Shooner, Christopher; Hallum, Luke E; Kumbhani, Romesh D; García-Marín, Virginia; Kelly, Jenna G; Majaj, Najib J; Movshon, J Anthony; Kiorpes, Lynne
In amblyopia, abnormal visual experience leads to an extreme form of eye dominance, in which vision through the nondominant eye is degraded. A key aspect of this disorder is perceptual suppression: the image seen by the stronger eye often dominates during binocular viewing, blocking the image of the weaker eye from reaching awareness. Interocular suppression is the focus of ongoing work aimed at understanding and treating amblyopia, yet its physiological basis remains unknown. We measured binocular interactions in visual cortex of anesthetized amblyopic monkeys (female Macaca nemestrina ), using 96-channel "Utah" arrays to record from populations of neurons in V1 and V2. In an experiment reported recently (Hallum et al., 2017), we found that reduced excitatory input from the amblyopic eye (AE) revealed a form of balanced binocular suppression that is unaltered in amblyopia. Here, we report on the modulation of the gain of excitatory signals from the AE by signals from its dominant fellow eye (FE). Using a dichoptic masking technique, we found that AE responses to grating stimuli were attenuated by the presentation of a noise mask to the FE, as in a normal control animal. Responses to FE stimuli, by contrast, could not be masked from the AE. We conclude that a weakened ability of the amblyopic eye to modulate cortical response gain creates an imbalance of suppression that favors the dominant eye. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In amblyopia, vision in one eye is impaired as a result of abnormal early visual experience. Behavioral observations in humans with amblyopia suggest that much of their visual loss is due to active suppression of their amblyopic eye. Here we describe experiments in which we studied binocular interactions in macaques with experimentally induced amblyopia. In normal monkeys, the gain of neuronal response to stimulation of one eye is modulated by contrast in the other eye, but in monkeys with amblyopia the balance of gain modulation is altered so that
Wang, Rong; Wu, Lingjie; Tang, Zuohua; Sun, Xinghuai; Feng, Xiaoyuan; Tang, Weijun; Qian, Wen; Wang, Jie; Jin, Lixin; Zhong, Yufeng; Xiao, Zebin
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.
Goris, Robbe L T; Simoncelli, Eero P; Movshon, J Anthony
Neurons in visual cortex vary in their orientation selectivity. We measured responses of V1 and V2 cells to orientation mixtures and fit them with a model whose stimulus selectivity arises from the combined effects of filtering, suppression, and response nonlinearity. The model explains the diversity of orientation selectivity with neuron-to-neuron variability in all three mechanisms, of which variability in the orientation bandwidth of linear filtering is the most important. The model also accounts for the cells' diversity of spatial frequency selectivity. Tuning diversity is matched to the needs of visual encoding. The orientation content found in natural scenes is diverse, and neurons with different selectivities are adapted to different stimulus configurations. Single orientations are better encoded by highly selective neurons, while orientation mixtures are better encoded by less selective neurons. A diverse population of neurons therefore provides better overall discrimination capabilities for natural images than any homogeneous population. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Smiley, John F.; Schroeder, Charles E.
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
Full Text Available PURPOSE: To evaluate proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1H-MRS in a study of cross-modal plasticity in the visual cortex of binocular blindness macaque monkeys. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Four healthy neonatal macaque monkeys were randomly divided into 2 groups, with 2 in each group. Optic nerve transection was performed in both monkeys in the experimental group (group B to obtain binocular blindness. Two healthy macaque monkeys served as a control group (group A. After sixteen months post-procedure, (1H-MRS was performed in the visual cortex of all monkeys. We compared the peak areas of NAA, Cr, Cho, Glx and Ins and the ratios of NAA/Cr, Cho/Cr, Glx/Cr and Ins/Cr of each monkey in group B with group A. RESULTS: The peak area of NAA and the NAA/Cr ratio in the visual cortex of monkey 4 in group B were found to be dramatically decreased, the peak area of NAA slightly decreased and the NAA/Cr ratio clearly decreased in visual cortex of monkey 3 in group B than those in group A. The peak area of Ins and the Ins/Cr ratio in the visual cortex of monkey 4 in group B slightly increased. The peak area of Cho and the Cho/Cr ratio in the visual cortex of all monkeys in group B dramatically increased compared with group A. The peak area of Glx in the visual cortex of all monkeys in group B slightly increased compared with group A. CONCLUSIONS: (1H-MRS could detect biochemical and metabolic changes in the visual cortex and therefore this technique can be used to provide valuable information for investigating the mechanisms of cross-modal plasticity of binocular blindness in a macaque monkey model.
Hallum, Luke E; Shooner, Christopher; Kumbhani, Romesh D; Kelly, Jenna G; García-Marín, Virginia; Majaj, Najib J; Movshon, J Anthony; Kiorpes, Lynne
In amblyopia, a visual disorder caused by abnormal visual experience during development, the amblyopic eye (AE) loses visual sensitivity whereas the fellow eye (FE) is largely unaffected. Binocular vision in amblyopes is often disrupted by interocular suppression. We used 96-electrode arrays to record neurons and neuronal groups in areas V1 and V2 of six female macaque monkeys ( Macaca nemestrina ) made amblyopic by artificial strabismus or anisometropia in early life, as well as two visually normal female controls. To measure suppressive binocular interactions directly, we recorded neuronal responses to dichoptic stimulation. We stimulated both eyes simultaneously with large sinusoidal gratings, controlling their contrast independently with raised-cosine modulators of different orientations and spatial frequencies. We modeled each eye's receptive field at each cortical site using a difference of Gaussian envelopes and derived estimates of the strength of central excitation and surround suppression. We used these estimates to calculate ocular dominance separately for excitation and suppression. Excitatory drive from the FE dominated amblyopic visual cortex, especially in more severe amblyopes, but suppression from both the FE and AEs was prevalent in all animals. This imbalance created strong interocular suppression in deep amblyopes: increasing contrast in the AE decreased responses at binocular cortical sites. These response patterns reveal mechanisms that likely contribute to the interocular suppression that disrupts vision in amblyopes. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Amblyopia is a developmental visual disorder that alters both monocular vision and binocular interaction. Using microelectrode arrays, we examined binocular interaction in primary visual cortex and V2 of six amblyopic macaque monkeys ( Macaca nemestrina ) and two visually normal controls. By stimulating the eyes dichoptically, we showed that, in amblyopic cortex, the binocular combination of signals is
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.
Wang, Feng; Chen, Minggui; Yan, Yin; Zhaoping, Li; Li, Wu
Visual perception is influenced by attention deployed voluntarily or triggered involuntarily by salient stimuli. Modulation of visual cortical processing by voluntary or endogenous attention has been extensively studied, but much less is known about how involuntary or exogenous attention affects responses of visual cortical neurons. Using implanted microelectrode arrays, we examined the effects of exogenous attention on neuronal responses in the primary visual cortex (V1) of awake monkeys. A bright annular cue was flashed either around the receptive fields of recorded neurons or in the opposite visual field to capture attention. A subsequent grating stimulus probed the cue-induced effects. In a fixation task, when the cue-to-probe stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was visual fields weakened or diminished both the physiological and behavioral cueing effects. Our findings indicate that exogenous attention significantly modulates V1 responses and that the modulation strength depends on both novelty and task relevance of the stimulus. Significance statement: Visual attention can be involuntarily captured by a sudden appearance of a conspicuous object, allowing rapid reactions to unexpected events of significance. The current study discovered a correlate of this effect in monkey primary visual cortex. An abrupt, salient, flash enhanced neuronal responses, and shortened the animal's reaction time, to a subsequent visual probe stimulus at the same location. However, the enhancement of the neural responses diminished after repeated exposures to this flash if the animal was not required to react to the probe. Moreover, a second, simultaneous, flash at another location weakened the neuronal and behavioral effects of the first one. These findings revealed, beyond the observations reported so far, the effects of exogenous attention in the brain. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3513419-11$15.00/0.
Wong, Agnes M F; Burkhalter, Andreas; Tychsen, Lawrence
Suppression is a major sensorial abnormality in humans and monkeys with infantile strabismus. We previously reported evidence of metabolic suppression in the visual cortex of strabismic macaques, using the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase as an anatomic label. The purpose of this study was to further elucidate alterations in cortical metabolic activity, with or without amblyopia. Six macaque monkeys were used in the experiments (four strabismic and two control). Three of the strabismic monkeys had naturally occurring, infantile strabismus (two esotropic, one exotropic). The fourth strabismic monkey had infantile microesotropia induced by alternating monocular occlusion in the first months of life. Ocular motor behaviors and visual acuity were tested after infancy in each animal, and development of stereopsis was recorded during infancy in one strabismic and one control monkey. Ocular dominance columns (ODCs) of the striate visual cortex (area V1) were labeled using cytochrome oxidase (CO) histochemistry alone, or CO in conjunction with an anterograde tracer ([H 3 ]proline or WGA-HRP) injected into one eye. Each of the strabismic monkeys showed inequalities of metabolic activity in ODCs of opposite ocularity, visible as rows of lighter CO staining, corresponding to ODCs of lower metabolic activity, alternating with rows of darker CO staining, corresponding to ODCs of higher metabolic activity. In monkeys who had infantile strabismus and unilateral amblyopia, lower metabolic activity was found in (suppressed) ODCs driven by the nondominant eye in each hemisphere. In monkeys who had infantile esotropia and alternating fixation (no amblyopia), metabolic activity was lower in ODCs driven by the ipsilateral eye in each hemisphere. The suppression included a monocular core zone at the center of ODCs and binocular border zones at the boundaries of ODCs. This suppression was not evident in the monocular lamina of the LGN, indicating an intracortical rather than
Viswanathan, Pooja; Nieder, Andreas
The concept of receptive field (RF) describes the responsiveness of neurons to sensory space. Neurons in the primate association cortices have long been known to be spatially selective but a detailed characterisation and direct comparison of RFs between frontal and parietal association cortices are missing. We sampled the RFs of a large number of neurons from two interconnected areas of the frontal and parietal lobes, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and ventral intraparietal area (VIP), of rhesus monkeys by systematically presenting a moving bar during passive fixation. We found that more than half of neurons in both areas showed spatial selectivity. Single neurons in both areas could be assigned to five classes according to the spatial response patterns: few non-uniform RFs with multiple discrete response maxima could be dissociated from the vast majority of uniform RFs showing a single maximum; the latter were further classified into full-field and confined foveal, contralateral and ipsilateral RFs. Neurons in dlPFC showed a preference for the contralateral visual space and collectively encoded the contralateral visual hemi-field. In contrast, VIP neurons preferred central locations, predominantly covering the foveal visual space. Putative pyramidal cells with broad-spiking waveforms in PFC had smaller RFs than putative interneurons showing narrow-spiking waveforms, but distributed similarly across the visual field. In VIP, however, both putative pyramidal cells and interneurons had similar RFs at similar eccentricities. We provide a first, thorough characterisation of visual RFs in two reciprocally connected areas of a fronto-parietal cortical network. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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
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. PMID:23983048
Or P. Mendels
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.
