable properties for stimulus representations. Here, we ask whether the quantitative invariants of V1 architecture can be explained as a generic emergent property of random wiring. We generalize and examine the stochastic wiring model proposed by Ringach and coworkers, in which iso-orientation domains in the visual cortex arise through random feedforward connections between semi-regular mosaics of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs and visual cortical neurons. We derive closed-form expressions for cortical receptive fields and domain layouts predicted by the model for perfectly hexagonal RGC mosaics. Including spatial disorder in the RGC positions considerably changes the domain layout properties as a function of disorder parameters such as position scatter and its correlations across the retina. However, independent of parameter choice, we find that the model predictions substantially deviate from the layout laws of iso-orientation domains observed experimentally. Considering random wiring with the currently most realistic model of RGC mosaic layouts, a pairwise interacting point

  11. Network model of top-down influences on local gain and contextual interactions in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piëch, Valentin; Li, Wu; Reeke, George N; Gilbert, Charles D

    2013-10-22

    The visual system uses continuity as a cue for grouping oriented line segments that define object boundaries in complex visual scenes. Many studies support the idea that long-range intrinsic horizontal connections in early visual cortex contribute to this grouping. Top-down influences in primary visual cortex (V1) play an important role in the processes of contour integration and perceptual saliency, with contour-related responses being task dependent. This suggests an interaction between recurrent inputs to V1 and intrinsic connections within V1 that enables V1 neurons to respond differently under different conditions. We created a network model that simulates parametrically the control of local gain by hypothetical top-down modification of local recurrence. These local gain changes, as a consequence of network dynamics in our model, enable modulation of contextual interactions in a task-dependent manner. Our model displays contour-related facilitation of neuronal responses and differential foreground vs. background responses over the neuronal ensemble, accounting for the perceptual pop-out of salient contours. It quantitatively reproduces the results of single-unit recording experiments in V1, highlighting salient contours and replicating the time course of contextual influences. We show by means of phase-plane analysis that the model operates stably even in the presence of large inputs. Our model shows how a simple form of top-down modulation of the effective connectivity of intrinsic cortical connections among biophysically realistic neurons can account for some of the response changes seen in perceptual learning and task switching.

  12. Chronic cellular imaging of mouse visual cortex during operant behavior and passive viewing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark L Andermann

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Nearby neurons in mammalian neocortex demonstrate a great diversity of cell types and connectivity patterns. The importance of this diversity for computation is not understood. While extracellular recording studies in visual cortex have provided a particularly rich description of behavioral modulation of neural activity, new methods are needed to dissect the contribution of specific circuit elements in guiding visual perception. Here, we describe a method for three-dimensional cellular imaging of neural activity in the awake mouse visual cortex during active discrimination and passive viewing of visual stimuli. Head-fixed mice demonstrated robust discrimination for many hundred trials per day after initial task acquisition. To record from multiple neurons during operant behavior with single-trial resolution and minimal artifacts, we built a sensitive microscope for two-photon calcium imaging, capable of rapid tracking of neurons in three dimensions. We demonstrate stable recordings of cellular calcium activity during discrimination behavior across hours, days, and weeks, using both synthetic and genetically-encoded calcium indicators. When combined with molecular and genetic technologies in mice (e.g., cell-type specific transgenic labeling, this approach allows the identification of neuronal classes in vivo. Physiological measurements from distinct classes of neighboring neurons will enrich our understanding of the coordinated roles of diverse elements of cortical microcircuits in guiding sensory perception and perceptual learning. Further, our method provides a high-throughput, chronic in vivo assay of behavioral influences on cellular activity that is applicable to a wide range of mouse models of neurologic disease.

  13. Auditory event-related response in visual cortex modulates subsequent visual responses in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naue, Nicole; Rach, Stefan; Strüber, Daniel; Huster, Rene J; Zaehle, Tino; Körner, Ursula; Herrmann, Christoph S

    2011-05-25

    Growing evidence from electrophysiological data in animal and human studies suggests that multisensory interaction is not exclusively a higher-order process, but also takes place in primary sensory cortices. Such early multisensory interaction is thought to be mediated by means of phase resetting. The presentation of a stimulus to one sensory modality resets the phase of ongoing oscillations in another modality such that processing in the latter modality is modulated. In humans, evidence for such a mechanism is still sparse. In the current study, the influence of an auditory stimulus on visual processing was investigated by measuring the electroencephalogram (EEG) and behavioral responses of humans to visual, auditory, and audiovisual stimulation with varying stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA). We observed three distinct oscillatory EEG responses in our data. An initial gamma-band response around 50 Hz was followed by a beta-band response around 25 Hz, and a theta response around 6 Hz. The latter was enhanced in response to cross-modal stimuli as compared to either unimodal stimuli. Interestingly, the beta response to unimodal auditory stimuli was dominant in electrodes over visual areas. The SOA between auditory and visual stimuli--albeit not consciously perceived--had a modulatory impact on the multisensory evoked beta-band responses; i.e., the amplitude depended on SOA in a sinusoidal fashion, suggesting a phase reset. These findings further support the notion that parameters of brain oscillations such as amplitude and phase are essential predictors of subsequent brain responses and might be one of the mechanisms underlying multisensory integration.

  14. Anatomy and function of an excitatory network in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Wei-Chung Allen; Bonin, Vincent; Reed, Michael; Graham, Brett J; Hood, Greg; Glattfelder, Katie; Reid, R Clay

    2016-04-21

    Circuits in the cerebral cortex consist of thousands of neurons connected by millions of synapses. A precise understanding of these local networks requires relating circuit activity with the underlying network structure. For pyramidal cells in superficial mouse visual cortex (V1), a consensus is emerging that neurons with similar visual response properties excite each other, but the anatomical basis of this recurrent synaptic network is unknown. Here we combined physiological imaging and large-scale electron microscopy to study an excitatory network in V1. We found that layer 2/3 neurons organized into subnetworks defined by anatomical connectivity, with more connections within than between groups. More specifically, we found that pyramidal neurons with similar orientation selectivity preferentially formed synapses with each other, despite the fact that axons and dendrites of all orientation selectivities pass near (Neurons with similar orientation tuning formed larger synapses, potentially enhancing the net effect of synaptic specificity. With the ability to study thousands of connections in a single circuit, functional connectomics is proving a powerful method to uncover the organizational logic of cortical networks.

  15. Glycine receptors support excitatory neurotransmitter release in developing mouse visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunz, Portia A; Burette, Alain C; Weinberg, Richard J; Philpot, Benjamin D

    2012-01-01

    Glycine receptors (GlyRs) are found in most areas of the brain, and their dysfunction can cause severe neurological disorders. While traditionally thought of as inhibitory receptors, presynaptic-acting GlyRs (preGlyRs) can also facilitate glutamate release under certain circumstances, although the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. In the current study, we sought to better understand the role of GlyRs in the facilitation of excitatory neurotransmitter release in mouse visual cortex. Using whole-cell recordings, we found that preGlyRs facilitate glutamate release in developing, but not adult, visual cortex. The glycinergic enhancement of neurotransmitter release in early development depends on the high intracellular to extracellular Cl− gradient maintained by the Na+–K+–2Cl− cotransporter and requires Ca2+ entry through voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. The glycine transporter 1, localized to glial cells, regulates extracellular glycine concentration and the activation of these preGlyRs. Our findings demonstrate a developmentally regulated mechanism for controlling excitatory neurotransmitter release in the neocortex. PMID:22988142

  16. The impact of early visual cortex transcranial magnetic stimulation on visual working memory precision and guess rate

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Ven, Vincent G.; Tong, Frank; Sack, Alexander T.

    2017-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that activity patterns in early visual areas predict stimulus properties actively maintained in visual working memory. Yet, the mechanisms by which such information is represented remain largely unknown. In this study, observers remembered the orientations of 4 briefly presented gratings, one in each quadrant of the visual field. A 10Hz Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) triplet was applied directly at stimulus offset, or midway through a 2-second delay, targeting early visual cortex corresponding retinotopically to a sample item in the lower hemifield. Memory for one of the four gratings was probed at random, and participants reported this orientation via method of adjustment. Recall errors were smaller when the visual field location targeted by TMS overlapped with that of the cued memory item, compared to errors for stimuli probed diagonally to TMS. This implied topographic storage of orientation information, and a memory-enhancing effect at the targeted location. Furthermore, early pulses impaired performance at all four locations, compared to late pulses. Next, response errors were fit empirically using a mixture model to characterize memory precision and guess rates. Memory was more precise for items proximal to the pulse location, irrespective of pulse timing. Guesses were more probable with early TMS pulses, regardless of stimulus location. Thus, while TMS administered at the offset of the stimulus array might disrupt early-phase consolidation in a non-topographic manner, TMS also boosts the precise representation of an item at its targeted retinotopic location, possibly by increasing attentional resources or by injecting a beneficial amount of noise. PMID:28384347

  17. The impact of early visual cortex transcranial magnetic stimulation on visual working memory precision and guess rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rademaker, Rosanne L; van de Ven, Vincent G; Tong, Frank; Sack, Alexander T

    2017-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that activity patterns in early visual areas predict stimulus properties actively maintained in visual working memory. Yet, the mechanisms by which such information is represented remain largely unknown. In this study, observers remembered the orientations of 4 briefly presented gratings, one in each quadrant of the visual field. A 10Hz Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) triplet was applied directly at stimulus offset, or midway through a 2-second delay, targeting early visual cortex corresponding retinotopically to a sample item in the lower hemifield. Memory for one of the four gratings was probed at random, and participants reported this orientation via method of adjustment. Recall errors were smaller when the visual field location targeted by TMS overlapped with that of the cued memory item, compared to errors for stimuli probed diagonally to TMS. This implied topographic storage of orientation information, and a memory-enhancing effect at the targeted location. Furthermore, early pulses impaired performance at all four locations, compared to late pulses. Next, response errors were fit empirically using a mixture model to characterize memory precision and guess rates. Memory was more precise for items proximal to the pulse location, irrespective of pulse timing. Guesses were more probable with early TMS pulses, regardless of stimulus location. Thus, while TMS administered at the offset of the stimulus array might disrupt early-phase consolidation in a non-topographic manner, TMS also boosts the precise representation of an item at its targeted retinotopic location, possibly by increasing attentional resources or by injecting a beneficial amount of noise.

  18. Implied motion because of instability in Hokusai Manga activates the human motion-sensitive extrastriate visual cortex: an fMRI study of the impact of visual art.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osaka, Naoyuki; Matsuyoshi, Daisuke; Ikeda, Takashi; Osaka, Mariko

    2010-03-10

    The recent development of cognitive neuroscience has invited inference about the neurosensory events underlying the experience of visual arts involving implied motion. We report functional magnetic resonance imaging study demonstrating activation of the human extrastriate motion-sensitive cortex by static images showing implied motion because of instability. We used static line-drawing cartoons of humans by Hokusai Katsushika (called 'Hokusai Manga'), an outstanding Japanese cartoonist as well as famous Ukiyoe artist. We found 'Hokusai Manga' with implied motion by depicting human bodies that are engaged in challenging tonic posture significantly activated the motion-sensitive visual cortex including MT+ in the human extrastriate cortex, while an illustration that does not imply motion, for either humans or objects, did not activate these areas under the same tasks. We conclude that motion-sensitive extrastriate cortex would be a critical region for perception of implied motion in instability.

  19. Image Statistics and the Representation of Material Properties in the Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgartner, Elisabeth; Gegenfurtner, Karl R

    2016-01-01

    We explored perceived material properties (roughness, texturedness, and hardness) with a novel approach that compares perception, image statistics and brain activation, as measured with fMRI. We initially asked participants to rate 84 material images with respect to the above mentioned properties, and then scanned 15 of the participants with fMRI while they viewed the material images. The images were analyzed with a set of image statistics capturing their spatial frequency and texture properties. Linear classifiers were then applied to the image statistics as well as the voxel patterns of visually responsive voxels and early visual areas to discriminate between images with high and low perceptual ratings. Roughness and texturedness could be classified above chance level based on image statistics. Roughness and texturedness could also be classified based on the brain activation patterns in visual cortex, whereas hardness could not. Importantly, the agreement in classification based on image statistics and brain activation was also above chance level. Our results show that information about visual material properties is to a large degree contained in low-level image statistics, and that these image statistics are also partially reflected in brain activity patterns induced by the perception of material images.

  20. Learning Enhances Sensory and Multiple Non-sensory Representations in Primary Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poort, Jasper; Khan, Adil G; Pachitariu, Marius; Nemri, Abdellatif; Orsolic, Ivana; Krupic, Julija; Bauza, Marius; Sahani, Maneesh; Keller, Georg B; Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas D; Hofer, Sonja B

    2015-06-17

    We determined how learning modifies neural representations in primary visual cortex (V1) during acquisition of a visually guided behavioral task. We imaged the activity of the same layer 2/3 neuronal populations as mice learned to discriminate two visual patterns while running through a virtual corridor, where one pattern was rewarded. Improvements in behavioral performance were closely associated with increasingly distinguishable population-level representations of task-relevant stimuli, as a result of stabilization of existing and recruitment of new neurons selective for these stimuli. These effects correlated with the appearance of multiple task-dependent signals during learning: those that increased neuronal selectivity across the population when expert animals engaged in the task, and those reflecting anticipation or behavioral choices specifically in neuronal subsets preferring the rewarded stimulus. Therefore, learning engages diverse mechanisms that modify sensory and non-sensory representations in V1 to adjust its processing to task requirements and the behavioral relevance of visual stimuli. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Activity in human visual and parietal cortex reveals object-based attention in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Benjamin; Kaiser, Jochen; Rahm, Benjamin; Bledowski, Christoph

    2015-02-25

    Visual attention enables observers to select behaviorally relevant information based on spatial locations, features, or objects. Attentional selection is not limited to physically present visual information, but can also operate on internal representations maintained in working memory (WM) in service of higher-order cognition. However, only little is known about whether attention to WM contents follows the same principles as attention to sensory stimuli. To address this question, we investigated in humans whether the typically observed effects of object-based attention in perception are also evident for object-based attentional selection of internal object representations in WM. In full accordance with effects in visual perception, the key behavioral and neuronal characteristics of object-based attention were observed in WM. Specifically, we found that reaction times were shorter when shifting attention to memory positions located on the currently attended object compared with equidistant positions on a different object. Furthermore, functional magnetic resonance imaging and multivariate pattern analysis of visuotopic activity in visual (areas V1-V4) and parietal cortex revealed that directing attention to one position of an object held in WM also enhanced brain activation for other positions on the same object, suggesting that attentional selection in WM activates the entire object. This study demonstrated that all characteristic features of object-based attention are present in WM and thus follows the same principles as in perception. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/353360-10$15.00/0.

  2. Self-organization in a parametrically coupled logistic map network: a model for information processing in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pashaie, Ramin; Farhat, Nabil H

    2009-04-01

    In this paper, a new model seeking to emulate the way the visual cortex processes information and interacts with subcortical areas to produce higher level brain functions is described. We developed a macroscopic approach that incorporates salient attributes of the cortex based on combining tools of nonlinear dynamics, information theory, and the known organizational and anatomical features of cortex. Justifications for this approach and demonstration of its effectiveness are presented. We also demonstrate certain capabilities of this model in producing efficient sparse representations and providing the cortical computational maps.

  3. Reduced Haemodynamic Response in the Ageing Visual Cortex Measured by Absolute fNIRS.

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    Laura McKernan Ward

    Full Text Available The effect of healthy ageing on visual cortical activation is still to be fully explored. This study aimed to elucidate whether the haemodynamic response (HDR of the visual cortex altered as a result of ageing. Visually normal (healthy participants were presented with a simple visual stimulus (reversing checkerboard. Full optometric screening was implemented to identify two age groups: younger adults (n = 12, mean age 21 and older adults (n = 13, mean age 71. Frequency-domain Multi-distance (FD-MD functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS was used to measure absolute changes in oxygenated [HbO] and deoxygenated [HbR] haemoglobin concentrations in the occipital cortices. Utilising a slow event-related design, subjects viewed a full field reversing checkerboard with contrast and check size manipulations (15 and 30 minutes of arc, 50% and 100% contrast. Both groups showed the characteristic response of increased [HbO] and decreased [HbR] during stimulus presentation. However, older adults produced a more varied HDR and often had comparable levels of [HbO] and [HbR] during both stimulus presentation and baseline resting state. Younger adults had significantly greater concentrations of both [HbO] and [HbR] in every investigation regardless of the type of stimulus displayed (p<0.05. The average variance associated with this age-related effect for [HbO] was 88% and [HbR] 91%. Passive viewing of a visual stimulus, without any cognitive input, showed a marked age-related decline in the cortical HDR. Moreover, regardless of stimulus parameters such as check size, the HDR was characterised by age. In concurrence with present neuroimaging literature, we conclude that the visual HDR decreases as healthy ageing proceeds.

  4. Spatial specificity of working memory representations in the early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratte, Michael S; Tong, Frank

    2014-03-19

    Recent fMRI decoding studies have demonstrated that early retinotopic visual areas exhibit similar patterns of activity during the perception of a stimulus and during the maintenance of that stimulus in working memory. These findings provide support for the sensory recruitment hypothesis that the mechanisms underlying perception serve as a foundation for visual working memory. However, a recent study by Ester, Serences, and Awh (2009) found that the orientation of a peripheral grating maintained in working memory could be classified from both the contralateral and ipsilateral regions of the primary visual cortex (V1), implying that, unlike perception, feature-specific information was maintained in a nonretinotopic manner. Here, we evaluated the hypothesis that early visual areas can maintain information in a spatially specific manner and will do so if the task encourages the binding of feature information to a specific location. To encourage reliance on spatially specific memory, our experiment required observers to retain the orientations of two laterally presented gratings. Multivariate pattern analysis revealed that the orientation of each remembered grating was classified more accurately based on activity patterns in the contralateral than in the ipsilateral regions of V1 and V2. In contrast, higher extrastriate areas exhibited similar levels of performance across the two hemispheres. A time-resolved analysis further indicated that the retinotopic specificity of the working memory representation in V1 and V2 was maintained throughout the retention interval. Our results suggest that early visual areas provide a cortical basis for actively maintaining information about the features and locations of stimuli in visual working memory.

  5. Towards unravelling reading-related modulations of tDCS-induced neuroplasticity in the human visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea eAntal

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Stimulation using weak electrical direct currents has shown to be capable of inducing polarity dependent diminutions or elevations in motor and visual cortical excitability. The aim of the present study was to test if reading during transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS is able to modify stimulation-induced plasticity in the visual cortex. Phosphene thresholds (PT in 12 healthy subjects were recorded before and after 10 minutes of anodal, cathodal and sham tDCS in combination with reading. Reading alone decreased PTs significantly, compared to the sham tDCS condition without reading. Interestingly, after both anodal and cathodal stimulation there was a tendency toward smaller PTs. Our results support the observation that tDCS-induced plasticity is highly dependent on the cognitive state of the subject during stimulation, not only in the case of motor cortex but also in the case of visual cortex stimulation.

  6. Direct evidence for the contribution of the superior colliculus in the control of visually guided reaching movements in the cat.

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    Courjon, Jean-Hubert; Olivier, Etienne; Pélisson, Denis

    2004-05-01

    The production of visually guided reaching movements relies on a large neural network. Based on indirect experimental evidence, it has been suggested that the superior colliculus, a subcortical centre known for its key role in controlling rapid orienting gaze shifts, also belongs to this network. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of the cat superior colliculus (SC) in the control of visually guided reaching movements. To address this issue, we studied the effect of SC electrical stimulation on forelimb reaching movements in two cats trained to catch a piece of food. Electrical stimulation delivered just after the movement onset yielded a consistent perturbation of the movement trajectory of the forelimb extremity. This perturbation followed stimulation onset by 56 +/- 11 ms on average, and consisted of a deviation of the spatial path and a deceleration of the movement. The forelimb perturbation was elicited in the absence of concomitant gaze or head displacement in 52% of the stimulation trials. Forelimb perturbations were followed by in-flight adjustments so that reaching movements reliably ended on the target. The present results constitute the first behavioural evidence for a contribution of the cat SC to the control of visually guided forelimb movements.

  7. Data on the effect of conductive hearing loss on auditory and visual cortex activity revealed by intrinsic signal imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teichert, Manuel; Bolz, Jürgen

    2017-10-01

    This data article provides additional data related to the research article entitled "Simultaneous intrinsic signal imaging of auditory and visual cortex reveals profound effects of acute hearing loss on visual processing" (Teichert and Bolz, 2017) [1]. The primary auditory and visual cortex (A1 and V1) of adult male C57BL/6J mice (P120-P240) were mapped simultaneously using intrinsic signal imaging (Kalatsky and Stryker, 2003) [2]. A1 and V1 activity evoked by combined auditory and visual stimulation were measured before and after conductive hearing loss (CHL) induced by bilateral malleus removal. We provide data showing that A1 responsiveness evoked by sounds of different sound pressure levels (SPL) decreased after CHL whereas visually evoked V1 activity increased after this intervention. In addition, we also provide imaging data on percentage of V1 activity increases after CHL compared to pre-CHL.

  8. Topographic contribution of early visual cortex to short-term memory consolidation: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Ven, Vincent; Jacobs, Christianne; Sack, Alexander T

    2012-01-04

    The neural correlates for retention of visual information in visual short-term memory are considered separate from those of sensory encoding. However, recent findings suggest that sensory areas may play a role also in short-term memory. We investigated the functional relevance, spatial specificity, and temporal characteristics of human early visual cortex in the consolidation of capacity-limited topographic visual memory using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Topographically specific TMS pulses were delivered over lateralized occipital cortex at 100, 200, or 400 ms into the retention phase of a modified change detection task with low or high memory loads. For the high but not the low memory load, we found decreased memory performance for memory trials in the visual field contralateral, but not ipsilateral to the side of TMS, when pulses were delivered at 200 ms into the retention interval. A behavioral version of the TMS experiment, in which a distractor stimulus (memory mask) replaced the TMS pulses, further corroborated these findings. Our findings suggest that retinotopic visual cortex contributes to the short-term consolidation of topographic visual memory during early stages of the retention of visual information. Further, TMS-induced interference decreased the strength (amplitude) of the memory representation, which most strongly affected the high memory load trials.

  9. Bold-functional MRI study of the abnormal cortex and the relationship between the inpairment of vision and the decreased activation of the visual cortex in anisometropic amblyopia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Jian; Li Chuanming; Zhou Yang; Xie Bing; Yu Qiongwu; Wang Hui; Qiu Mingguo; Weng Xuchu

    2006-01-01

    Objective: To assess the activation changes on Brodmann areas 17, 18 and 19 in anisometropic amblyopia and compare the features of the cortex activations before and after refractive correction on amblyopic eyes. Methods: Bold-fMRI technique on 1.5 T Simens Sonata MRI and the blocks designation mode was used. The visual stimulation task was a black and white checkerboard with frequencies of 1 cycle/degree and 8 Hz. The baseline stimulus is a white cross-line at the center of the screen with black background. No other light or influence was allowed in the scanning room. The distance between the eyes and screen was 0.6 m. The experimental group included 10 anisometropic amblyopes. TSE and EPI sequence were used for the anatomical and functional data acquisitions. For experimental group, the activation areas of the visual cortex on both eyes were consequently measured before and after refractive correction. All data were analyzed online with t-test and offline with AFNI software. The threshold value was set to 0.001. During data processing, motion correction and three-dimensional smooth were used in all data. The time-signal intensity curves and the functional images were obtained. After Talairach coordinated the function images of every one, the activation areas were measured in Brodmann areas 17, 18 and 19. The SPSS 12.0 software was used for statistic analysis. The difference of the cortical activations of amblyopic eyes before and after refractive correction was analyzed. The cortical activations of amblyopic eyes and the fellow eyes after refractive correction were compared. The visual acuity of the amblyopia eyes was measured. And the correlation between the lesion of cortical activation and visual acuity was analyzed. Results: It was found that the cortex was activated obviously in the calcarine cortex around, occipital lobe, LGN and temporal lobe. The activation areas of amblyopic eyes was (3.7±0.4) x 10 4 voxels, and (4.1±0.5 ) x 10 4 voxets after corrected

  10. Visual space and object space in the cerebral cortex of retinal disease patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goesaert, Elfi; Van Baelen, Marc; Spileers, Werner; Wagemans, Johan; Op de Beeck, Hans P

    2014-01-01

    The lower areas of the hierarchically organized visual cortex are strongly retinotopically organized, with strong responses to specific retinotopic stimuli, and no response to other stimuli outside these preferred regions. Higher areas in the ventral occipitotemporal cortex show a weak eccentricity bias, and are mainly sensitive for object category (e.g., faces versus buildings). This study investigated how the mapping of eccentricity and category sensitivity using functional magnetic resonance imaging is affected by a retinal lesion in two very different low vision patients: a patient with a large central scotoma, affecting central input to the retina (juvenile macular degeneration), and a patient where input to the peripheral retina is lost (retinitis pigmentosa). From the retinal degeneration, we can predict specific losses of retinotopic activation. These predictions were confirmed when comparing stimulus activations with a no-stimulus fixation baseline. At the same time, however, seemingly contradictory patterns of activation, unexpected given the retinal degeneration, were observed when different stimulus conditions were directly compared. These unexpected activations were due to position-specific deactivations, indicating the importance of investigating absolute activation (relative to a no-stimulus baseline) rather than relative activation (comparing different stimulus conditions). Data from two controls, with simulated scotomas that matched the lesions in the two patients also showed that retinotopic mapping results could be explained by a combination of activations at the stimulated locations and deactivations at unstimulated locations. Category sensitivity was preserved in the two patients. In sum, when we take into account the full pattern of activations and deactivations elicited in retinotopic cortex and throughout the ventral object vision pathway in low vision patients, the pattern of (de)activation is consistent with the retinal loss.

  11. Visual space and object space in the cerebral cortex of retinal disease patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elfi Goesaert

    Full Text Available The lower areas of the hierarchically organized visual cortex are strongly retinotopically organized, with strong responses to specific retinotopic stimuli, and no response to other stimuli outside these preferred regions. Higher areas in the ventral occipitotemporal cortex show a weak eccentricity bias, and are mainly sensitive for object category (e.g., faces versus buildings. This study investigated how the mapping of eccentricity and category sensitivity using functional magnetic resonance imaging is affected by a retinal lesion in two very different low vision patients: a patient with a large central scotoma, affecting central input to the retina (juvenile macular degeneration, and a patient where input to the peripheral retina is lost (retinitis pigmentosa. From the retinal degeneration, we can predict specific losses of retinotopic activation. These predictions were confirmed when comparing stimulus activations with a no-stimulus fixation baseline. At the same time, however, seemingly contradictory patterns of activation, unexpected given the retinal degeneration, were observed when different stimulus conditions were directly compared. These unexpected activations were due to position-specific deactivations, indicating the importance of investigating absolute activation (relative to a no-stimulus baseline rather than relative activation (comparing different stimulus conditions. Data from two controls, with simulated scotomas that matched the lesions in the two patients also showed that retinotopic mapping results could be explained by a combination of activations at the stimulated locations and deactivations at unstimulated locations. Category sensitivity was preserved in the two patients. In sum, when we take into account the full pattern of activations and deactivations elicited in retinotopic cortex and throughout the ventral object vision pathway in low vision patients, the pattern of (deactivation is consistent with the retinal loss.

  12. Heterogenous migraine aura symptoms correlate with visual cortex functional magnetic resonance imaging responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arngrim, Nanna; Hougaard, Anders; Ahmadi, Khazar; Vestergaard, Mark Bitsch; Schytz, Henrik Winther; Amin, Faisal Mohammad; Larsson, Henrik Bo Wiberg; Olesen, Jes; Hoffmann, Michael B; Ashina, Messoud

    2017-12-01

    Migraine aura is sparsely studied due to the highly challenging task of capturing patients during aura. Cortical spreading depression (CSD) is likely the underlying phenomenon of aura. The possible correlation between the multifaceted phenomenology of aura symptoms and the effects of CSD on the brain has not been ascertained. Five migraine patients were studied during various forms of aura symptoms induced by hypoxia, sham hypoxia, or physical exercise with concurrent photostimulation. The blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signal response to visual stimulation was measured in retinotopic mapping-defined visual cortex areas V1 to V4. We found reduced BOLD response in patients reporting scotoma and increased response in patients who only experienced positive symptoms. Furthermore, patients with bilateral visual symptoms had corresponding bihemispherical changes in BOLD response. These findings suggest that different aura symptoms reflect different types of cerebral dysfunction, which correspond to specific changes in BOLD signal reactivity. Furthermore, we provide evidence of bilateral CSD recorded by fMRI during bilateral aura symptoms. Ann Neurol 2017;82:925-939. © 2017 American Neurological Association.

  13. IGF-1 Restores Visual Cortex Plasticity in Adult Life by Reducing Local GABA Levels

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    José Fernando Maya-Vetencourt

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The central nervous system architecture is markedly modified by sensory experience during early life, but a decline of plasticity occurs with age. Recent studies have challenged this dogma providing evidence that both pharmacological treatments and paradigms based on the manipulation of environmental stimulation levels can be successfully employed as strategies for enhancing plasticity in the adult nervous system. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1 is a peptide implicated in prenatal and postnatal phases of brain development such as neurogenesis, neuronal differentiation, synaptogenesis, and experience-dependent plasticity. Here, using the visual system as a paradigmatic model, we report that IGF-1 reactivates neural plasticity in the adult brain. Exogenous administration of IGF-1 in the adult visual cortex, indeed, restores the susceptibility of cortical neurons to monocular deprivation and promotes the recovery of normal visual functions in adult amblyopic animals. These effects were accompanied by a marked reduction of intracortical GABA levels. Moreover, we show that a transitory increase of IGF-1 expression is associated to the plasticity reinstatement induced by environmental enrichment (EE and that blocking IGF-1 action by means of the IGF-1 receptor antagonist JB1 prevents EE effects on plasticity processes.

  14. Deconstructing visual scenes in cortex: gradients of object and spatial layout information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harel, Assaf; Kravitz, Dwight J; Baker, Chris I

    2013-04-01

    Real-world visual scenes are complex cluttered, and heterogeneous stimuli engaging scene- and object-selective cortical regions including parahippocampal place area (PPA), retrosplenial complex (RSC), and lateral occipital complex (LOC). To understand the unique contribution of each region to distributed scene representations, we generated predictions based on a neuroanatomical framework adapted from monkey and tested them using minimal scenes in which we independently manipulated both spatial layout (open, closed, and gradient) and object content (furniture, e.g., bed, dresser). Commensurate with its strong connectivity with posterior parietal cortex, RSC evidenced strong spatial layout information but no object information, and its response was not even modulated by object presence. In contrast, LOC, which lies within the ventral visual pathway, contained strong object information but no background information. Finally, PPA, which is connected with both the dorsal and the ventral visual pathway, showed information about both objects and spatial backgrounds and was sensitive to the presence or absence of either. These results suggest that 1) LOC, PPA, and RSC have distinct representations, emphasizing different aspects of scenes, 2) the specific representations in each region are predictable from their patterns of connectivity, and 3) PPA combines both spatial layout and object information as predicted by connectivity.

  15. A model of primate visual cortex based on category-specific redundancies in natural images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malmir, Mohsen; Shiry Ghidary, S.