Humphrey, A.L.; Hendrickson, A.E.
We have used 2-deoxy-D-[ 14 C]glucose (2-DG) autoradiography and cytochrome oxidase histochemistry to examine background and stimulus-induced patterns of metabolic activity in monkey striate cortex. In squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) that binocularly or monocularly viewed diffuse white light or binocularly viewed bars of many orientations and spatial frequencies, 2-DG consumption was not uniform across the cortex but consisted of regularly spaced radial zones of high uptake. The zones extended through all laminae except IVc beta and, when viewed tangentially, formed separate patches 500 microns apart. The cytochrome oxidase stain in these animals also revealed patches of high metabolism which coincided with the 2-DG patches. Squirrel monkeys binocularly viewing vertical stripes showed parallel bands of increased 2-DG uptake in the cortex, while the cytochrome label in these animals remained patchy. When monkeys were kept in the dark during 2-DG exposure, 2-DG-labeled patches were not seen but cytochrome oxidase-positive patches remained. In macaque (Macaca nemestrina) monkeys, binocular stimulation with many orientations and spatial frequencies produced radial zones of high 2-DG uptake in layers I to IVa and VI. When viewed tangentially, these zones formed a dots-in-rows pattern with a spacing of 350 X 500 microns; cytochrome oxidase staining produced an identical pattern. Macaca differed from Saimiri in that monocular stimulation labeled alternate rows. These results indicate that there are radial zones of high background metabolism across squirrel and macaque monkey striate cortex. In Saimiri these zones do not appear to be related to an eye dominance system, while in Macaca they do. The presence of these zones of high metabolism may complicate the interpretation of 2-DG autoradiographs that result from specific visual stimuli
Van Essen, D. C.; Lewis, J. W.; Drury, H. A.; Hadjikhani, N.; Tootell, R. B.; Bakircioglu, M.; Miller, M. I.
We have used surface-based atlases of the cerebral cortex to analyze the functional organization of visual cortex in humans and macaque monkeys. The macaque atlas contains multiple partitioning schemes for visual cortex, including a probabilistic atlas of visual areas derived from a recent architectonic study, plus summary schemes that reflect a combination of physiological and anatomical evidence. The human atlas includes a probabilistic map of eight topographically organized visual areas recently mapped using functional MRI. To facilitate comparisons between species, we used surface-based warping to bring functional and geographic landmarks on the macaque map into register with corresponding landmarks on the human map. The results suggest that extrastriate visual cortex outside the known topographically organized areas is dramatically expanded in human compared to macaque cortex, particularly in the parietal lobe.
Full Text Available Summary: Complementing long-standing traditions centered on histology, fMRI approaches are rapidly maturing in delineating brain areal organization at the macroscale. The non-human primate (NHP provides the opportunity to overcome critical barriers in translational research. Here, we establish the data requirements for achieving reproducible and internally valid parcellations in individuals. We demonstrate that functional boundaries serve as a functional fingerprint of the individual animals and can be achieved under anesthesia or awake conditions (rest, naturalistic viewing, though differences between awake and anesthetized states precluded the detection of individual differences across states. Comparison of awake and anesthetized states suggested a more nuanced picture of changes in connectivity for higher-order association areas, as well as visual and motor cortex. These results establish feasibility and data requirements for the generation of reproducible individual-specific parcellations in NHPs, provide insights into the impact of scan state, and motivate efforts toward harmonizing protocols. : Noninvasive fMRI in macaques is an essential tool in translation research. Xu et al. establish the individual functional parcellation of the macaque cortex and demonstrate that brain organization is unique, reproducible, and valid, serving as a fingerprint for an individual macaque. Keywords: macaque, parcellation, cortical areas, gradient, functional connectivity
Nikolaos C. Aggelopoulos
Full Text Available Acetylcholine (ACh is a neurotransmitter acting via muscarinic and nicotinic receptors that is implicated in several cognitive functions and impairments, such as Alzheimer’s disease. It is believed to especially affect the acquisition of new information, which is particularly important when behaviour needs to be adapted to new situations and to novel sensory events. Categorisation, the process of assigning stimuli to a category, is a cognitive function that also involves information acquisition. The role of ACh on categorisation has not been previously studied. We have examined the effects of scopolamine, an antagonist of muscarinic ACh receptors, on visual categorisation in macaque monkeys using familiar and novel stimuli. When the peripheral effects of scopolamine on the parasympathetic nervous system were controlled for, categorisation performance was disrupted following systemic injections of scopolamine. This impairment was observed only when the stimuli that needed to be categorised had not been seen before. In other words, the monkeys were not impaired by the central action of scopolamine in categorising a set of familiar stimuli (stimuli which they had categorised successfully in previous sessions. Categorisation performance also deteriorated as the stimulus became less salient by an increase in the level of visual noise. However, scopolamine did not cause additional performance disruptions for difficult categorisation judgements at lower coherence levels. Scopolamine, therefore, specifically affects the assignment of new exemplars to established cognitive categories, presumably by impairing the processing of novel information. Since we did not find an effect of scopolamine in the categorisation of familiar stimuli, scopolamine had no significant central action on other cognitive functions such as perception, attention, memory or executive control within the context of our categorisation task.
Fukushima, Makoto; Saunders, Richard C; Mullarkey, Matthew; Doyle, Alexandra M; Mishkin, Mortimer; Fujii, Naotaka
Electrocorticography (ECoG) permits recording electrical field potentials with high spatiotemporal resolution over a large part of the cerebral cortex. Application of chronically implanted ECoG arrays in animal models provides an opportunity to investigate global spatiotemporal neural patterns and functional connectivity systematically under various experimental conditions. Although ECoG is conventionally used to cover the gyral cortical surface, recent studies have shown the feasibility of intrasulcal ECoG recordings in macaque monkeys. Here we developed a new ECoG array to record neural activity simultaneously from much of the medial and lateral cortical surface of a single hemisphere, together with the supratemporal plane (STP) of the lateral sulcus in macaque monkeys. The ECoG array consisted of 256 electrodes for bipolar recording at 128 sites. We successfully implanted the ECoG array in the left hemisphere of three rhesus monkeys. The electrodes in the auditory and visual cortex detected robust event related potentials to auditory and visual stimuli, respectively. Bipolar recording from adjacent electrode pairs effectively eliminated chewing artifacts evident in monopolar recording, demonstrating the advantage of using the ECoG array under conditions that generate significant movement artifacts. Compared with bipolar ECoG arrays previously developed for macaque monkeys, this array significantly expands the number of cortical target areas in gyral and intralsulcal cortex. This new ECoG array provides an opportunity to investigate global network interactions among gyral and intrasulcal cortical areas. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Seillier, Lenka; Lorenz, Corinna; Kawaguchi, Katsuhisa; Ott, Torben; Nieder, Andreas; Pourriahi, Paria; Nienborg, Hendrikje
Serotonin, an important neuromodulator in the brain, is implicated in affective and cognitive functions. However, its role even for basic cortical processes is controversial. For example, in the mammalian primary visual cortex (V1), heterogenous serotonergic modulation has been observed in anesthetized animals. Here, we combined extracellular single-unit recordings with iontophoresis in awake animals. We examined the role of serotonin on well-defined tuning properties (orientation, spatial frequency, contrast, and size) in V1 of two male macaque monkeys. We find that in the awake macaque the modulatory effect of serotonin is surprisingly uniform: it causes a mainly multiplicative decrease of the visual responses and a slight increase in the stimulus-selective response latency. Moreover, serotonin neither systematically changes the selectivity or variability of the response, nor the interneuronal correlation unexplained by the stimulus ("noise-correlation"). The modulation by serotonin has qualitative similarities with that for a decrease in stimulus contrast, but differs quantitatively from decreasing contrast. It can be captured by a simple additive change to a threshold-linear spiking nonlinearity. Together, our results show that serotonin is well suited to control the response gain of neurons in V1 depending on the animal's behavioral or motivational context, complementing other known state-dependent gain-control mechanisms. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Serotonin is an important neuromodulator in the brain and a major target for drugs used to treat psychiatric disorders. Nonetheless, surprisingly little is known about how it shapes information processing in sensory areas. Here we examined the serotonergic modulation of visual processing in the primary visual cortex of awake behaving macaque monkeys. We found that serotonin mainly decreased the gain of the visual responses, without systematically changing their selectivity, variability, or covariability. This
Self, Matthew W; Peters, Judith C; Possel, Jessy K; Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C; Roelfsema, Pieter R
Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar to those reported in the macaque. We also observed pronounced gamma oscillations in the local-field potential that could be used to estimate the underlying spiking response properties. Spiking responses were modulated by visual context and attention. We observed orientation-tuned surround suppression: responses were suppressed by image regions with a uniform orientation and enhanced by orientation contrast. Additionally, responses were enhanced on regions that perceptually segregated from the background, indicating that neurons in the human visual cortex are sensitive to figure-ground structure. Spiking responses were also modulated by object-based attention. When the patient mentally traced a curve through the neurons' receptive fields, the accompanying shift of attention enhanced neuronal activity. These results demonstrate that the tuning properties of cells in the human early visual cortex are similar to those in the macaque and that responses can be modulated by both contextual factors and behavioral relevance. Our results, therefore, imply that the macaque visual system is an excellent model for the human visual cortex.
Matthew W Self
Full Text Available Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar to those reported in the macaque. We also observed pronounced gamma oscillations in the local-field potential that could be used to estimate the underlying spiking response properties. Spiking responses were modulated by visual context and attention. We observed orientation-tuned surround suppression: responses were suppressed by image regions with a uniform orientation and enhanced by orientation contrast. Additionally, responses were enhanced on regions that perceptually segregated from the background, indicating that neurons in the human visual cortex are sensitive to figure-ground structure. Spiking responses were also modulated by object-based attention. When the patient mentally traced a curve through the neurons' receptive fields, the accompanying shift of attention enhanced neuronal activity. These results demonstrate that the tuning properties of cells in the human early visual cortex are similar to those in the macaque and that responses can be modulated by both contextual factors and behavioral relevance. Our results, therefore, imply that the macaque visual system is an excellent model for the human visual cortex.