    2010-12-01

    Neurophysiological and computational studies have proposed that properties of natural images have a prominent role in shaping selectivity of neurons in the visual cortex. An important property of natural images that has been studied extensively is the inherent redundancy in these images. In this paper, the concept of category-specific redundancies is introduced to describe the complex pattern of dependencies between responses of linear filters to natural images. It is proposed that structural similarities between images of different object categories result in dependencies between responses of linear filters in different spatial scales. It is also proposed that the brain gradually removes these dependencies in different areas of the ventral visual hierarchy to provide a more efficient representation of its sensory input. The authors proposed a model to remove these redundancies and trained it with a set of natural images using general learning rules that are developed to remove dependencies between responses of neighbouring neurons. Results of experiments demonstrate the close resemblance of neuronal selectivity between different layers of the model and their corresponding visual areas.

  16. Effect of CGRP and sumatriptan on the BOLD response in visual cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Asghar, Mohammed Sohail; Hansen, Adam E; Larsson, Henrik B W

    2012-01-01

    To test the hypothesis that calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) modulates brain activity, we investigated the effect of intravenous CGRP on brain activity in response to a visual stimulus. In addition, we examined if possible alteration in brain activity was reversed by the anti-migraine drug...... sumatriptan. Eighteen healthy volunteers were randomly allocated to receive CGRP infusion (1.5 µg/min for 20 min) or placebo. In vivo activity in the visual cortex was recorded before, during and after infusion and after 6 mg subcutaneous sumatriptan by functional magnetic resonance imaging (3 T). 77......% of the participants reported headache after CGRP. We found no changes in brain activity after CGRP (P = 0.12) or after placebo (P = 0.41). Sumatriptan did not affect brain activity after CGRP (P = 0.71) or after placebo (P = 0.98). Systemic CGRP or sumatriptan has no direct effects on the BOLD activity in visual...

  17. The Primary Visual Cortex Is Differentially Modulated by Stimulus-Driven and Top-Down Attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Bekisz

    Full Text Available Selective attention can be focused either volitionally, by top-down signals derived from task demands, or automatically, by bottom-up signals from salient stimuli. Because the brain mechanisms that underlie these two attention processes are poorly understood, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs from primary visual cortical areas of cats as they performed stimulus-driven and anticipatory discrimination tasks. Consistent with our previous observations, in both tasks, we found enhanced beta activity, which we have postulated may serve as an attention carrier. We characterized the functional organization of task-related beta activity by (i cortical responses (EPs evoked by electrical stimulation of the optic chiasm and (ii intracortical LFP correlations. During the anticipatory task, peripheral stimulation that was preceded by high-amplitude beta oscillations evoked large-amplitude EPs compared with EPs that followed low-amplitude beta. In contrast, during the stimulus-driven task, cortical EPs preceded by high-amplitude beta oscillations were, on average, smaller than those preceded by low-amplitude beta. Analysis of the correlations between the different recording sites revealed that beta activation maps were heterogeneous during the bottom-up task and homogeneous for the top-down task. We conclude that bottom-up attention activates cortical visual areas in a mosaic-like pattern, whereas top-down attentional modulation results in spatially homogeneous excitation.

  18. Audiovisual Modulation in Mouse Primary Visual Cortex Depends on Cross-Modal Stimulus Configuration and Congruency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meijer, Guido T; Montijn, Jorrit S; Pennartz, Cyriel M A; Lansink, Carien S

    2017-09-06

    The sensory neocortex is a highly connected associative network that integrates information from multiple senses, even at the level of the primary sensory areas. Although a growing body of empirical evidence supports this view, the neural mechanisms of cross-modal integration in primary sensory areas, such as the primary visual cortex (V1), are still largely unknown. Using two-photon calcium imaging in awake mice, we show that the encoding of audiovisual stimuli in V1 neuronal populations is highly dependent on the features of the stimulus constituents. When the visual and auditory stimulus features were modulated at the same rate (i.e., temporally congruent), neurons responded with either an enhancement or suppression compared with unisensory visual stimuli, and their prevalence was balanced. Temporally incongruent tones or white-noise bursts included in audiovisual stimulus pairs resulted in predominant response suppression across the neuronal population. Visual contrast did not influence multisensory processing when the audiovisual stimulus pairs were congruent; however, when white-noise bursts were used, neurons generally showed response suppression when the visual stimulus contrast was high whereas this effect was absent when the visual contrast was low. Furthermore, a small fraction of V1 neurons, predominantly those located near the lateral border of V1, responded to sound alone. These results show that V1 is involved in the encoding of cross-modal interactions in a more versatile way than previously thought. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The neural substrate of cross-modal integration is not limited to specialized cortical association areas but extends to primary sensory areas. Using two-photon imaging of large groups of neurons, we show that multisensory modulation of V1 populations is strongly determined by the individual and shared features of cross-modal stimulus constituents, such as contrast, frequency, congruency, and temporal structure. Congruent

  19. Early valproic acid exposure alters functional organization in the primary visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl-Guimaraes, Fernanda; Krahe, Thomas E.; Medina, Alexandre E.

    2018-01-01

    Epilepsy is one of the most common neurologic disorders and affects 0.5 to 1% of pregnant women. The use of antiepileptic drugs, which is usually continued throughout pregnancy, can cause in offspring mild to severe sensory deficits. Neuronal selectivity to stimulus orientation is a basic functional property of the visual cortex that is crucial for perception of shapes and borders. Here we investigate the effects of early exposure to valproic acid (Val) and levetiracetam (Lev), commonly used antiepileptic drugs, on the development of cortical neuron orientation selectivity and organization of cortical orientation columns. Ferrets pups were exposed to Val (200 mg/kg), Lev (100 mg/kg) or saline every other day between postnatal day (P) 10 and P30, a period roughly equivalent to the third trimester of human gestation. Optical imaging of intrinsic signals or single-unit recordings were examined at P42–P84, when orientation selectivity in the ferret cortex has reached a mature state. Optical imaging of intrinsic signals revealed decreased contrast of orientation maps in Val-but not Lev- or saline-treated animals. Moreover, single-unit recordings revealed that early Val treatment also reduced orientation selectivity at the cellular level. These findings indicate that Val exposure during a brief period of development disrupts cortical processing of sensory information at a later age and suggest a neurobiological substrate for some types of sensory deficits in fetal anticonvulsant syndrome. PMID:21215743

  20. Multiple shared mechanisms for homeostatic plasticity in rodent somatosensory and visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gainey, Melanie A; Feldman, Daniel E

    2017-03-05

    We compare the circuit and cellular mechanisms for homeostatic plasticity that have been discovered in rodent somatosensory (S1) and visual (V1) cortex. Both areas use similar mechanisms to restore mean firing rate after sensory deprivation. Two time scales of homeostasis are evident, with distinct mechanisms. Slow homeostasis occurs over several days, and is mediated by homeostatic synaptic scaling in excitatory networks and, in some cases, homeostatic adjustment of pyramidal cell intrinsic excitability. Fast homeostasis occurs within less than 1 day, and is mediated by rapid disinhibition, implemented by activity-dependent plasticity in parvalbumin interneuron circuits. These processes interact with Hebbian synaptic plasticity to maintain cortical firing rates during learned adjustments in sensory representations.This article is part of the themed issue 'Integrating Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  1. Universality in the Evolution of Orientation Columns in the Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaschube, Matthias; Schnabel, Michael; Löwel, Siegrid; Coppola, David M.; White, Leonard E.; Wolf, Fred

    2011-01-01

    The brain’s visual cortex processes information concerning form, pattern, and motion within functional maps that reflect the layout of neuronal circuits. We analyzed functional maps of orientation preference in the ferret, tree shrew, and galago—three species separated since the basal radiation of placental mammals more than 65 million years ago—and found a common organizing principle. A symmetry-based class of models for the self-organization of cortical networks predicts all essential features of the layout of these neuronal circuits, but only if suppressive long-range interactions dominate development. We show mathematically that orientation-selective long-range connectivity can mediate the required interactions. Our results suggest that self-organization has canalized the evolution of the neuronal circuitry underlying orientation preference maps into a single common design. PMID:21051599

  2. Plasticity in the Human Visual Cortex: An Ophthalmology-Based Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Andreia Martins; Silva, Maria Fátima; Murta, Joaquim

    2013-01-01

    Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the brain to reorganize the function and structure of its connections in response to changes in the environment. Adult human visual cortex shows several manifestations of plasticity, such as perceptual learning and adaptation, working under the top-down influence of attention. Plasticity results from the interplay of several mechanisms, including the GABAergic system, epigenetic factors, mitochondrial activity, and structural remodeling of synaptic connectivity. There is also a downside of plasticity, that is, maladaptive plasticity, in which there are behavioral losses resulting from plasticity changes in the human brain. Understanding plasticity mechanisms could have major implications in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular diseases, such as retinal disorders, cataract and refractive surgery, amblyopia, and in the evaluation of surgical materials and techniques. Furthermore, eliciting plasticity could open new perspectives in the development of strategies that trigger plasticity for better medical and surgical outcomes. PMID:24205505

  3. High baseline activity in inferior temporal cortex improves neural and behavioral discriminability during visual categorization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nazli eEmadi

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Spontaneous firing is a ubiquitous property of neural activity in the brain. Recent literature suggests that this baseline activity plays a key role in perception. However, it is not known how the baseline activity contributes to neural coding and behavior. Here, by recording from the single neurons in the inferior temporal cortex of monkeys performing a visual categorization task, we thoroughly explored the relationship between baseline activity, the evoked response, and behavior. Specifically we found that a low-frequency (< 8 Hz oscillation in the spike train, prior and phase-locked to the stimulus onset, was correlated with increased gamma power and neuronal baseline activity. This enhancement of the baseline activity was then followed by an increase in the neural selectivity and the response reliability and eventually a higher behavioral performance.

  4. P1-27: Localizing Regions Activated by Surface Gloss in Macaque Visual Cortex by fMRI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gouki Okazawa

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Surface properties of objects such as gloss provide important information about the states or materials of objects in our visual experiences. Previous studies have shown that there are cortical regions responding to shapes, colors, faces etc. in the macaque visual cortex. However, we still lack the information about where the surface properties are processed in the macaque visual cortex. In this study, we examined whether there are regions activated by surface gloss, an important surface property, in the macaque visual cortex by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. We trained two monkeys to fixate on a small spot on the screen in MRI scanner, while the images of glossy and matte objects were presented. As a control condition for low-level image features, such as spatial frequency or luminance contrast, we generated scrambled images by locally randomizing the luminance phases of images using wavelet filters. By contrasting the responses to glossy images to those to matte and scrambled images, we found the activation in wide regions along the ventral visual pathway including V1, V2, V3, V4, and the posterior part of the inferior temporal (IT cortex. In one monkey, we also found the activations in the central part of IT cortex. In another control experiment, we manipulated the image contrasts and found that the responses in these regions cannot be explained simply by the image contrasts. These results suggest that surface gloss is processed along the ventral pathway and, in the IT cortex there are distinct regions processing surface gloss.

  5. Effect of epileptogenic agents on the incorporation of /sup 3/H-glycine into proteins in the cat's cerebral cortex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rojik, I.; Feher, O.

    1982-06-01

    Filter paper strips soaked in /sup 3/H-glycine solution were applied to acoustic cortex of cats, anaesthetized with Nembutal and pretreated with epileptogenic agents (Metrazol, G-penicillin, and 3-amino-pyridine) and cycloheximide. The untreated contralateral hemisphere served as control. After 1 h incubation, both cortical samples were excised simultaneously and fixed in Bouin solution for autoradiography. Incorporation was blocked by cycloheximide. There was no glycine incorporation on the penicillin-treated side, while pyramidal cells were intensively labelled in layers II-V of the mirror focus. 3-Aminopyridine produced the same result. Metrazol as convulsant proved to be far weaker than the previous two. The intensity of incorporation was significantly more intensive in the mirror focus than in the primary one. Penicillin and 3-aminopyridine, while provoking cortical seizures, seem to inhibit glycine incorporation into a neuron-specific, function-dependent protein contained by the labelled cells in the autoradiogram.

  6. Immunocytochemical expression of monocarboxylate transporters in the human visual cortex at midgestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fayol, Laurence; Baud, Olivier; Monier, Anne; Pellerin, Luc; Magistretti, Pierre; Evrard, Philippe; Verney, Catherine

    2004-01-31

    Lactate and the other monocarboxylates are a major energy source for the developing brain. We investigated the immunocytochemical expression of two monocarboxylate transporters, MCT1 and MCT2, in the human visual cortex between 13 and 26 post-ovulatory weeks. We used immunoperoxidase and immunofluorescence techniques to determine whether these transporters co-localized with markers for blood vessels (CD34), neurons (microtubule-associated protein 2 [MAP2], SMI 311), radial glia (vimentin), or astrocytes (glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAP], S100beta protein). MCT1 immunoreactivity was visible in blood vessel walls as early as the 13th week of gestation mainly in the cortical plate and subplate. At this stage, less than 10% of vessels in the ventricular layer expressed MCT1, whereas all blood vessels walls showed this immunoreactivity at the 26th gestational week. Starting at the 19th week of gestation, sparse MCT1 positive cell bodies were detected, some of them co-localized with MAP2 immunoreactivity. MCT2 immunoreactivity was noted in astrocytic cell bodies from week 19 and spread subsequently to the astrocyte end-feet in contact with blood vessels. MCTs immunoreactivities were most marked in the subplate and deep cortical plate, where the most differentiated neurons were located. Our findings suggest that monocarboxylate trafficking between vessels (MCT1), astrocytes (MCT2) and some postmitotic neurons (MCT1) could develop gradually toward 20 gestational weeks (g.w.). These data suggest that lactate or other monocarboxylates could represent a significant energy source for the human visual cortex at this early stage.

  7. Canine and human visual cortex intact and responsive despite early retinal blindness from RPE65 mutation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguirre, Geoffrey K; Komáromy, András M; Cideciyan, Artur V; Brainard, David H; Aleman, Tomas S; Roman, Alejandro J; Avants, Brian B; Gee, James C; Korczykowski, Marc; Hauswirth, William W; Acland, Gregory M; Aguirre, Gustavo D; Jacobson, Samuel G

    2007-06-01

    RPE65 is an essential molecule in the retinoid-visual cycle, and RPE65 gene mutations cause the congenital human blindness known as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). Somatic gene therapy delivered to the retina of blind dogs with an RPE65 mutation dramatically restores retinal physiology and has sparked international interest in human treatment trials for this incurable disease. An unanswered question is how the visual cortex responds after prolonged sensory deprivation from retinal dysfunction. We therefore studied the cortex of RPE65-mutant dogs before and after retinal gene therapy. Then, we inquired whether there is visual pathway integrity and responsivity in adult humans with LCA due to RPE65 mutations (RPE65-LCA). RPE65-mutant dogs were studied with fMRI. Prior to therapy, retinal and subcortical responses to light were markedly diminished, and there were minimal cortical responses within the primary visual areas of the lateral gyrus (activation amplitude mean +/- standard deviation [SD] = 0.07% +/- 0.06% and volume = 1.3 +/- 0.6 cm(3)). Following therapy, retinal and subcortical response restoration was accompanied by increased amplitude (0.18% +/- 0.06%) and volume (8.2 +/- 0.8 cm(3)) of activation within the lateral gyrus (p < 0.005 for both). Cortical recovery occurred rapidly (within a month of treatment) and was persistent (as long as 2.5 y after treatment). Recovery was present even when treatment was provided as late as 1-4 y of age. Human RPE65-LCA patients (ages 18-23 y) were studied with structural magnetic resonance imaging. Optic nerve diameter (3.2 +/- 0.5 mm) was within the normal range (3.2 +/- 0.3 mm), and occipital cortical white matter density as judged by voxel-based morphometry was slightly but significantly altered (1.3 SD below control average, p = 0.005). Functional magnetic resonance imaging in human RPE65-LCA patients revealed cortical responses with a markedly diminished activation volume (8.8 +/- 1.2 cm(3)) compared to controls

  8. Canine and human visual cortex intact and responsive despite early retinal blindness from RPE65 mutation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey K Aguirre

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available RPE65 is an essential molecule in the retinoid-visual cycle, and RPE65 gene mutations cause the congenital human blindness known as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA. Somatic gene therapy delivered to the retina of blind dogs with an RPE65 mutation dramatically restores retinal physiology and has sparked international interest in human treatment trials for this incurable disease. An unanswered question is how the visual cortex responds after prolonged sensory deprivation from retinal dysfunction. We therefore studied the cortex of RPE65-mutant dogs before and after retinal gene therapy. Then, we inquired whether there is visual pathway integrity and responsivity in adult humans with LCA due to RPE65 mutations (RPE65-LCA.RPE65-mutant dogs were studied with fMRI. Prior to therapy, retinal and subcortical responses to light were markedly diminished, and there were minimal cortical responses within the primary visual areas of the lateral gyrus (activation amplitude mean +/- standard deviation [SD] = 0.07% +/- 0.06% and volume = 1.3 +/- 0.6 cm(3. Following therapy, retinal and subcortical response restoration was accompanied by increased amplitude (0.18% +/- 0.06% and volume (8.2 +/- 0.8 cm(3 of activation within the lateral gyrus (p < 0.005 for both. Cortical recovery occurred rapidly (within a month of treatment and was persistent (as long as 2.5 y after treatment. Recovery was present even when treatment was provided as late as 1-4 y of age. Human RPE65-LCA patients (ages 18-23 y were studied with structural magnetic resonance imaging. Optic nerve diameter (3.2 +/- 0.5 mm was within the normal range (3.2 +/- 0.3 mm, and occipital cortical white matter density as judged by voxel-based morphometry was slightly but significantly altered (1.3 SD below control average, p = 0.005. Functional magnetic resonance imaging in human RPE65-LCA patients revealed cortical responses with a markedly diminished activation volume (8.8 +/- 1.2 cm(3 compared to controls

  9. Experience-dependent development of perineuronal nets and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan receptors in mouse visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Qian; Miao, Qing-Long

    2013-08-08

    Perineuronal nets (PNNs) are extracellular matrix structures consisting of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs), hyaluronan, link proteins and tenascin-R (Tn-R). They enwrap a subset of GABAergic inhibitory interneurons in the cerebral cortex and restrict experience-dependent cortical plasticity. While the expression profile of PNN components has been widely studied in many areas of the central nervous system of various animal species, it remains unclear how these components are expressed during the postnatal development of mouse primary visual cortex (V1). In the present study, we characterized the developmental time course of the formation of PNNs in the mouse primary visual cortex, using the specific antibodies against the two PNN component proteins aggrecan and tenascin-R, or the lectin Wisteria floribunda agglutinin (WFA) that directly binds to glycosaminoglycan chains of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs). We found that the fluorescence staining signals of both the WFA staining and the antibody against aggrecan rapidly increased in cortical neurons across layers 2-6 during postnatal days (PD) 10-28 and reached a plateau around PD42, suggesting a full construction of PNNs by the end of the critical period. Co-staining with antibodies to Ca(2+) binding protein parvalbumin (PV) demonstrated that the majority of PNN-surrounding cortical neurons are immunoreactive to PV. Similar expression profile of another PNN component tenascin-R was observed in the development of V1. Dark rearing of mice from birth significantly reduced the density of PNN-surrounding neurons. In addition, the expression of two recently identified CSPG receptors - Nogo receptor (NgR) and leukocyte common antigen-related phosphatase (LAR), showed significant increases from PD14 to PD70 in layer 2-6 of cortical PV-positive interneurons in normal reared mice, but decreased significantly in dark-reared ones. Taken together, these results suggest that PNNs form preferentially in cortical

  10. Dose-dependent effect of donepezil administration on long-term enhancement of visually evoked potentials and cholinergic receptor overexpression in rat visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamoun, Mira; Groleau, Marianne; Bhat, Menakshi; Vaucher, Elvire

    2016-09-01

    Stimulation of the cholinergic system tightly coupled with periods of visual stimulation boosts the processing of specific visual stimuli via muscarinic and nicotinic receptors in terms of intensity, priority and long-term effect. However, it is not known whether more diffuse pharmacological stimulation with donepezil, a cholinesterase inhibitor, is an efficient tool for enhancing visual processing and perception. The goal of the present study was to potentiate cholinergic transmission with donepezil treatment (0.5 and 1mg/kg) during a 2-week visual training to examine the effect on visually evoked potentials and to profile the expression of cholinergic receptor subtypes. The visual training was performed daily, 10min a day, for 2weeks. One week after the last training session, visual evoked potentials were recorded, or the mRNA expression level of muscarinic (M1-5) and nicotinic (α/β) receptors subunits was determined by quantitative RT-PCR. The visual stimulation coupled with any of the two doses of donepezil produced significant amplitude enhancement of cortical evoked potentials compared to pre-training values. The enhancement induced by the 1mg/kg dose of donepezil was spread to neighboring spatial frequencies, suggesting a better sensitivity near the visual detection threshold. The M3, M4, M5 and α7 receptors mRNA were upregulated in the visual cortex for the higher dose of donepezil but not the lower one, and the receptors expression was stable in the somatosensory (non-visual control) cortex. Therefore, higher levels of acetylcholine within the cortex sustain the increased intensity of the cortical response and trigger the upregulation of cholinergic receptors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Morphological and cytochemical changes in the symmetric areas of the visual cortex during irradiation of one hemisphere in rabbits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gelashvili, N.A.; Kumsiashvili, L.B.; Gikoshvili, T.I.; Amashukeli, I.S.

    1980-01-01

    Made is an attempt of layer analysis of DNA content in the cells of brain hemisphere in connection with morphological changes of the nervous tissue after irradiation of animals. Investigations of the 17-th and 18-th fields of the brain visual cortex of rabbits have been subjected to morphologic and hystologic analysis. The left hemisphere of animals has received a single dose of irradiation while the other part of the head and body has been shielded till the formation of pronounced signs of depression of the brain bioelectric activity at the side of irradiation. It is established, that by the moment of depression of bioelectric activity of brain on the side of irradiation are characterized by similar radiosensitivity according to changes of the general amount of cells, nuclear DNA content, nucleus-cytoplasm ratio, the increase in the number of picnotic and degenerated nuclei of cells of the 17-th and 18-th fields of different layers of the visual cortex of rabbit's brain. Pyramid neurons of different layers of the visual cortex, reveal similar radiosensitivity. The difference between irradiated and shielded visual cortex to the moment of brain bioelectric activity depression in the content of nuclear DNA in nervous and macroglial cells is statistically authentic

  12. Postsynaptic TrkB signaling has distinct roles in spine maintenance in adult visual cortex and hippocampus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chkravarthy, S.; Saiepour, M.H.; Bence, M.; Perry, S.; Hartman, R.; Couey, J.J.; Mansvelder, H.D.; Levelt, C.N.

    2006-01-01

    In adult primary visual cortex (V1), dendritic spines are more persistent than during development. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) increases synaptic strength, and its levels rise during cortical development. We therefore asked whether postsynaptic BDNF signaling through its receptor TrkB

  13. Neonatal hemodynamic response to visual cortex activity: high-density near-infrared spectroscopy study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Steve M.; Gregg, Nick M.; White, Brian R.; Zeff, Benjamin W.; Bjerkaas, Katelin A.; Inder, Terrie E.; Culver, Joseph P.

    2010-03-01

    The neurodevelopmental outcome of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) infants is a major clinical concern with many infants displaying neurobehavioral deficits in childhood. Functional neuroimaging may provide early recognition of neural deficits in high-risk infants. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has the advantage of providing functional neuroimaging in infants at the bedside. However, limitations in traditional NIRS have included contamination from superficial vascular dynamics in the scalp. Furthermore, controversy exists over the nature of normal vascular, responses in infants. To address these issues, we extend the use of novel high-density NIRS arrays with multiple source-detector distances and a superficial signal regression technique to infants. Evaluations of healthy term-born infants within the first three days of life are performed without sedation using a visual stimulus. We find that the regression technique significantly improves brain activation signal quality. Furthermore, in six out of eight infants, both oxy- and total hemoglobin increases while deoxyhemoglobin decreases, suggesting that, at term, the neurovascular coupling in the visual cortex is similar to that found in healthy adults. These results demonstrate the feasibility of using high-density NIRS arrays in infants to improve signal quality through superficial signal regression, and provide a foundation for further development of high-density NIRS as a clinical tool.

  14. Processing of the S-cone signals in the early visual cortex of primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Youping

    2014-03-01

    The short-wavelength-sensitive (S) cones play an important role in color vision of primates, and may also contribute to the coding of other visual features, such as luminance and motion. The color signals carried by the S cones and other cone types are largely separated in the subcortical visual pathway. Studies on nonhuman primates or humans have suggested that these signals are combined in the striate cortex (V1) following a substantial amplification of the S-cone signals in the same area. In addition to reviewing these studies, this review describes the circuitry in V1 that may underlie the processing of the S-cone signals and the dynamics of this processing. It also relates the interaction between various cone signals in V1 to the results of some psychophysical and physiological studies on color perception, which leads to a discussion of a previous model, in which color perception is produced by a multistage processing of the cone signals. Finally, I discuss the processing of the S-cone signals in the extrastriate area V2.

  15. BACE1 Is Necessary for Experience-Dependent Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity in Visual Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Petrus

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is the most common form of age-related dementia, which is thought to result from overproduction and/or reduced clearance of amyloid-beta (Aβ peptides. Studies over the past few decades suggest that Aβ is produced in an activity-dependent manner and has physiological relevance to normal brain functions. Similarly, physiological functions for β- and γ-secretases, the two key enzymes that produce Aβ by sequentially processing the amyloid precursor protein (APP, have been discovered over recent years. In particular, activity-dependent production of Aβ has been suggested to play a role in homeostatic regulation of excitatory synaptic function. There is accumulating evidence that activity-dependent immediate early gene Arc is an activity “sensor,” which acts upstream of Aβ production and triggers AMPA receptor endocytosis to homeostatically downregulate the strength of excitatory synaptic transmission. We previously reported that Arc is critical for sensory experience-dependent homeostatic reduction of excitatory synaptic transmission in the superficial layers of visual cortex. Here we demonstrate that mice lacking the major neuronal β-secretase, BACE1, exhibit a similar phenotype: stronger basal excitatory synaptic transmission and failure to adapt to changes in visual experience. Our results indicate that BACE1 plays an essential role in sensory experience-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity in the neocortex.

  16. Potential Role of Synaptic Activity to Inhibit LTD Induction in Rat Visual Cortex

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    Matthew R. Stewart

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Long-term depression (LTD, a widely studied form of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, is typically induced by prolonged low-frequency stimulation (LFS. Interestingly, LFS is highly effective in eliciting LTD in vitro, but much less so under in vivo conditions; the reasons for the resistance of the intact brain to express LTD are not well understood. We examined if levels of background electrocorticographic (ECoG activity influence LTD induction in the thalamocortical visual system of rats under very deep urethane anesthesia, inducing a brain state of reduced spontaneous cortical activity. Under these conditions, LFS applied to the lateral geniculate nucleus resulted in LTD of field postsynaptic potentials (fPSPs recorded in the primary visual cortex (V1. Pairing LFS with stimulation of the brainstem (pedunculopontine reticular formation resulted in the appearance of faster, more complex activity in V1 and prevented LTD induction, an effect that did not require muscarinic or nicotinic receptors. Reticular stimulation alone (without LFS had no effect on cortical fPSPs. These results show that excitation of the brainstem activating system blocks the induction of LTD in V1. Thus, higher levels of neural activity may inhibit depression at cortical synapses, a hypothesis that could explain discrepancies regarding LTD induction in previous in vivo and in vitro work.

  17. Aging Potentiates Lateral but Not Local Inhibition of Orientation Processing in Primary Visual Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhengchun Wang

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Aging-related declines in vision can decrease well-being of the elderly. Concerning early sensory changes as in the primary visual cortex, physiological and behavioral reports seem contradictory. Neurophysiological studies on orientation tuning properties suggested that neuronal changes might come from decreased cortical local inhibition. However, behavioral results either showed no clear deficits in orientation processing in older adults, or proposed stronger surround suppression. Through psychophysical experiments and computational modeling, we resolved these discrepancies by suggesting that lateral inhibition increased in older adults while neuronal orientation tuning widths, related to local inhibition, stayed globally intact across age. We confirmed this later result by re-analyzing published neurophysiological data, which showed no systematic tuning width changes, but instead displayed a higher neuronal noise with aging. These results suggest a stronger lateral inhibition and mixed effects on local inhibition during aging, revealing a more complex picture of age-related effects in the central visual system than people previously thought.

  18. Timing of early activity in the visual cortex as revealed by simultaneous MEG and ERG recordings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inui, Koji; Sannan, Hiromi; Miki, Kensaku; Kaneoke, Yoshiki; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2006-03-01

    To clarify the latency of the earliest cortical activity in visual processing, electroretinograms (ERGs) and visual evoked magnetic fields (VEFs) following flash stimulation were recorded simultaneously in six human subjects. Flash stimuli were applied to the right eye and ERGs were recorded from a skin electrode placed on the lower lid. ERGs showed two major deflections in all subjects: an eyelid-negativity around 20 ms and a positivity around 60 ms corresponding to an a- and b-waves, respectively. The mean onset and peak latency of the earliest component of VEFs (37 M) was 30.2 and 36.9 ms, respectively. There was a linear correlation between the peak latency of the a-wave and the onset latency of the 37 M (r=0.90, P=0.011). When a single equivalent current dipole analysis was applied to the 37 M, four out of six subjects showed highly reliable results. The generator of the 37 M was estimated to be located in the striate cortex in all four subjects. Since post-receptoral activities in the retina are expected to start around the peak of the a-wave (20 ms), the early cortical activity, which appears 10 ms later than the a-wave peak, is considered to be the earliest cortical activity following flash stimulation.

  19. A Simple Network Architecture Accounts for Diverse Reward Time Responses in Primary Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huertas, Marco A; Hussain Shuler, Marshall G; Shouval, Harel Z

    2015-09-16

    Many actions performed by animals and humans depend on an ability to learn, estimate, and produce temporal intervals of behavioral relevance. Exemplifying such learning of cued expectancies is the observation of reward-timing activity in the primary visual cortex (V1) of rodents, wherein neural responses to visual cues come to predict the time of future reward as behaviorally experienced in the past. These reward-timing responses exhibit significant heterogeneity in at least three qualitatively distinct classes: sustained increase or sustained decrease in firing rate until the time of expected reward, and a class of cells that reach a peak in firing at the expected delay. We elaborate upon our existing model by including inhibitory and excitatory units while imposing simple connectivity rules to demonstrate what role these inhibitory elements and the simple architectures play in sculpting the response dynamics of the network. We find that simply adding inhibition is not sufficient for obtaining the different distinct response classes, and that a broad distribution of inhibitory projections is necessary for obtaining peak-type responses. Furthermore, although changes in connection strength that modulate the effects of inhibition onto excitatory units have a strong impact on the firing rate profile of these peaked responses, the network exhibits robustness in its overall ability to predict the expected time of reward. Finally, we demonstrate how the magnitude of expected reward can be encoded at the expected delay in the network and how peaked responses express this reward expectancy. Heterogeneity in single-neuron responses is a common feature of neuronal systems, although sometimes, in theoretical approaches, it is treated as a nuisance and seldom considered as conveying a different aspect of a signal. In this study, we focus on the heterogeneous responses in the primary visual cortex of rodents trained with a predictable delayed reward time. We describe under what

  20. Developmental alcohol exposure impairs synaptic plasticity without overtly altering microglial function in mouse visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Elissa L; Lutz, Nina M; Hogan, Victoria A; Lamantia, Cassandra E; McMurray, Helene R; Myers, Jason R; Ashton, John M; Majewska, Ania K

    2018-01-01

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), caused by gestational ethanol (EtOH) exposure, is one of the most common causes of non-heritable and life-long mental disability worldwide, with no standard treatment or therapy available. While EtOH exposure can alter the function of both neurons and glia, it is still unclear how EtOH influences brain development to cause deficits in sensory and cognitive processing later in life. Microglia play an important role in shaping synaptic function and plasticity during neural circuit development and have been shown to mount an acute immunological response to EtOH exposure in certain brain regions. Therefore, we hypothesized that microglial roles in the healthy brain could be permanently altered by early EtOH exposure leading to deficits in experience-dependent plasticity. We used a mouse model of human third trimester high binge EtOH exposure, administering EtOH twice daily by subcutaneous injections from postnatal day 4 through postnatal day 9 (P4-:P9). Using a monocular deprivation model to assess ocular dominance plasticity, we found an EtOH-induced deficit in this type of visually driven experience-dependent plasticity. However, using a combination of immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy, and in vivo two-photon microscopy to assay microglial morphology and dynamics, as well as fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) and RNA-seq to examine the microglial transcriptome, we found no evidence of microglial dysfunction in early adolescence. We also found no evidence of microglial activation in visual cortex acutely after early ethanol exposure, possibly because we also did not observe EtOH-induced neuronal cell death in this brain region. We conclude that early EtOH exposure caused a deficit in experience-dependent synaptic plasticity in the visual cortex that was independent of changes in microglial phenotype or function. This demonstrates that neural plasticity can remain impaired by developmental ethanol exposure even in

  1. Corticothalamic and corticotectal somatosensory projections from the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (SIV cortex) in neonatal cats: an anatomical demonstration with HRP and /sup 3/H-leucine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McHaffie, J.G.; Kruger, L.; Clemo, H.R.; Stein, B.E.