Lou, Astrid Rosenstand; Madsen, Kristoffer Hougaard; Paulson, Olaf Bjarne
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...... of visual deprivation has a substantial impact on experience-dependent plasticity of the human visual cortex.......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...
Mitchell, Jude F; Boisvert, Chantal J; Reuter, Jon D; Reynolds, John H; Leblanc, Mathias
Macaques are the most common animal model for studies in vision research, and due to their high value as research subjects, often continue to participate in studies well into old age. As is true in humans, visual acuity in macaques is susceptible to refractive errors. Here we report a case study in which an aged macaque demonstrated clear impairment in visual acuity according to performance on a demanding behavioral task. Refraction demonstrated bilateral myopia that significantly affected behavioral and visual tasks. Using corrective lenses, we were able to restore visual acuity. After correction of myopia, the macaque's performance on behavioral tasks was comparable to that of a healthy control. We screened 20 other male macaques to assess the incidence of refractive errors and ocular pathologies in a larger population. Hyperopia was the most frequent ametropia but was mild in all cases. A second macaque had mild myopia and astigmatism in one eye. There were no other pathologies observed on ocular examination. We developed a simple behavioral task that visual research laboratories could use to test visual acuity in macaques. The test was reliable and easily learned by the animals in 1 d. This case study stresses the importance of screening macaques involved in visual science for refractive errors and ocular pathologies to ensure the quality of research; we also provide simple methodology for screening visual acuity in these animals.
Fukushima, Makoto; Saunders, Richard C; Leopold, David A; Mishkin, Mortimer; Averbeck, Bruno B
In the absence of sensory stimuli, spontaneous activity in the brain has been shown to exhibit organization at multiple spatiotemporal scales. In the macaque auditory cortex, responses to acoustic stimuli are tonotopically organized within multiple, adjacent frequency maps aligned in a caudorostral direction on the supratemporal plane (STP) of the lateral sulcus. Here, we used chronic microelectrocorticography to investigate the correspondence between sensory maps and spontaneous neural fluctuations in the auditory cortex. We first mapped tonotopic organization across 96 electrodes spanning approximately two centimeters along the primary and higher auditory cortex. In separate sessions, we then observed that spontaneous activity at the same sites exhibited spatial covariation that reflected the tonotopic map of the STP. This observation demonstrates a close relationship between functional organization and spontaneous neural activity in the sensory cortex of the awake monkey. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Battistoni, Elisa; Stein, Timo; Peelen, Marius 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 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.
Soares, David; Goldrick, Isabelle; Lemon, Roger N; Kraskov, Alexander; Greensmith, Linda; Kalmar, Bernadett
There are substantial differences across species in the organization and function of the motor pathways. These differences extend to basic electrophysiological properties. Thus, in rat motor cortex, pyramidal cells have long duration action potentials, while in the macaque, some pyramidal neurons exhibit short duration "thin" spikes. These differences may be related to the expression of the fast potassium channel Kv3.1b, which in rat interneurons is associated with generation of thin spikes. Rat pyramidal cells typically lack these channels, while there are reports that they are present in macaque pyramids. Here we made a systematic, quantitative comparison of the Kv3.1b expression in sections from macaque and rat motor cortex, using two different antibodies (NeuroMab, Millipore). As our standard reference, we examined, in the same sections, Kv3.1b staining in parvalbumin-positive interneurons, which show strong Kv3.1b immunoreactivity. In macaque motor cortex, a large sample of pyramidal neurons were nearly all found to express Kv3.1b in their soma membranes. These labeled neurons were identified as pyramidal based either by expression of SMI32 (a pyramidal marker), or by their shape and size, and lack of expression of parvalbumin (a marker for some classes of interneuron). Large (Betz cells), medium, and small pyramidal neurons all expressed Kv3.1b. In rat motor cortex, SMI32-postive pyramidal neurons expressing Kv3.1b were very rare and weakly stained. Thus, there is a marked species difference in the immunoreactivity of Kv3.1b in pyramidal neurons, and this may be one of the factors explaining the pronounced electrophysiological differences between rat and macaque pyramidal neurons. © 2017 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Scott, Brian H; Malone, Brian J; Semple, Malcolm N
Neurons in auditory cortex of awake primates are selective for the spatial location of a sound source, yet the neural representation of the binaural cues that underlie this tuning remains undefined. We examined this representation in 283 single neurons across the low-frequency auditory core in alert macaques, trained to discriminate binaural cues for sound azimuth. In response to binaural beat stimuli, which mimic acoustic motion by modulating the relative phase of a tone at the two ears, these neurons robustly modulate their discharge rate in response to this directional cue. In accordance with prior studies, the preferred interaural phase difference (IPD) of these neurons typically corresponds to azimuthal locations contralateral to the recorded hemisphere. Whereas binaural beats evoke only transient discharges in anesthetized cortex, neurons in awake cortex respond throughout the IPD cycle. In this regard, responses are consistent with observations at earlier stations of the auditory pathway. Discharge rate is a band-pass function of the frequency of IPD modulation in most neurons (73%), but both discharge rate and temporal synchrony are independent of the direction of phase modulation. When subjected to a receiver operator characteristic analysis, the responses of individual neurons are insufficient to account for the perceptual acuity of these macaques in an IPD discrimination task, suggesting the need for neural pooling at the cortical level.
Noonan, M. P.; Walton, M. E.; Behrens, T. E. J.; Sallet, J.; Buckley, M. J.; Rushworth, M. F. S.
Uncertainty about the function of orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in guiding decision-making may be a result of its medial (mOFC) and lateral (lOFC) divisions having distinct functions. Here we test the hypothesis that the mOFC is more concerned with reward-guided decision making, in contrast with the lOFC's role in reward-guided learning. Macaques performed three-armed bandit tasks and the effects of selective mOFC lesions were contrasted against lOFC lesions. First, we present analyses that make...
Angelucci, Alessandra; Rosa, Marcello G P
As highlighted by several contributions to this special issue, there is still ongoing debate about the number, exact location, and boundaries of the visual areas located in cortex immediately rostral to the second visual area (V2), i.e., the "third tier" visual cortex, in primates. In this review, we provide a historical overview of the main ideas that have led to four models of third tier cortex organization, which are at the center of today's debate. We formulate specific predictions of these models, and compare these predictions with experimental evidence obtained primarily in New World primates. From this analysis, we conclude that only one of these models (the "multiple-areas" model) can accommodate the breadth of available experimental evidence. According to this model, most of the third tier cortex in New World primates is occupied by two distinct areas, both representing the full contralateral visual quadrant: the dorsomedial area (DM), restricted to the dorsal half of the third visual complex, and the ventrolateral posterior area (VLP), occupying its ventral half and a substantial fraction of its dorsal half. DM belongs to the dorsal stream of visual processing, and overlaps with macaque parietooccipital (PO) area (or V6), whereas VLP belongs to the ventral stream and overlaps considerably with area V3 proposed by others. In contrast, there is substantial evidence that is inconsistent with the concept of a single elongated area V3 lining much of V2. We also review the experimental evidence from macaque monkey and humans, and propose that, once the data are interpreted within an evolutionary-developmental context, these species share a homologous (but not necessarily identical) organization of the third tier cortex as that observed in New World monkeys. Finally, we identify outstanding issues, and propose experiments to resolve them, highlighting in particular the need for more extensive, hypothesis-driven investigations in macaque and humans.
Anthony D Cate
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent neuroimaging studies have revealed that putatively unimodal regions of visual cortex can be activated during auditory tasks in sighted as well as in blind subjects. However, the task determinants and functional significance of auditory occipital activations (AOAs remains unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined AOAs in an intermodal selective attention task to distinguish whether they were stimulus-bound or recruited by higher-level cognitive operations associated with auditory attention. Cortical surface mapping showed that auditory occipital activations were localized to retinotopic visual cortex subserving the far peripheral visual field. AOAs depended strictly on the sustained engagement of auditory attention and were enhanced in more difficult listening conditions. In contrast, unattended sounds produced no AOAs regardless of their intensity, spatial location, or frequency. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Auditory attention, but not passive exposure to sounds, routinely activated peripheral regions of visual cortex when subjects attended to sound sources outside the visual field. Functional connections between auditory cortex and visual cortex subserving the peripheral visual field appear to underlie the generation of AOAs, which may reflect the priming of visual regions to process soon-to-appear objects associated with unseen sound sources.
Jamie K Fitzgerald
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.
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
Gabbott, Paul L; Rolls, Edmund T
The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of humans and macaques is an integral part of the default mode network and is a brain region that shows increased activation in the resting state. A previous paper from our laboratory reported significantly increased firing rates of neurons in the macaque subgenual cingulate cortex, Brodmann area (BA) 25, during disengagement from a task and also during slow wave sleep [E.T. Rolls et al. (2003) J. Neurophysiology, 90, 134-142]. Here we report the finding that there are neurons in other areas of mPFC that also increase their firing rates during disengagement from a task, drowsiness and eye-closure. During the neurophysiological recording of single mPFC cells (n = 249) in BAs 9, 10, 13 m, 14c, 24b and especially pregenual area 32, populations of neurons were identified whose firing rates altered significantly with eye-closure compared with eye-opening. Three types of neuron were identified: Type 1 cells (28.1% of the total population) significantly increased (mean + 329%; P ≪ 0.01) their average firing rate with eye-closure, from 3.1 spikes/s when awake to 10.2 spikes/s when asleep; Type 2 cells (6.0%) significantly decreased (mean -68%; P areas of mPFC, implicated in the anterior default mode network, there is a substantial population of neurons that significantly increase their firing rates during periods of eye-closure. Such neurons may be part of an interconnected network of distributed brain regions that are more active during periods of relaxed wakefulness than during attention-demanding tasks. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Vaiceliunaite, Agne; Erisken, Sinem; Franzen, Florian; Katzner, Steffen; Busse, Laura
Responses of many neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) are suppressed by stimuli exceeding the classical receptive field (RF), an important property that might underlie the computation of visual saliency. Traditionally, it has proven difficult to disentangle the underlying neural circuits, including feedforward, horizontal intracortical, and feedback connectivity. Since circuit-level analysis is particularly feasible in the mouse, we asked whether neural signatures of spatial integration in ...