    1988-08-01

    Corticothalamic and corticotectal projections from the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (AES) in neonatal cats were studied with anterograde and retrograde neuroanatomical techniques. When the injection site was relatively restricted to the sulcal walls and fundus of the rostral AES (i.e., the SIV cortex), heavy ipsilateral thalamic label was observed in the medial subdivision of the posterior group, in the suprageniculate nucleus, and in the external medullary lamina. No terminal label was seen in the contralateral thalamus although the contralateral homotopic cortex was heavily labeled. Within the ventrobasal complex (VB), dense axonal label was observed in fascicles that traversed VB, but only light terminal label was observed within VB itself. However, in cases where the tracer spread into adjacent SII, terminal label in VB was pronounced. Similarly, when the injection site extended into auditory cortex, terminal label was observed in the lateral and intermediate subdivisions of the posterior group. Rostral AES injections produced distinct, predominantly ipsilateral, terminal label in the superior colliculus that was distributed in two tiers: a discontinuous band in the stratum griseum intermedium and a more diffuse band in stratum griseum profundum. Caudally, dense terminal label was seen in the intercollicular zone and dorsolateral periaqueductal gray. When the injection site did not include rostral AES, no label was observed in the superior colliculus. Horseradish peroxidase injections into the superior colliculus of neonates produced retrogradely labeled neurons throughout the AES, but none was found on the crown of the gyrus where SII is located. Thus, the neonatal corticotectal somatosensory projection arises exclusively from AES and parallels that found in adults.

  2. Role of early visual cortex in trans-saccadic memory of object features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malik, Pankhuri; Dessing, Joost C; Crawford, J Douglas

    2015-08-01

    Early visual cortex (EVC) participates in visual feature memory and the updating of remembered locations across saccades, but its role in the trans-saccadic integration of object features is unknown. We hypothesized that if EVC is involved in updating object features relative to gaze, feature memory should be disrupted when saccades remap an object representation into a simultaneously perturbed EVC site. To test this, we applied transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over functional magnetic resonance imaging-localized EVC clusters corresponding to the bottom left/right visual quadrants (VQs). During experiments, these VQs were probed psychophysically by briefly presenting a central object (Gabor patch) while subjects fixated gaze to the right or left (and above). After a short memory interval, participants were required to detect the relative change in orientation of a re-presented test object at the same spatial location. Participants either sustained fixation during the memory interval (fixation task) or made a horizontal saccade that either maintained or reversed the VQ of the object (saccade task). Three TMS pulses (coinciding with the pre-, peri-, and postsaccade intervals) were applied to the left or right EVC. This had no effect when (a) fixation was maintained, (b) saccades kept the object in the same VQ, or (c) the EVC quadrant corresponding to the first object was stimulated. However, as predicted, TMS reduced performance when saccades (especially larger saccades) crossed the remembered object location and brought it into the VQ corresponding to the TMS site. This suppression effect was statistically significant for leftward saccades and followed a weaker trend for rightward saccades. These causal results are consistent with the idea that EVC is involved in the gaze-centered updating of object features for trans-saccadic memory and perception.

  3. Modified areal cartography in auditory cortex following early- and late-onset deafness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Carmen; Chabot, Nicole; Kok, Melanie A; Lomber, Stephen G

    2014-07-01

    Cross-modal plasticity following peripheral sensory loss enables deprived cortex to provide enhanced abilities in remaining sensory systems. These functional adaptations have been demonstrated in cat auditory cortex following early-onset deafness in electrophysiological and psychophysical studies. However, little information is available concerning any accompanying structural compensations. To examine the influence of sound experience on areal cartography, auditory cytoarchitecture was examined in hearing cats, early-deaf cats, and cats with late-onset deafness. Cats were deafened shortly after hearing onset or in adulthood. Cerebral cytoarchitecture was revealed immunohistochemically using SMI-32, a monoclonal antibody used to distinguish auditory areas in many species. Auditory areas were delineated in coronal sections and their volumes measured. Staining profiles observed in hearing cats were conserved in early- and late-deaf cats. In all deaf cats, dorsal auditory areas were the most mutable. Early-deaf cats showed further modifications, with significant expansions in second auditory cortex and ventral auditory field. Borders between dorsal auditory areas and adjacent visual and somatosensory areas were shifted ventrally, suggesting expanded visual and somatosensory cortical representation. Overall, this study shows the influence of acoustic experience in cortical development, and suggests that the age of auditory deprivation may significantly affect auditory areal cartography. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Three counting methods agree on cell and neuron number in chimpanzee primary visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel James Miller

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Determining the cellular composition of specific brain regions is crucial to our understanding of the function of neurobiological systems. It is therefore useful to identify the extent to which different methods agree when estimating the same properties of brain circuitry. In this study, we estimated the number of neuronal and non-neuronal cells in the primary visual cortex (area 17 or V1 of both hemispheres from a single chimpanzee. Specifically, we processed samples distributed across V1 of the right hemisphere after cortex was flattened into a sheet using two variations of the isotropic fractionator cell and neuron counting method. We processed the left hemisphere as serial brain slices for stereological investigation. The goal of this study was to evaluate the agreement between these methods in the most direct manner possible by comparing estimates of cell density across one brain region of interest in a single individual. In our hands, these methods produced similar estimates of the total cellular population (approximately 1 billion as well as the number of neurons (approximately 675 million in chimpanzee V1, providing evidence that both techniques estimate the same parameters of interest. In addition, our results indicate the strengths of each distinct tissue preparation procedure, highlighting the importance of attention to anatomical detail. In summary, we found that the isotropic fractionator and the stereological optical fractionator produced concordant estimates of the cellular composition of V1, and that this result supports the conclusion that chimpanzees conform to the primate pattern of exceptionally high packing density in V1. Ultimately, our data suggest that investigators can optimize their experimental approach by using any of these counting methods to obtain reliable cell and neuron counts.

  5. MHC class I molecules are present both pre- and postsynaptically in the visual cortex during postnatal development and in adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Needleman, Leigh A; Liu, Xiao-Bo; El-Sabeawy, Faten; Jones, Edward G; McAllister, A Kimberley

    2010-09-28

    Immune molecules have been discovered recently to play critical roles in the development, function, and plasticity of the cerebral cortex. MHC class I (MHCI) molecules are expressed in the central nervous system and regulate activity-dependent refinement of visual projections during late postnatal development. They have also been implicated in neurodevelopmental diseases such as schizophrenia and autism. Despite the excitement generated by these unique roles for immune proteins in the brain, little is known about how these molecules regulate cortical connections. The first step toward elucidating the mechanism is to identify the spatial and temporal distribution of MHCI proteins throughout development. Using a pan-specific antibody that recognizes many MHCI variants for biochemistry and immunohistochemistry, we found that MHCI proteins are expressed in the rat visual cortex at all ages examined-during the peak of synaptogenesis, the critical period of synaptic refinement, and adulthood. Their abundance in the cortex peaked during early postnatal development, declining during periods of plasticity and adulthood. In contrast to current assumptions, pre- and postembedding immunogold electron microscopy (EM) revealed that MHCI proteins were present both pre- and postsynaptically at all ages examined. They were often found in the postsynaptic density and were closely associated with synaptic vesicles in the presynaptic terminal. These results suggest a previously undescribed model in which MHCI molecules function on both sides of the synapse to regulate connectivity in the mammalian visual cortex before, during, and after the establishment of connections.

  6. Unilateral visual loss secondary to cat scratch disease in a healthy young man

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    Norfarizal Ashikin Abdullah

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Cat scratch disease is a benign clinical syndrome manifested as lymphadenopathy, fever and sometimes with atypical symptom of blurring of vision. It occurs following cat ’s bites or scratches. This case report presented a healthy young man presented with left eye blurring of vision for 1 month duration preceeded by history of recurrent low grade fever with previous history of being scratched by cat. Examination revealed optic disc edema with macula star. Thorough investigations were done and shown positive titre towards Bartonella henselae. He responded well with intravenous ceftazidime, oral doxycycline and rifampicin. His vision improved to 6/9 and 6/6 with pinhole after 3 months.

  7. Uncorrelated Neural Firing in Mouse Visual Cortex during Spontaneous Retinal Waves

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    Matthew T. Colonnese

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Synchronous firing among the elements of forming circuits is critical for stabilization of synapses. Understanding the nature of these local network interactions during development can inform models of circuit formation. Within cortex, spontaneous activity changes throughout development. Unlike the adult, early spontaneous activity occurs in discontinuous population bursts separated by long silent periods, suggesting a high degree of local synchrony. However, whether the micro-patterning of activity within early bursts is unique to this early age and specifically tuned for early development is poorly understood, particularly within the column. To study this we used single-shank multi-electrode array recordings of spontaneous activity in the visual cortex of non-anesthetized neonatal mice to quantify single-unit firing rates, and applied multiple measures of network interaction and synchrony throughout the period of map formation and immediately after eye-opening. We find that despite co-modulation of firing rates on a slow time scale (hundreds of ms, the number of coactive neurons, as well as pair-wise neural spike-rate correlations, are both lower before eye-opening. In fact, on post-natal days (P6–9 correlated activity was lower than expected by chance, suggesting active decorrelation of activity during early bursts. Neurons in lateral geniculate nucleus developed in an opposite manner, becoming less correlated after eye-opening. Population coupling, a measure of integration in the local network, revealed a population of neurons with particularly strong local coupling present at P6–11, but also an adult-like diversity of coupling at all ages, suggesting that a neuron’s identity as locally or distally coupled is determined early. The occurrence probabilities of unique neuronal “words” were largely similar at all ages suggesting that retinal waves drive adult-like patterns of co-activation. These findings suggest that the bursts of

  8. Development of Glutamatergic Proteins in Human Visual Cortex across the Lifespan.

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    Siu, Caitlin R; Beshara, Simon P; Jones, David G; Murphy, Kathryn M

    2017-06-21

    Traditionally, human primary visual cortex (V1) has been thought to mature within the first few years of life, based on anatomical studies of synapse formation, and establishment of intracortical and intercortical connections. Human vision, however, develops well beyond the first few years. Previously, we found prolonged development of some GABAergic proteins in human V1 (Pinto et al., 2010). Yet as >80% of synapses in V1 are excitatory, it remains unanswered whether the majority of synapses regulating experience-dependent plasticity and receptive field properties develop late, like their inhibitory counterparts. To address this question, we used Western blotting of postmortem tissue from human V1 (12 female, 18 male) covering a range of ages. Then we quantified a set of postsynaptic glutamatergic proteins (PSD-95, GluA2, GluN1, GluN2A, GluN2B), calculated indices for functional pairs that are developmentally regulated (GluA2:GluN1; GluN2A:GluN2B), and determined interindividual variability. We found early loss of GluN1, prolonged development of PSD-95 and GluA2 into late childhood, protracted development of GluN2A until ∼40 years, and dramatic loss of GluN2A in aging. The GluA2:GluN1 index switched at ∼1 year, but the GluN2A:GluN2B index continued to shift until ∼40 year before changing back to GluN2B in aging. We also identified young childhood as a stage of heightened interindividual variability. The changes show that human V1 develops gradually through a series of five orchestrated stages, making it likely that V1 participates in visual development and plasticity across the lifespan. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Anatomical structure of human V1 appears to mature early, but vision changes across the lifespan. This discrepancy has fostered two hypotheses: either other aspects of V1 continue changing, or later changes in visual perception depend on extrastriate areas. Previously, we showed that some GABAergic synaptic proteins change across the lifespan, but most

  9. Sleep deprivation impairs object-selective attention: a view from the ventral visual cortex.

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    Julian Lim

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Most prior studies on selective attention in the setting of total sleep deprivation (SD have focused on behavior or activation within fronto-parietal cognitive control areas. Here, we evaluated the effects of SD on the top-down biasing of activation of ventral visual cortex and on functional connectivity between cognitive control and other brain regions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Twenty-three healthy young adult volunteers underwent fMRI after a normal night of sleep (RW and after sleep deprivation in a counterbalanced manner while performing a selective attention task. During this task, pictures of houses or faces were randomly interleaved among scrambled images. Across different blocks, volunteers responded to house but not face pictures, face but not house pictures, or passively viewed pictures without responding. The appearance of task-relevant pictures was unpredictable in this paradigm. SD resulted in less accurate detection of target pictures without affecting the mean false alarm rate or response time. In addition to a reduction of fronto-parietal activation, attending to houses strongly modulated parahippocampal place area (PPA activation during RW, but this attention-driven biasing of PPA activation was abolished following SD. Additionally, SD resulted in a significant decrement in functional connectivity between the PPA and two cognitive control areas, the left intraparietal sulcus and the left inferior frontal lobe. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: SD impairs selective attention as evidenced by reduced selectivity in PPA activation. Further, reduction in fronto-parietal and ventral visual task-related activation suggests that it also affects sustained attention. Reductions in functional connectivity may be an important additional imaging parameter to consider in characterizing the effects of sleep deprivation on cognition.

  10. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor knockout mice show distinct synaptic plasticity impairments in the visual cortex

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    Origlia, Nicola; Kuczewski, Nicola; Aztiria, Eugenio; Gautam, Dinesh; Wess, Jürgen; Domenici, Luciano

    2006-01-01

    In the present report, we focused our attention on the role played by the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) in different forms of long-term synaptic plasticity. Specifically, we investigated long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) expression elicited by theta-burst stimulation (TBS) and low-frequency stimulation (LFS), respectively, in visual cortical slices obtained from different mAChR knockout (KO) mice. A normal LTP was evoked in M1/M3 double KO mice, while LTP was impaired in the M2/M4 double KO animals. On the other hand, LFS induced LTD in M2/M4 double KO mice, but failed to do so in M1/M3 KO mice. Interestingly, LFS produced LTP instead of LTD in M1/M3 KO mice. Analysis of mAChR single KO mice revealed that LTP was affected only by the simultaneous absence of both M2 and M4 receptors. A LFS-dependent shift from LTD to LTP was also observed in slices from M1 KO mice, while LTD was simply abolished in slices from M3 KO mice. Using pharmacological tools, we showed that LTP in control mice was blocked by pertussis toxin, an inhibitor of Gi/o proteins, but not by raising intracellular cAMP levels. In addition, the inhibition of phospholipase C by U73122 induced the same shift from LTD to LTP after LFS observed in M1 single KO and M1/M3 double KO mice. Our results indicate that different mAChR subtypes regulate different forms of long-term synaptic plasticity in the mouse visual cortex, activating specific G proteins and downstream intracellular mechanisms. PMID:17023506

  11. Spike train encoding by regular-spiking cells of the visual cortex.

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    Carandini, M; Mechler, F; Leonard, C S; Movshon, J A

    1996-11-01

    1. To study the encoding of input currents into output spike trains by regular-spiking cells, we recorded intracellularly from slices of the guinea pig visual cortex while injecting step, sinusoidal, and broadband noise currents. 2. When measured with sinusoidal currents, the frequency tuning of the spike responses was markedly band-pass. The preferred frequency was between 8 and 30 Hz, and grew with stimulus amplitude and mean intensity. 3. Stimulation with broadband noise currents dramatically enhanced the gain of the spike responses at low and high frequencies, yielding an essentially flat frequency tuning between 0.1 and 130 Hz. 4. The averaged spike responses to sinusoidal currents exhibited two nonlinearities: rectification and spike synchronization. By contrast, no nonlinearity was evident in the averaged responses to broadband noise stimuli. 5. These properties of the spike responses were not present in the membrane potential responses. The latter were roughly linear, and their frequency tuning was low-pass and well fit by a single-compartment passive model of the cell membrane composed of a resistance and a capacitance in parallel (RC circuit). 6. To account for the spike responses, we used a "sandwich model" consisting of a low-pass linear filter (the RC circuit), a rectification nonlinearity, and a high-pass linear filter. The model is described by six parameters and predicts analog firing rates rather than discrete spikes. It provided satisfactory fits to the firing rate responses to steps, sinusoids, and broadband noise currents. 7. The properties of spike encoding are consistent with temporal nonlinearities of the visual responses in V1, such as the dependence of response frequency tuning and latency on stimulus contrast and bandwidth. We speculate that one of the roles of the high-frequency membrane potential fluctuations observed in vivo could be to amplify and linearize the responses to lower, stimulus-related frequencies.

  12. Distributed patterns of activity in sensory cortex reflect the precision of multiple items maintained in visual short-term memory.

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    Emrich, Stephen M; Riggall, Adam C; Larocque, Joshua J; Postle, Bradley R

    2013-04-10

    Traditionally, load sensitivity of sustained, elevated activity has been taken as an index of storage for a limited number of items in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Recently, studies have demonstrated that the contents of a single item held in VSTM can be decoded from early visual cortex, despite the fact that these areas do not exhibit elevated, sustained activity. It is unknown, however, whether the patterns of neural activity decoded from sensory cortex change as a function of load, as one would expect from a region storing multiple representations. Here, we use multivoxel pattern analysis to examine the neural representations of VSTM in humans across multiple memory loads. In an important extension of previous findings, our results demonstrate that the contents of VSTM can be decoded from areas that exhibit a transient response to visual stimuli, but not from regions that exhibit elevated, sustained load-sensitive delay-period activity. Moreover, the neural information present in these transiently activated areas decreases significantly with increasing load, indicating load sensitivity of the patterns of activity that support VSTM maintenance. Importantly, the decrease in classification performance as a function of load is correlated with within-subject changes in mnemonic resolution. These findings indicate that distributed patterns of neural activity in putatively sensory visual cortex support the representation and precision of information in VSTM.

  13. Activity-dependent regulation of MHC class I expression in the developing primary visual cortex of the common marmoset monkey

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    Schlumbohm Christina

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several recent studies have highlighted the important role of immunity-related molecules in synaptic plasticity processes in the developing and adult mammalian brains. It has been suggested that neuronal MHCI (major histocompatibility complex class I genes play a role in the refinement and pruning of synapses in the developing visual system. As a fast evolutionary rate may generate distinct properties of molecules in different mammalian species, we studied the expression of MHCI molecules in a nonhuman primate, the common marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus. Methods and results Analysis of expression levels of MHCI molecules in the developing visual cortex of the common marmoset monkeys revealed a distinct spatio-temporal pattern. High levels of expression were detected very early in postnatal development, at a stage when synaptogenesis takes place and ocular dominance columns are formed. To determine whether the expression of MHCI molecules is regulated by retinal activity, animals were subjected to monocular enucleation. Levels of MHCI heavy chain subunit transcripts in the visual cortex were found to be elevated in response to monocular enucleation. Furthermore, MHCI heavy chain immunoreactivity revealed a banded pattern in layer IV of the visual cortex in enucleated animals, which was not observed in control animals. This pattern of immunoreactivity indicated that higher expression levels were associated with retinal activity coming from the intact eye. Conclusions These data demonstrate that, in the nonhuman primate brain, expression of MHCI molecules is regulated by neuronal activity. Moreover, this study extends previous findings by suggesting a role for neuronal MHCI molecules during synaptogenesis in the visual cortex.

  14. D-Serine and Glycine Differentially Control Neurotransmission during Visual Cortex Critical Period.

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    Claire N J Meunier

    Full Text Available N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs play a central role in synaptic plasticity. Their activation requires the binding of both glutamate and d-serine or glycine as co-agonist. The prevalence of either co-agonist on NMDA-receptor function differs between brain regions and remains undetermined in the visual cortex (VC at the critical period of postnatal development. Here, we therefore investigated the regulatory role that d-serine and/or glycine may exert on NMDARs function and on synaptic plasticity in the rat VC layer 5 pyramidal neurons of young rats. Using selective enzymatic depletion of d-serine or glycine, we demonstrate that d-serine and not glycine is the endogenous co-agonist of synaptic NMDARs required for the induction and expression of Long Term Potentiation (LTP at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Glycine on the other hand is not involved in synaptic efficacy per se but regulates excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission by activating strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors, then producing a shunting inhibition that controls neuronal gain and results in a depression of synaptic inputs at the somatic level after dendritic integration. In conclusion, we describe for the first time that in the VC both D-serine and glycine differentially regulate somatic depolarization through the activation of distinct synaptic and extrasynaptic receptors.

  15. A precise form of divisive suppression supports population coding in the primary visual cortex.

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    MacEvoy, Sean P; Tucker, Thomas R; Fitzpatrick, David

    2009-05-01

    The responses of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) to an optimally oriented grating are suppressed when a non-optimal grating is superimposed. Although cross-orientation suppression is thought to reflect mechanisms that maintain a distributed code for orientation, the effect of superimposed gratings on V1 population responses is unknown. Using intrinsic signal optical imaging, we found that patterns of tree shrew V1 activity evoked by superimposed equal-contrast gratings were predicted by the averages of patterns evoked by individual component gratings. This prediction held across contrasts, for summed sinusoidal gratings or nonsumming square-wave gratings, and was evident in single-unit extracellular recordings. Intracellular recordings revealed consistent levels of suppression throughout the time course of subthreshold responses. These results indicate that divisive suppression powerfully governs population responses to multiple orientations. Moreover, the specific form of suppression that we observed appears to support independent population codes for stimulus orientation and strength and calls for a reassessment of mechanisms that underlie cross-orientation suppression.

  16. Cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation over posterior parietal cortex enhances distinct aspects of visual working memory.

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    Heinen, Klaartje; Sagliano, Laura; Candini, Michela; Husain, Masud; Cappelletti, Marinella; Zokaei, Nahid

    2016-07-01

    In this study, we investigated the effects of tDCS over the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) during a visual working memory (WM) task, which probes different sources of response error underlying the precision of WM recall. In two separate experiments, we demonstrated that tDCS enhanced WM precision when applied bilaterally over the PPC, independent of electrode configuration. In a third experiment, we demonstrated with unilateral electrode configuration over the right PPC, that only cathodal tDCS enhanced WM precision and only when baseline performance was low. Looking at the effects on underlying sources of error, we found that cathodal stimulation enhanced the probability of correct target response across all participants by reducing feature-misbinding. Only for low-baseline performers, cathodal stimulation also reduced variability of recall. We conclude that cathodal- but not anodal tDCS can improve WM precision by preventing feature-misbinding and hereby enhancing attentional selection. For low-baseline performers, cathodal tDCS also protects the memory trace. Furthermore, stimulation over bilateral PPC is more potent than unilateral cathodal tDCS in enhancing general WM precision. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Determinants of Global Color-Based Selection in Human Visual Cortex.

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    Bartsch, Mandy V; Boehler, Carsten N; Stoppel, Christian M; Merkel, Christian; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Hopf, Jens-Max

    2015-09-01

    Feature attention operates in a spatially global way, with attended feature values being prioritized for selection outside the focus of attention. Accounts of global feature attention have emphasized feature competition as a determining factor. Here, we use magnetoencephalographic recordings in humans to test whether competition is critical for global feature selection to arise. Subjects performed a color/shape discrimination task in one visual field (VF), while irrelevant color probes were presented in the other unattended VF. Global effects of color attention were assessed by analyzing the response to the probe as a function of whether or not the probe's color was a target-defining color. We find that global color selection involves a sequence of modulations in extrastriate cortex, with an initial phase in higher tier areas (lateral occipital complex) followed by a later phase in lower tier retinotopic areas (V3/V4). Importantly, these modulations appeared with and without color competition in the focus of attention. Moreover, early parts of the modulation emerged for a task-relevant color not even present in the focus of attention. All modulations, however, were eliminated during simple onset-detection of the colored target. These results indicate that global color-based attention depends on target discrimination independent of feature competition in the focus of attention. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Population coding in mouse visual cortex: response reliability and dissociability of stimulus tuning and noise correlation

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    Jorrit Steven Montijn

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The primary visual cortex is an excellent model system for investigating how neuronal populations encode information, because of well-documented relationships between stimulus characteristics and neuronal activation patterns. We used two-photon calcium imaging data to relate the performance of different methods for studying population coding (population vectors, template matching and Bayesian decoding algorithms to their underlying assumptions. We show that the variability of neuronal responses may hamper the decoding of population activity, and that a normalization to correct for this variability may be of critical importance for correct decoding of population activity. Second, by comparing noise correlations and stimulus tuning we find that these properties have dissociated anatomical correlates, even though noise correlations have been previously hypothesized to reflect common synaptic input. We hypothesize that noise correlations arise from large nonspecific increases in spiking activity acting on many weak synapses simultaneously, while neuronal stimulus response properties are dependent on more reliable connections. Finally, this paper provides practical guidelines for further research on population coding and shows that population coding cannot be approximated by a simple summation of inputs, but is heavily influenced by factors such as input reliability and noise correlation structure.

  19. Investigation of human visual cortex responses to flickering light using functional near infrared spectroscopy and constrained ICA

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    Nguyen Duc Thang

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The human visual sensitivity to the flickering light has been under investigation for decades. The finding of research in this area can contribute to the understanding of human visual system mechanism and visual disorders, and establishing diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of the flickering light to the visual cortex by monitoring the hemodynamic responses of the brain with the functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS method. Since the acquired fNIRS signals are affected by physiological factors and measurement artifacts, constrained independent component analysis (cICA was applied to extract the actual fNIRS responses from the obtained data. The experimental results revealed significant changes (p < 0.0001 of the hemodynamic responses of the visual cortex from the baseline when the flickering stimulation was activated. With the uses of cICA, the contrast to noise ratio (CNR, reflecting the contrast of hemodynamic concentration between rest and task, became larger. This indicated the improvement of the fNIRS signals when the noise was eliminated. In subsequent studies, statistical analysis was used to infer the correlation between the fNIRS signals and the visual stimulus. We found that there was a slight decrease of the oxygenated hemoglobin concentration (about 5.69% over four frequencies when the modulation increased. However, the variations of oxy and deoxy-hemoglobin were not statistically significant.

  20. Low visual cortex GABA levels in hepatic encephalopathy: links to blood ammonia, critical flicker frequency, and brain osmolytes.

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    Oeltzschner, Georg; Butz, Markus; Baumgarten, Thomas J; Hoogenboom, Nienke; Wittsack, Hans-Jörg; Schnitzler, Alfons

    2015-12-01

    The pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is not fully understood yet. Hyperammonemia due to liver failure and subsequent disturbance of cerebral osmolytic balance is thought to play a pivotal role in the emergence of HE. The aim of this in-vivo MR spectroscopy study was to investigate the levels of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and its correlations with clinical symptoms of HE, blood ammonia, critical flicker frequency, and osmolytic levels. Thirty patients with minimal HE or HE1 and 16 age-matched healthy controls underwent graduation of HE according to the West-Haven criteria and including the critical flicker frequency (CFF), neuropsychometric testing and blood testing. Edited proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H MRS) was used to non-invasively measure the concentrations of GABA, glutamate (Glu), glutamine (Gln), and myo-inositol (mI) - all normalized to creatine (Cr) - in visual and sensorimotor cortex. GABA/Cr in the visual area was significantly decreased in mHE and HE1 patients and correlated both to the CFF (r = 0.401, P = 0.013) and blood ammonia levels (r = -0.434, P = 0.006). Visual GABA/Cr was also strongly linked to mI/Cr (r = 0.720, P < 0.001) and Gln/Cr (r = -0.699, P < 0.001). No group differences or correlations were found for GABA/Cr in the sensorimotor area. Hepatic encephalopathy is associated with a regional specific decrease of GABA levels in the visual cortex, while no changes were revealed for the sensorimotor cortex. Correlations of visual GABA/Cr with CFF, blood ammonia, and osmolytic regulators mI and Gln indicate that decreased visual GABA levels might contribute to HE symptoms, most likely as a consequence of hyperammonemia.

  1. Effect of luminance contrast on BOLD-fMRI response in deaf and normal occipital visual cortex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xue Yanping; Zhai Renyou; Jiang Tao; Cui Yong; Zhou Tiangang; Rao Hengyi; Zhuo Yan

    2002-01-01

    Objective: To examine the effect of luminance contrast stimulus by using blood oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI) within deaf occipital visual cortex, and to compare the distribution, extent, and intensity of activated areas between deaf subjects and normal hearing subjects. Methods: Twelve deaf subjects (average age 16.5) and 15 normal hearing subjects (average age 23.7) were stimulated by 4 kinds of luminance contrast (0.7, 2.2, 50.0, 180.0 lm). The fMRI data were collected on GE 1.5 T Signa Horizon LX MRI system and analyzed by AFNI to generate the activation map. Results: Responding to all 4 kinds of stimulus luminance contrast, all deaf and normal subjects showed significant activations in occipital visual cortex. For both deaf and normal subjects, the number of activated pixels increased significantly with increasing luminance contrast (F normal = 4.27, P deaf = 6.41, P 0.05). The local mean activation level for all activated pixels remained constant with increasing luminance contrast. However, there was an increase in the mean activation level for those activated pixels common to all trials as the stimulus luminance contrast was increased, but no significant difference was found within them (F normal = 0.79, P > 0.05; F deaf = 1.6, P > 0.05). Conclusion: The effect of luminance contrast on occipital visual cortex of deaf is similar to but somewhat higher than that of normal hearing subjects. In addition, it also proved that fMRI is a feasible method in the study of the deaf visual cortex

  2. Walk-related mimic word activates the extrastriate visual cortex in the human brain: an fMRI study.

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    Osaka, Naoyuki

    2009-03-02

    I present an fMRI study demonstrating that a mimic word highly suggestive of human walking, heard by the ear with eyes closed, significantly activates the visual cortex located in extrastriate occipital region (BA19, 18) and superior temporal sulcus (STS) while hearing non-sense words that do not imply walk under the same task does not activate these areas in humans. I concluded that BA19 and 18 would be a critical region for generating visual images of walking and related intentional stance, respectively, evoked by an onomatopoeia word that implied walking.

  3. Practice makes perfect: the neural substrates of tactile discrimination by Mah-Jong experts include the primary visual cortex

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    Honda Manabu

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has yet to be determined whether visual-tactile cross-modal plasticity due to visual deprivation, particularly in the primary visual cortex (V1, is solely due to visual deprivation or if it is a result of long-term tactile training. Here we conducted an fMRI study with normally-sighted participants who had undergone long-term training on the tactile shape discrimination of the two dimensional (2D shapes on Mah-Jong tiles (Mah-Jong experts. Eight Mah-Jong experts and twelve healthy volunteers who were naïve to Mah-Jong performed a tactile shape matching task using Mah-Jong tiles with no visual input. Furthermore, seven out of eight experts performed a tactile shape matching task with unfamiliar 2D Braille characters. Results When participants performed tactile discrimination of Mah-Jong tiles, the left lateral occipital cortex (LO and V1 were activated in the well-trained subjects. In the naïve subjects, the LO was activated but V1 was not activated. Both the LO and V1 of the well-trained subjects were activated during Braille tactile discrimination tasks. Conclusion The activation of V1 in subjects trained in tactile discrimination may represent altered cross-modal responses as a result of long-term training.

  4. Practice makes perfect: the neural substrates of tactile discrimination by Mah-Jong experts include the primary visual cortex.

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    Saito, Daisuke N; Okada, Tomohisa; Honda, Manabu; Yonekura, Yoshiharu; Sadato, Norihiro

    2006-12-05

    It has yet to be determined whether visual-tactile cross-modal plasticity due to visual deprivation, particularly in the primary visual cortex (V1), is solely due to visual deprivation or if it is a result of long-term tactile training. Here we conducted an fMRI study with normally-sighted participants who had undergone long-term training on the tactile shape discrimination of the two dimensional (2D) shapes on Mah-Jong tiles (Mah-Jong experts). Eight Mah-Jong experts and twelve healthy volunteers who were naïve to Mah-Jong performed a tactile shape matching task using Mah-Jong tiles with no visual input. Furthermore, seven out of eight experts performed a tactile shape matching task with unfamiliar 2D Braille characters. When participants performed tactile discrimination of Mah-Jong tiles, the left lateral occipital cortex (LO) and V1 were activated in the well-trained subjects. In the naïve subjects, the LO was activated but V1 was not activated. Both the LO and V1 of the well-trained subjects were activated during Braille tactile discrimination tasks. The activation of V1 in subjects trained in tactile discrimination may represent altered cross-modal responses as a result of long-term training.

  5. High-alpha band synchronization across frontal, parietal and visual cortex mediates behavioral and neuronal effects of visuospatial attention.

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    Lobier, Muriel; Palva, J Matias; Palva, Satu

    2018-01-15

    Visuospatial attention prioritizes processing of attended visual stimuli. It is characterized by lateralized alpha-band (8-14 Hz) amplitude suppression in visual cortex and increased neuronal activity in a network of frontal and parietal areas. It has remained unknown what mechanisms coordinate neuronal processing among frontoparietal network and visual cortices and implement the attention-related modulations of alpha-band amplitudes and behavior. We investigated whether large-scale network synchronization could be such a mechanism. We recorded human cortical activity with magnetoencephalography (MEG) during a visuospatial attention task. We then identified the frequencies and anatomical networks of inter-areal phase synchronization from source localized MEG data. We found that visuospatial attention is associated with robust and sustained long-range synchronization of cortical oscillations exclusively in the high-alpha (10-14 Hz) frequency band. This synchronization connected frontal, parietal and visual regions and was observed concurrently with amplitude suppression of low-alpha (6-9 Hz) band oscillations in visual cortex. Furthermore, stronger high-alpha phase synchronization was associated with decreased reaction times to attended stimuli and larger suppression of alpha-band amplitudes. These results thus show that high-alpha band phase synchronization is functionally significant and could coordinate the neuronal communication underlying the implementation of visuospatial attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Very low concentrations of ethanol suppress excitatory synaptic transmission in rat visual cortex.

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    Luong, Lucas; Bannon, Nicholas M; Redenti, Andrew; Chistiakova, Marina; Volgushev, Maxim

    2017-05-01

    Ethanol is one of the most commonly used substances in the world. Behavioral effects of alcohol are well described, however, cellular mechanisms of its action are poorly understood. There is an apparent contradiction between measurable behavioral changes produced by low concentrations of ethanol, and lack of evidence of synaptic changes at these concentrations. Furthermore, effects of ethanol on synaptic transmission in the neocortex are poorly understood. Here, we set to determine effects of ethanol on excitatory synaptic transmission in the neocortex. We show that 1-50 mm ethanol suppresses excitatory synaptic transmission to layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in rat visual cortex in a concentration-dependent manner. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of the effects of very low concentrations of ethanol (from 1 mm) on synaptic transmission in the neocortex. We further show that a selective antagonist of A 1 adenosine receptors, 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine (DPCPX), blocks effects of 1-10 mm ethanol on synaptic transmission. However, the reduction in excitatory postsynaptic potential amplitude by 50 mm ethanol was not affected by DPCPX. We propose that ethanol depresses excitatory synaptic transmission in the neocortex by at least two mechanisms, engaged at different concentrations: low concentrations of ethanol reduce synaptic transmission via A 1 R-dependent mechanism and involve presynaptic changes, while higher concentrations activate additional, adenosine-independent mechanisms with predominantly postsynaptic action. Involvement of adenosine signaling in mediating effects of low concentrations of ethanol may have important implications for understanding alcohol's effects on brain function, and provide a mechanistic explanation to the interaction between alcohol and caffeine. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Random waves in the brain: Symmetries and defect generation in the visual cortex

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    Schnabel, M.; Kaschube, M.; Löwel, S.; Wolf, F.

    2007-06-01

    How orientation maps in the visual cortex of the brain develop is a matter of long standing debate. Experimental and theoretical evidence suggests that their development represents an activity-dependent self-organization process. Theoretical analysis [1] exploring this hypothesis predicted that maps at an early developmental stage are realizations of Gaussian random fields exhibiting a rigorous lower bound for their densities of topological defects, called pinwheels. As a consequence, lower pinwheel densities, if observed in adult animals, are predicted to develop through the motion and annihilation of pinwheel pairs. Despite of being valid for a large class of developmental models this result depends on the symmetries of the models and thus of the predicted random field ensembles. In [1] invariance of the orientation map's statistical properties under independent space rotations and orientation shifts was assumed. However, full rotation symmetry appears to be broken by interactions of cortical neurons, e.g. selective couplings between groups of neurons with collinear orientation preferences [2]. A recently proposed new symmetry, called shift-twist symmetry [3], stating that spatial rotations have to occur together with orientation shifts in order to be an appropriate symmetry transformation, is more consistent with this organization. Here we generalize our random field approach to this important symmetry class. We propose a new class of shift-twist symmetric Gaussian random fields and derive the general correlation functions of this ensemble. It turns out that despite strong effects of the shift-twist symmetry on the structure of the correlation functions and on the map layout the lower bound on the pinwheel densities remains unaffected, predicting pinwheel annihilation in systems with low pinwheel densities.

  8. Neurochemical and BOLD responses during neuronal activation measured in the human visual cortex at 7 Tesla.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bednařík, Petr; Tkáč, Ivan; Giove, Federico; DiNuzzo, Mauro; Deelchand, Dinesh K; Emir, Uzay E; Eberly, Lynn E; Mangia, Silvia

    2015-03-31

    Several laboratories have consistently reported small concentration changes in lactate, glutamate, aspartate, and glucose in the human cortex during prolonged stimuli. However, whether such changes correlate with blood oxygenation level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI) signals have not been determined. The present study aimed at characterizing the relationship between metabolite concentrations and BOLD-fMRI signals during a block-designed paradigm of visual stimulation. Functional magnetic resonance spectroscopy (fMRS) and fMRI data were acquired from 12 volunteers. A short echo-time semi-LASER localization sequence optimized for 7 Tesla was used to achieve full signal-intensity MRS data. The group analysis confirmed that during stimulation lactate and glutamate increased by 0.26 ± 0.06 μmol/g (~30%) and 0.28 ± 0.03 μmol/g (~3%), respectively, while aspartate and glucose decreased by 0.20 ± 0.04 μmol/g (~5%) and 0.19 ± 0.03 μmol/g (~16%), respectively. The single-subject analysis revealed that BOLD-fMRI signals were positively correlated with glutamate and lactate concentration changes. The results show a linear relationship between metabolic and BOLD responses in the presence of strong excitatory sensory inputs, and support the notion that increased functional energy demands are sustained by oxidative metabolism. In addition, BOLD signals were inversely correlated with baseline γ-aminobutyric acid concentration. Finally, we discussed the critical importance of taking into account linewidth effects on metabolite quantification in fMRS paradigms.

  9. Relating the Structure of Noise Correlations in Macaque Primary Visual Cortex to Decoder Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Or P. Mendels

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Noise correlations in neuronal responses can have a strong influence on the information available in large populations. In addition, the structure of noise correlations may have a great impact on the utility of different algorithms to extract this information that may depend on the specific algorithm, and hence may affect our understanding of population codes in the brain. Thus, a better understanding of the structure of noise correlations and their interplay with different readout algorithms is required. Here we use eigendecomposition to investigate the structure of noise correlations in populations of about 50–100 simultaneously recorded neurons in the primary visual cortex of anesthetized monkeys, and we relate this structure to the performance of two common decoders: the population vector and the optimal linear estimator. Our analysis reveals a non-trivial correlation structure, in which the eigenvalue spectrum is composed of several distinct large eigenvalues that represent different shared modes of fluctuation extending over most of the population, and a semi-continuous tail. The largest eigenvalue represents a uniform collective mode of fluctuation. The second and third eigenvalues typically show either a clear functional (i.e., dependent on the preferred orientation of the neurons or spatial structure (i.e., dependent on the physical position of the neurons. We find that the number of shared modes increases with the population size, being roughly 10% of that size. Furthermore, we find that the noise in each of these collective modes grows linearly with the population. This linear growth of correlated noise power can have limiting effects on the utility of averaging neuronal responses across large populations, depending on the readout. Specifically, the collective modes of fluctuation limit the accuracy of the population vector but not of the optimal linear estimator.

  10. Anatomy of hierarchy: feedforward and feedback pathways in macaque visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markov, Nikola T; Vezoli, Julien; Chameau, Pascal; Falchier, Arnaud; Quilodran, René; Huissoud, Cyril; Lamy, Camille; Misery, Pierre; Giroud, Pascale; Ullman, Shimon; Barone, Pascal; Dehay, Colette; Knoblauch, Kenneth; Kennedy, Henry

    2014-01-01

    The laminar location of the cell bodies and terminals of interareal connections determines the hierarchical structural organization of the cortex and has been intensively studied. However, we still have only a rudimentary understanding of the connectional principles of feedforward (FF) and feedback (FB) pathways. Quantitative analysis of retrograde tracers was used to extend the notion that the laminar distribution of neurons interconnecting visual areas provides an index of hierarchical distance (percentage of supragranular labeled neurons [SLN]). We show that: 1) SLN values constrain models of cortical hierarchy, revealing previously unsuspected areal relations; 2) SLN reflects the operation of a combinatorial distance rule acting differentially on sets of connections between areas; 3) Supragranular layers contain highly segregated bottom-up and top-down streams, both of which exhibit point-to-point connectivity. This contrasts with the infragranular layers, which contain diffuse bottom-up and top-down streams; 4) Cell filling of the parent neurons of FF and FB pathways provides further evidence of compartmentalization; 5) FF pathways have higher weights, cross fewer hierarchical levels, and are less numerous than FB pathways. Taken together, the present results suggest that cortical hierarchies are built from supra- and infragranular counterstreams. This compartmentalized dual counterstream organization allows point-to-point connectivity in both bottom-up and top-down directions. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

  11. ERK Pathway Activation Bidirectionally Affects Visual Recognition Memory and Synaptic Plasticity in the Perirhinal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silingardi, Davide; Angelucci, Andrea; De Pasquale, Roberto; Borsotti, Marco; Squitieri, Giovanni; Brambilla, Riccardo; Putignano, Elena; Pizzorusso, Tommaso; Berardi, Nicoletta

    2011-01-01

    ERK 1,2 pathway mediates experience-dependent gene transcription in neurons and several studies have identified its pivotal role in experience-dependent synaptic plasticity and in forms of long term memory involving hippocampus, amygdala, or striatum. The perirhinal cortex (PRHC) plays an essential role in familiarity-based object recognition memory. It is still unknown whether ERK activation in PRHC is necessary for recognition memory consolidation. Most important, it is unknown whether by modulating the gain of the ERK pathway it is possible to bidirectionally affect visual recognition memory and PRHC synaptic plasticity. We have first pharmacologically blocked ERK activation in the PRHC of adult mice and found that this was sufficient to impair long term recognition memory in a familiarity-based task, the object recognition task (ORT). We have then tested performance in the ORT in Ras-GRF1 knock-out (KO) mice, which exhibit a reduced activation of ERK by neuronal activity, and in ERK1 KO mice, which have an increased activation of ERK2 and exhibit enhanced striatal plasticity and striatal mediated memory. We found that Ras-GRF1 KO mice have normal short term memory but display a long term memory deficit; memory reconsolidation is also impaired. On the contrary, ERK1 KO mice exhibit a better performance than WT mice at 72 h retention interval, suggesting a longer lasting recognition memory. In parallel with behavioral data, LTD was strongly reduced and LTP was significantly smaller in PRHC slices from Ras-GRF1 KO than in WT mice while enhanced LTP and LTD were found in PRHC slices from ERK1 KO mice. PMID:22232579

  12. Visual response properties of cells in the ventral and dorsal parts of the macaque inferotemporal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamura, H; Tanaka, K

    2001-05-01

    We recorded from cells in the anterio-ventral (TEav) and anterio- dorsal (TEad) parts of area TE of the inferotemporal cortex and examined their responses to a set of 100 visual stimuli in awake, fixating monkeys. In both TEav and TEad we found that, depending on the stimulus, the time course of responses varied considerably within individual cells and that there were three main factors in the variation. One factor is variance in the balance between the initial transient part of responses around 130 ms after stimulus onset and the later part after 240 ms from stimulus onset. The later parts of responses were more stimulus selective. The second factor is variance in the latency of response onset and peak and the third is variance in the speed of decay from the peak within the initial part of the responses. Stronger responses had shorter onset and peak latencies and longer decay times. The results suggest that stimulus images can be discriminated very rapidly in TEav and TEad by detecting differences in response onset. TEav cells differed from TEad cells in that they were more difficult to activate than TEad cells: the proportion of responsive TEav cells was smaller, the maximal responses of individual cells were smaller than in TEad and the number of stimuli that evoked significant responses in individual responsive cells was also smaller than in TEad. Moreover, TEav cells, overall, responded more strongly to more colorful object images than less colorful ones, while TEad cells did not show such a tendency. However, the minimum onset latency of individual cells and the sharpness of stimulus selectivity did not differ significantly between TEav and TEad. Responses of TEav cells are as selective as those of TEad cells, although there remains a possibility that the domain of selectivity differs between the two areas. These results support an earlier anatomical finding that TEav and TEad are located at the same hierarchical level of separate serial pathways rather than

  13. Object class recognition based on compressive sensing with sparse features inspired by hierarchical model in visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Pei; Xu, Zhiyong; Yu, Huapeng; Chang, Yongxin; Fu, Chengyu; Shao, Jianxin

    2012-11-01

    According to models of object recognition in cortex, the brain uses a hierarchical approach in which simple, low-level features having high position and scale specificity are pooled and combined into more complex, higher-level features having greater location invariance. At higher levels, spatial structure becomes implicitly encoded into the features themselves, which may overlap, while explicit spatial information is coded more coarsely. In this paper, the importance of sparsity and localized patch features in a hierarchical model inspired by visual cortex is investigated. As in the model of Serre, Wolf, and Poggio, we first apply Gabor filters at all positions and scales; feature complexity and position/scale invariance are then built up by alternating template matching and max pooling operations. In order to improve generalization performance, the sparsity is proposed and data dimension is reduced by means of compressive sensing theory and sparse representation algorithm. Similarly, within computational neuroscience, adding the sparsity on the number of feature inputs and feature selection is critical for learning biologically model from the statistics of natural images. Then, a redundancy dictionary of patch-based features that could distinguish object class from other categories is designed and then object recognition is implemented by the process of iterative optimization. The method is test on the UIUC car database. The success of this approach suggests a proof for the object class recognition in visual cortex.

  14. Processing of pitch and location in human auditory cortex during visual and auditory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Häkkinen, Suvi; Ovaska, Noora; Rinne, Teemu

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between stimulus-dependent and task-dependent activations in human auditory cortex (AC) during pitch and location processing is not well understood. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated the processing of task-irrelevant and task-relevant pitch and location during discrimination, n-back, and visual tasks. We tested three hypotheses: (1) According to prevailing auditory models, stimulus-dependent processing of pitch and location should be associated with enhanced activations in distinct areas of the anterior and posterior superior temporal gyrus (STG), respectively. (2) Based on our previous studies, task-dependent activation patterns during discrimination and n-back tasks should be similar when these tasks are performed on sounds varying in pitch or location. (3) Previous studies in humans and animals suggest that pitch and location tasks should enhance activations especially in those areas that also show activation enhancements associated with stimulus-dependent pitch and location processing, respectively. Consistent with our hypotheses, we found stimulus-dependent sensitivity to pitch and location in anterolateral STG and anterior planum temporale (PT), respectively, in line with the view that these features are processed in separate parallel pathways. Further, task-dependent activations during discrimination and n-back tasks were associated with enhanced activations in anterior/posterior STG and posterior STG/inferior parietal lobule (IPL) irrespective of stimulus features. However, direct comparisons between pitch and location tasks performed on identical sounds revealed no significant activation differences. These results suggest that activations during pitch and location tasks are not strongly affected by enhanced stimulus-dependent activations to pitch or location. We also found that activations in PT were strongly modulated by task requirements and that areas in the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) showed

  15. Effect of the small-world structure on encoding performance in the primary visual cortex: an electrophysiological and modeling analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Li; Niu, Xiaoke; Wan, Hong

    2015-05-01

    The biological networks have been widely reported to present small-world properties. However, the effects of small-world network structure on population's encoding performance remain poorly understood. To address this issue, we applied a small world-based framework to quantify and analyze the response dynamics of cell assemblies recorded from rat primary visual cortex, and further established a population encoding model based on small world-based generalized linear model (SW-GLM). The electrophysiological experimental results show that the small world-based population responses to different topological shapes present significant variation (t test, p 0.8), while no significant variation was found for control networks without considering their spatial connectivity (t test, p > 0.05; effect size: Hedge's g < 0.5). Furthermore, the numerical experimental results show that the predicted response under SW-GLM is more accurate and reliable compared to the control model without small-world structure, and the decoding performance is also improved about 10 % by taking the small-world structure into account. The above results suggest the important role of the small-world neural structure in encoding visual information for the neural population by providing electrophysiological and theoretical evidence, respectively. The study helps greatly to well understand the population encoding mechanisms of visual cortex.

  16. Transcranial magnetic stimulation of early visual cortex suppresses conscious representations in a dichotomous manner without gradually decreasing their precision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koivisto, Mika; Harjuniemi, Inari; Railo, Henry; Salminen-Vaparanta, Niina; Revonsuo, Antti

    2017-09-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of early visual cortex can suppresses visual perception at early stages of processing. The suppression can be measured both with objective forced-choice tasks and with subjective ratings of visual awareness, but there is lack of objective evidence on how and whether the TMS influences the quality of representations. Does TMS decrease the precision of representations in graded manner, or does it lead to dichotomous, "all-or-nothing" suppression. We resolved this question by using a continuous measure of the perceptual error: the observers had to perceive the orientation of a target (Landort-C) and to adjust the orientation of a probe to match that of the target. Mixture modeling was applied to estimate the probability of guess trials and the standard deviation of the non-guess trials. TMS delivered 60-150 ms after stimulus-onset influenced only the guessing rate, whereas the standard deviation (i.e., precision) was not affected. This suggests that TMS suppressed representations dichotomously without affecting their precision. The guessing probability correlated with subjective visibility ratings, suggesting that it measured visual awareness. In a control experiment, manipulation of the stimulus contrast affected the standard deviation of the errors, indicating that contrast has a gradual influence on the precision of representations. The findings suggest that TMS of early visual cortex suppresses perception in dichotomous manner by decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio by increasing the noise level, whereas reduction of the signal level (i.e., contrast) decreases the precision of representations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Monocular inhibition reveals temporal and spatial changes in gene expression in the primary visual cortex of marmoset.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki eNakagami

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the time course of the expression of several activity-dependent genes evoked by visual inputs in the primary visual cortex (V1 in adult marmosets. In order to examine the rapid time course of activity-dependent gene expression, marmosets were first monocularly inactivated by tetrodotoxin (TTX, kept in darkness for two days, and then exposed to various length of light stimulation. Activity-dependent genes including HTR1B, HTR2A, whose activity-dependency were previously reported by us, and well-known immediate early genes (IEGs, c-FOS, ZIF268, and ARC, were examined by in situ hybridization. Using this system, first, we demonstrated the ocular dominance type of gene expression pattern in V1 under this condition. IEGs were expressed in columnar patterns throughout layers II-VI of all the tested monocular marmosets. Second, we showed the regulation of HTR1B and HTR2A expressions by retinal spontaneous activity, because HTR1B and HTR2A mRNA expressions sustained a certain level regardless of visual stimulation and were inhibited by a blockade of the retinal activity with TTX. Third, IEGs dynamically changed its laminar distribution from half an hour to several hours upon a stimulus onset with the unique time course for each gene. The expression patterns of these genes were different in neurons of each layer as well. These results suggest that the regulation of each neuron in the primary visual cortex of marmosets is subjected to different regulation upon the change of activities from retina. It should be related to a highly differentiated laminar structure of primate visual systems, reflecting the functions of the activity-dependent gene expression in marmoset V1.

  18. Magnetic stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex dissociates fragile visual short-term memory from visual working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sligte, I.G.; Wokke, M.E.; Tesselaar, J.P.; Scholte, H.S.; Lamme, V.A.F.

    2011-01-01

    To guide our behavior in successful ways, we often need to rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). While VSTM is usually broken down into iconic memory (brief and high-capacity store) and visual working memory (sustained, yet limited-capacity

  19. Two critical periods in early visual cortex during figure-ground segregation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wokke, M.E.; Sligte, I.G.; Scholte, H.S.; Lamme, V.A.F.

    2012-01-01

    .The ability to distinguish a figure from its background is crucial for visual perception. To date, it remains unresolved where and how in the visual system different stages of figure-ground segregation emerge. Neural correlates of figure border detection have consistently been found in early visual

  20. Effects of visual deprivation on primary motor cortex excitability: a study on healthy subjects based on repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cambieri, Chiara; Iacovelli, Elisa; Gori, Maria Cristina; Onesti, Emanuela; Ceccanti, Marco; Frasca, Vittorio; Inghilleri, Maurizio

    2017-07-01

    We investigated whether rapid changes in visual input or dark adaptation modify primary motor cortex (M1) excitability in healthy subjects. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), consisting of 10 stimuli delivered at 5 Hz at 120% of the resting motor threshold, was delivered over the M1 in 14 healthy volunteers. They were instructed to relax under eyes-open (EO) and eyes-closed (EC) resting conditions. Two experimental sessions were performed. In the first session, subjects were tested under both EO and EC conditions in order to determine whether short visual deprivation affected M1 excitability as tested through changes in the motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitude during rTMS. In the second session, rTMS was delivered both under EO conditions with room lights on and after 30 min of blindfolding to evaluate the effects of prolonged visual deprivation on M1 excitability. Short-term visual deprivation lasting 2.5 s left the MEP facilitation unchanged during the 5-Hz rTMS trains, while 30 min of blindfolding significantly reduced MEP facilitation. Short-term visual deprivation did not significantly affect M1 excitability, whereas dark adaptation reduced rTMS-induced MEP facilitation, modulating motor cortical excitability.

  1. Top-Down Control of Visual Attention by the Prefrontal Cortex. Functional Specialization and Long-Range Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia Paneri

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The ability to select information that is relevant to current behavioral goals is the hallmark of voluntary attention and an essential part of our cognition. Attention tasks are a prime example to study at the neuronal level, how task related information can be selectively processed in the brain while irrelevant information is filtered out. Whereas, numerous studies have focused on elucidating the mechanisms of visual attention at the single neuron and population level in the visual cortices, considerably less work has been devoted to deciphering the distinct contribution of higher-order brain areas, which are known to be critical for the employment of attention. Among these areas, the prefrontal cortex (PFC has long been considered a source of top-down signals that bias selection in early visual areas in favor of the attended features. Here, we review recent experimental data that support the role of PFC in attention. We examine the existing evidence for functional specialization within PFC and we discuss how long-range interactions between PFC subregions and posterior visual areas may be implemented in the brain and contribute to the attentional modulation of different measures of neural activity in visual cortices.

  2. Visual perception and memory systems: from cortex to medial temporal lobe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Zafar U; Martín-Montañez, Elisa; Baxter, Mark G

    2011-05-01

    Visual perception and memory are the most important components of vision processing in the brain. It was thought that the perceptual aspect of a visual stimulus occurs in visual cortical areas and that this serves as the substrate for the formation of visual memory in a distinct part of the brain called the medial temporal lobe. However, current evidence indicates that there is no functional separation of areas. Entire visual cortical pathways and connecting medial temporal lobe are important for both perception and visual memory. Though some aspects of this view are debated, evidence from both sides will be explored here. In this review, we will discuss the anatomical and functional architecture of the entire system and the implications of these structures in visual perception and memory.

  3. A lightning strike to the head causing a visual cortex defect with simple and complex visual hallucinations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleiter, Ingo; Luerding, Ralf; Diendorfer, Gerhard; Rek, Helga; Bogdahn, Ulrich; Schalke, Berthold

    2009-01-01

    The case of a 23-year-old mountaineer who was hit by a lightning strike to the occiput causing a large central visual field defect and bilateral tympanic membrane ruptures is described. Owing to extreme agitation, the patient was sent into a drug-induced coma for 3 days. After extubation, she experienced simple and complex visual hallucinations for several days, but otherwise largely recovered. Neuropsychological tests revealed deficits in fast visual detection tasks and non-verbal learning and indicated a right temporal lobe dysfunction, consistent with a right temporal focus on electroencephalography. At 4 months after the accident, she developed a psychological reaction consisting of nightmares, with reappearance of the complex visual hallucinations and a depressive syndrome. Using the European Cooperation for Lightning Detection network, a meteorological system for lightning surveillance, the exact geographical location and nature of the lightning strike were retrospectively retraced PMID:21734915

  4. Selectivity in Postencoding Connectivity with High-Level Visual Cortex Is Associated with Reward-Motivated Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murty, Vishnu P; Tompary, Alexa; Adcock, R Alison; Davachi, Lila

    2017-01-18

    Reward motivation has been demonstrated to enhance declarative memory by facilitating systems-level consolidation. Although high-reward information is often intermixed with lower reward information during an experience, memory for high value information is prioritized. How is this selectivity achieved? One possibility is that postencoding consolidation processes bias memory strengthening to those representations associated with higher reward. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the influence of differential reward motivation on the selectivity of postencoding markers of systems-level memory consolidation. Human participants encoded intermixed, trial-unique memoranda that were associated with either high or low-value during fMRI acquisition. Encoding was interleaved with periods of rest, allowing us to investigate experience-dependent changes in connectivity as they related to later memory. Behaviorally, we found that reward motivation enhanced 24 h associative memory. Analysis of patterns of postencoding connectivity showed that, even though learning trials were intermixed, there was significantly greater connectivity with regions of high-level, category-selective visual cortex associated with high-reward trials. Specifically, increased connectivity of category-selective visual cortex with both the VTA and the anterior hippocampus predicted associative memory for high- but not low-reward memories. Critically, these results were independent of encoding-related connectivity and univariate activity measures. Thus, these findings support a model by which the selective stabilization of memories for salient events is supported by postencoding interactions with sensory cortex associated with reward. Reward motivation is thought to promote memory by supporting memory consolidation. Yet, little is known as to how brain selects relevant information for subsequent consolidation based on reward. We show that experience-dependent changes in connectivity of both the

  5. Feature selectivity of the gamma-band of the local field potential in primate primary visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philipp Berens

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Extra-cellular voltage fluctuations (local field potentials; LFPs reflecting neural mass action are ubiquitous across species and brain regions. Numerous studies have characterized the properties of LFP signals in the cortex to study sensory and motor computations as well as cognitive processes like attention, perception and memory. In addition, its extracranial counterpart – the electroencelphalogram (EEG – is widely used in clinical applications. However, the link between LFP signals and the underlying activity of local populations of neurons remains largely elusive. Here, we review recent work elucidating the relationship between spiking activity of local neural populations and LFP signals. We focus on oscillations in the gamma-band (30-90Hz of the local field potential in the primary visual cortex (V1 of the macaque that dominate during visual stimulation. Given that in area V1 much is known about the properties of single neurons and the cortical architecture, it provides an excellent opportunity to study the mechanisms underlying the generation of the local field potential.

  6. Top-down inputs enhance orientation selectivity in neurons of the primary visual cortex during perceptual learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samat Moldakarimov

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual learning has been used to probe the mechanisms of cortical plasticity in the adult brain. Feedback projections are ubiquitous in the cortex, but little is known about their role in cortical plasticity. Here we explore the hypothesis that learning visual orientation discrimination involves learning-dependent plasticity of top-down feedback inputs from higher cortical areas, serving a different function from plasticity due to changes in recurrent connections within a cortical area. In a Hodgkin-Huxley-based spiking neural network model of visual cortex, we show that modulation of feedback inputs to V1 from higher cortical areas results in shunting inhibition in V1 neurons, which changes the response properties of V1 neurons. The orientation selectivity of V1 neurons is enhanced without changing orientation preference, preserving the topographic organizations in V1. These results provide new insights to the mechanisms of plasticity in the adult brain, reconciling apparently inconsistent experiments and providing a new hypothesis for a functional role of the feedback connections.

  7. Scalable Inference and Learning in Very Large Graphical Models Patterned after the Primate Visual Cortex

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dean, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Human-level visual performance has remained largely beyond the reach of engineered systems despite decades of research and significant advances in problem formulation, algorithms and computing power...

  8. Self-regulation of inter-hemispheric visual cortex balance through real-time fMRI neurofeedback training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robineau, F; Rieger, S W; Mermoud, C; Pichon, S; Koush, Y; Van De Ville, D; Vuilleumier, P; Scharnowski, F

    2014-10-15

    Recent advances in neurofeedback based on real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allow for learning to control spatially localized brain activity in the range of millimeters across the entire brain. Real-time fMRI neurofeedback studies have demonstrated the feasibility of self-regulating activation in specific areas that are involved in a variety of functions, such as perception, motor control, language, and emotional processing. In most of these previous studies, participants trained to control activity within one region of interest (ROI). In the present study, we extended the neurofeedback approach by now training healthy participants to control the interhemispheric balance between their left and right visual cortices. This was accomplished by providing feedback based on the difference in activity between a target visual ROI and the corresponding homologue region in the opposite hemisphere. Eight out of 14 participants learned to control the differential feedback signal over the course of 3 neurofeedback training sessions spread over 3 days, i.e., they produced consistent increases in the visual target ROI relative to the opposite visual cortex. Those who learned to control the differential feedback signal were subsequently also able to exert that control in the absence of neurofeedback. Such learning to voluntarily control the balance between cortical areas of the two hemispheres might offer promising rehabilitation approaches for neurological or psychiatric conditions associated with pathological asymmetries in brain activity patterns, such as hemispatial neglect, dyslexia, or mood disorders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. The predicting brain: anticipation of moving objects in human visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellekens, W.

    2015-01-01

    The human brain is nearly constantly subjected to visual motion signals originating from a large variety of external sources. It is the job of the central nervous system to determine correspondence among visual motion input across spatially distant locations within certain time frames. In order to

  10. A neural correlate of working memory in the monkey primary visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamme, V.A.F.; Suphr, H.; Spekreijse, H.