Bortolotto, G. S.; Girardi-Schappo, M.; Gonsalves, J. J.; Tragtenberg, M. H. R.; Pinto, L. T.
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. (paper)
Brookshire, Geoffrey; Lu, Jenny; Nusbaum, Howard C; Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Casasanto, Daniel
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.
Akiko Nishio; Naokazu Goda; Hidehiko Komatsu
The variation of the appearance such as gloss provides one of the most important information for object recognition. However, little is known about the neural mechanisms related to the perception of gloss. We examined whether the neurons in the inferior temporal (IT) cortex of the monkeys are coding gloss of objects. We made visual stimuli which have various surface reflectance properties, and tested responses of IT neurons to these stimuli while a monkey was performing a visual fixation task...
Tom J Van Grootel
Full Text Available Functional brain development is not well understood. In the visual system, neurophysiological studies in nonhuman primates show quite mature neuronal properties near birth although visual function is itself quite immature and continues to develop over many months or years after birth. Our goal was to assess the relative development of two main visual processing streams, dorsal and ventral, using BOLD fMRI in an attempt to understand the global mechanisms that support the maturation of visual behavior. Seven infant macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta were repeatedly scanned, while anesthetized, over an age range of 102 to 1431 days. Large rotating checkerboard stimuli induced BOLD activation in visual cortices at early ages. Additionally we used static and dynamic Glass pattern stimuli to probe BOLD responses in primary visual cortex and two extrastriate areas: V4 and MT-V5. The resulting activations were analyzed with standard GLM and multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA approaches. We analyzed three contrasts: Glass pattern present/absent, static/dynamic Glass pattern presentation, and structured/random Glass pattern form. For both GLM and MVPA approaches, robust coherent BOLD activation appeared relatively late in comparison to the maturation of known neuronal properties and the development of behavioral sensitivity to Glass patterns. Robust differential activity to Glass pattern present/absent and dynamic/static stimulus presentation appeared first in V1, followed by V4 and MT-V5 at older ages; there was no reliable distinction between the two extrastriate areas. A similar pattern of results was obtained with the two analysis methods, although MVPA analysis showed reliable differential responses emerging at later ages than GLM. Although BOLD responses to large visual stimuli are detectable, our results with more refined stimuli indicate that global BOLD activity changes as behavioral performance matures. This reflects an hierarchical development of
Sugihara, Tadashi; Diltz, Mark D; Averbeck, Bruno B; Romanski, Lizabeth M
The integration of auditory and visual stimuli is crucial for recognizing objects, communicating effectively, and navigating through our complex world. Although the frontal lobes are involved in memory, communication, and language, there has been no evidence that the integration of communication information occurs at the single-cell level in the frontal lobes. Here, we show that neurons in the macaque ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) integrate audiovisual communication stimuli. The multisensory interactions included both enhancement and suppression of a predominantly auditory or a predominantly visual response, although multisensory suppression was the more common mode of response. The multisensory neurons were distributed across the VLPFC and within previously identified unimodal auditory and visual regions (O'Scalaidhe et al., 1997; Romanski and Goldman-Rakic, 2002). Thus, our study demonstrates, for the first time, that single prefrontal neurons integrate communication information from the auditory and visual domains, suggesting that these neurons are an important node in the cortical network responsible for communication.
Full Text Available Neurofeedback based on real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI is a new approach that allows training of voluntary control over regionally specific brain activity. However, the neural basis of successful neurofeedback learning remains poorly understood. Here, we assessed changes in effective brain connectivity associated with neurofeedback training of visual cortex activity. Using dynamic causal modeling (DCM, we found that training participants to increase visual cortex activity was associated with increased effective connectivity between the visual cortex and the superior parietal lobe. Specifically, participants who learned to control activity in their visual cortex showed increased top-down control of the superior parietal lobe over the visual cortex, and at the same time reduced bottom-up processing. These results are consistent with efficient employment of top-down visual attention and imagery, which were the cognitive strategies used by participants to increase their visual cortex activity.
Bergmann, Johanna; Genç, Erhan; Kohler, Axel; Singer, Wolf; Pearson, Joel
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Agam, Yigal; Liu, Hesheng; Papanastassiou, Alexander; Buia, Calin; Golby, Alexandra J.; Madsen, Joseph R.; Kreiman, Gabriel
SUMMARY We can recognize objects in a fraction of a second in spite of the presence of other objects [1–3]. The responses in macaque areas V4 and inferior temporal cortex [4–15] to a neuron’s preferred stimuli are typically suppressed by the addition of a second object within the receptive field (see however [16, 17]). How can this suppression be reconciled with rapid visual recognition in complex scenes? One option is that certain “special categories” are unaffected by other objects  but this leaves the problem unsolved for other categories. Another possibility is that serial attentional shifts help ameliorate the problem of distractor objects [19–21]. Yet, psychophysical studies [1–3], scalp recordings  and neurophysiological recordings [14, 16, 22–24], suggest that the initial sweep of visual processing contains a significant amount of information. We recorded intracranial field potentials in human visual cortex during presentation of flashes of two-object images. Visual selectivity from temporal cortex during the initial ~200 ms was largely robust to the presence of other objects. We could train linear decoders on the responses to isolated objects and decode information in two-object images. These observations are compatible with parallel, hierarchical and feed-forward theories of rapid visual recognition  and may provide a neural substrate to begin to unravel rapid recognition in natural scenes. PMID:20417105
Full Text Available To investigate the role of the perirhinal cortex on the development of recognition measured by the visual paired-comparison (VPC task, infant monkeys with neonatal perirhinal lesions and sham-operated controls were tested at 1.5, 6, 18, and 48 months of age on the VPC task with color stimuli and intermixed delays of 10 s, 30 s, 60 s, and 120 s. Monkeys with neonatal perirhinal lesions showed an increase in novelty preference between 1.5 and 6 months of age similar to controls, although at these two ages, performance remained significantly poorer than that of control animals. With age, performance in animals with neonatal perirhinal lesions deteriorated as compared to that of controls. In contrast to the lack of novelty preference in monkeys with perirhinal lesions acquired in adulthood, novelty preference in the neonatally operated animals remained above chance at all delays and all ages. The data suggest that, although incidental recognition memory processes can be supported by the perirhinal cortex in early infancy, other temporal cortical areas may support these processes in the absence of a functional perirhinal cortex early in development. The neural substrates mediating incidental recognition memory processes appear to be more widespread in early infancy than in adulthood.
Full Text Available The variation of the appearance such as gloss provides one of the most important information for object recognition. However, little is known about the neural mechanisms related to the perception of gloss. We examined whether the neurons in the inferior temporal (IT cortex of the monkeys are coding gloss of objects. We made visual stimuli which have various surface reflectance properties, and tested responses of IT neurons to these stimuli while a monkey was performing a visual fixation task. We found that there exist neurons in the lower bank of the superior temporal sulcus that selectively responded to specific stimuli. The selectivity was largely maintained when the object shape or illumination condition was changed. In contrast, neural selectivity was lost when the pixels of objects were randomly rearranged. In the former manipulation of the stimuli, gloss perceptions were maintained, whereas in the latter manipulation, gloss perception was dramatically changed. These results indicate that these IT neurons selectively responded to gloss, not to the irrelevant local image features or average luminance or color. Next, to understand how the responses of gloss selective neurons are related to perceived gloss, responses of gloss selective neurons were mapped in perceptual gloss space in which glossiness changes uniformly. I found that responses of most gloss selective neurons can be explained by linear combinations of two parameters that are shown to be important for gloss perception. This result suggests that the responses of gloss selective neurons of IT cortex are closely related to gloss perception.
Full Text Available Thalamic relay cells fire action potentials that transmit information from retina to cortex. The amount of information that spike trains encode is usually estimated from the precision of spike timing with respect to the stimulus. Sensory input, however, is only one factor that influences neural activity. For example, intrinsic dynamics, such as oscillations of networks of neurons, also modulate firing pattern. Here, we asked if retinal oscillations might help to convey information to neurons downstream. Specifically, we made whole-cell recordings from relay cells to reveal retinal inputs (EPSPs and thalamic outputs (spikes and then analyzed these events with information theory. Our results show that thalamic spike trains operate as two multiplexed channels. One channel, which occupies a low frequency band (<30 Hz, is encoded by average firing rate with respect to the stimulus and carries information about local changes in the visual field over time. The other operates in the gamma frequency band (40-80 Hz and is encoded by spike timing relative to retinal oscillations. At times, the second channel conveyed even more information than the first. Because retinal oscillations involve extensive networks of ganglion cells, it is likely that the second channel transmits information about global features of the visual scene.
Averbeck, Bruno B.
Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), medial frontal cortex (MFC), and amygdala mediate stimulus–reward learning, but the mechanisms through which they interact are unclear. Here, we investigated how neurons in macaque OFC and MFC signaled rewards and the stimuli that predicted them during learning with and without amygdala input. Macaques performed a task that required them to evaluate two stimuli and then choose one to receive the reward associated with that option. Four main findings emerged. First, amygdala lesions slowed the acquisition and use of stimulus–reward associations. Further analyses indicated that this impairment was due, at least in part, to ineffective use of negative feedback to guide subsequent decisions. Second, the activity of neurons in OFC and MFC rapidly evolved to encode the amount of reward associated with each stimulus. Third, amygdalectomy reduced encoding of stimulus–reward associations during the evaluation of different stimuli. Reward encoding of anticipated and received reward after choices were made was not altered. Fourth, amygdala lesions led to an increase in the proportion of neurons in MFC, but not OFC, that encoded the instrumental response that monkeys made on each trial. These correlated changes in behavior and neural activity after amygdala lesions strongly suggest that the amygdala contributes to the ability to learn stimulus–reward associations rapidly by shaping encoding within OFC and MFC. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Altered functional interactions among orbital frontal cortex (OFC), medial frontal cortex (MFC), and amygdala are thought to underlie several psychiatric conditions, many related to reward learning. Here, we investigated the causal contribution of the amygdala to the development of neuronal activity in macaque OFC and MFC related to rewards and the stimuli that predict them during learning. Without amygdala inputs, neurons in both OFC and MFC showed decreased encoding of stimulus–reward associations. MFC also
Rudebeck, Peter H; Ripple, Joshua A; Mitz, Andrew R; Averbeck, Bruno B; Murray, Elisabeth A
Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), medial frontal cortex (MFC), and amygdala mediate stimulus-reward learning, but the mechanisms through which they interact are unclear. Here, we investigated how neurons in macaque OFC and MFC signaled rewards and the stimuli that predicted them during learning with and without amygdala input. Macaques performed a task that required them to evaluate two stimuli and then choose one to receive the reward associated with that option. Four main findings emerged. First, amygdala lesions slowed the acquisition and use of stimulus-reward associations. Further analyses indicated that this impairment was due, at least in part, to ineffective use of negative feedback to guide subsequent decisions. Second, the activity of neurons in OFC and MFC rapidly evolved to encode the amount of reward associated with each stimulus. Third, amygdalectomy reduced encoding of stimulus-reward associations during the evaluation of different stimuli. Reward encoding of anticipated and received reward after choices were made was not altered. Fourth, amygdala lesions led to an increase in the proportion of neurons in MFC, but not OFC, that encoded the instrumental response that monkeys made on each trial. These correlated changes in behavior and neural activity after amygdala lesions strongly suggest that the amygdala contributes to the ability to learn stimulus-reward associations rapidly by shaping encoding within OFC and MFC. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Altered functional interactions among orbital frontal cortex (OFC), medial frontal cortex (MFC), and amygdala are thought to underlie several psychiatric conditions, many related to reward learning. Here, we investigated the causal contribution of the amygdala to the development of neuronal activity in macaque OFC and MFC related to rewards and the stimuli that predict them during learning. Without amygdala inputs, neurons in both OFC and MFC showed decreased encoding of stimulus-reward associations. MFC also showed
Vaiceliunaite, Agne; Erisken, Sinem; Franzen, Florian; Katzner, Steffen; Busse, Laura
Responses of many neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) are suppressed by stimuli exceeding the classical receptive field (RF), an important property that might underlie the computation of visual saliency. Traditionally, it has proven difficult to disentangle the underlying neural circuits, including feedforward, horizontal intracortical, and feedback connectivity. Since circuit-level analysis is particularly feasible in the mouse, we asked whether neural signatures of spatial integration in mouse V1 are similar to those of higher-order mammals and investigated the role of parvalbumin-expressing (PV+) inhibitory interneurons. Analogous to what is known from primates and carnivores, we demonstrate that, in awake mice, surround suppression is present in the majority of V1 neurons and is strongest in superficial cortical layers. Anesthesia with isoflurane-urethane, however, profoundly affects spatial integration: it reduces the laminar dependency, decreases overall suppression strength, and alters the temporal dynamics of responses. We show that these effects of brain state can be parsimoniously explained by assuming that anesthesia affects contrast normalization. Hence, the full impact of suppressive influences in mouse V1 cannot be studied under anesthesia with isoflurane-urethane. To assess the neural circuits of spatial integration, we targeted PV+ interneurons using optogenetics. Optogenetic depolarization of PV+ interneurons was associated with increased RF size and decreased suppression in the recorded population, similar to effects of lowering stimulus contrast, suggesting that PV+ interneurons contribute to spatial integration by affecting overall stimulus drive. We conclude that the mouse is a promising model for circuit-level mechanisms of spatial integration, which relies on the combined activity of different types of inhibitory interneurons.
Lafer-Sousa, Rosa; Conway, Bevil R.
Visual-object processing culminates in inferior temporal (IT) cortex. To assess the organization of IT, we measured fMRI responses in alert monkey to achromatic images (faces, fruit, bodies, places) and colored gratings. IT contained multiple color-biased regions, which were typically ventral to face patches and, remarkably, yoked to them, spaced regularly at four locations predicted by known anatomy. Color and face selectivity increased for more anterior regions, indicative of a broad hierarchical arrangement. Responses to non-face shapes were found across IT, but were stronger outside color-biased regions and face patches, consistent with multiple parallel streams. IT also contained multiple coarse eccentricity maps: face patches overlapped central representations; color-biased regions spanned mid-peripheral representations; and place-biased regions overlapped peripheral representations. These results suggest that IT comprises parallel, multi-stage processing networks subject to one organizing principle. PMID:24141314
Gaist, David; Hougaard, Anders; Garde, Ellen
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...
Schulze, Patrick; Bestgen, Anne-Kathrin; Lech, Robert K; Kuchinke, Lars; Suchan, Boris
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.
Full Text Available In relation to mechanisms involved in functional recovery of manual dexterity from cervical cord injury or from motor cortical injury, our goal was to determine whether the movements that characterize post-lesion functional recovery are comparable to original movement patterns or do monkeys adopt distinct strategies to compensate the deficits depending on the type of lesion? To this aim, data derived from earlier studies, using a skilled finger task (the modified Brinkman board from which pellets are retrieved from vertical or horizontal slots, in spinal cord and motor cortex injured monkeys were analyzed and compared. Twelve adult macaque monkeys were subjected to a hemi-section of the cervical cord (n=6 or to a unilateral excitotoxic lesion of the hand representation in the primary motor cortex (n=6. In addition, in each subgroup, one half of monkeys (n=3 were treated for 30 days with a function blocking antibody against the neurite growth inhibitory protein Nogo-A, while the other half (n=3 represented control animals. The motor deficits, and the extent and time course of functional recovery were assessed.For some of the parameters investigated (wrist angle for horizontal slots and movement types distribution for vertical slots after cervical injury; movement types distribution for horizontal slots after motor cortex lesion, post-lesion restoration of the original movement patterns (true recovery led to a quantitatively better functional recovery. In the motor cortex lesion groups, pharmacological reversible inactivation experiments showed that the peri-lesion territory of the primary motor cortex or re-arranged, spared domain of the lesion zone, played a major role in the functional recovery, together with the ipsilesional intact premotor cortex.
Yamashita, Akiko; Fuchs, Eberhard; Taira, Masato; Yamamoto, Takamitsu; Hayashi, Motoharu
Previously, we demonstrated decreased expression of somatostatin mRNA in aged macaque brain, particularly in the prefrontal cortex. To investigate whether or not this age-dependent decrease in mRNA is related to morphological changes, we analyzed somatostatin cells in the cerebra of aged Japanese macaques and compared them with those in rats and tree shrews, the latter of which are closely related to primates. Brains of aged macaques, tree shrews, and rats were investigated by immunohistochemistry with special emphasis on somatostatin. We observed degenerating somatostatin-immunoreactive cells in the cortices of aged macaques and tree shrews. Somatostatin-immunoreactive senile plaque-like structures were found in areas 6 and 8 and in the nucleus accumbens of macaques, as well as in the nucleus accumbens and the cortex of aged tree shrews, where amyloid accumulations were observed. Somatostatin degenerations may be related to amyloid accumulations and may play roles in impairments of cognitive functions during aging. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
McAdams, Carrie J; Reid, R Clay
Spatial attention has long been postulated to act as a spotlight that increases the salience of visual stimuli at the attended location. We examined the effects of attention on the receptive fields of simple cells in primary visual cortex (V1) by training macaque monkeys to perform a task with two modes. In the attended mode, the stimuli relevant to the animal's task overlay the receptive field of the neuron being recorded. In the unattended mode, the animal was cued to attend to stimuli outside the receptive field of that neuron. The relevant stimulus, a colored pixel, was briefly presented within a white-noise stimulus, a flickering grid of black and white pixels. The receptive fields of the neurons were mapped by correlating spikes with the white-noise stimulus in both attended and unattended modes. We found that attention could cause significant modulation of the visually evoked response despite an absence of significant effects on the overall firing rates. On further examination of the relationship between the strength of the visual stimulation and the firing rate, we found that attention appears to cause multiplicative scaling of the visually evoked responses of simple cells, demonstrating that attention reaches back to the initial stages of visual cortical processing.
Morrill, Ryan J; Hasenstaub, Andrea R
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.
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.
Mohammed Sultan Mohiuddin Siddiqui
Full Text Available Decades of experimental studies are available on disparity selective cells in visual cortex of macaque and cat. Recently, local disparity map for iso-orientation sites for near-vertical edge preference is reported in area 18 of cat visual cortex. No experiment is yet reported on complete disparity map in V1. Disparity map for layer IV in V1 can provide insight into how disparity selective complex cell receptive field is organized from simple cell subunits. Though substantial amounts of experimental data on disparity selective cells is available, no model on receptive field development of such cells or disparity map development exists in literature. We model disparity selectivity in layer IV of cat V1 using a reaction-diffusion two-eye paradigm. In this model, the wiring between LGN and cortical layer IV is determined by resource an LGN cell has for supporting connections to cortical cells and competition for target space in layer IV. While competing for target space, the same type of LGN cells, irrespective of whether it belongs to left-eye-specific or right-eye-specific LGN layer, cooperate with each other while trying to push off the other type. Our model captures realistic 2D disparity selective simple cell receptive fields, their response properties and disparity map along with orientation and ocular dominance maps. There is lack of correlation between ocular dominance and disparity selectivity at the cell population level. At the map level, disparity selectivity topography is not random but weakly clustered for similar preferred disparities. This is similar to the experimental result reported for macaque. The details of weakly clustered disparity selectivity map in V1 indicate two types of complex cell receptive field organization.
Petro, L S; Paton, A T; Muckli, L
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.
Schwartz, E.L.; Christman, D.R.; Wolf, A.P.
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.)
Lotfi B Merabet
Full Text Available The loss of vision has been associated with enhanced performance in non-visual tasks such as tactile discrimination and sound localization. Current evidence suggests that these functional gains are linked to the recruitment of the occipital visual cortex for non-visual processing, but the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying these crossmodal changes remain uncertain. One possible explanation is that visual deprivation is associated with an unmasking of non-visual input into visual cortex.We investigated the effect of sudden, complete and prolonged visual deprivation (five days in normally sighted adult individuals while they were immersed in an intensive tactile training program. Following the five-day period, blindfolded subjects performed better on a Braille character discrimination task. In the blindfold group, serial fMRI scans revealed an increase in BOLD signal within the occipital cortex in response to tactile stimulation after five days of complete visual deprivation. This increase in signal was no longer present 24 hours after blindfold removal. Finally, reversible disruption of occipital cortex function on the fifth day (by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; rTMS impaired Braille character recognition ability in the blindfold group but not in non-blindfolded controls. This disruptive effect was no longer evident once the blindfold had been removed for 24 hours.Overall, our findings suggest that sudden and complete visual deprivation in normally sighted individuals can lead to profound, but rapidly reversible, neuroplastic changes by which the occipital cortex becomes engaged in processing of non-visual information. The speed and dynamic nature of the observed changes suggests that normally inhibited or masked functions in the sighted are revealed by visual loss. The unmasking of pre-existing connections and shifts in connectivity represent rapid, early plastic changes, which presumably can lead, if sustained and
Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.