    2001-01-01

    The brain frequently needs to store information for short periods. In vision, this means that the perceptual correlate of a stimulus has to be maintained temporally once the stimulus has been removed from the visual scene. However, it is not known how the visual system transfers sensory information

  11. The role of the human extrastriate visual cortex in mirror symmetry discrimination: a TMS-adaptation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattaneo, Zaira; Mattavelli, Giulia; Papagno, Costanza; Herbert, Andrew; Silvanto, Juha

    2011-10-01

    The human visual system is able to efficiently extract symmetry information from the visual environment. Prior neuroimaging evidence has revealed symmetry-preferring neuronal representations in the dorsolateral extrastriate visual cortex; the objective of the present study was to investigate the necessity of these representations in symmetry discrimination. This was accomplished by the use of state-dependent transcranial magnetic stimulation, which combines the fine resolution of adaptation paradigms with the assessment of causality. Subjects were presented with adapters and targets consisting of dot configurations that could be symmetric along either the vertical or horizontal axis (or they could be non-symmetric), and they were asked to perform a symmetry discrimination task on the targets while fixating the center of the screen. TMS was applied during the delay between the adapter and the test stimulus over one of four different sites: Left or Right V1/V2, or left or right dorsolateral extrastriate cortex (DLO). TMS over both Left and Right DLO reduced the adaptation effect in detecting vertical and horizontal symmetry, although the Left DLO effect on horizontal symmetry and the Right DLO effect on both vertical and horizontal symmetry were present only when considering subjects who showed a behavioral adaptation effect in the baseline No-TMS condition. Application of TMS over the Left or Right V1/V2 did not modulate the adaptation effect. Overall, these data suggest that both the Left and Right DLO contain neuronal representations tuned to mirror symmetry which play a causal role in symmetry discrimination. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Reduced visual cortex gray matter volume and thickness in young adults who witnessed domestic violence during childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomoda, Akemi; Polcari, Ann; Anderson, Carl M; Teicher, Martin H

    2012-01-01

    Exposure to interparental violence is associated with negative outcomes, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and reduced cognitive abilities. However, little is known about the potential effects of witnessing domestic violence during childhood on gray matter volume (GMV) or cortical thickness. High-resolution 3.0 T volumetric scans (Siemens Trio Scanner) were obtained on 52 subjects (18-25 years) including 22 (6 males/16 females) with a history of visually witnessing episodes of domestic violence, and 30 (8 males/22 females) unexposed control subjects, with neither a current nor past DSM-IV Axis I or II disorder. Potential confounding effects of age, gender, level of parental verbal aggression, parental education, financial stress, full scale IQ, and total GMV, or average thickness were modeled using voxel based morphometry and FreeSurfer. Witnessing domestic violence subjects had a 6.1% GMV reduction in the right lingual gyrus (BA18) (P = 0.029, False Discovery Rate corrected peak level). Thickness in this region was also reduced, as was thickness in V2 bilaterally and left occipital pole. Theses regions were maximally sensitive to exposure to witnessing domestic violence between 11-13 years of age. Regional reductions in GMV and thickness were observed in both susceptible and resilient witnessing domestic violence subjects. Results in subjects witnessing domestic violence were similar to previously reported results in subjects with childhood sexual abuse, as the primary region affected was visual cortex. Brain regions that process and convey the adverse sensory input of the abuse may be specifically modified by this experience, particularly in subjects exposed to a single type of maltreatment. Exposure to multiple types of maltreatment is more commonly associated with morphological alterations in corticolimbic regions. These findings fit with preclinical studies showing that visual cortex is a highly plastic structure.

  13. Reduced visual cortex gray matter volume and thickness in young adults who witnessed domestic violence during childhood.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akemi Tomoda

    Full Text Available Exposure to interparental violence is associated with negative outcomes, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and reduced cognitive abilities. However, little is known about the potential effects of witnessing domestic violence during childhood on gray matter volume (GMV or cortical thickness. High-resolution 3.0 T volumetric scans (Siemens Trio Scanner were obtained on 52 subjects (18-25 years including 22 (6 males/16 females with a history of visually witnessing episodes of domestic violence, and 30 (8 males/22 females unexposed control subjects, with neither a current nor past DSM-IV Axis I or II disorder. Potential confounding effects of age, gender, level of parental verbal aggression, parental education, financial stress, full scale IQ, and total GMV, or average thickness were modeled using voxel based morphometry and FreeSurfer. Witnessing domestic violence subjects had a 6.1% GMV reduction in the right lingual gyrus (BA18 (P = 0.029, False Discovery Rate corrected peak level. Thickness in this region was also reduced, as was thickness in V2 bilaterally and left occipital pole. Theses regions were maximally sensitive to exposure to witnessing domestic violence between 11-13 years of age. Regional reductions in GMV and thickness were observed in both susceptible and resilient witnessing domestic violence subjects. Results in subjects witnessing domestic violence were similar to previously reported results in subjects with childhood sexual abuse, as the primary region affected was visual cortex. Brain regions that process and convey the adverse sensory input of the abuse may be specifically modified by this experience, particularly in subjects exposed to a single type of maltreatment. Exposure to multiple types of maltreatment is more commonly associated with morphological alterations in corticolimbic regions. These findings fit with preclinical studies showing that visual cortex is a highly plastic structure.

  14. Neural representation of form-contingent color filling-in in the early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Sang Wook; Tong, Frank

    2017-11-01

    Perceptual filling-in exemplifies the constructive nature of visual processing. Color, a prominent surface property of visual objects, can appear to spread to neighboring areas that lack any color. We investigated cortical responses to a color filling-in illusion that effectively dissociates perceived color from the retinal input (van Lier, Vergeer, & Anstis, 2009). Observers adapted to a star-shaped stimulus with alternating red- and cyan-colored points to elicit a complementary afterimage. By presenting an achromatic outline that enclosed one of the two afterimage colors, perceptual filling-in of that color was induced in the unadapted central region. Visual cortical activity was monitored with fMRI, and analyzed using multivariate pattern analysis. Activity patterns in early visual areas (V1-V4) reliably distinguished between the two color-induced filled-in conditions, but only higher extrastriate visual areas showed the predicted correspondence with color perception. Activity patterns allowed for reliable generalization between filled-in colors and physical presentations of perceptually matched colors in areas V3 and V4, but not in earlier visual areas. These findings suggest that the perception of filled-in surface color likely requires more extensive processing by extrastriate visual areas, in order for the neural representation of surface color to become aligned with perceptually matched real colors.

  15. Before the N400: effects of lexical-semantic violations in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dikker, Suzanne; Pylkkanen, Liina

    2011-07-01

    There exists an increasing body of research demonstrating that language processing is aided by context-based predictions. Recent findings suggest that the brain generates estimates about the likely physical appearance of upcoming words based on syntactic predictions: words that do not physically look like the expected syntactic category show increased amplitudes in the visual M100 component, the first salient MEG response to visual stimulation. This research asks whether violations of predictions based on lexical-semantic information might similarly generate early visual effects. In a picture-noun matching task, we found early visual effects for words that did not accurately describe the preceding pictures. These results demonstrate that, just like syntactic predictions, lexical-semantic predictions can affect early visual processing around ∼100ms, suggesting that the M100 response is not exclusively tuned to recognizing visual features relevant to syntactic category analysis. Rather, the brain might generate predictions about upcoming visual input whenever it can. However, visual effects of lexical-semantic violations only occurred when a single lexical item could be predicted. We argue that this may be due to the fact that in natural language processing, there is typically no straightforward mapping between lexical-semantic fields (e.g., flowers) and visual or auditory forms (e.g., tulip, rose, magnolia). For syntactic categories, in contrast, certain form features do reliably correlate with category membership. This difference may, in part, explain why certain syntactic effects typically occur much earlier than lexical-semantic effects. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Enhanced audio-visual interactions in the auditory cortex of elderly cochlear-implant users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schierholz, Irina; Finke, Mareike; Schulte, Svenja; Hauthal, Nadine; Kantzke, Christoph; Rach, Stefan; Büchner, Andreas; Dengler, Reinhard; Sandmann, Pascale

    2015-10-01

    Auditory deprivation and the restoration of hearing via a cochlear implant (CI) can induce functional plasticity in auditory cortical areas. How these plastic changes affect the ability to integrate combined auditory (A) and visual (V) information is not yet well understood. In the present study, we used electroencephalography (EEG) to examine whether age, temporary deafness and altered sensory experience with a CI can affect audio-visual (AV) interactions in post-lingually deafened CI users. Young and elderly CI users and age-matched NH listeners performed a speeded response task on basic auditory, visual and audio-visual stimuli. Regarding the behavioral results, a redundant signals effect, that is, faster response times to cross-modal (AV) than to both of the two modality-specific stimuli (A, V), was revealed for all groups of participants. Moreover, in all four groups, we found evidence for audio-visual integration. Regarding event-related responses (ERPs), we observed a more pronounced visual modulation of the cortical auditory response at N1 latency (approximately 100 ms after stimulus onset) in the elderly CI users when compared with young CI users and elderly NH listeners. Thus, elderly CI users showed enhanced audio-visual binding which may be a consequence of compensatory strategies developed due to temporary deafness and/or degraded sensory input after implantation. These results indicate that the combination of aging, sensory deprivation and CI facilitates the coupling between the auditory and the visual modality. We suggest that this enhancement in multisensory interactions could be used to optimize auditory rehabilitation, especially in elderly CI users, by the application of strong audio-visually based rehabilitation strategies after implant switch-on. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Transcranial magnetic stimulation of right inferior parietal cortex causally influences prefrontal activation for visual detection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leitao, Joana; Thielscher, Axel; Lee, Hweeling

    2017-01-01

    -parietal areas integrating the evidence into a decision variable that is compared to a decisional threshold. This concurrent transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-fMRI study applied 10 Hz bursts of four TMS (or Sham) pulses to the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) to investigate the causal influence of IPS...... on the neural systems involved in perceptual decision-making. Participants had to detect visual signals at threshold intensity that were presented in their left lower visual field on 50% of the trials. Critically, we adjusted the signal strength such that participants failed to detect the visual stimulus...

  18. NR2B-subunit dependent facilitation of long-term potentiation in primary visual cortex following visual discrimination training of adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagolewicz, Peter J; Dringenberg, Hans C

    2011-10-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) is an important mechanism thought to mediate changes in synaptic connectivity following various types of experience. We examined the effects of visual discrimination training on LTP in the mature, rodent thalamocortical visual system. Adult rats underwent visual discrimination training in a modified Morris Water Maze containing a Y-maze insert, requiring rats to associate visual cues with the location of a hidden escape platform placed in one of the two goal arms of the Y-maze insert. On the day following successful task acquisition (average of nine training days), rats were anesthetized (urethane), and LTP in the thalamocortical system was characterized. In task-naïve rats, theta-burst stimulation of the lateral geniculate nucleus resulted in modest (∼40%) potentiation of field postsynaptic potentials recorded in the primary visual cortex (V1). Rats trained on the visual discrimination task showed significantly greater levels of LTP (∼60%), an effect that was not seen in rats trained to swim in the maze without a predictive association between visual cues and platform location. An antagonist of the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor NR2B subunit ([R-(R *,S *)]-α-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-β-methyl-4-(phenylmethyl)-1-piperidinepropanol hydrochloride (Ro 25-6981); 2 mm, applied locally at the recording site in V1) reversed the training-induced LTP enhancement without affecting LTP in task-naïve rats. An antagonist of metabotropic glutamate receptors [(2S)-2-amino-2-[(1S,2S)-2-carboxycycloprop-1-yl]-3-(xanth-9-yl) propanoic acid (LY 341495); 2 mm] was ineffective in reversing the training-induced LTP facilitation. These data suggest that behavioral (visual) training can result in changes in plasticity exhibited by the mature, thalamocortical visual system that require activation of NMDA receptors containing the NR2B subunit. © 2011 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2011 Federation of European Neuroscience

  19. Effective Connectivity from Early Visual Cortex to Posterior Occipitotemporal Face Areas Supports Face Selectivity and Predicts Developmental Prosopagnosia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohse, Michael; Garrido, Lucia; Driver, Jon; Dolan, Raymond J; Duchaine, Bradley C; Furl, Nicholas

    2016-03-30

    Face processing is mediated by interactions between functional areas in the occipital and temporal lobe, and the fusiform face area (FFA) and anterior temporal lobe play key roles in the recognition of facial identity. Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia (DP), a lifelong face recognition impairment, have been shown to have structural and functional neuronal alterations in these areas. The present study investigated how face selectivity is generated in participants with normal face processing, and how functional abnormalities associated with DP, arise as a function of network connectivity. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and dynamic causal modeling, we examined effective connectivity in normal participants by assessing network models that include early visual cortex (EVC) and face-selective areas and then investigated the integrity of this connectivity in participants with DP. Results showed that a feedforward architecture from EVC to the occipital face area, EVC to FFA, and EVC to posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) best explained how face selectivity arises in both controls and participants with DP. In this architecture, the DP group showed reduced connection strengths on feedforward connections carrying face information from EVC to FFA and EVC to pSTS. These altered network dynamics in DP contribute to the diminished face selectivity in the posterior occipitotemporal areas affected in DP. These findings suggest a novel view on the relevance of feedforward projection from EVC to posterior occipitotemporal face areas in generating cortical face selectivity and differences in face recognition ability. Areas of the human brain showing enhanced activation to faces compared to other objects or places have been extensively studied. However, the factors leading to this face selectively have remained mostly unknown. We show that effective connectivity from early visual cortex to posterior occipitotemporal face areas gives rise to face

  20. Visual face-movement sensitive cortex is relevant for auditory-only speech recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedel, Philipp; Ragert, Patrick; Schelinski, Stefanie; Kiebel, Stefan J; von Kriegstein, Katharina

    2015-07-01

    It is commonly assumed that the recruitment of visual areas during audition is not relevant for performing auditory tasks ('auditory-only view'). According to an alternative view, however, the recruitment of visual cortices is thought to optimize auditory-only task performance ('auditory-visual view'). This alternative view is based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. These studies have shown, for example, that even if there is only auditory input available, face-movement sensitive areas within the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) are involved in understanding what is said (auditory-only speech recognition). This is particularly the case when speakers are known audio-visually, that is, after brief voice-face learning. Here we tested whether the left pSTS involvement is causally related to performance in auditory-only speech recognition when speakers are known by face. To test this hypothesis, we applied cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the pSTS during (i) visual-only speech recognition of a speaker known only visually to participants and (ii) auditory-only speech recognition of speakers they learned by voice and face. We defined the cathode as active electrode to down-regulate cortical excitability by hyperpolarization of neurons. tDCS to the pSTS interfered with visual-only speech recognition performance compared to a control group without pSTS stimulation (tDCS to BA6/44 or sham). Critically, compared to controls, pSTS stimulation additionally decreased auditory-only speech recognition performance selectively for voice-face learned speakers. These results are important in two ways. First, they provide direct evidence that the pSTS is causally involved in visual-only speech recognition; this confirms a long-standing prediction of current face-processing models. Secondly, they show that visual face-sensitive pSTS is causally involved in optimizing auditory-only speech recognition. These results are in line

  1. Hemispheric Asymmetry in Visuotopic Posterior Parietal Cortex Emerges with Visual Short-Term Memory Load

    OpenAIRE

    Sheremata, Summer L.; Bettencourt, Katherine C.; Somers, David C.

    2010-01-01

    Visual short-term memory (VSTM) briefly maintains a limited sampling from the visual world. Activity in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) tightly correlates with the number of items stored in VSTM. This activity may occur in or near to multiple distinct visuotopically mapped cortical areas that have been identified in IPS. To understand the topographic and spatial properties of VSTM, we investigated VSTM activity in visuotopic IPS regions using functional magnetic resonance imaging. VSTM drove a...

  2. The temporal dynamics of implicit processing of non-letter, letter, and word-forms in the human visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lawrence Gregory Appelbaum

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available The decoding of visually presented line segments into letters, and letters into words, is critical to fluent reading abilities. Here we investigate the temporal dynamics of visual orthographic processes, focusing specifically on right hemisphere contributions and interactions between the hemispheres involved in the implicit processing of visually presented words, consonants, false fonts, and symbolic strings. High-density EEG was recorded while participants detected infrequent, simple, perceptual targets (dot strings embedded amongst a of character strings. Beginning at 130ms, orthographic and non-orthographic stimuli were distinguished by a sequence of ERP effects over occipital recording sites. These early latency occipital effects were dominated by enhanced right-sided negative-polarity activation for non-orthographic stimuli that peaked at around 180ms. This right-sided effect was followed by bilateral positive occipital activity for false-fonts, but not symbol strings. Moreover the size of components of this later positive occipital wave was inversely correlated with the right-sided ROcc180 wave, suggesting that subjects who had larger early right-sided activation for non-orthographic stimuli had less need for more extended bilateral (e.g. interhemispheric processing of those stimuli shortly later. Additional early (130-150ms negative-polarity activity over left occipital cortex and longer-latency centrally distributed responses (>300ms were present, likely reflecting implicit activation of the previously reported ‘visual-word-form’ area and N400-related responses, respectively. Collectively, these results provide a close look at some relatively unexplored portions of the temporal flow of information processing in the brain related to the implicit processing of potentially linguistic information and provide valuable information about the interactions between hemispheres supporting visual orthographic processing.

  3. Competitive interactions of attentional resources in early visual cortex during sustained visuospatial attention within or between visual hemifields: evidence for the different-hemifield advantage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Sabrina; Quigley, Cliodhna; Mueller, Matthias M

    2014-05-01

    Performing a task across the left and right visual hemifields results in better performance than in a within-hemifield version of the task, termed the different-hemifield advantage. Although recent studies used transient stimuli that were presented with long ISIs, here we used a continuous objective electrophysiological (EEG) measure of competitive interactions for attentional processing resources in early visual cortex, the steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP). We frequency-tagged locations in each visual quadrant and at central fixation by flickering light-emitting diodes (LEDs) at different frequencies to elicit distinguishable SSVEPs. Stimuli were presented for several seconds, and participants were cued to attend to two LEDs either in one (Within) or distributed across left and right visual hemifields (Across). In addition, we introduced two reference measures: one for suppressive interactions between the peripheral LEDs by using a task at fixation where attention was withdrawn from the periphery and another estimating the upper bound of SSVEP amplitude by cueing participants to attend to only one of the peripheral LEDs. We found significantly greater SSVEP amplitude modulations in Across compared with Within hemifield conditions. No differences were found between SSVEP amplitudes elicited by the peripheral LEDs when participants attended to the centrally located LEDs compared with when peripheral LEDs had to be ignored in Across and Within trials. Attending to only one LED elicited the same SSVEP amplitude as Across conditions. Although behavioral data displayed a more complex pattern, SSVEP amplitudes were well in line with the predictions of the different-hemifield advantage account during sustained visuospatial attention.

  4. The posterior medial cortex is involved in visual but not in verbal memory encoding processing: an intracerebral recording study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stillová, K; Jurák, P; Chládek, J; Halámek, J; Telecká, S; Rektor, I

    2013-03-01

    The objective is to study the involvement of the posterior medial cortex (PMC) in encoding and retrieval by visual and auditory memory processing. Intracerebral recordings were studied in two epilepsy-surgery candidates with depth electrodes implanted in the retrosplenial cingulate, precuneus, cuneus, lingual gyrus and hippocampus. We recorded the event-related potentials (ERP) evoked by visual and auditory memory encoding-retrieval tasks. In the hippocampus, ERP were elicited in the encoding and retrieval phases in the two modalities. In the PMC, ERP were recorded in both the encoding and the retrieval visual tasks; in the auditory modality, they were recorded in the retrieval task, but not in the encoding task. In conclusion, the PMC is modality dependent in memory processing. ERP is elicited by memory retrieval, but it is not elicited by auditory encoding memory processing in the PMC. The PMC appears to be involved not only in higher-order top-down cognitive activities but also in more basic, rather than bottom-up activities.

  5. Cat and Dog Primordial Follicles Enclosed in Ovarian Cortex Sustain Viability after In vitro Culture on Agarose Gel in a Protein-Free Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujihara, M; Comizzoli, P; Wildt, DE; Songsasen, N

    2014-01-01

    Contents Our objective was to examine the influences of differing media, protein supplementation and the microenvironment on cat vs dog primordial follicle viability in vitro. Ovarian cortical slices were cultured for 3, 9 or 15 days in α-minimum essential medium (α-MEM) or MEM supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), 10% knock-out serum replacement (KSR) or 0.1% polyvinyl alcohol (protein free). In a separate study, cat and dog ovarian tissues were cultured in protein-free α-MEM and MEM, respectively, in cell culture inserts, on 1.5% agarose gel or in 24-well cell culture plates (control). Follicle viability was assessed in both studies using calcein AM/ethidium homodimer and histological evaluation with haematoxylin/eosin staining. No cat follicle sustained viability beyond 9 days of in vitro culture in α-MEM compared to 37.5% of those incubated for 15 days in MEM in protein-free condition (p dog follicle viability (32.7% vs 8.1%) in protein-free condition at 15 days. Serum was detrimental (p cat follicle viability, whereas the latter was superior (p dog follicle survival. Likewise, dog follicle viability was enhanced (p cat, the agarose gel better (p cat vs the dog. A key factor to enhancing survival of these early stage follicles in culture appears to be the use of agarose gel, which enhances follicle viability, perhaps by promoting gas exchange. PMID:23279476

  6. Altered Cross-Modal Processing in the Primary Auditory Cortex of Congenitally Deaf Adults: A Visual-Somatosensory fMRI Study with a Double-Flash Illusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dow, Mark W.; Neville, Helen J.

    2012-01-01

    The developing brain responds to the environment by using statistical correlations in input to guide functional and structural changes—that is, the brain displays neuroplasticity. Experience shapes brain development throughout life, but neuroplasticity is variable from one brain system to another. How does the early loss of a sensory modality affect this complex process? We examined cross-modal neuroplasticity in anatomically defined subregions of Heschl's gyrus, the site of human primary auditory cortex, in congenitally deaf humans by measuring the fMRI signal change in response to spatially coregistered visual, somatosensory, and bimodal stimuli. In the deaf Heschl's gyrus, signal change was greater for somatosensory and bimodal stimuli than that of hearing participants. Visual responses in Heschl's gyrus, larger in deaf than hearing, were smaller than those elicited by somatosensory stimulation. In contrast to Heschl's gyrus, in the superior-temporal cortex visual signal was comparable to somatosensory signal. In addition, deaf adults perceived bimodal stimuli differently; in contrast to hearing adults, they were susceptible to a double-flash visual illusion induced by two touches to the face. Somatosensory and bimodal signal change in rostrolateral Heschl's gyrus predicted the strength of the visual illusion in the deaf adults in line with the interpretation that the illusion is a functional consequence of the altered cross-modal organization observed in deaf auditory cortex. Our results demonstrate that congenital and profound deafness alters how vision and somatosensation are processed in primary auditory cortex. PMID:22787048

  7. Cell-Targeted Optogenetics and Electrical Microstimulation Reveal the Primate Koniocellular Projection to Supra-granular Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Carsten; Evrard, Henry C; Shapcott, Katharine A; Haverkamp, Silke; Logothetis, Nikos K; Schmid, Michael C

    2016-04-06

    Electrical microstimulation and more recently optogenetics are widely used to map large-scale brain circuits. However, the neuronal specificity achieved with both methods is not well understood. Here we compare cell-targeted optogenetics and electrical microstimulation in the macaque monkey brain to functionally map the koniocellular lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) projection to primary visual cortex (V1). Selective activation of the LGN konio neurons with CamK-specific optogenetics caused selective electrical current inflow in the supra-granular layers of V1. Electrical microstimulation targeted at LGN konio layers revealed the same supra-granular V1 activation pattern as the one elicited by optogenetics. Taken together, these findings establish a selective koniocellular LGN influence on V1 supra-granular layers, and they indicate comparable capacities of both stimulation methods to isolate thalamo-cortical circuits in the primate brain. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Visual cortex responses reflect temporal structure of continuous quasi-rhythmic sensory stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keitel, Christian; Thut, Gregor; Gross, Joachim

    2017-02-01

    Neural processing of dynamic continuous visual input, and cognitive influences thereon, are frequently studied in paradigms employing strictly rhythmic stimulation. However, the temporal structure of natural stimuli is hardly ever fully rhythmic but possesses certain spectral bandwidths (e.g. lip movements in speech, gestures). Examining periodic brain responses elicited by strictly rhythmic stimulation might thus represent ideal, yet isolated cases. Here, we tested how the visual system reflects quasi-rhythmic stimulation with frequencies continuously varying within ranges of classical theta (4-7Hz), alpha (8-13Hz) and beta bands (14-20Hz) using EEG. Our findings substantiate a systematic and sustained neural phase-locking to stimulation in all three frequency ranges. Further, we found that allocation of spatial attention enhances EEG-stimulus locking to theta- and alpha-band stimulation. Our results bridge recent findings regarding phase locking ("entrainment") to quasi-rhythmic visual input and "frequency-tagging" experiments employing strictly rhythmic stimulation. We propose that sustained EEG-stimulus locking can be considered as a continuous neural signature of processing dynamic sensory input in early visual cortices. Accordingly, EEG-stimulus locking serves to trace the temporal evolution of rhythmic as well as quasi-rhythmic visual input and is subject to attentional bias. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. The effect of learning on the function of monkey extrastriate visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregor Rainer

    2004-02-01

    Full Text Available One of the most remarkable capabilities of the adult brain is its ability to learn and continuously adapt to an ever-changing environment. While many studies have documented how learning improves the perception and identification of visual stimuli, relatively little is known about how it modifies the underlying neural mechanisms. We trained monkeys to identify natural images that were degraded by interpolation with visual noise. We found that learning led to an improvement in monkeys' ability to identify these indeterminate visual stimuli. We link this behavioral improvement to a learning-dependent increase in the amount of information communicated by V4 neurons. This increase was mediated by a specific enhancement in neural activity. Our results reveal a mechanism by which learning increases the amount of information that V4 neurons are able to extract from the visual environment. This suggests that V4 plays a key role in resolving indeterminate visual inputs by coordinated interaction between bottom-up and top-down processing streams.

  10. Seeing without the Occipito-Parietal Cortex: Simultagnosia as a Shrinkage of the Attentional Visual Field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François Michel

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Following bi-parietal lesions patient AT showed a severe inability to relocate her attention within a visual field which perimetry proved to be near-normal. An experimental approach with tasks testing visuo-spatial attention demonstrated a shrinkage of A.T.’s attentional visual field. With her visual attention narrowed to a kind of functional tunnel vision, the patient exhibited simultanagnosia (Wolpert, 1924, a symptom previously described in 1909 by Balint under the label of Psychic paralysis of “Gaze”. In striking contrast AT showed an efficient and effortless perception of complex natural scenes, which, according to recent work in normal subjects, necessitate few if any attentional resources.

  11. Lateral occipitotemporal cortex (LOTC) activity is greatest while viewing dance compared to visualization and movement: learning and expertise effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Nota, Paula M; Levkov, Gabriella; Bar, Rachel; DeSouza, Joseph F X

    2016-07-01

    The lateral occipitotemporal cortex (LOTC) is comprised of subregions selectively activated by images of human bodies (extrastriate body area, EBA), objects (lateral occipital complex, LO), and motion (MT+). However, their role in motor imagery and movement processing is unclear, as are the influences of learning and expertise on its recruitment. The purpose of our study was to examine putative changes in LOTC activation during action processing following motor learning of novel choreography in professional ballet dancers. Subjects were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging up to four times over 34 weeks and performed four tasks: viewing and visualizing a newly learned ballet dance, visualizing a dance that was not being learned, and movement of the foot. EBA, LO, and MT+ were activated most while viewing dance compared to visualization and movement. Significant increases in activation were observed over time in left LO only during visualization of the unlearned dance, and all subregions were activated bilaterally during the viewing task after 34 weeks of performance, suggesting learning-induced plasticity. Finally, we provide novel evidence for modulation of EBA with dance experience during the motor task, with significant activation elicited in a comparison group of novice dancers only. These results provide a composite of LOTC activation during action processing of newly learned ballet choreography and movement of the foot. The role of these areas is confirmed as primarily subserving observation of complex sequences of whole-body movement, with new evidence for modification by experience and over the course of real world ballet learning.

  12. Visual cortex reactivity in sedated children examined with perfusion MRI (FAIR)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Born, A P; Rostrup, E; Miranda, M J

    2002-01-01

    Sleeping and sedated children can respond to visual stimulation with a decrease in blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) functional MRI signal response. The contribution of metabolic and hemodynamic parameters to this inverse signal response is incompletely understood. It has been hypothesized...

  13. Visual cortex activity predicts subjective experience after reading books with colored letters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Colizoli, O.; Murre, J.M.J.; Scholte, H.S.; van Es, D.M.; Knapen, T.; Rouw, R.

    2016-01-01

    One of the most astonishing properties of synesthesia is that the evoked concurrent experiences are perceptual. Is it possible to acquire similar effects after learning cross-modal associations that resemble synesthetic mappings? In this study, we examine whether brain activation in early visual

  14. Repetition suppression in ventral visual cortex is diminished as a function of increasing autistic traits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ewbank, M.P.; Rhodes, G.; von dem Hagen, E.A.H.; Powell, T.E.; Bright, N.; Stoyanova, R.Z.; Baron-Cohen, S.; Calder, A.J.

    2015-01-01

    Repeated viewing of a stimulus causes a change in perceptual sensitivity, known as a visual aftereffect. Similarly, in neuroimaging, repetitions of the same stimulus result in a reduction in the neural response, known as repetition suppression (RS). Previous research shows that aftereffects for

  15. Animate and Inanimate Objects in Human Visual Cortex: Evidence for Task-Independent Category Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiggett, Alison J.; Pritchard, Iwan C.; Downing, Paul E.

    2009-01-01

    Evidence from neuropsychology suggests that the distinction between animate and inanimate kinds is fundamental to human cognition. Previous neuroimaging studies have reported that viewing animate objects activates ventrolateral visual brain regions, whereas inanimate objects activate ventromedial regions. However, these studies have typically…

  16. Geometry and dimensionality reduction of feature spaces in primary visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbieri, Davide

    2015-09-01

    Some geometric properties of the wavelet analysis performed by visual neurons are discussed and compared with experimental data. In particular, several relationships between the cortical morphologies and the parametric dependencies of extracted features are formalized and considered from a harmonic analysis point of view.

  17. The Second Spiking Threshold: Dynamics of Laminar Network Spiking in the Visual Cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsberg, Lars E.; Bonde, Lars H.; Harvey, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    visually evoked spiking driven by sharp transients. Here we examine whether this second threshold exists outside the granular layer and examine details of transitions between spiking states in ferrets exposed to moving objects. We found the second threshold, separating spiking states evoked by stationary...

  18. Body-selective areas in the visual cortex are less active in children than in adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ross, Paddy D.; de Gelder, Beatrice; Crabbe, Frances; Grosbras, Marie-Helene

    2014-01-01

    Our ability to read other people's non-verbal signals gets refined throughout childhood and adolescence. How this is paralleled by brain development has been investigated mainly with regards to face perception, showing a protracted functional development of the face-selective visual cortical areas.

  19. Reliability-dependent contributions of visual orientation cues in parietal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelaki, Dora E.

    2014-01-01

    Creating accurate 3D representations of the world from 2D retinal images is a fundamental task for the visual system. However, the reliability of different 3D visual signals depends inherently on viewing geometry, such as how much an object is slanted in depth. Human perceptual studies have correspondingly shown that texture and binocular disparity cues for object orientation are combined according to their slant-dependent reliabilities. Where and how this cue combination occurs in the brain is currently unknown. Here, we search for neural correlates of this property in the macaque caudal intraparietal area (CIP) by measuring slant tuning curves using mixed-cue (texture + disparity) and cue-isolated (texture or disparity) planar stimuli. We find that texture cues contribute more to the mixed-cue responses of CIP neurons that prefer larger slants, consistent with theoretical and psychophysical results showing that the reliability of texture relative to disparity cues increases with slant angle. By analyzing responses to binocularly viewed texture stimuli with conflicting texture and disparity information, some cells that are sensitive to both cues when presented in isolation are found to disregard one of the cues during cue conflict. Additionally, the similarity between texture and mixed-cue responses is found to be greater when this cue conflict is eliminated by presenting the texture stimuli monocularly. The present findings demonstrate reliability-dependent contributions of visual orientation cues at the level of the CIP, thus revealing a neural correlate of this property of human visual perception. PMID:25427796

  20. Automatic spread of attentional response modulation along Gestalt criteria in primary visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wannig, Aurel; Stanisor, Liviu; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    2011-01-01

    Visual attention can select spatial locations, features and objects. Theories of object-based attention claim that attention enhances the representation of all parts of an object, even parts that are not task relevant. We recorded neuronal activity in area V1 of macaque monkeys and observed an

  1. The Functional Architecture of Noise Correlation in fMRI Responses from Human Visual Cortex

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    Jungwon Ryu

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available When an identical stimulus is presented repeatedly, the activity of sensory cortical neurons varies from trial to trial, dubbed ‘neuronal noise’. Recent electrophysiological and imaging studies reported that the ‘noise’ is not just a random and independent deviation from signal and reflects correlated activity among local cortical sites. Here we investigated the structure of correlated ‘noises’ in early human visual areas by monitoring moment-to-moment fluctuations in fMRI responses to visual stimuli. By defining receptive fields and stimulus preferences of individual voxels, we could reveal a reliable functional architecture of noise correlation: noise correlation was high in pairs of voxels whose stimulus preferences are similar and whose receptive fields are close to each other. The analysis of residual correlation confirmed that this functionally defined structure of noise correlation could not be explained by trivial correlations due to anatomical proximity. The spectral analysis of time series revealed that the stimulus-preference-dependent correlation was maximal at a low (<0.035Hz band of temporal frequency whereas the receptive field-dependent correlation was maximal at a medium (0.035∼0.082Hz band. Furthermore, the functional structure of noise correlation was held true for voxel pairs within and between different visual areas, regardless of the presence or types of visual stimulation.

  2. The influence of astrocytes on the width of orientation hypercolumns in visual cortex: A computational perspective.

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    Ryan T Philips

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Orientation preference maps (OPMs are present in carnivores (such as cats and ferrets and primates but are absent in rodents. In this study we investigate the possible link between astrocyte arbors and presence of OPMs. We simulate the development of orientation maps with varying hypercolumn widths using a variant of the Laterally Interconnected Synergetically Self-Organizing Map (LISSOM model, the Gain Control Adaptive Laterally connected (GCAL model, with an additional layer simulating astrocytic activation. The synaptic activity of V1 neurons is given as input to the astrocyte layer. The activity of this astrocyte layer is now used to modulate bidirectional plasticity of lateral excitatory connections in the V1 layer. By simply varying the radius of the astrocytes, the extent of lateral excitatory neuronal connections can be manipulated. An increase in the radius of lateral excitatory connections subsequently increases the size of a single hypercolumn in the OPM. When these lateral excitatory connections become small enough the OPM disappears and a salt-and-pepper organization emerges.

  3. Alterations in visual cortical activation and connectivity with prefrontal cortex during working memory updating in major depressive disorder.

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    Le, Thang M; Borghi, John A; Kujawa, Autumn J; Klein, Daniel N; Leung, Hoi-Chung

    2017-01-01

    alterations in activity patterns of the visual association areas, their connectivity with the prefrontal cortex, and their relationship with core clinical characteristics. These results highlight the role of information updating deficits in the cognitive control and symptomatology of depression.

  4. Automatic spread of attentional response modulation along Gestalt criteria in primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wannig, Aurel; Stanisor, Liviu; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2011-09-18

    Visual attention can select spatial locations, features and objects. Theories of object-based attention claim that attention enhances the representation of all parts of an object, even parts that are not task relevant. We recorded neuronal activity in area V1 of macaque monkeys and observed an automatic spread of attention to image elements outside of the attentional focus when they were bound to an attended stimulus by Gestalt criteria. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Visual-tactile processing in primary somatosensory cortex emerges before cross-modal experience.

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    Bieler, Malte; Sieben, Kay; Schildt, Sandra; Röder, Brigitte; Hanganu-Opatz, Ileana L

    2017-06-01

    The presumptive unisensory neocortical areas process multisensory information by oscillatory entrainment of neuronal networks via direct cortico-cortical projections. While neonatal unimodal experience has been identified as necessary for setting up the neuronal networks of multisensory processing, it is still unclear whether early cross-modal experience equally controls the ontogeny of multisensory processing. Here, we assess the development of visual-somatosensory interactions and their anatomical substrate by performing extracellular recordings of network activity in primary sensory cortices in vivo and assessing the cortico-cortical connectivity in pigmented rats. Similar to adult animals, juvenile rats with minimal cross-modal experience display supra-additive augmentation of evoked responses, time-dependent modulation of power and phase reset of network oscillations in response to cross-modal light and whisker stimulation. Moreover, the neuronal discharge of individual neurons is stronger coupled to theta and alpha network oscillations after visual-tactile stimuli. The adult-like multisensory processing of juvenile rats relies on abundant direct visual-somatosensory connections and thalamocortical feedforward interactions. Thus, cellular and network interactions ensuring multisensory processing emerge before cross-modal experience and refine during juvenile development. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Enhanced Awareness Followed Reversible Inhibition of Human Visual Cortex: A Combined TMS, MRS and MEG Study

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    Allen, Christopher P. G.; Dunkley, Benjamin T.; Muthukumaraswamy, Suresh D.; Edden, Richard; Evans, C. John; Sumner, Petroc; Singh, Krish D.; Chambers, Christopher D.

    2014-01-01

    This series of experiments investigated the neural basis of conscious vision in humans using a form of transcranial magnetic\\ud stimulation (TMS) known as continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS). Previous studies have shown that occipital TMS,\\ud when time-locked to the onset of visual stimuli, can induce a phenomenon analogous to blindsight in which conscious\\ud detection is impaired while the ability to discriminate ‘unseen’ stimuli is preserved above chance. Here we sought to\\ud reproduc...

  7. Prior Knowledge about Objects Determines Neural Color Representation in Human Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenbroucke, A R E; Fahrenfort, J J; Meuwese, J D I; Scholte, H S; Lamme, V A F

    2016-04-01

    To create subjective experience, our brain must translate physical stimulus input by incorporating prior knowledge and expectations. For example, we perceive color and not wavelength information, and this in part depends on our past experience with colored objects ( Hansen et al. 2006; Mitterer and de Ruiter 2008). Here, we investigated the influence of object knowledge on the neural substrates underlying subjective color vision. In a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment, human subjects viewed a color that lay midway between red and green (ambiguous with respect to its distance from red and green) presented on either typical red (e.g., tomato), typical green (e.g., clover), or semantically meaningless (nonsense) objects. Using decoding techniques, we could predict whether subjects viewed the ambiguous color on typical red or typical green objects based on the neural response of veridical red and green. This shift of neural response for the ambiguous color did not occur for nonsense objects. The modulation of neural responses was observed in visual areas (V3, V4, VO1, lateral occipital complex) involved in color and object processing, as well as frontal areas. This demonstrates that object memory influences wavelength information relatively early in the human visual system to produce subjective color vision. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Gravity influences the visual representation of object tilt in parietal cortex.

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    Rosenberg, Ari; Angelaki, Dora E

    2014-10-22

    Sensory systems encode the environment in egocentric (e.g., eye, head, or body) reference frames, creating inherently unstable representations that shift and rotate as we move. However, it is widely speculated that the brain transforms these signals into an allocentric, gravity-centered representation of the world that is stable and independent of the observer's spatial pose. Where and how this representation may be achieved is currently unknown. Here we demonstrate that a subpopulation of neurons in the macaque caudal intraparietal area (CIP) visually encodes object tilt in nonegocentric coordinates defined relative to the gravitational vector. Neuronal responses to the tilt of a visually presented planar surface were measured with the monkey in different spatial orientations (upright and rolled left/right ear down) and then compared. This revealed a continuum of representations in which planar tilt was encoded in a gravity-centered reference frame in approximately one-tenth of the comparisons, intermediate reference frames ranging between gravity-centered and egocentric in approximately two-tenths of the comparisons, and in an egocentric reference frame in less than half of the comparisons. Altogether, almost half of the comparisons revealed a shift in the preferred tilt and/or a gain change consistent with encoding object orientation in nonegocentric coordinates. Through neural network modeling, we further show that a purely gravity-centered representation of object tilt can be achieved directly from the population activity of CIP-like units. These results suggest that area CIP may play a key role in creating a stable, allocentric representation of the environment defined relative to an "earth-vertical" direction. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3414170-11$15.00/0.

  9. Collinear stimuli induce local and cross-areal coherence in the visual cortex of behaving monkeys.

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    Ariel Gilad

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Collinear patterns of local visual stimuli are used to study contextual effects in the visual system. Previous studies have shown that proximal collinear flankers, unlike orthogonal, can enhance the detection of a low contrast central element. However, the direct neural interactions between cortical populations processing the individual flanker elements and the central element are largely unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using voltage-sensitive dye imaging (VSDI we imaged neural population responses in V1 and V2 areas in fixating monkeys while they were presented with collinear or orthogonal arrays of Gabor patches. We then studied the spatio-temporal interactions between neuronal populations processing individual Gabor patches in the two conditions. Time-frequency analysis of the stimulus-evoked VSDI signal showed power increase mainly in low frequencies, i.e., the alpha band (α; 7-14 Hz. Power in the α-band was more discriminative at a single trial level than other neuronal population measures. Importantly, the collinear condition showed an increased intra-areal (V1-V1 and V2-V2 and inter-areal (V1-V2 α-coherence with shorter latencies than the orthogonal condition, both before and after the removal of the stimulus contribution. α-coherence appeared between discrete neural populations processing the individual Gabor patches: the central element and the flankers. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings suggest that collinear effects are mediated by synchronization in a distributed network of proximal and distant neuronal populations within and across V1 and V2.

  10. Feedback connections act on the early part of the responses in monkey visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hupé, J M; James, A C; Girard, P; Lomber, S G; Payne, B R; Bullier, J

    2001-01-01

    We previously showed that feedback connections from MT play a role in figure/ground segmentation. Figure/ground coding has been described at the V1 level in the late part of the neuronal responses to visual stimuli, and it has been suggested that these late modulations depend on feedback connections. In the present work we tested whether it actually takes time for this information to be fed back to lower order areas. We analyzed the extracellular responses of 169 V1, V2, and V3 neurons that we recorded in two anesthetized macaque monkeys. MT was inactivated by cooling. We studied the time course of the responses of the neurons that were significantly affected by the inactivation of MT to see whether the effects were delayed relative to the onset of the response. We first measured the time course of the feedback influences from MT on V1, V2, and V3 neurons tested with moving stimuli. For the large majority of the 51 neurons for which the response decreased, the effect was present from the beginning of the response. In the responses averaged after normalization, the decrease of response was significant in the first 10-ms bin of response. A similar result was found for six neurons for which the response significantly increased when MT was inactivated. We then looked at the time course of the responses to flashed stimuli (95 neurons). We observed 15 significant decreases of response and 14 significant increases. In both populations, the effects were significant within the first 10 ms of response. For some neurons with increased responses we even observed a shorter latency when MT was inactivated. We measured the latency of the response to the flashed stimuli. We found that even the earliest responding neurons were affected early by the feedback from MT. This was true for the response to flashed and to moving stimuli. These results show that feedback connections are recruited very early for the treatment of visual information. It further indicates that the presence or

  11. Object Representations in Human Visual Cortex Formed Through Temporal Integration of Dynamic Partial Shape Views.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlov, Tanya; Zohary, Ehud

    2018-01-17

    We typically recognize visual objects using the spatial layout of their parts, which are present simultaneously on the retina. Therefore, shape extraction is based on integration of the relevant retinal information over space. The lateral occipital complex (LOC) can represent shape faithfully in such conditions. However, integration over time is sometimes required to determine object shape. To study shape extraction through temporal integration of successive partial shape views, we presented human participants (both men and women) with artificial shapes that moved behind a narrow vertical or horizontal slit. Only a tiny fraction of the shape was visible at any instant at the same retinal location. However, observers perceived a coherent whole shape instead of a jumbled pattern. Using fMRI and multivoxel pattern analysis, we searched for brain regions that encode temporally integrated shape identity. We further required that the representation of shape should be invariant to changes in the slit orientation. We show that slit-invariant shape information is most accurate in the LOC. Importantly, the slit-invariant shape representations matched the conventional whole-shape representations assessed during full-image runs. Moreover, when the same slit-dependent shape slivers were shuffled, thereby preventing their spatiotemporal integration, slit-invariant shape information was reduced dramatically. The slit-invariant representation of the various shapes also mirrored the structure of shape perceptual space as assessed by perceptual similarity judgment tests. Therefore, the LOC is likely to mediate temporal integration of slit-dependent shape views, generating a slit-invariant whole-shape percept. These findings provide strong evidence for a global encoding of shape in the LOC regardless of integration processes required to generate the shape percept. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Visual objects are recognized through spatial integration of features available simultaneously on

  12. Physical exercise is required for environmental enrichment to offset the quantitative effects of dark-rearing on the S-100beta astrocytic density in the rat visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argandoña, Enrike G; Bengoetxea, Harkaitz; Lafuente, José V

    2009-08-01

    After birth, exposure to visual inputs modulates cortical development, inducing numerous changes in all of the components of the visual cortex. Most of the cortical changes thus induced occur during what is called the critical period. Astrocytes play an important role in the development, maintenance and plasticity of the cortex as well as in the structure and function of the vascular network. Visual deprivation induces a decrease in the astroglial population, whereas enhanced experience increases it. Exposure to an enriched environment has been shown to prevent the effects of dark-rearing in the visual cortex. Our purpose was to study the effects of an enriched environment on the density of astrocytes per reference surface at the visual cortex of dark-reared rats, in order to determine if enhanced experience is able to compensate the quantitative effects of visual deprivation and the role of physical exercise on the enrichment paradigm. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were raised in one of the following rearing conditions: control rats with standard housing (12-h light/dark cycle); in total darkness for the dark-rearing experiments; and dark-rearing in conditions of enriched environment without and with physical exercise. The astrocytic density was estimated by immunohistochemistry for S-100beta protein. Quantifications were performed in layer IV. The somatosensorial cortex barrel field was also studied as control. The volume of layer IV was stereologically calculated for each region, age and experimental condition. From the beginning of the critical period, astrocyte density was higher in control rats than in the enriched environment group without physical exercise, with densities of astrocytes around 20% higher at all of the different ages. In contrast, when the animals had access to voluntary exercise, densities were significantly higher than even the control rats. Our main result shows that strategies to apply environmental enrichment should always consider the

  13. Physical exercise is required for environmental enrichment to offset the quantitative effects of dark-rearing on the S-100β astrocytic density in the rat visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argandoña, Enrike G; Bengoetxea, Harkaitz; Lafuente, José V

    2009-01-01

    After birth, exposure to visual inputs modulates cortical development, inducing numerous changes in all of the components of the visual cortex. Most of the cortical changes thus induced occur during what is called the critical period. Astrocytes play an important role in the development, maintenance and plasticity of the cortex as well as in the structure and function of the vascular network. Visual deprivation induces a decrease in the astroglial population, whereas enhanced experience increases it. Exposure to an enriched environment has been shown to prevent the effects of dark-rearing in the visual cortex. Our purpose was to study the effects of an enriched environment on the density of astrocytes per reference surface at the visual cortex of dark-reared rats, in order to determine if enhanced experience is able to compensate the quantitative effects of visual deprivation and the role of physical exercise on the enrichment paradigm. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were raised in one of the following rearing conditions: control rats with standard housing (12-h light/dark cycle); in total darkness for the dark-rearing experiments; and dark-rearing in conditions of enriched environment without and with physical exercise. The astrocytic density was estimated by immunohistochemistry for S-100β protein. Quantifications were performed in layer IV. The somatosensorial cortex barrel field was also studied as control. The volume of layer IV was stereologically calculated for each region, age and experimental condition. From the beginning of the critical period, astrocyte density was higher in control rats than in the enriched environment group without physical exercise, with densities of astrocytes around 20% higher at all of the different ages. In contrast, when the animals had access to voluntary exercise, densities were significantly higher than even the control rats. Our main result shows that strategies to apply environmental enrichment should always consider the

  14. Figure and Ground in the Visual Cortex: V2 Combines Stereoscopic Cues with Gestalt Rules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Fangtu T.; von der Heydt, Rüdiger

    2006-01-01

    Figure-ground organization is a process by which the visual system identifies some image regions as foreground and others as background, inferring three-dimensional (3D) layout from 2D displays. A recent study reported that edge responses of neurons in area V2 are selective for side-of-figure, suggesting that figure-ground organization is encoded in the contour signals (border-ownership coding). Here we show that area V2 combines two strategies of computation, one that exploits binocular stereoscopic information for the definition of local depth order, and another that exploits the global configuration of contours (gestalt factors). These are combined in single neurons so that the ‘near’ side of the preferred 3D edge generally coincides with the preferred side-of-figure in 2D displays. Thus, area V2 represents the borders of 2D figures as edges of surfaces, as if the figures were objects in 3D space. Even in 3D displays gestalt factors influence the responses and can enhance or null the stereoscopic depth information. PMID:15996555

  15. Integration of texture and disparity cues to surface slant in dorsal visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Aidan P; Ban, Hiroshi; Welchman, Andrew E

    2013-07-01

    Reliable estimation of three-dimensional (3D) surface orientation is critical for recognizing and interacting with complex 3D objects in our environment. Human observers maximize the reliability of their estimates of surface slant by integrating multiple depth cues. Texture and binocular disparity are two such cues, but they are qualitatively very different. Existing evidence suggests that representations of surface tilt from each of these cues coincide at the single-neuron level in higher cortical areas. However, the cortical circuits responsible for 1) integration of such qualitatively distinct cues and 2) encoding the slant component of surface orientation have not been assessed. We tested for cortical responses related to slanted plane stimuli that were defined independently by texture, disparity, and combinations of these two cues. We analyzed the discriminability of functional MRI responses to two slant angles using multivariate pattern classification. Responses in visual area V3B/KO to stimuli containing congruent cues were more discriminable than those elicited by single cues, in line with predictions based on the fusion of slant estimates from component cues. This improvement was specific to congruent combinations of cues: incongruent cues yielded lower decoding accuracies, which suggests the robust use of individual cues in cases of large cue conflicts. These data suggest that area V3B/KO is intricately involved in the integration of qualitatively dissimilar depth cues.

  16. Body-Selective Areas in the Visual Cortex are less active in Children than in Adults

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    Paddy D Ross

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Our ability to read other people’s non-verbal signals gets refined throughout childhood and adolescence. How this is paralleled by brain development has been investigated mainly with regards to face perception, showing a protracted functional development of the face-selective visual cortical areas. In view of the importance of whole-body expressions in interpersonal communication it is important to understand the development of brain areas sensitive to these social signals.Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to compare brain activity in a group of 24 children (age 6-11 and 26 adults while they passively watched short videos of body or object movements. We observed activity in similar regions in both groups; namely the extra-striate body area (EBA, fusiform body area (FBA, posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS, amygdala and premotor regions. Adults showed additional activity in the inferior frontal gyrus. Within the main body-selective regions (EBA, FBA and pSTS, the strength and spatial extent of fMRI signal change was larger in adults than in children. Multivariate Bayesian analysis showed that the spatial pattern of neural representation within those regions did not change over age.Our results indicate, for the first time, that body perception, like face perception, is still maturing through the second decade of life.

  17. The gamma slideshow: object-based perceptual cycles in a model of the visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Miconi

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available While recent studies have shed light on the mechanisms that generate gamma (>40Hz oscillations, the functional role of these oscillations (if any is still debated. Here we suggest that the purported mechanism of gamma oscillations (feedback inhibition from local interneurons, coupled with lateral connections implementing Gestalt principles of object integration, naturally leads to a decomposition of the visual input into object-based perceptual cycles, in which neuron populations representing different objects within the scene will tend to fire at successive cycles of the local gamma oscillation. We describe a simple model of V1 in which such perceptual cycles emerge automatically from the interaction between lateral excitatory connections (linking oriented cells falling along a continuous contour and fast feedback inhibition (implementing competitive firing and gamma oscillations. Despite its extreme simplicity, the model spontaneously gives rise to perceptual cycles even when faced with natural images. The robustness of the system to parameter variation and to image complexity, together with the paucity of assumptions built in the model, support the hypothesis that perceptual cycles occur in natural vision.

  18. Figure and ground in the visual cortex: v2 combines stereoscopic cues with gestalt rules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Fangtu T; von der Heydt, Rüdiger

    2005-07-07

    Figure-ground organization is a process by which the visual system identifies some image regions as foreground and others as background, inferring 3D layout from 2D displays. A recent study reported that edge responses of neurons in area V2 are selective for side-of-figure, suggesting that figure-ground organization is encoded in the contour signals (border ownership coding). Here, we show that area V2 combines two strategies of computation, one that exploits binocular stereoscopic information for the definition of local depth order, and another that exploits the global configuration of contours (Gestalt factors). These are combined in single neurons so that the "near" side of the preferred 3D edge generally coincides with the preferred side-of-figure in 2D displays. Thus, area V2 represents the borders of 2D figures as edges of surfaces, as if the figures were objects in 3D space. Even in 3D displays, Gestalt factors influence the responses and can enhance or null the stereoscopic depth information.

  19. The enhanced information flow from visual cortex to frontal area facilitates SSVEP response: evidence from model-driven and data-driven causality analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Fali; Tian, Yin; Zhang, Yangsong; Qiu, Kan; Tian, Chunyang; Jing, Wei; Liu, Tiejun; Xia, Yang; Guo, Daqing; Yao, Dezhong; Xu, Peng

    2015-10-01

    The neural mechanism of steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) is still not clearly understood. Especially, only certain frequency stimuli can evoke SSVEP. Our previous network study reveals that 8 Hz stimulus that can evoke strong SSVEP response shows the enhanced linkage strength between frontal and visual cortex. To further probe the directed information flow between the two cortex areas for various frequency stimuli, this paper develops a causality analysis based on the inversion of double columns model using particle swarm optimization (PSO) to characterize the directed information flow between visual and frontal cortices with the intracranial rat electroencephalograph (EEG). The estimated model parameters demonstrate that the 8 Hz stimulus shows the enhanced directional information flow from visual cortex to frontal lobe facilitates SSVEP response, which may account for the strong SSVEP response for 8 Hz stimulus. Furthermore, the similar finding is replicated by data-driven causality analysis. The inversion of neural mass model proposed in this study may be helpful to provide the new causality analysis to link the physiological model and the observed datasets in neuroscience and clinical researches.

  20. Sensory Experience Differentially Modulates the mRNA Expression of the Polysialyltransferases ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV in Postnatal Mouse Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bélanger, Marie-Claude; Di Cristo, Graziella

    2011-01-01

    Polysialic acid (PSA) is a unique carbohydrate composed of a linear homopolymer of α-2,8 linked sialic acid, and is mainly attached to the fifth immunoglobulin-like domain of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) in vertebrate neural system. In the brain, PSA is exclusively synthesized by the two polysialyltransferases ST8SiaII (also known as STX) and ST8SiaIV (also known as PST). By modulating adhesive property of NCAM, PSA plays a critical role in several neural development processes such as cell migration, neurite outgrowth, axon pathfinding, synaptogenesis and activity-dependent plasticity. The expression of PSA is temporally and spatially regulated during neural development and a tight regulation of PSA expression is essential to its biological function. In mouse visual cortex, PSA is downregulated following eye opening and its decrease allows the maturation of GABAergic synapses and the opening of the critical period for ocular dominance plasticity. Relatively little is known about how PSA levels are regulated by sensory experience and neuronal activity. Here, we demonstrate that while both ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV mRNA levels decrease around the time of eye opening in mouse visual cortex, only ST8SiaII mRNA level reduction is regulated by sensory experience. Using an organotypic culture system from mouse visual cortex, we further show that ST8SiaII gene expression is regulated by spiking activity and NMDA-mediated excitation. Further, we show that both ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV mRNA levels are positively regulated by PKC-mediated signaling. Therefore, sensory experience-dependent ST8SiaII gene expression regulates PSA levels in postnatal visual cortex, thus acting as molecular link between visual activity and PSA expression. PMID:21957465

  1. NADPH-diaphorase activity in area 17 of the squirrel monkey visual cortex: neuropil pattern, cell morphology and laminar distribution

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    J.G. Franca

    1997-09-01

    Full Text Available We studied the distribution of NADPH-diaphorase activity in the visual cortex of normal adult New World monkeys (Saimiri sciureus using the malic enzyme "indirect" method. NADPH-diaphorase neuropil activity had a heterogeneous distribution. In coronal sections, it had a clear laminar pattern that was coincident with Nissl-stained layers. In tangential sections, we observed blobs in supragranular layers of V1 and stripes throughout the entire V2. We quantified and compared the tangential distribution of NADPH-diaphorase and cytochrome oxidase blobs in adjacent sections of the supragranular layers of V1. Although their spatial distributions were rather similar, the two enzymes did not always overlap. The histochemical reaction also revealed two different types of stained cells: a slightly stained subpopulation and a subgroup of deeply stained neurons resembling a Golgi impregnation. These neurons were sparsely spined non-pyramidal cells. Their dendritic arbors were very well stained but their axons were not always evident. In the gray matter, heavily stained neurons showed different dendritic arbor morphologies. However, most of the strongly reactive cells lay in the subjacent white matter, where they presented a more homogenous morphology. Our results demonstrate that the pattern of NADPH-diaphorase activity is similar to that previously described in Old World monkeys

  2. In vivo STED microscopy visualizes PSD95 sub-structures and morphological changes over several hours in the mouse visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wegner, Waja; Mott, Alexander C; Grant, Seth G N; Steffens, Heinz; Willig, Katrin I

    2018-01-09

    The post-synaptic density (PSD) is an electron dense region consisting of ~1000 proteins, found at the postsynaptic membrane of excitatory synapses, which varies in size depending upon synaptic strength. PSD95 is an abundant scaffolding protein in the PSD and assembles a family of supercomplexes comprised of neurotransmitter receptors, ion channels, as well as signalling and structural proteins. We use superresolution STED (STimulated Emission Depletion) nanoscopy to determine the size and shape of PSD95 in the anaesthetised mouse visual cortex. Adult knock-in mice expressing eGFP fused to the endogenous PSD95 protein were imaged at time points from 1 min to 6 h. Superresolved large assemblies of PSD95 show different sub-structures; most large assemblies were ring-like, some horse-shoe or figure-8 shaped, and shapes were continuous or made up of nanoclusters. The sub-structure appeared stable during the shorter (minute) time points, but after 1 h, more than 50% of the large assemblies showed a change in sub-structure. Overall, these data showed a sub-morphology of large PSD95 assemblies which undergo changes within the 6 hours of observation in the anaesthetised mouse.

  3. Representation of Gravity-Aligned Scene Structure in Ventral Pathway Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaziri, Siavash; Connor, Charles E

    2016-03-21

    The ventral visual pathway in humans and non-human primates is known to represent object information, including shape and identity [1]. Here, we show the ventral pathway also represents scene structure aligned with the gravitational reference frame in which objects move and interact. We analyzed shape tuning of recently described macaque monkey ventral pathway neurons that prefer scene-like stimuli to objects [2]. Individual neurons did not respond to a single shape class, but to a variety of scene elements that are typically aligned with gravity: large planes in the orientation range of ground surfaces under natural viewing conditions, planes in the orientation range of ceilings, and extended convex and concave edges in the orientation range of wall/floor/ceiling junctions. For a given neuron, these elements tended to share a common alignment in eye-centered coordinates. Thus, each neuron integrated information about multiple gravity-aligned structures as they would be seen from a specific eye and head orientation. This eclectic coding strategy provides only ambiguous information about individual structures but explicit information about the environmental reference frame and the orientation of gravity in egocentric coordinates. In the ventral pathway, this could support perceiving and/or predicting physical events involving objects subject to gravity, recognizing object attributes like animacy based on movement not caused by gravity, and/or stabilizing perception of the world against changes in head orientation [3-5]. Our results, like the recent discovery of object weight representation [6], imply that the ventral pathway is involved not just in recognition, but also in physical understanding of objects and scenes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Evidence for long-range spatiotemporal interactions in infant and adult visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norcia, Anthony M.; Pei, Francesca; Kohler, Peter J.

    2017-01-01

    The development of spatiotemporal interactions giving rise to classical receptive field properties has been well studied in animal models, but little is known about the development of putative nonclassical mechanisms in any species. Here we used visual evoked potentials to study the developmental status of spatiotemporal interactions for stimuli that were biased to engage long-range spatiotemporal integration mechanisms. We compared responses to widely spaced stimuli presented either in temporal succession or at the same time. The former configuration elicits a percept of apparent motion in adults but the latter does not. Component flash responses were summed to make a linear prediction (no spatiotemporal interaction) for comparison with the measured evoked responses to sequential or simultaneous flash conditions. In adults, linear summation of the separate flash responses measured with 40% contrast stimuli predicted sequential flash responses twice as large as those measured, indicating that the response measured under apparent motion conditions is subadditive. Simultaneous-flash responses at the same spatial separation were also subadditive, but substantially less so. The subadditivity in both cases could be modeled as a simple multiplicative gain term across all electrodes and time points. In infants aged 3–8 months, responses to the stimuli used in adults were similar to their linear predictions at 40%, but the responses measured at 80% contrast resembled the subadditive responses of the adults for both sequential and simultaneous flash conditions. We interpret the developmental data as indicating that adult-like long-range spatiotemporal interactions can be demonstrated by 3–8 months, once stimulus contrast is high enough. PMID:28622700

  5. Multivoxel Object Representations in Adult Human Visual Cortex Are Flexible: An Associative Learning Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senoussi, Mehdi; Berry, Isabelle; VanRullen, Rufin; Reddy, Leila

    2016-06-01

    Learning associations between co-occurring events enables us to extract structure from our environment. Medial-temporal lobe structures are critical for associative learning. However, the role of the ventral visual pathway (VVP) in associative learning is not clear. Do multivoxel object representations in the VVP reflect newly formed associations? We show that VVP multivoxel representations become more similar to each other after human participants learn arbitrary new associations between pairs of unrelated objects (faces, houses, cars, chairs). Participants were scanned before and after 15 days of associative learning. To evaluate how object representations changed, a classifier was trained on discriminating two nonassociated categories (e.g., faces/houses) and tested on discriminating their paired associates (e.g., cars/chairs). Because the associations were arbitrary and counterbalanced across participants, there was initially no particular reason for this cross-classification decision to tend toward either alternative. Nonetheless, after learning, cross-classification performance increased in the VVP (but not hippocampus), on average by 3.3%, with some voxels showing increases of up to 10%. For example, a chair multivoxel representation that initially resembled neither face nor house representations was, after learning, classified as more similar to that of faces for participants who associated chairs with faces and to that of houses for participants who associated chairs with houses. Additionally, learning produced long-lasting perceptual consequences. In a behavioral priming experiment performed several months later, the change in cross-classification performance was correlated with the degree of priming. Thus, VVP multivoxel representations are not static but become more similar to each other after associative learning.