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…
Torre, Emiliano; Quaglio, Pietro; Denker, Michael; Brochier, Thomas; Riehle, Alexa; Grün, Sonja
The computational role of spike time synchronization at millisecond precision among neurons in the cerebral cortex is hotly debated. Studies performed on data of limited size provided experimental evidence that low-order correlations occur in relation to behavior. Advances in electrophysiological technology to record from hundreds of neurons simultaneously provide the opportunity to observe coordinated spiking activity of larger populations of cells. We recently published a method that combines data mining and statistical evaluation to search for significant patterns of synchronous spikes in massively parallel spike trains (Torre et al., 2013). The method solves the computational and multiple testing problems raised by the high dimensionality of the data. In the current study, we used our method on simultaneous recordings from two macaque monkeys engaged in an instructed-delay reach-to-grasp task to determine the emergence of spike synchronization in relation to behavior. We found a multitude of synchronous spike patterns aligned in both monkeys along a preferential mediolateral orientation in brain space. The occurrence of the patterns is highly specific to behavior, indicating that different behaviors are associated with the synchronization of different groups of neurons ("cell assemblies"). However, pooled patterns that overlap in neuronal composition exhibit no specificity, suggesting that exclusive cell assemblies become active during different behaviors, but can recruit partly identical neurons. These findings are consistent across multiple recording sessions analyzed across the two monkeys. Neurons in the brain communicate via electrical impulses called spikes. How spikes are coordinated to process information is still largely unknown. Synchronous spikes are effective in triggering a spike emission in receiving neurons and have been shown to occur in relation to behavior in a number of studies on simultaneous recordings of few neurons. We recently published
Cozzi, Bruno; De Giorgio, Andrea; Peruffo, A; Montelli, S; Panin, M; Bombardi, C; Grandis, A; Pirone, A; Zambenedetti, P; Corain, L; Granato, Alberto
The architecture of the neocortex classically consists of six layers, based on cytological criteria and on the layout of intra/interlaminar connections. Yet, the comparison of cortical cytoarchitectonic features across different species proves overwhelmingly difficult, due to the lack of a reliable model to analyze the connection patterns of neuronal ensembles forming the different layers. We first defined a set of suitable morphometric cell features, obtained in digitized Nissl-stained sections of the motor cortex of the horse, chimpanzee, and crab-eating macaque. We then modeled them using a quite general non-parametric data representation model, showing that the assessment of neuronal cell complexity (i.e., how a given cell differs from its neighbors) can be performed using a suitable measure of statistical dispersion such as the mean absolute deviation-mean absolute deviation (MAD). Along with the non-parametric combination and permutation methodology, application of MAD allowed not only to estimate, but also to compare and rank the motor cortical complexity across different species. As to the instances presented in this paper, we show that the pyramidal layers of the motor cortex of the horse are far more irregular than those of primates. This feature could be related to the different organizations of the motor system in monodactylous mammals.
Lamme, V A
The activity of neurons in the primary visual cortex of the awake macaque monkey was recorded while the animals were viewing full screen arrays of either oriented line segments or moving random dots. A square patch of the screen was made to perceptually pop out as a circumscribed figure by virtue of differences between the orientation or the direction of motion of the texture elements within that patch and the surround. The animals were trained to identify the figure patches by making saccadic eye movements towards their positions. Almost every cell gave a significantly larger response to elements belonging to the figure than to similar elements belonging to the background. The figure-ground response enhancement was present along the entire extent of the patch and was absent as soon as the receptive field was outside the patch. The strength of the effect had no relation with classical receptive field properties like orientation or direction selectivity or receptive field size. The response enhancement had a latency of 30-40 msec relative to the onset of the neuronal response itself. The results show that context modulation within primary visual cortex has a highly sophisticated nature, putting the image features the cells are responding to into their fully evaluated perceptual context.
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
Huynh, Hieu K.; Beers, Caroline; Willemsen, Antoon; Lont, Erna; Laan, Ellen; Dierckx, Rudi; Jansen, Monique; Sand, Michael; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; 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
Shen, Kelly; Bezgin, Gleb; Hutchison, R Matthew; Gati, Joseph S; Menon, Ravi S; Everling, Stefan; McIntosh, Anthony R
Computational and empirical neuroimaging studies have suggested that the anatomical connections between brain regions primarily constrain their functional interactions. Given that the large-scale organization of functional networks is determined by the temporal relationships between brain regions, the structural limitations may extend to the global characteristics of functional networks. Here, we explored the extent to which the functional network community structure is determined by the underlying anatomical architecture. We directly compared macaque (Macaca fascicularis) functional connectivity (FC) assessed using spontaneous blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI) to directed anatomical connectivity derived from macaque axonal tract tracing studies. Consistent with previous reports, FC increased with increasing strength of anatomical connection, and FC was also present between regions that had no direct anatomical connection. We observed moderate similarity between the FC of each region and its anatomical connectivity. Notably, anatomical connectivity patterns, as described by structural motifs, were different within and across functional modules: partitioning of the functional network was supported by dense bidirectional anatomical connections within clusters and unidirectional connections between clusters. Together, our data directly demonstrate that the FC patterns observed in resting-state BOLD-fMRI are dictated by the underlying neuroanatomical architecture. Importantly, we show how this architecture contributes to the global organizational principles of both functional specialization and integration.
Seirafi, Mehrdad; De Weerd, Peter; Pegna, Alan J.; de Gelder, Beatrice
Learning audiovisual associations is mediated by the primary cortical areas; however, recent animal studies suggest that such learning can take place even in the absence of the primary visual cortex. Other studies have demonstrated the involvement of extra-geniculate pathways and especially the superior colliculus (SC) in audiovisual association learning. Here, we investigated such learning in a rare human patient with complete loss of the bilateral striate cortex. We carried out an implicit ...
Koen V Haak
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.
Cloherty, Shaun L; Hughes, Nicholas J; Hietanen, Markus A; Bhagavatula, Partha S
The extent to which brain structure is influenced by sensory input during development is a critical but controversial question. A paradigmatic system for studying this is the mammalian visual cortex. Maps of orientation preference (OP) and ocular dominance (OD) in the primary visual cortex of ferrets, cats and monkeys can be individually changed by altered visual input. However, the spatial relationship between OP and OD maps has appeared immutable. Using a computational model we predicted that biasing the visual input to orthogonal orientation in the two eyes should cause a shift of OP pinwheels towards the border of OD columns. We then confirmed this prediction by rearing cats wearing orthogonally oriented cylindrical lenses over each eye. Thus, the spatial relationship between OP and OD maps can be modified by visual experience, revealing a previously unknown degree of brain plasticity in response to sensory input. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13911.001 PMID:27310531
Harel, Assaf; Kravitz, Dwight J.; Baker, Chris I.
Perception reflects an integration of “bottom-up” (sensory-driven) and “top-down” (internally generated) signals. Although models of visual processing often emphasize the central role of feed-forward hierarchical processing, less is known about the impact of top-down signals on complex visual representations. Here, we investigated whether and how the observer’s goals modulate object processing across the cortex. We examined responses elicited by a diverse set of objects under six distinct tasks, focusing on either physical (e.g., color) or conceptual properties (e.g., man-made). Critically, the same stimuli were presented in all tasks, allowing us to investigate how task impacts the neural representations of identical visual input. We found that task has an extensive and differential impact on object processing across the cortex. First, we found task-dependent representations in the ventral temporal and prefrontal cortex. In particular, although object identity could be decoded from the multivoxel response within task, there was a significant reduction in decoding across tasks. In contrast, the early visual cortex evidenced equivalent decoding within and across tasks, indicating task-independent representations. Second, task information was pervasive and present from the earliest stages of object processing. However, although the responses of the ventral temporal, prefrontal, and parietal cortex enabled decoding of both the type of task (physical/conceptual) and the specific task (e.g., color), the early visual cortex was not sensitive to type of task and could only be used to decode individual physical tasks. Thus, object processing is highly influenced by the behavioral goal of the observer, highlighting how top-down signals constrain and inform the formation of visual representations. PMID:24567402
Bi, H.; Zhang, B.; Tao, X.; Harwerth, R. S.; Smith, E. L.; Chino, Y. M.
Amblyopia, a developmental disorder of spatial vision, is thought to result from a cascade of cortical deficits over several processing stages beginning at the primary visual cortex (V1). However, beyond V1, little is known about how cortical development limits the visual performance of amblyopic primates. We quantitatively analyzed the monocular and binocular responses of V1 and V2 neurons in a group of strabismic monkeys exhibiting varying depths of amblyopia. Unlike in V1, the relative eff...
Turk, Elise; Scholtens, Lianne H.; van den Heuvel, Martijn P.
The mammalian cortex is a complex system of-at the microscale level-interconnected neurons and-at the macroscale level-interconnected areas, forming the infrastructure for local and global neural processing and information integration. While the effects of regional chemoarchitecture on local
Goulas, A.; Uylings, H.B.M.; Stiers, P.
A consensus on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) holds that it is pivotal for flexible behavior and the integration of the cognitive, affective, and motivational domains. Certain models have been put forth and a dominant model postulates a hierarchical anterior-posterior gradient. The structural
Isabelle Ayumi Spühler
Full Text Available Dopamine transmission in the prefrontal cortex plays an important role in reward based learning, working memory and attention. Dopamine is thought to be released non-synaptically into the extracellular space and to reach distant receptors through diffusion. This simulation study examines how the dopamine signal might be decoded by the recipient neuron. The simulation was based on parameters from the literature and on our own quantified, structural data from macaque prefrontal area 10. The change in extracellular dopamine concentration was estimated at different distances from release sites and related to the affinity of the dopamine receptors. Due to the sparse and random distribution of release sites, a transient heterogeneous pattern of dopamine concentration emerges. Our simulation predicts, however, that at any point in the simulation volume there is sufficient dopamine to bind and activate high-affinity dopamine receptors. We propose that dopamine is broadcast to its distant receptors and any change from the local baseline concentration might be decoded by a transient change in the binding probability of dopamine receptors. Dopamine could thus provide a graduated 'teaching' signal to reinforce concurrently active synapses and cell assemblies. In conditions of highly reduced or highly elevated dopamine levels the simulations predict that relative changes in the dopamine signal can no longer be decoded, which might explain why cognitive deficits are observed in patients with Parkinson's disease, or induced through drugs blocking dopamine reuptake.