  6. Time organization of frontal-motor cortex interneuron interactions in the cat neocortex in conditions of different levels of food motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merzhanova, G Kh; Dolbakyan, E E

    1997-01-01

    Studies were carried out in conscious cats with recording of multicellular activity in moderate hunger and after 24-h food deprivation. Cross-correlation analysis was used to assess statistical interneuron interactions between closely-located neurons in the frontal and sensorimotor regions of the neocortex (local networks), and between the cells of these regions (distributed networks). One-day food deprivation increased the number of interactions formed within both local and distributed neuron networks. Increases in intercortical connections between the frontal and motor regions was seen at all time intervals studied (0-100 msec), though the most significant changes occurred at time intervals of up to 30 msec.

  7. Schroedinger's cat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lubkin, E.

    1979-01-01

    The issue is to seek quantum interference effects in an arbitrary field, in particular in psychology. For this a digest of quantum mechanics over finite-n-dimensional Hilbert space is invented. In order to match crude data not only von Neumann's mixed states are used but also a parallel notion of unsharp tests. The mathematically styled text (and earlier work on multibin tests, designated MB) deals largely with these new tests. Quantum psychology itself is only given a foundation. It readily engenders objections; its plausibility is developed gradually, in interlocking essays. There is also the empirically definite proposal that (state, test, outcome)-indexed counts be gathered to record data, then fed to a 'matrix format' (MF) search for quantum models. A previously proposed experiment in visual perception which has since failed to find significant quantum correlations, is discussed. The suspicion that quantum mechanics is all around goes beyond MF, and 'Schroedinger's cat' symbolizes this broader perspective. (author)

  8. Cholinergic induction of input-specific late-phase LTP via localized Ca2+ release in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Kwang-Hyun; Jang, Hyun-Jong; Jo, Yang-Hyeok; Singer, Wolf; Rhie, Duck-Joo

    2012-03-28

    Acetylcholine facilitates long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), substrates of learning, memory, and sensory processing, in which acetylcholine also plays a crucial role. Ca(2+) ions serve as a canonical regulator of LTP/LTD but little is known about the effect of acetylcholine on intracellular Ca(2+) dynamics. Here, we investigated dendritic Ca(2+) dynamics evoked by synaptic stimulation and the resulting LTP/LTD in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of the rat visual cortex. Under muscarinic stimulation, single-shock electrical stimulation (SES) inducing ∼20 mV EPSP, applied via a glass electrode located ∼10 μm from the basal dendrite, evoked NMDA receptor-dependent fast Ca(2+) transients and the subsequent Ca(2+) release from the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3))-sensitive stores. These secondary dendritic Ca(2+) transients were highly localized within 10 μm from the center (SD = 5.0 μm). The dendritic release of Ca(2+) was a prerequisite for input-specific muscarinic LTP (LTPm). Without the secondary Ca(2+) release, only muscarinic LTD (LTDm) was induced. D(-)-2-amino-5-phosphopentanoic acid and intracellular heparin blocked LTPm as well as dendritic Ca(2+) release. A single burst consisting of 3 EPSPs with weak stimulus intensities instead of the SES also induced secondary Ca(2+) release and LTPm. LTPm and LTDm were protein synthesis-dependent. Furthermore, LTPm was confined to specific dendritic compartments and not inducible in distal apical dendrites. Thus, cholinergic activation facilitated selectively compartment-specific induction of late-phase LTP through IP(3)-dependent Ca(2+) release.

  9. Layer- and cell-type-specific subthreshold and suprathreshold effects of long-term monocular deprivation in rat visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medini, Paolo

    2011-11-23

    Connectivity and dendritic properties are determinants of plasticity that are layer and cell-type specific in the neocortex. However, the impact of experience-dependent plasticity at the level of synaptic inputs and spike outputs remains unclear along vertical cortical microcircuits. Here I compared subthreshold and suprathreshold sensitivity to prolonged monocular deprivation (MD) in rat binocular visual cortex in layer 4 and layer 2/3 pyramids (4Ps and 2/3Ps) and in thick-tufted and nontufted layer 5 pyramids (5TPs and 5NPs), which innervate different extracortical targets. In normal rats, 5TPs and 2/3Ps are the most binocular in terms of synaptic inputs, and 5NPs are the least. Spike responses of all 5TPs were highly binocular, whereas those of 2/3Ps were dominated by either the contralateral or ipsilateral eye. MD dramatically shifted the ocular preference of 2/3Ps and 4Ps, mostly by depressing deprived-eye inputs. Plasticity was profoundly different in layer 5. The subthreshold ocular preference shift was sevenfold smaller in 5TPs because of smaller depression of deprived inputs combined with a generalized loss of responsiveness, and was undetectable in 5NPs. Despite their modest ocular dominance change, spike responses of 5TPs consistently lost their typically high binocularity during MD. The comparison of MD effects on 2/3Ps and 5TPs, the main affected output cells of vertical microcircuits, indicated that subthreshold plasticity is not uniquely determined by the initial degree of input binocularity. The data raise the question of whether 5TPs are driven solely by 2/3Ps during MD. The different suprathreshold plasticity of the two cell populations could underlie distinct functional deficits in amblyopia.

  10. Developmental regulation of intracellular calcium by N-methyl-D-aspartate and noradrenaline in rat visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, M; Imamura, K; Kaub, P A; Nakadate, K; Watanabe, Y

    1999-01-01

    The effects of N-methyl-D-aspartate and noradrenaline on intracellular Ca2+ concentration in slices of rat visual cortex were studied using a fluorescent indicator, Fura-2. Bath application of N-methyl-D-aspartate (1-100 microM) increased intracellular Ca2+ concentration in a dose-dependent manner, especially in layers II/III. Noradrenaline (1-100 microM) also increased intracellular Ca2+ concentration in a dose-dependent manner, especially in layers I and IV. However, the maximum increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration after 100 microM noradrenaline application was less than half of that after 100 microM N-methyl-D-aspartate application in slices obtained from animals in the sensitive period. The effect of noradrenaline was most prominent in slices of the sensitive period, whereas the N-methyl-D-aspartate-induced intracellular Ca2+ concentration response decreased with age. Additive effects from application of both N-methyl-D-aspartate and noradrenaline on intracellular Ca2+ concentration were found only in the neonatal stage. Pharmacological experiments showed that alpha1-adrenergic receptors play a major role in the noradrenaline-induced intracellular Ca2+ concentration response, although both alpha2- and beta-adrenergic receptors were also partially involved. The release of Ca2+ from intracellular storage underlay the early phase of the noradrenaline-induced intracellular Ca2+ concentration response, while extracellular Ca2+ influxes contributed to the sustained phase. Experiments using a gliotoxin, fluorocitric acid, suggested that the function of glial cells is involved in the noradrenaline-induced increase of intracellular Ca2+ concentration. The larger intracellular Ca2+ concentration response to noradrenaline during the sensitive period may modulate the increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration by N-methyl-D-aspartate to maintain a higher level of cortical plasticity during this period.

  11. Functional Architecture of Noise Correlations in Human Early Visual Cortex and its Relationship with Coherent Spontaneous Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jungwon Ryu

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Responses of single sensory neurons to stimuli are ‘noisy’, varying substantially across repeated trials of identical stimulation. Intriguingly, these individual ‘noise responses’ (NR—deviations from their means—are not isolated; rather they are highly correlated, referred to as ‘noise correlation’ (NC. From a computational viewpoint, the presence and nature of NC exert great impacts on the information processing capacity of neurons as they encode sensory events as a population, decode those encoded neural responses, and contribute to perceptual choices for action. Regarding the origin of NR, on the other hand, there has been growing evidence pointing to its tight linkage with ‘spontaneous responses’ (SR—fluctuations of neural activity in the absence of external input or tasks. To investigate the functional structure of NC and its relationship with ‘correlations in SR’ (SC, we defined population receptive fields (pRFs of unit volumes of gray matter (UV in human early visual cortex and computed NRs and SRs using fMRI. NC increased with an increasing degree of similarity in pRF tuning properties such as orientation, spatial frequency, and visuotopic position, particularly between UV pairs close in cortical distance. This ‘like-to-like’ structure of NC remained unaltered across scan runs with different stimuli, even among between-area UV pairs. SC was higher than NC, and its functional and temporal structures were quite similar to those of NC. Furthermore, the partial correlation analysis revealed that NC between a given pair of UVs was best predicted by their SC than by any other factors examined in the current study.

  12. Combination of blood oxygen level–dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging and visual evoked potential recordings for abnormal visual cortex in two types of amblyopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xinmei; Cui, Dongmei; Zheng, Ling; Yang, Xiao; Yang, Hui

    2012-01-01

    Purpose To elucidate the different neuromechanisms of subjects with strabismic and anisometropic amblyopia compared with normal vision subjects using blood oxygen level–dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI) and pattern-reversal visual evoked potential (PR-VEP). Methods Fifty-three subjects, age range seven to 12 years, diagnosed with strabismic amblyopia (17 cases), anisometropic amblyopia (20 cases), and normal vision (16 cases), were examined using the BOLD-fMRI and PR-VEP of UTAS-E3000 techniques. Cortical activation by binocular viewing of reversal checkerboard patterns was examined in terms of the calcarine region of interest (ROI)-based and spatial frequency–dependent analysis. The correlation of cortical activation in fMRI and the P100 amplitude in VEP were analyzed using the SPSS 12.0 software package. Results In the BOLD-fMRI procedure, reduced areas and decreased activation levels were found in Brodmann area (BA) 17 and other extrastriate areas in subjects with amblyopia compared with the normal vision group. In general, the reduced areas mainly resided in the striate visual cortex in subjects with anisometropic amblyopia. In subjects with strabismic amblyopia, a more significant cortical impairment was found in bilateral BA 18 and BA 19 than that in subjects with anisometropic amblyopia. The activation by high-spatial-frequency stimuli was reduced in bilateral BA 18 and 19 as well as BA 17 in subjects with anisometropic amblyopia, whereas the activation was mainly reduced in BA 18 and BA 19 in subjects with strabismic amblyopia. These findings were further confirmed by the ROI-based analysis of BA 17. During spatial frequency–dependent VEP detection, subjects with anisometropic amblyopia had reduced sensitivity for high spatial frequency compared to subjects with strabismic amblyopia. The cortical activation in fMRI with the calcarine ROI-based analysis of BA 17 was significantly correlated with the P100 amplitude in VEP

  13. Sequential roles of primary somatosensory cortex and posterior parietal cortex in tactile-visual cross-modal working memory: a single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (spTMS) study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ku, Yixuan; Zhao, Di; Hao, Ning; Hu, Yi; Bodner, Mark; Zhou, Yong-Di

    2015-01-01

    Both monkey neurophysiological and human EEG studies have shown that association cortices, as well as primary sensory cortical areas, play an essential role in sequential neural processes underlying cross-modal working memory. The present study aims to further examine causal and sequential roles of the primary sensory cortex and association cortex in cross-modal working memory. Individual MRI-based single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (spTMS) was applied to bilateral primary somatosensory cortices (SI) and the contralateral posterior parietal cortex (PPC), while participants were performing a tactile-visual cross-modal delayed matching-to-sample task. Time points of spTMS were 300 ms, 600 ms, 900 ms after the onset of the tactile sample stimulus in the task. The accuracy of task performance and reaction time were significantly impaired when spTMS was applied to the contralateral SI at 300 ms. Significant impairment on performance accuracy was also observed when the contralateral PPC was stimulated at 600 ms. SI and PPC play sequential and distinct roles in neural processes of cross-modal associations and working memory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. The selectivity of responses to red-green colour and achromatic contrast in the human visual cortex: an fMRI adaptation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullen, Kathy T; Chang, Dorita H F; Hess, Robert F

    2015-12-01

    There is controversy as to how responses to colour in the human brain are organized within the visual pathways. A key issue is whether there are modular pathways that respond selectively to colour or whether there are common neural substrates for both colour and achromatic (Ach) contrast. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) adaptation to investigate the responses of early and extrastriate visual areas to colour and Ach contrast. High-contrast red-green (RG) and Ach sinewave rings (0.5 cycles/degree, 2 Hz) were used as both adapting stimuli and test stimuli in a block design. We found robust adaptation to RG or Ach contrast in all visual areas. Cross-adaptation between RG and Ach contrast occurred in all areas indicating the presence of integrated, colour and Ach responses. Notably, we revealed contrasting trends for the two test stimuli. For the RG test, unselective processing (robust adaptation to both RG and Ach contrast) was most evident in the early visual areas (V1 and V2), but selective responses, revealed as greater adaptation between the same stimuli than cross-adaptation between different stimuli, emerged in the ventral cortex, in V4 and VO in particular. For the Ach test, unselective responses were again most evident in early visual areas but Ach selectivity emerged in the dorsal cortex (V3a and hMT+). Our findings support a strong presence of integrated mechanisms for colour and Ach contrast across the visual hierarchy, with a progression towards selective processing in extrastriate visual areas. © 2015 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Coregistration of digital photography of the human cortex and cranial magnetic resonance imaging for visualization of subdural electrodes in epilepsy surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahvash, Mehran; König, Roy; Wellmer, Jörg; Urbach, Horst; Meyer, Bernhard; Schaller, Karl

    2007-11-01

    To develop a method for the coregistration of digital photographs of the human cortex with head magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans for invasive diagnostics and resective neocortical epilepsy surgery. Six chronically epileptic patients (two women, four men; mean age, 34 yr; age range, 20-43 yr) underwent preoperative three-dimensional (3D) T1-weighted MRI scans. Digital photographs of the exposed cortex were taken during implantation of subdural grid electrodes. Rendering software (Analyze 3.1; Biomedical Imaging Resource, Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN) was used to create an MRI-based 3D model of the brain surface. Digital photographs were manually coregistered with the brain surface MRI model using the registration tool in the Analyze software. By matching the digital photograph and the brain surface model, the position of the subdural electrodes was integrated into the coordinate system of the preoperatively acquired 3D MRI dataset. In all patients, the position of the labeled electrode contacts in relation to the cortical anatomy could be visualized on the 3D models of the cortical surface. At the time of resection, the resulting image of the coregistration process provides a realistic view of the cortex and the position of the subdural electrode. The coregistration of digital photographs of the brain cortex with the results of 3D MRI data sets is possible. This allows for identification of anatomic details underlying the subdural grid electrodes and enhances the orientation of the surgeon.

  16. Stimulus familiarity modulates functional connectivity of the perirhinal cortex and anterior hippocampus during visual discrimination of faces and objects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria Chantal McLelland

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent research suggests that the medial temporal lobe (MTL is involved in perception as well as in declarative memory. Amnesic patients with focal MTL lesions and semantic dementia patients showed perceptual deficits when discriminating faces and objects. Interestingly, these two patient groups showed different profiles of impairment for familiar and unfamiliar stimuli. For MTL amnesics, the use of familiar relative to unfamiliar stimuli improved discrimination performance. By contrast, patients with semantic dementia – a neurodegenerative condition associated with anterolateral temporal lobe damage – showed no such facilitation from familiar stimuli. Given that the two patient groups had highly overlapping patterns of damage to the perirhinal cortex, hippocampus, and temporal pole, the neuroanatomical substrates underlying their performance discrepancy were unclear. Here, we addressed this question with a multivariate reanalysis of the data presented by Barense, Henson, and Graham (2011, J. Cogn. Neurosci. 23, 3052-3067, using functional connectivity to examine how stimulus familiarity affected the broader networks with which the perirhinal cortex, hippocampus, and temporal poles interact. In this study, healthy participants were scanned while they performed an odd-one-out perceptual task involving familiar and novel faces or objects. Seed-based analyses revealed that functional connectivity of the right perirhinal cortex and right anterior hippocampus was modulated by the degree of stimulus familiarity. For familiar relative to unfamiliar faces and objects, both right perirhinal cortex and right anterior hippocampus showed enhanced functional correlations with anterior/lateral temporal cortex, temporal pole, and medial/lateral parietal cortex. These findings suggest that in order to benefit from stimulus familiarity, it is necessary to engage not only the perirhinal cortex and hippocampus, but also a network of regions known to represent

  17. Action word Related to Walk Heard by the Ears Activates Visual Cortex and Superior Temporal Gyrus: An fMRI Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoyuki Osaka

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive neuroscience of language of action processing is one of the interesting issues on the cortical “seat” of word meaning and related action (Pulvermueller, 1999 Behavioral Brain Sciences 22 253–336. For example, generation of action verbs referring to various arm or leg actions (e.g., pick or kick differentially activate areas along the motor strip that overlap with those areas activated by actual movement of the fingers or feet (Hauk et al., 2004 Neuron 41 301–307. Meanwhile, mimic words like onomatopoeia have the other potential to selectively and strongly stimulate specific brain regions having a specified “seat” of action meaning. In fact, mimic words highly suggestive of laughter and gaze significantly activated the extrastriate visual /premotor cortices and the frontal eye field, respectively (Osaka et al., 2003 Neuroscience Letters 340 127–130; 2009 Neuroscience Letters 461 65–68. However, the role of a mimic word related to walk on specific brain regions has not yet been investigated. The present study showed that a mimic word highly suggestive of human walking, heard by the ears with eyes closed, significantly activated the visual cortex located in extrastriate cortex and superior temporal gyrus while hearing non-sense words that did not imply walk under the same task did not activate these areas. These areas would be a critical region for generating visual images of walking and related action.

  18. Effect of Low Level Laser Irradiation at Wavelengths 488 and 515 nm on Glutamate Neurotransmitter in Mitochondria of Visual Brain Cortex in Albino Rat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Omran, M.F.; El-Ahdal, M.A.; El-Kady, M.H.; Yousri, R.M.

    2004-01-01

    The presence of glutamate in the visual cortex and mitochondria could be used as a measure for the argon laser effect having wavelengths 488 and 515 nm, on the mitochondria. A comparative response for the bound and free glutamate was found. Irradiation with different energies 0.2, 0.5 and 1.0 J for both wavelengths were accomplished. This study makes us to recommend the advantage of using argon laser having wavelength 515 nm to enhance the blocking of glutamate and hence the reduction of brain toxicity. Most of the energy required for cellular functions comes from mitochondria (Shepherd, 1994). Glutamate, which is present in central nervous system at very high level is essential for brain intermediary metabolism (Frazer et al., 1994; Meldrum et al., 2000 and Blumcke et al., 2000). Glutamate is enriched in synaptic vesicles, the subcellular organelles, which are associated with the storage and release of neurotransmitters. Also, biochemical evidence for glutamate as neurotransmitter in fibers from the visual cortex to the subcortical visual relay nuclei has been indicated (Fose and Fonnum, 1987 and George, 1998)

  19. Functional Organization of the Parahippocampal Cortex: Dissociable Roles for Context Representations and the Perception of Visual Scenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumann, Oliver; Mattingley, Jason B

    2016-02-24

    The human parahippocampal cortex has been ascribed central roles in both visuospatial and mnemonic processes. More specifically, evidence suggests that the parahippocampal cortex subserves both the perceptual analysis of scene layouts as well as the retrieval of associative contextual memories. It remains unclear, however, whether these two functional roles can be dissociated within the parahippocampal cortex anatomically. Here, we provide evidence for a dissociation between neural activation patterns associated with visuospatial analysis of scenes and contextual mnemonic processing along the parahippocampal longitudinal axis. We used fMRI to measure parahippocampal responses while participants engaged in a task that required them to judge the contextual relatedness of scene and object pairs, which were presented either as words or pictures. Results from combined factorial and conjunction analyses indicated that the posterior section of parahippocampal cortex is driven predominantly by judgments associated with pictorial scene analysis, whereas its anterior section is more active during contextual judgments regardless of stimulus category (scenes vs objects) or modality (word vs picture). Activation maxima associated with visuospatial and mnemonic processes were spatially segregated, providing support for the existence of functionally distinct subregions along the parahippocampal longitudinal axis and suggesting that, in humans, the parahippocampal cortex serves as a functional interface between perception and memory systems. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/362536-07$15.00/0.

  20. Laminar expression of m1-, m3- and m4-muscarinic cholinergic receptor genes in the developing rat visual cortex using in situ hybridization histochemistry. Effect of monocular visual deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossner, S; Kues, W; Witzemann, V; Schliebs, R

    1993-06-01

    The postnatal development of laminar pattern of m1-, m3- and m4-mRNA-muscarinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes in the visual cortex of both normally raised and monocularly deprived rats (one eyelid sutured at the age of 11 days) was studied using in situ hybridization histochemistry and computer-assisted image analysis. From birth until day 15 the level of m1-receptor transcript in layer II/III increases markedly as compared to deeper layers. From day 15 up to day 18 a transient bimodal pattern develops with peaks in layers II/III and VI. Already on day 35 a more homogeneous distribution of m1-receptor mRNA level is detectable persisting until adulthood. In contrast, the m3-receptor mRNA shows already at birth a bimodal distribution with peaks in layers II/III and VI. Further development until adulthood results in transient changes in the ratio of the mRNA levels in these layers. In the adult visual cortex a similar laminar pattern as at birth is observed. From day 1 up to day 10 a relative increase in the mRNA level of the m4-receptor in layers II to IV is observed. From day 10 until day 15 a bimodal distribution of receptor mRNA develops with peaks in layers III and VI which is similar to the adult stage. However, between days 18 and 35 a shift in the laminar receptor mRNA distribution occurs resulting in peaks in layers IV and VI. The labeling of the m5-receptor transcript in rat visual cortex was very weak and did not show any alteration with age. Unilateral eyelid closure from postnatal day 11 resulted in transient changes in the laminar distribution of m3- and m4-receptor mRNA between postnatal days 18 and 25, whereas the development of the laminar pattern of the m1-receptor mRNA was not affected regardless of the length of visual deprivation. The distinct laminar developmental pattern of mRNA muscarinic receptor subtypes in rat visual cortex suggests specific roles of the muscarinic receptor subtypes during the first weeks of postnatal maturation of visual

  1. The Effect of Visual and Auditory Enhancements on Excitability of the Primary Motor Cortex during Motor Imagery: A Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Kohei; Higashi, Toshio; Sugawara, Kenichi; Tomori, Kounosuke; Kinoshita, Hiroshi; Kasai, Tatsuya

    2012-01-01

    The effect of visual and auditory enhancements of finger movement on corticospinal excitability during motor imagery (MI) was investigated using the transcranial magnetic stimulation technique. Motor-evoked potentials were elicited from the abductor digit minimi muscle during MI with auditory, visual and, auditory and visual information, and no…

  2. Prenatal Co 60-irradiation effects on visual acuity, maturation of the fovea in the retina, and the striate cortex of squirrel monkey offspring

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ordy, J.M.; Brizzee, K.R.; Young, R.

    1982-01-01

    In the present study, foveal striate cortex depth increased significantly from 1400 μm to 1650 μm by 90 days, whereas prenatal 100 rad exposure resulted in a significant reduction of foveal striate cortex thickness at 90 days of age. From birth to 90 days, cell packing density decreased, whereas overall neuropil density increased in both control and 100 rad exposed offspring. Regarding the effects of prenatal radiation on Meynert cells, there was a significant difference in the time course of early postnatal spine frequency reduction on apical dendrites of Meynert cells, particularly in laminae V and IV. It seems possible that the significant differences in the time course of perinatal increases and subsequent decreases of spines and synapses on such pyramidal neurons as Meynert cells in the deep layers of the striate cortex may play an important role in the development of binocular acuity. Future follow-up studies will be essential from 90 days to 1 and 2 years to determine the extent of recovery from, and persistence of visual acuity impairments in relation to structural alterations in the foveal projection of the retino-geniculo-striate system of diurnal primates. (orig./MG)

  3. Domestic cat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diffendorfer, James E.

    2017-01-01

    The familiar domestic cat is not native to southern California and is considered an invasive spe-cies by biologists and conservation organizations. When owners abandon their cats, wild or feral populations may arise, as they have in San Diego County. Cats’ pelage color, tail length, and hair thickness vary widely, given human fascination with breeding diverse phenotypes, but all have a typical felid body with upright ears, forward-looking eyes adapted for nocturnal foraging, protractible claws, and a sinuous, flexible body. Cats allowed outdoors and feral cats kill and eat a wide variety of vertebrates such as small mammals, birds, and reptiles

  4. PRI-CAT: a web-tool for the analysis, storage and visualization of plant ChIP-seq experiments.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muino, J.M.; Hoogstraat, M.; Ham, van R.C.H.J.; Dijk, van A.D.J.

    2011-01-01

    Although several tools for the analysis of ChIP-seq data have been published recently, there is a growing demand, in particular in the plant research community, for computational resources with which such data can be processed, analyzed, stored, visualized and integrated within a single,

  5. Altered neuronal activity patterns in the visual cortex of the adult rat after partial optic nerve crush--a single-cell resolution metabolic mapping study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macharadze, Tamar; Pielot, Rainer; Wanger, Tim; Scheich, Henning; Gundelfinger, Eckart D; Budinger, Eike; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Kreutz, Michael R

    2012-08-01

    Thallium autometallography (TIAMG) is a novel method for high-resolution mapping of neuronal activity. With this method, we found that a general depression of neuronal activity occurs in response to optic nerve crush (ONC) within the first 2 weeks postinjury in the contralateral dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) as well as in the contralateral primary visual cortex (V1). Interestingly, the neuronal activity recovered thereafter in both brain regions and reached a plateau in the tenth week postinjury in layers IV and V of V1, monocular area (V1m). Several clusters of highly active neurons in V1m were found 6 weeks after ONC in layers IV and V on the side contralateral to the lesion. We reasoned that these clusters appeared due to a reorganization of the corticocolliucular projections. Employing a combination of biotinylated dextran amine retrograde tract tracing from the superior colliculus (SC) with TIAMG in the same animal, we indeed found that the clusters of neurons with high Tl(+) uptake in V1m are spatially in register with those neuronal subpopulations that project to the SC. These data suggest that extensive reorganization plasticity exists in the adult rat visual cortex following ONC.

  6. Recovery from Spatial Neglect with Intra- and Transhemispheric Functional Connectivity Changes in Vestibular and Visual Cortex Areas-A Case Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Julian; Boegle, Rainer; Ertl, Matthias; Brandt, Thomas; Dieterich, Marianne

    2018-01-01

    Vestibular signals are involved in higher cortical functions like spatial orientation and its disorders. Vestibular dysfunction contributes, for example, to spatial neglect which can be transiently improved by caloric stimulation. The exact roles and mechanisms of the vestibular and visual systems for the recovery of neglect are not yet known. Resting-state functional connectivity (fc) magnetic resonance imaging was recorded in a patient with hemispatial neglect during the acute phase and after recovery 6 months later following a right middle cerebral artery infarction before and after caloric vestibular stimulation. Seeds in the vestibular [parietal operculum (OP2)], the parietal [posterior parietal cortex (PPC); 7A, hIP3], and the visual cortex (VC) were used for the analysis. During the acute stage after caloric stimulation the fc of the right OP2 to the left OP2, the anterior cingulum, and the para/hippocampus was increased bilaterally (i.e., the vestibular network), while the interhemispheric fc was reduced between homologous regions in the VC. After 6 months, similar fc increases in the vestibular network were found without stimulation. In addition, fc increases of the OP2 to the PPC and the VC were seen; interhemispherically this was true for both PPCs and for the right PPC to both VCs. Improvement of neglect after caloric stimulation in the acute phase was associated with increased fc of vestibular cortex areas in both hemispheres to the para-hippocampus and the dorsal anterior cingulum, but simultaneously with reduced interhemispheric VC connectivity. This disclosed a, to some extent, similar but also distinct short-term mechanism (vestibular stimulation) of an improvement of spatial orientation compared to the long-term recovery of neglect.

  7. H3 and H4 Lysine Acetylation Correlates with Developmental and Experimentally Induced Adult Experience-Dependent Plasticity in the Mouse Visual Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Vierci

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Histone posttranslational modifications play a fundamental role in orchestrating gene expression. In this work, we analyzed the acetylation of H3 and H4 histones (AcH3-AcH4 and its modulation by visual experience in the mouse visual cortex (VC during normal development and in two experimental conditions that restore juvenile-like plasticity levels in adults (fluoxetine treatment and enriched environment. We found that AcH3-AcH4 declines with age and is upregulated by treatments restoring plasticity in the adult. We also found that visual experience modulates AcH3-AcH4 in young and adult plasticity-restored mice but not in untreated ones. Finally, we showed that the transporter vGAT is downregulated in adult plasticity-restored models. In summary, we identified a dynamic regulation of AcH3-AcH4, which is associated with high plasticity levels and enhanced by visual experience. These data, along with recent ones, indicate H3-H4 acetylation as a central hub in the control of experience-dependent plasticity in the VC.

  8. The posterior medial cortex is involved in visual but not in verbal memory encoding processing: an intracerebral recording study

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Štillová, K.; Jurák, Pavel; Chládek, Jan; Halámek, Josef; Telecká, S.; Rektor, I.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 120, č. 3 (2013), s. 391-397 ISSN 0300-9564 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP103/11/0933; GA MŠk ED0017/01/01 Institutional support: RVO:68081731 Keywords : Event-related potential (ERP) * Memory * Posterior medial cortex (PMC) – SEEG Subject RIV: BD - Theory of Information Impact factor: 2.871, year: 2013

  9. Effects of Vision Restoration Training on Early Visual Cortex in Patients With Cerebral Blindness Investigated With Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raemaekers, M.; Bergsma, D.P.; van Wezel, Richard Jack Anton; van der Wildt, G.J.; van den Berg, A.V.

    Cerebral blindness is a loss of vision as a result of postchiasmatic damage to the visual pathways. Parts of the lost visual field can be restored through training. However, the neuronal mechanisms through which training effects occur are still unclear. We therefore assessed training-induced changes

  10. Towards a unified scheme of cortical lamination for primary visual cortex of primates: insights from NeuN and VGLUT2 immunoreactivity

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    Pooja eBalaram

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Primary visual cortex (V1 is clearly distinguishable from other cortical areas by its distinctive pattern of neocortical lamination across mammalian species. In some mammals, primates in particular, the layers of V1 are further divided into a number of sublayers based on their anatomical and functional characteristics. While these sublayers are easily recognizable across a range of primates, the exact number of divisions in each layer and their relative position within the depth of V1 has been inconsistently reported, largely due to conflicting schemes of nomenclature for the V1 layers. This conflict centers on the definition of layer 4 in primate V1, and the subdivisions of layer 4 that can be consistently identified across primate species. Brodmann’s (1909 laminar scheme for V1 delineates three subdivisions of layer 4 in primates, based on cellular morphology and geniculate inputs in anthropoid monkeys. In contrast, Hässler’s (1967 laminar scheme delineates a single layer 4 and multiple subdivisions of layer 3, based on comparisons of V1 lamination across the primate lineage. In order to clarify laminar divisions in primate visual cortex, we performed NeuN and VGLUT2 immunohistochemistry in V1 of chimpanzees, Old World macaque monkeys, New World squirrel, owl, and marmoset monkeys, prosimian galagos and mouse lemurs, and nonprimate, but highly visual, tree shrews. By comparing the laminar divisions identified by each method across species, we find that Hässler’s (1967 laminar scheme for V1 provides a more consistent representation of neocortical layers across all primates, including humans, and facilitates comparisons of V1 lamination with nonprimate species. These findings, along with many others, support the consistent use of Hässler’s laminar scheme in V1 research.