Fame, Ryann M; Dehay, Colette; Kennedy, Henry; Macklis, Jeffrey D
Callosal projection neurons (CPN) interconnect the neocortical hemispheres via the corpus callosum and are implicated in associative integration of multimodal information. CPN have undergone differential evolutionary elaboration, leading to increased diversity of cortical neurons-and more extensive and varied connections in neocortical gray and white matter-in primates compared with rodents. In mouse, distinct sets of genes are enriched in discrete subpopulations of CPN, indicating the molecular diversity of rodent CPN. Elements of rodent CPN functional and organizational diversity might thus be present in the further elaborated primate cortex. We address the hypothesis that genes controlling mouse CPN subtype diversity might reflect molecular patterns shared among mammals that arose prior to the divergence of rodents and primates. We find that, while early expression of the examined CPN-enriched genes, and postmigratory expression of these CPN-enriched genes in deep layers are highly conserved (e.g., Ptn, Nnmt, Cited2, Dkk3), in contrast, the examined genes expressed by superficial layer CPN show more variable levels of conservation (e.g., EphA3, Chn2). These results suggest that there has been evolutionarily differential retraction and elaboration of superficial layer CPN subpopulations between mouse and macaque, with independent derivation of novel populations in primates. Together, these data inform future studies regarding CPN subpopulations that are unique to primates and rodents, and indicate putative evolutionary relationships. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Spühler, Isabelle Ayumi; Hauri, Andreas
Dopamine transmission in the prefrontal cortex plays an important role in reward based learning, working memory and attention. Dopamine is thought to be released non-synaptically into the extracellular space and to reach distant receptors through diffusion. This simulation study examines how the dopamine signal might be decoded by the recipient neuron. The simulation was based on parameters from the literature and on our own quantified, structural data from macaque prefrontal area 10. The change in extracellular dopamine concentration was estimated at different distances from release sites and related to the affinity of the dopamine receptors. Due to the sparse and random distribution of release sites, a transient heterogeneous pattern of dopamine concentration emerges. Our simulation predicts, however, that at any point in the simulation volume there is sufficient dopamine to bind and activate high-affinity dopamine receptors. We propose that dopamine is broadcast to its distant receptors and any change from the local baseline concentration might be decoded by a transient change in the binding probability of dopamine receptors. Dopamine could thus provide a graduated ‘teaching’ signal to reinforce concurrently active synapses and cell assemblies. In conditions of highly reduced or highly elevated dopamine levels the simulations predict that relative changes in the dopamine signal can no longer be decoded, which might explain why cognitive deficits are observed in patients with Parkinson’s disease, or induced through drugs blocking dopamine reuptake. PMID:23951205
Krüger, Norbert; Jannsen, Per; Kalkan, S.
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 r...
Scott, Brian H; Saleem, Kadharbatcha S; Kikuchi, Yukiko; Fukushima, Makoto; Mishkin, Mortimer; Saunders, Richard C
In the primate auditory cortex, information flows serially in the mediolateral dimension from core, to belt, to parabelt. In the caudorostral dimension, stepwise serial projections convey information through the primary, rostral, and rostrotemporal (AI, R, and RT) core areas on the supratemporal plane, continuing to the rostrotemporal polar area (RTp) and adjacent auditory-related areas of the rostral superior temporal gyrus (STGr) and temporal pole. In addition to this cascade of corticocortical connections, the auditory cortex receives parallel thalamocortical projections from the medial geniculate nucleus (MGN). Previous studies have examined the projections from MGN to auditory cortex, but most have focused on the caudal core areas AI and R. In this study, we investigated the full extent of connections between MGN and AI, R, RT, RTp, and STGr using retrograde and anterograde anatomical tracers. Both AI and R received nearly 90% of their thalamic inputs from the ventral subdivision of the MGN (MGv; the primary/lemniscal auditory pathway). By contrast, RT received only ∼45% from MGv, and an equal share from the dorsal subdivision (MGd). Area RTp received ∼25% of its inputs from MGv, but received additional inputs from multisensory areas outside the MGN (30% in RTp vs. 1-5% in core areas). The MGN input to RTp distinguished this rostral extension of auditory cortex from the adjacent auditory-related cortex of the STGr, which received 80% of its thalamic input from multisensory nuclei (primarily medial pulvinar). Anterograde tracers identified complementary descending connections by which highly processed auditory information may modulate thalamocortical inputs. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Pesaran, B; Sahami, M; Mitra, P; Andersen, R A
A number of cortical structures are reported to have elevated single unit firing rates sustained throughout the memory period of a working memory task. How the nervous system forms and maintains these memories is unknown but reverberating neuronal network activity is thought to be important. We studied the temporal structure of single unit (SU) activity and simultaneously recorded local field potential (LFP) activity from area LIP in the inferior parietal lobe of two awake macaques during a memory-saccade task. Using multitaper techniques for spectral analysis, which play an important role in obtaining the present results, we find elevations in spectral power in a 50--90 Hz (gamma) frequency band during the memory period in both SU and LFP activity. The activity is tuned to the direction of the saccade providing evidence for temporal structure that codes for movement plans during working memory. We also find SU and LFP activity are coherent during the memory period in the 50--90 Hz gamma band and no consisten...
Vinken, Kasper; Vogels, Rufin
In predictive coding theory, the brain is conceptualized as a prediction machine that constantly constructs and updates expectations of the sensory environment . In the context of this theory, Bell et al. recently studied the effect of the probability of task-relevant stimuli on the activity of macaque inferior temporal (IT) neurons and observed a reduced population response to expected faces in face-selective neurons. They concluded that "IT neurons encode long-term, latent probabilistic information about stimulus occurrence", supporting predictive coding. They manipulated expectation by the frequency of face versus fruit stimuli in blocks of trials. With such a design, stimulus repetition is confounded with expectation. As previous studies showed that IT neurons decrease their response with repetition , such adaptation (or repetition suppression), instead of expectation suppression as assumed by the authors, could explain their effects. The authors attempted to control for this alternative interpretation with a multiple regression approach. Here we show by using simulation that adaptation can still masquerade as expectation effects reported in . Further, the results from the regression model used for most analyses cannot be trusted, because the model is not uniquely defined. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Elkhetali, Abdurahman S.; Vaden, Ryan J.; Pool, Sean M.
The human brain is able to process information flexibly, depending on a person's task. The mechanisms underlying this ability to initiate and maintain a task set are not well understood, but they are important for understanding the flexibility of human behavior and developing therapies for disorders involving attention. Here we investigate the differential roles of early visual cortical areas in initiating and maintaining a task set. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), we characterized three different components of task set-related, but trial-independent activity in retinotopically mapped areas of early visual cortex, while human participants performed attention demanding visual or auditory tasks. These trial-independent effects reflected: (1) maintenance of attention over a long duration, (2) orienting to a cue, and (3) initiation of a task set. Participants performed tasks that differed in the modality of stimulus to be attended (auditory or visual) and in whether there was a simultaneous distractor (auditory only, visual only, or simultaneous auditory and visual). We found that patterns of trial-independent activity in early visual areas (V1, V2, V3, hV4) depend on attended modality, but not on stimuli. Further, different early visual areas play distinct roles in the initiation of a task set. In addition, activity associated with maintaining a task set tracks with a participant's behavior. These results show that trial-independent activity in early visual cortex reflects initiation and maintenance of a person's task set. PMID:25485712
Braga, Rodrigo M; Hellyer, Peter J; Wise, Richard J S; Leech, Robert
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.
Gharbawie, Omar A.; Stepniewska, Iwona; Kaas, Jon H.
The hand representation in primary motor cortex (M1) is instrumental to manual dexterity in primates. In Old World monkeys, rostral and caudal aspects of the hand representation are located in the precentral gyrus and the anterior bank of the central sulcus, respectively. We previously reported the organization of the cortico-cortical connections of the grasp zone in rostral M1. Here we describe the organization of thalamocortical connections that were labeled from the same tracer injections....
Brodtmann, Amy; Puce, Aina; Darby, David; Donnan, Geoffrey
Visual cortical reorganization following injury remains poorly understood. The authors performed serial functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on patients with visual cortex infarction to evaluate early and late striate, ventral, and dorsal extrastriate cortical activation. Patients were studied with fMRI within 10 days and at 6 months. The authors used a high-level visual activation task designed to activate the ventral extrastriate cortex. These data were compared to those of age-appropriate healthy control participants. The results from 24 healthy control individuals (mean age 65.7 +/- SE 3.6 years, range 32-89) were compared to those from 5 stroke patients (mean age 73.8 +/- SE 7 years, range 49-86). Patients had infarcts involving the striate and ventral extrastriate cortex. Patient activation patterns were markedly different to controls. Bilateral striate and ventral extrastriate activation was reduced at both sessions, but dorsal extrastriate activated voxel counts remained comparable to controls. Conversely, mean percent magnetic resonance signal change increased in dorsal sites. These data provide strong evidence of bilateral poststroke functional depression of striate and ventral extrastriate cortices. Possible utilization or surrogacy of the dorsal visual system was demonstrated following stroke. This activity could provide a target for novel visual rehabilitation therapies.
Schupp, Harald T; Junghöfer, Markus; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O
A key function of emotion is the preparation for action. However, organization of successful behavioral strategies depends on efficient stimulus encoding. The present study tested the hypothesis that perceptual encoding in the visual cortex is modulated by the emotional significance of visual stimuli. Event-related brain potentials were measured while subjects viewed pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures. Early selective encoding of pleasant and unpleasant images was associated with a posterior negativity, indicating primary sources of activation in the visual cortex. The study also replicated previous findings in that affective cues also elicited enlarged late positive potentials, indexing increased stimulus relevance at higher-order stages of stimulus processing. These results support the hypothesis that sensory encoding of affective stimuli is facilitated implicitly by natural selective attention. Thus, the affect system not only modulates motor output (i.e., favoring approach or avoidance dispositions), but already operates at an early level of sensory encoding.
Mooser, François; Bosking, William H; Fitzpatrick, David
Feedforward connections are thought to be important in the generation of orientation-selective responses in visual cortex by establishing a bias in the sampling of information from regions of visual space that lie along a neuron's axis of preferred orientation. It remains unclear, however, which structural elements-dendrites or axons-are ultimately responsible for conveying this sampling bias. To explore this question, we have examined the spatial arrangement of feedforward axonal connections that link non-oriented neurons in layer 4 and orientation-selective neurons in layer 2/3 of visual cortex in the tree shrew. Target sites of labeled boutons in layer 2/3 resulting from focal injections of biocytin in layer 4 show an orientation-specific axial bias that is sufficient to confer orientation tuning to layer 2/3 neurons. We conclude that the anisotropic arrangement of axon terminals is the principal source of the orientation bias contributed by feedforward connections.