  11. Texture segregation causes early figure enhancement and later ground suppression in areas V1 and V4 of visual cortex.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poort, J.; Self, M.W.; Van Vugt, B.; Malkki, H.A.; Roelfsema, P.R.

    2016-01-01

    Several studies show direct connections between primary sensory cortices involved in multisensory integration. The purpose of this study is to understand the microcircuitry of the reciprocal connections between visual and somatosensory cortices. The laminar distribution of retrogradely labeled cell

  12. Effects of Unilateral Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of Left Prefrontal Cortex on Processing and Memory of Emotional Visual Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balzarotti, Stefania; Colombo, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is generally thought to be involved in affect and emotional processing; however, the specific contribution of each hemisphere continues to be debated. In the present study, we employed unilateral tDCS to test the unique contribution of left DLPFC in the encoding and retrieval of emotional stimuli in healthy subjects. Forty-two right handed undergraduate students received either anodal, cathodal or sham stimulation of left DLPFC while viewing neutral, pleasant, and unpleasant pictures. After completing a filler task, participants were asked to remember as many pictures as possible. Results showed that participants were able to remember a larger amount of emotional (both pleasant and unpleasant) pictures than of neutral ones, regardless of the type of tDCS condition. Participants who received anodal stimulation recalled a significantly higher number of pleasant images than participants in the sham and cathodal conditions, while no differences emerged in the recall of neutral and unpleasant pictures. We conclude that our results provide some support to the role of left prefrontal cortex in the encoding and retrieval of pleasant stimuli.

  13. Effects of Unilateral Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of Left Prefrontal Cortex on Processing and Memory of Emotional Visual Stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania Balzarotti

    Full Text Available The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC is generally thought to be involved in affect and emotional processing; however, the specific contribution of each hemisphere continues to be debated. In the present study, we employed unilateral tDCS to test the unique contribution of left DLPFC in the encoding and retrieval of emotional stimuli in healthy subjects. Forty-two right handed undergraduate students received either anodal, cathodal or sham stimulation of left DLPFC while viewing neutral, pleasant, and unpleasant pictures. After completing a filler task, participants were asked to remember as many pictures as possible. Results showed that participants were able to remember a larger amount of emotional (both pleasant and unpleasant pictures than of neutral ones, regardless of the type of tDCS condition. Participants who received anodal stimulation recalled a significantly higher number of pleasant images than participants in the sham and cathodal conditions, while no differences emerged in the recall of neutral and unpleasant pictures. We conclude that our results provide some support to the role of left prefrontal cortex in the encoding and retrieval of pleasant stimuli.

  14. Cat's Claw

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... R S T U V W X Y Z Cat's Claw Share: On This Page Background How Much ... Foster This fact sheet provides basic information about cat’s claw—common names, usefulness and safety, and resources ...

  15. Ultra-fast speech comprehension in blind subjects engages primary visual cortex, fusiform gyrus, and pulvinar – a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Individuals suffering from vision loss of a peripheral origin may learn to understand spoken language at a rate of up to about 22 syllables (syl) per second - exceeding by far the maximum performance level of normal-sighted listeners (ca. 8 syl/s). To further elucidate the brain mechanisms underlying this extraordinary skill, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed in blind subjects of varying ultra-fast speech comprehension capabilities and sighted individuals while listening to sentence utterances of a moderately fast (8 syl/s) or ultra-fast (16 syl/s) syllabic rate. Results Besides left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), bilateral posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and left supplementary motor area (SMA), blind people highly proficient in ultra-fast speech perception showed significant hemodynamic activation of right-hemispheric primary visual cortex (V1), contralateral fusiform gyrus (FG), and bilateral pulvinar (Pv). Conclusions Presumably, FG supports the left-hemispheric perisylvian “language network”, i.e., IFG and superior temporal lobe, during the (segmental) sequencing of verbal utterances whereas the collaboration of bilateral pulvinar, right auditory cortex, and ipsilateral V1 implements a signal-driven timing mechanism related to syllabic (suprasegmental) modulation of the speech signal. These data structures, conveyed via left SMA to the perisylvian “language zones”, might facilitate – under time-critical conditions – the consolidation of linguistic information at the level of verbal working memory. PMID:23879896

  16. Top-down and bottom-up influences on the left ventral occipito-temporal cortex during visual word recognition: an analysis of effective connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schurz, Matthias; Kronbichler, Martin; Crone, Julia; Richlan, Fabio; Klackl, Johannes; Wimmer, Heinz

    2014-04-01

    The functional role of the left ventral occipito-temporal cortex (vOT) in visual word processing has been studied extensively. A prominent observation is higher activation for unfamiliar but pronounceable letter strings compared to regular words in this region. Some functional accounts have interpreted this finding as driven by top-down influences (e.g., Dehaene and Cohen [2011]: Trends Cogn Sci 15:254-262; Price and Devlin [2011]: Trends Cogn Sci 15:246-253), while others have suggested a difference in bottom-up processing (e.g., Glezer et al. [2009]: Neuron 62:199-204; Kronbichler et al. [2007]: J Cogn Neurosci 19:1584-1594). We used dynamic causal modeling for fMRI data to test bottom-up and top-down influences on the left vOT during visual processing of regular words and unfamiliar letter strings. Regular words (e.g., taxi) and unfamiliar letter strings of pseudohomophones (e.g., taksi) were presented in the context of a phonological lexical decision task (i.e., "Does the item sound like a word?"). We found no differences in top-down signaling, but a strong increase in bottom-up signaling from the occipital cortex to the left vOT for pseudohomophones compared to words. This finding can be linked to functional accounts which assume that the left vOT contains neurons tuned to complex orthographic features such as morphemes or words [e.g., Dehaene and Cohen [2011]: Trends Cogn Sci 15:254-262; Kronbichler et al. [2007]: J Cogn Neurosci 19:1584-1594]: For words, bottom-up signals converge onto a matching orthographic representation in the left vOT. For pseudohomophones, the propagated signals do not converge, but (partially) activate multiple orthographic word representations, reflected in increased effective connectivity. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Abnormal dendrite and spine morphology in primary visual cortex in the CGG knock-in mouse model of the fragile X premutation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berman, Robert F.; Murray, Karl D.; Arque, Gloria; Hunsaker, Michael R.; Wenzel, H. Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Summary The fragile X mental retardation 1 gene (Fmr1) is polymorphic for CGG trinucleotide repeat number in the 5′-untranslated region, with repeat lengths 200 resulting in hypermethylation and transcriptional silencing of the gene and mental retardation in the fragile X Syndrome (FXS). Individuals with CGG repeat expansions between 55 and 200 are carriers of the fragile X premutation (PM). PM carriers show a phenotype that can include anxiety, depression, social phobia, and memory deficits. They are also at risk for developing fragile X–associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), a late onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by tremor, ataxia, cognitive impairment, and neuropathologic features including intranuclear inclusions in neurons and astrocytes, loss of Purkinje cells, and white matter disease. However, very little is known about dendritic morphology in PM or in FXTAS. Therefore, we carried out a Golgi study of dendritic complexity and dendritic spine morphology in layer II/III pyramidal neurons in primary visual cortex in a knock-in (KI) mouse model of the PM. These CGG KI mice carry an expanded CGG trinucleotide repeat on Fmr1, and model many features of the PM and FXTAS. Compared to wild-type (WT) mice, CGG KI mice showed fewer dendritic branches proximal to the soma, reduced total dendritic length, and a higher frequency of longer dendritic spines. The distribution of morphologic spine types (e.g., stubby, mushroom, filopodial) did not differ between WT and KI mice. These findings demonstrate that synaptic circuitry is abnormal in visual cortex of mice used to model the PM, and suggest that such changes may underlie neurologic features found in individuals carrying the PM as well as in individuals with FXTAS. PMID:22612820

  18. Observing how others lift light or heavy objects: which visual cues mediate the encoding of muscular force in the primary motor cortex?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaerts, Kaat; Swinnen, Stephan P; Wenderoth, Nicole

    2010-06-01

    Observers are able to judge quite accurately the weights lifted by others. Only recently, neuroscience has focused on the role of the motor system to accomplish this task. In this respect, a previous transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) study showed that the muscular force requirements of an observed action are encoded by the primary motor cortex (M1). Overall, three distinct visual sources may provide information on the applied force of an observed lifting action, namely, (i) the perceived kinematics, (ii) the hand contraction state and finally (iii) intrinsic object properties. The principal aim of the present study was to disentangle these three visual sources and to explore their importance in mediating the encoding of muscular force requirements in the observer's motor system. A series of experiments are reported in which TMS was used to measure 'force-related' responses from the hand representation in left M1 while subjects observed distinct action-stimuli. Overall, results indicated that observation-induced activity in M1 reflects the level of observed force when kinematic cues of the lift (exp. 1) or cues on the hand contraction state (exp. 2) are available. Moreover, when kinematic cues and intrinsic object properties provide distinct information on the force requirements of an observed lifting action, results from experiment 3 indicated a strong preference for the use of kinematic features in mapping the force requirements of the observed action. In general, these findings support the hypothesis that the primary motor cortex contributes to action observation by mapping the muscle-related features of observed actions. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. [Visual evoked potentials produced by monocular flash stimuli in the cerebral cortex of the rabbit. I. Typography].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Cobo, J C; Ruiz-Beramendi, M; Pérez-Arroyo, M

    1990-12-01

    The visually evoked potentials in the hemisphere contralateral to the stimulated eye in rabbit, can be described topographically as follows. While a positive wave (P1) begins forming in the anterior zones and in the V I binocular zone, the N0 wave, at times very large, is produced in a more occipital zone, which corresponds to the visual streak. Immediately afterwards, the positivity, P1, practically invades the whole of the hemisphere. After this, the N1 wave which is produced in the most posterior parts of the V I, begins forming. The whole phenomenon comes to an end when the P2 wave is generated in the most occipital zones.

  20. Optic ataxia as a model to investigate the role of the posterior parietal cortex in visually guided action: Evidence from studies of patient M.H.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristiana eCavina-Pratesi

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Optic ataxia is a neuropsychological disorder that affects the ability to interact with objects presented in the visual modality following either unilateral or bilateral lesions of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC. Patients with optic ataxia fail to reach accurately for objects, particularly when they are presented in peripheral vision. The present review will focus on a series of experiments performed on patient M.H. Following a lesion restricted largely to the left PPC, he developed mis-reaching behaviour when using his contralesional right arm for movements directed toward the contralesional (right visual half-field. Given the clear-cut specificity of this patient’s deficit, whereby reaching actions are essentially spared when executed toward his ipsilateral space or when using his left arm, M.H. provides a valuable experiment of nature for investigating the role of the PPC in performing different visually guided actions. In order to address this, we used kinematic measurement techniques to investigate M.H.’s reaching and grasping behaviour in various tasks. Our experiments support the idea that optic ataxia is highly function-specific: it affects a specific sub-category of visually guided actions (reaching but not grasping, regardless of their specific end goal (both reaching toward an object and reaching to avoid an obstacle; and finally, is independent of the limb used to perform the action (whether the arm or the leg. Critically, these results are congruent with recent functional MRI experiments in neurologically intact subjects which suggest that the PPC is organized in a function-specific, rather than effector-specific, manner with different sub-portions of its mantle devoted to guiding actions according to their specific end-goal (reaching, grasping or looking, rather than according to the effector used to perform them (leg, arm, hand or eyes.

  1. A Sensitive Period for Language in the Visual Cortex: Distinct Patterns of Plasticity in Congenitally versus Late Blind Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedny, Marina; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Dravida, Swethasri; Saxe, Rebecca

    2012-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that blindness enables visual circuits to contribute to language processing. We examined whether this dramatic functional plasticity has a sensitive period. BOLD fMRI signal was measured in congenitally blind, late blind (blindness onset 9-years-old or later) and sighted participants while they performed a sentence…

  2. Task-irrelevant visual letters interact with the processing of speech sounds in heteromodal and unimodal cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blau, Vera C; van Atteveldt, Nienke; Formisano, Elia; Goebel, Rainer; Blomert, Leo

    Letters and speech sounds are the basic units of correspondence between spoken and written language. Associating auditory information of speech sounds with visual information of letters is critical for learning to read; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this association remain poorly

  3. Stimulation of the Lateral Geniculate, Superior Colliculus, or Visual Cortex is Sufficient for Eyeblink Conditioning in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halverson, Hunter E.; Hubbard, Erin M.; Freeman, John H.

    2009-01-01

    The role of the cerebellum in eyeblink conditioning is well established. Less work has been done to identify the necessary conditioned stimulus (CS) pathways that project sensory information to the cerebellum. A possible visual CS pathway has been hypothesized that consists of parallel inputs to the pontine nuclei from the lateral geniculate…

  4. Bioacoustic Signal Classification in Cat Auditory Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    in rhesus monkeys that were close to the human boundaries between voiced and voiceless consonants. Baru (19󈨏) discussed the parameters involved in...grant N00014-91-J-1317, the Coleman Fund, and Hearing Research Inc. nI 24 REFERENCES Baru , A.V. Discrimination of synthesized vowels /a/ and /i/ with

  5. At-home tDCS of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex improves visual short-term memory in mild vascular dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, Sebastian; Heinrich, Simon; Kayser, Friederike; Menzler, Katja; Kesselring, Jürg; Khader, Patrick H; Lefaucheur, Jean-Pascal; Mylius, Veit

    2016-10-15

    Previous studies have shown that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) led to an improvement of various cognitive functions in patients with Alzheimer dementia, early affected by short-term memory deficits. Since this approach has not been evaluated in the context of vascular dementia, which rather affects the velocity of cognitive responses, we aimed at improving these functions by applying repetitive sessions of anodal tDCS. Four 20-minute sessions of 2mA anodal or sham at-home tDCS were applied to the left DLPFC in a single-blinded randomised study of 21 patients with mild vascular dementia, with parallel-group design. The effect of tDCS on cognitive testing was assessed up to two weeks beyond the stimulation time. A similar clinically meaningful improvement of various cognitive and behavioral dysfunction characteristics could be observed following either active or sham tDCS, whereas visual recall, and reaction times in the n-back task as well as in the go/no-go test improved only in the active tDCS group. In patients with mild vascular dementia, anodal tDCS of the left DLPFC is able to produce additional effects to cognitive training on visual short-term memory, verbal working memory, and executive control. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Thinking about eating food activates visual cortex with reduced bilateral cerebellar activation in females with anorexia nervosa: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Samantha J; O'Daly, Owen; Uher, Rudolf; Friederich, Hans-Christoph; Giampietro, Vincent; Brammer, Michael; Williams, Steven C R; Schiöth, Helgi B; Treasure, Janet; Campbell, Iain C

    2012-01-01

    Women with anorexia nervosa (AN) have aberrant cognitions about food and altered activity in prefrontal cortical and somatosensory regions to food images. However, differential effects on the brain when thinking about eating food between healthy women and those with AN is unknown. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) examined neural activation when 42 women thought about eating the food shown in images: 18 with AN (11 RAN, 7 BPAN) and 24 age-matched controls (HC). Group contrasts between HC and AN revealed reduced activation in AN in the bilateral cerebellar vermis, and increased activation in the right visual cortex. Preliminary comparisons between AN subtypes and healthy controls suggest differences in cortical and limbic regions. These preliminary data suggest that thinking about eating food shown in images increases visual and prefrontal cortical neural responses in females with AN, which may underlie cognitive biases towards food stimuli and ruminations about controlling food intake. Future studies are needed to explicitly test how thinking about eating activates restraint cognitions, specifically in those with restricting vs. binge-purging AN subtypes.

  7. Adaptive learning in a compartmental model of visual cortex - how feedback enables stable category learning and refinement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georg eLayher

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The categorization of real world objects is often reflected in the similarity of their visual appearances. Such categories of objects do not necessarily form disjunct sets of objects, neither semantically nor visually. The relationship between categories can often be described in terms of a hierarchical structure. For instance, tigers and leopards build two separate mammalian categories, but both belong to the category of felines. In other words, tigers and leopards are subcategories of the category Felidae. In the last decades, the unsupervised learning of categories of visual input stimuli has been addressed by numerous approaches in machine learning as well as in the computational neurosciences. However, the question of what kind of mechanisms might be involved in the process of subcategory learning, or category refinement, remains a topic of active investigation. We propose a recurrent computational network architecture for the unsupervised learning of categorial and subcategorial visual input representations. During learning, the connection strengths of bottom-up weights from input to higher-level category representations are adapted according to the input activity distribution. In a similar manner, top-down weights learn to encode the characteristics of a specific stimulus category. Feedforward and feedback learning in combination realize an associative memory mechanism, enabling the selective top-down propagation of a category's feedback weight distribution. We suggest that the difference between the expected input encoded in the projective field of a category node and the current input pattern controls the amplification of feedforward-driven representations. Large enough differences trigger the recruitment of new representational resources and the establishment of (sub- category representations. We demonstrate the temporal evolution of such learning and show how the approach successully establishes category and subcategory

  8. In Vivo Voltage-Sensitive Dye Study of Lateral Spreading of Cortical Activity in Mouse Primary Visual Cortex Induced by a Current Impulse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fehérvári, Tamás Dávid; Okazaki, Yuka; Sawai, Hajime; Yagi, Tetsuya

    2015-01-01

    In the mammalian primary visual cortex (V1), lateral spreading of excitatory potentials is believed to be involved in spatial integrative functions, but the underlying cortical mechanism is not well understood. Visually-evoked population-level responses have been shown to propagate beyond the V1 initial activation site in mouse, similar to higher mammals. Visually-evoked responses are, however, affected by neuronal circuits prior to V1 (retina, LGN), making the separate analysis of V1 difficult. Intracortical stimulation eliminates these initial processing steps. We used in vivo RH1691 voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging and intracortical microstimulation in adult C57BL/6 mice to elucidate the spatiotemporal properties of population-level signal spreading in V1 cortical circuits. The evoked response was qualitatively similar to that measured in single-cell electrophysiological experiments in rodents: a fast transient fluorescence peak followed by a fast and a slow decrease or hyperpolarization, similar to EPSP and fast and slow IPSPs in single cells. The early cortical response expanded at speeds commensurate with long horizontal projections (at 5% of the peak maximum, 0.08-0.15 m/s) however, the bulk of the VSD signal propagated slowly (at half-peak maximum, 0.05-0.08 m/s) suggesting an important role of regenerative multisynaptic transmission through short horizontal connections in V1 spatial integrative functions. We also found a tendency for a widespread and fast cortical response suppression in V1, which was eliminated by GABAA-antagonists gabazine and bicuculline methiodide. Our results help understand the neuronal circuitry involved in lateral spreading in V1.

  9. In Vivo Voltage-Sensitive Dye Study of Lateral Spreading of Cortical Activity in Mouse Primary Visual Cortex Induced by a Current Impulse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamás Dávid Fehérvári

    Full Text Available In the mammalian primary visual cortex (V1, lateral spreading of excitatory potentials is believed to be involved in spatial integrative functions, but the underlying cortical mechanism is not well understood. Visually-evoked population-level responses have been shown to propagate beyond the V1 initial activation site in mouse, similar to higher mammals. Visually-evoked responses are, however, affected by neuronal circuits prior to V1 (retina, LGN, making the separate analysis of V1 difficult. Intracortical stimulation eliminates these initial processing steps. We used in vivo RH1691 voltage-sensitive dye (VSD imaging and intracortical microstimulation in adult C57BL/6 mice to elucidate the spatiotemporal properties of population-level signal spreading in V1 cortical circuits. The evoked response was qualitatively similar to that measured in single-cell electrophysiological experiments in rodents: a fast transient fluorescence peak followed by a fast and a slow decrease or hyperpolarization, similar to EPSP and fast and slow IPSPs in single cells. The early cortical response expanded at speeds commensurate with long horizontal projections (at 5% of the peak maximum, 0.08-0.15 m/s however, the bulk of the VSD signal propagated slowly (at half-peak maximum, 0.05-0.08 m/s suggesting an important role of regenerative multisynaptic transmission through short horizontal connections in V1 spatial integrative functions. We also found a tendency for a widespread and fast cortical response suppression in V1, which was eliminated by GABAA-antagonists gabazine and bicuculline methiodide. Our results help understand the neuronal circuitry involved in lateral spreading in V1.

  10. A Theory of Object Recognition: Computations and Circuits in the Feedforward Path of the Ventral Stream in Primate Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-12-01

    dynamic receptive field structure in macaque cortical area V4d. Journal of Vision , 4(8):184a. K. Fukushima. (1980). Neocognitron: A self-organizing...natural scenes and objects. Journal of Vision , 3:75–85. R. van Rullen and C. Koch. (2003b). Visual selective behavior can be triggered by a feed...and top-down attention. Journal of Vision , 5(8):1041–1041. ISSN 1534-7362. URL http: //journalofvision.org/5/8/1041/. M. Weber, M. Welling, and P

  11. Role of beta1-adrenoreceptors at visual associative cortex in rats of different age in the impact on autonomous regulation of the heart rate ander low atmospheric pressure

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    Наталія Михайлівна Волкова

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The role of beta1-adrenoreceptors at visual associative cortex in rats of different age in the impact on autonomous regulation of the heart rate ander low atmospheric pressure was investigated. The aim of the study was to check expediency of application nebivolol to prevent the adverse effects of hypoxic environment, the pressure conditions similar to the third type of weather.Methods. In the experimental group cardiointervalography recorded in the intact condition before hypoxia, after hypoxic exposure, after trepanation of the skull and applying the solution beta1-blocker nebivolol (0.5 mg / kg through the trepanation hole on the surface of the cerebral cortex (there were separate groups with right-sided and left-sided trepanation in projection of cortical areas Oc2L, with subsequent automatic analysis of data on a personal computer. In the control group a similar procedure of the experiment was carried out excepting hypoxic exposure. Effect of hypoxic atmosphere was created by reducing pressure by 50.76 hPa (0.05 atm in the Komovsky’s device and hold the anesthetized rat under a glass bell for 1 hour.Results. In juvenile, adult and old intact rats beta1-receptor structures in left and right associative cortical fields Oc2L are included to the neural circuits that provide growth of functional strenuousness in regulation of heart rhythm. After hypoxic exposure beta1-adrenoreceptors in the left field Oc2L are included in other neural circuits, and take part in limiting the functional strenuousness in regulation of heart rhythm.Conclusions. Experimental results about effectiveness of therapeutic doses of beta-1 adrenoblockers especially nebivolol in adult and old age for prevention of unfavorable effects of hypoxic medium that corresponds to the baric conditions of 111type weather are to be verified by the clinical observations

  12. Activation of the mouse primary visual cortex by medial prefrontal subregion stimulation is not mediated by cholinergic basalo-cortical projections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoang Nam eNguyen

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC exerts top-down control of primary visual cortex (V1 activity. As there is no direct neuronal projection from mPFC to V1, this functional connection may use an indirect route, i.e., via basalo-cortical cholinergic projections. The cholinergic projections to V1 originate from neurons in the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB, which receive neuronal projections from the ventral part of the mPFC, composed of prelimbic (PrL and infralimbic cortices (IL. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine whether electrical stimulation of mice mPFC subregions activate 1 V1 neurons and 2 HDB cholinergic neurons, suggesting that the HDB serves as a relay point in the mPFC-V1 interaction. Neuronal activation was quantified using c-Fos immunocytochemistry or thallium autometallography for each V1 layer using automated particle analysis tools and optical density measurement. Stimulation of IL and PrL induced significantly higher c-Fos expression or thallium labelling in layers II/III and V of V1 in the stimulated hemisphere only. A HDB cholinergic neuron-specific lesion by saporin administration reduced IL-induced c-Fos expression in layers II/III of V1 but not in layer V. However, there was no c-Fos expression or thallium labelling in the HDB neurons, suggesting that this area was not activated by IL stimulation. Stimulation of another mPFC subarea, the anterior cingulate cortex (AC, which is involved in attention and receives input from V1, activated neither V1 nor HDB. The present results indicate that IL and PrL, but not AC, stimulation activates V1 with the minor involvement of the HDB cholinergic projections. These results suggest a functional link between the ventral mPFC and V1, but this function is only marginally supported by HDB cholinergic neurons and may involve other brain regions.

  13. Katsvanga, CAT

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Katsvanga, CAT. Vol 1, No 2 (2006) - Articles Eucalyptus species performance under short rotation conditions on the Vumba highlands in Zimbabwe Abstract PDF. ISSN: 1819-3692. AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL... for Researchers · for Librarians · for Authors · FAQ's · More about AJOL · AJOL's Partners ...

  14. A Catalogue of Anatomical Fugitive Sheets: Cat. 49-62

    OpenAIRE

    1999-01-01

    Images Cat. 50 Cat. 51 Cat. 53 Cat. 54 Cat. 55 (a) Cat. 55 (b) Cat. 56 Cat. 57: 1 Cat. 57: 2 Cat. 57: 3 Cat. 57: 4 Cat. 59: 1 Cat. 59: 2 Cat. 59: 3 Cat. 59: 4 Cat. 60 Cat. 61 Cat. 62: 1 (a) Cat. 62: 1 (b) Cat. 62: 2 (a) Cat. 62: 2 (b)

  15. A Catalogue of Anatomical Fugitive Sheets: Cat. 26-48

    OpenAIRE

    1999-01-01

    Images Cat. 26: 1 (a) Cat. 26: 1 (b) Cat. 26: 2 (a) Cat. 26: 2(b) Cat. 27: 1 (a) Cat. 27: 1 (b) Cat. 27: 2 (a) Cat. 27: 2 (b) Cat. 28 Cat. 29: 2 (a) Cat. 29: 2 (b) Cat. 30: 1 Cat. 30: 2 Cat. 30: 3 Cat. 33 Cat. 34: 1 Cat. 34: 2 Cat. 35: 1 Cat. 35: 2 Cat. 35: 3 Cat. 36 Cat. 37 Cat. 38: 1 Cat. 38: 2 Cat. 40 Cat. 42 Cat. 43 Cat. 44 Cat. 45: 1 Cat. 45: 2 Cat. 46 Cat. 47: 1 Cat. 47: 2 Cat. 47: 3 Cat. 48: 1 Cat. 48: 2 Cat. 48: 3

  16. The advantage of combining MEG and EEG: comparison to fMRI in focally-stimulated visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharon, Dahlia; Hämäläinen, Matti S; Tootell, Roger BH; Halgren, Eric; Belliveau, John W

    2009-01-01

    To exploit the high (millisecond) temporal resolution of magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG) for measuring neuronal dynamics within well-defined brain regions, it is important to quantitatively assess their localizing ability. Previous modeling studies and empirical data suggest that a combination of MEG and EEG signals should yield the most accurate localization, due to their complementary sensitivities. However, these two modalities have rarely been explicitly combined for source estimation in studies of recorded brain activity, and a quantitative empirical assessment of their abilities, combined and separate, is currently lacking. Here we studied early visual responses to focal Gabor patches flashed during subject fixation. MEG and EEG data were collected simultaneously, and compared with the functional MRI (fMRI) localization produced by identical stimuli, in the same subjects. This allowed direct evaluation of the localization accuracy of separate and combined MEG/EEG inverse solutions. We found that the localization accuracy of the combined MEG+EEG solution was consistently better than that of either modality alone, using three different source estimation approaches. Further analysis suggests that this improved localization is due to the different properties of the two imaging modalities, rather than simply due to increased total channel number. Thus, combining MEG and EEG data is important for high-resolution spatiotemporal studies of the human brain. PMID:17532230

  17. Neural activity in macaque parietal cortex reflects temporal integration of visual motion signals during perceptual decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huk, Alexander C; Shadlen, Michael N

    2005-11-09

    Decision-making often requires the accumulation and maintenance of evidence over time. Although the neural signals underlying sensory processing have been studied extensively, little is known about how the brain accrues and holds these sensory signals to guide later actions. Previous work has suggested that neural activity in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) of the monkey brain reflects the formation of perceptual decisions in a random dot direction-discrimination task in which monkeys communicate their decisions with eye-movement responses. We tested the hypothesis that decision-related neural activity in LIP represents the time integral of the momentary motion "evidence." By briefly perturbing the strength of the visual motion stimulus during the formation of perceptual decisions, we tested whether this LIP activity reflected a persistent, integrated "memory" of these brief sensory events. We found that the responses of LIP neurons reflected substantial temporal integration. Brief pulses had persistent effects on both the monkeys' choices and the responses of neurons in LIP, lasting up to 800 ms after appearance. These results demonstrate that LIP is involved in neural time integration underlying the accumulation of evidence in this task. Additional analyses suggest that decision-related LIP responses, as well as behavioral choices and reaction times, can be explained by near-perfect time integration that stops when a criterion amount of evidence has been accumulated. Temporal integration may be a fundamental computation underlying higher cognitive functions that are dissociated from immediate sensory inputs or motor outputs.

  18. Layer 2/3 synapses in monocular and binocular regions of tree shrew visual cortex express mAChR-dependent long-term depression and long-term potentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Portia; Norton, Thomas T; McMahon, Lori L

    2008-07-01

    Acetylcholine is an important modulator of synaptic efficacy and is required for learning and memory tasks involving the visual cortex. In rodent visual cortex, activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) induces a persistent long-term depression (LTD) of transmission at synapses recorded in layer 2/3 of acute slices. Although the rodent studies expand our knowledge of how the cholinergic system modulates synaptic function underlying learning and memory, they are not easily extrapolated to more complex visual systems. Here we used tree shrews for their similarities to primates, including a visual cortex with separate, defined regions of monocular and binocular innervation, to determine whether mAChR activation induces long-term plasticity. We find that the cholinergic agonist carbachol (CCh) not only induces long-term plasticity, but the direction of the plasticity depends on the subregion. In the monocular region, CCh application induces LTD of the postsynaptic potential recorded in layer 2/3 that requires activation of m3 mAChRs and a signaling cascade that includes activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2. In contrast, layer 2/3 postsynaptic potentials recorded in the binocular region express long-term potentiation (LTP) following CCh application that requires activation of m1 mAChRs and phospholipase C. Our results show that activation of mAChRs induces long-term plasticity at excitatory synapses in tree shrew visual cortex. However, depending on the ocular inputs to that region, variation exists as to the direction of plasticity, as well as to the specific mAChR and signaling mechanisms that are required.

  19. Enduring high-efficiency in vivo transfection of neurons with non-viral magnetoparticles in the rat visual cortex for optogenetic applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto-Sánchez, Cristina; Martínez-Navarrete, Gema; Humphreys, Lawrence; Puras, Gustavo; Zarate, Jon; Pedraz, José Luis; Fernández, Eduardo

    2015-05-01

    This work demonstrates the successful long-term transfection in vivo of a DNA plasmid vector in rat visual cortex neurons using the magnetofection technique. The transfection rates reached values of up to 97% of the neurons after 30days, comparable to those achieved by viral vectors. Immunohistochemical treatment with anti-EGFP antibodies enhanced the detection of the EYFP-channelrhodopsin expression throughout the dendritic trees and cell bodies. These results show that magnetic nanoparticles offer highly efficient and enduring in vivo high-rate transfection in identified neurons of an adult mammalian brain and suggest that the magnetotechnique facilitates the introduction of large functional genetic material like channelrhodopsin with safe non-viral vectors using minimally invasive approaches. Gene therapy may be one of the treatment modalities for neurological diseases in the future. The use of viral transfection remains a concern due to restrictions to the size limit of the genetic material able to be packed, as well as safety issues. In this work, the authors evaluated magnetoplexes as an alternative vehicle. The results showed very promising data in that these nanoparticles could off