Aine, C.J.; George, J.S.; Supek, S.; Maclin, E.L.
The major goals of noninvasive studies of the human visual cortex are: to increase knowledge of the functional organization of cortical visual pathways; and to develop noninvasive clinical tests for the assessment of cortical function. Noninvasive techniques suitable for studies of the structure and function of human visual cortex include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission tomography (SPECT), scalp recorded event-related potentials (ERPs), and event-related magnetic fields (ERFs). The primary challenge faced by noninvasive functional measures is to optimize the spatial and temporal resolution of the measurement and analytic techniques in order to effectively characterize the spatial and temporal variations in patterns of neuronal activity. In this paper we review the use of neuromagnetic techniques for this purpose. 8 refs., 3 figs
Gilbert, C; Ito, M; Kapadia, M; Westheimer, G
Attention in early visual processing engages the higher order, context dependent properties of neurons. Even at the earliest stages of visual cortical processing neurons play a role in intermediate level vision - contour integration and surface segmentation. The contextual influences mediating this process may be derived from long range connections within primary visual cortex (V1). These influences are subject to perceptual learning, and are strongly modulated by visuospatial attention, which is itself a learning dependent process. The attentional influences may involve interactions between feedback and horizontal connections in V1. V1 is therefore a dynamic and active processor, subject to top-down influences.
Miki, Atsushi; Abe, Haruki; Nakajima, Takashi; Fujita, Motoi; Watanabe, Hiroyuki; Kuwabara, Takeo; Naruse, Shoji; Takagi, Mineo.
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)
Full Text Available Caitlin R Siu,1 Kathryn M Murphy1,2 1McMaster Integrative Neuroscience Discovery and Study (MiNDS Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; 2Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada Abstract: The primary visual cortex (V1 is the first cortical area that processes visual information. Normal development of V1 depends on binocular vision during the critical period, and age-related losses of vision are linked with neurobiological changes in V1. Animal studies have provided important details about the neurobiological mechanisms in V1 that support normal vision or are changed by visual diseases. There is very little information, however, about those neurobiological mechanisms in human V1. That lack of information has hampered the translation of biologically inspired treatments from preclinical models to effective clinical treatments. We have studied human V1 to characterize the expression of neurobiological mechanisms that regulate visual perception and neuroplasticity. We have identified five stages of development for human V1 that start in infancy and continue across the life span. Here, we describe these stages, compare them with visual and anatomical milestones, and discuss implications for translating treatments for visual disorders that depend on neuroplasticity of V1 function. Keywords: development, human visual cortex, amblyopia, synaptic plasticity, glutamatergic, GABAergic, receptors
Zimmer, Ulrike; Lewald, Jörg; Erb, Michael; Grodd, Wolfgang; Karnath, Hans-Otto
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.
Sneve, Markus H; Alnæs, Dag; Endestad, Tor; Greenlee, Mark W; Magnussen, Svein
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.
Oemisch, Mariann; Johnston, Kevin; Paré, Martin
Working memory is a limited-capacity cognitive process that retains relevant information temporarily to guide thoughts and behavior. A large body of work has suggested that catecholamines exert a major modulatory influence on cognition, but there is only equivocal evidence of a direct influence on working memory ability, which would be reflected in a dependence on working memory load. Here we tested the contribution of catecholamines to working memory by administering a wide range of acute oral doses of the dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor methylphenidate (MPH, 0.1-9 mg/kg) to three female macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta), whose working memory ability was measured from their performance in a visual sequential comparison task. This task allows the systematic manipulation of working memory load, and we therefore tested the specific hypothesis that MPH modulates performance in a manner that depends on both dose and memory load. We found no evidence of a dose- or memory load-dependent effect of MPH on performance. In contrast, significant effects on measures of motivation were observed. These findings suggest that an acute increase in catecholamines does not seem to affect the retention of visual information per se. As such, these results help delimit the effects of MPH on cognition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Pinto, Joshua G. A.; Jones, David G.; Williams, C. Kate; Murphy, Kathryn M.
Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and about alignment of synaptic age between animals and humans, has limited translation of neuroplasticity therapies. In this study, we quantified expression of a set of highly conserved pre- and post-synaptic proteins (Synapsin, Synaptophysin, PSD-95, Gephyrin) and found that synaptic development in human primary visual cortex (V1) continues into late childhood. Indeed, this is many years longer than suggested by neuroanatomical studies and points to a prolonged sensitive period for plasticity in human sensory cortex. In addition, during childhood we found waves of inter-individual variability that are different for the four proteins and include a stage during early development (visual cortex and identified a simple linear equation that provides robust alignment of synaptic age between humans and rats. Alignment of synaptic ages is important for age-appropriate targeting and effective translation of neuroplasticity therapies from the lab to the clinic. PMID:25729353
Martin, Anne B; von der Heydt, Rüdiger
Neurons at early stages of the visual cortex signal elemental features, such as pieces of contour, but how these signals are organized into perceptual objects is unclear. Theories have proposed that spiking synchrony between these neurons encodes how features are grouped (binding-by-synchrony), but recent studies did not find the predicted increase in synchrony with binding. Here we propose that features are grouped to "proto-objects" by intrinsic feedback circuits that enhance the responses of the participating feature neurons. This hypothesis predicts synchrony exclusively between feature neurons that receive feedback from the same grouping circuit. We recorded from neurons in macaque visual cortex and used border-ownership selectivity, an intrinsic property of the neurons, to infer whether or not two neurons are part of the same grouping circuit. We found that binding produced synchrony between same-circuit neurons, but not between other pairs of neurons, as predicted by the grouping hypothesis. In a selective attention task, synchrony emerged with ignored as well as attended objects, and higher synchrony was associated with faster behavioral responses, as would be expected from early grouping mechanisms that provide the structure for object-based processing. Thus, synchrony could be produced by automatic activation of intrinsic grouping circuits. However, the binding-related elevation of synchrony was weak compared with its random fluctuations, arguing against synchrony as a code for binding. In contrast, feedback grouping circuits encode binding by modulating the response strength of related feature neurons. Thus, our results suggest a novel coding mechanism that might underlie the proto-objects of perception. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/356860-11$15.00/0.
Wolf, Richard C; Philippi, Carissa L; Motzkin, Julian C; Baskaya, Mustafa K; Koenigs, Michael
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Huynh, Hieu K; Beers, Caroline; Willemsen, Antoon; Lont, Erna; Laan, Ellen; Dierckx, Rudi; Jansen, Monique; Sand, Michael; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; Holstege, Gert
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.
Saygin, Ayse P.; Lorenzi, Lauren J.; Egan, Ryan; Rees, Geraint; Behrmann, Marlene
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
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
van der Togt, Chris; Stănişor, Liviu; Pooresmaeili, Arezoo; Albantakis, Larissa; Deco, Gustavo; Roelfsema, Pieter R
How do you make a decision if you do not know the rules of the game? Models of sensory decision-making suggest that choices are slow if evidence is weak, but they may only apply if the subject knows the task rules. Here, we asked how the learning of a new rule influences neuronal activity in the visual (area V1) and frontal cortex (area FEF) of monkeys. We devised a new icon-selection task. On each day, the monkeys saw 2 new icons (small pictures) and learned which one was relevant. We rewarded eye movements to a saccade target connected to the relevant icon with a curve. Neurons in visual and frontal cortex coded the monkey's choice, because the representation of the selected curve was enhanced. Learning delayed the neuronal selection signals and we uncovered the cause of this delay in V1, where learning to select the relevant icon caused an early suppression of surrounding image elements. These results demonstrate that the learning of a new rule causes a transition from fast and random decisions to a more considerate strategy that takes additional time and they reveal the contribution of visual and frontal cortex to the learning process. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.
Seirafi, Mehrdad; De Weerd, Peter; Pegna, Alan J; de Gelder, Beatrice
Learning audiovisual associations is mediated by the primary cortical areas; however, recent animal studies suggest that such learning can take place even in the absence of the primary visual cortex. Other studies have demonstrated the involvement of extra-geniculate pathways and especially the superior colliculus (SC) in audiovisual association learning. Here, we investigated such learning in a rare human patient with complete loss of the bilateral striate cortex. We carried out an implicit audiovisual association learning task with two different colors of red and purple (the latter color known to minimally activate the extra-genicular pathway). Interestingly, the patient learned the association between an auditory cue and a visual stimulus only when the unseen visual stimulus was red, but not when it was purple. The current study presents the first evidence showing the possibility of audiovisual association learning in humans with lesioned striate cortex. Furthermore, in line with animal studies, it supports an important role for the SC in audiovisual associative learning.
Kikuchi, Yukiko; Horwitz, Barry; Mishkin, Mortimer; Rauschecker, Josef P
Many speech sounds and animal vocalizations contain components, referred to as complex tones, that consist of a fundamental frequency (F0) and higher harmonics. In this study we examined single-unit activity recorded in the core (A1) and lateral belt (LB) areas of auditory cortex in two rhesus monkeys as they listened to pure tones and pitch-shifted conspecific vocalizations ("coos"). The latter consisted of complex-tone segments in which F0 was matched to a corresponding pure-tone stimulus. In both animals, neuronal latencies to pure-tone stimuli at the best frequency (BF) were ~10 to 15 ms longer in LB than in A1. This might be expected, since LB is considered to be at a hierarchically higher level than A1. On the other hand, the latency of LB responses to coos was ~10 to 20 ms shorter than to the corresponding pure-tone BF, suggesting facilitation in LB by the harmonics. This latency reduction by coos was not observed in A1, resulting in similar coo latencies in A1 and LB. Multi-peaked neurons were present in both A1 and LB; however, harmonically-related peaks were observed in LB for both early and late response components, whereas in A1 they were observed only for late components. Our results suggest that harmonic features, such as relationships between specific frequency intervals of communication calls, are processed at relatively early stages of the auditory cortical pathway, but preferentially in LB.
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
Kubota, Michinori; Sugimoto, Shunji; Hosokawa, Yutaka; Ojima, Hisayuki; Horikawa, Junsei
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.
Chen, Jessie; Reitzen, Shari D; Kohlenstein, Jane B; Gardner, Esther P
Studies of hand manipulation neurons in posterior parietal cortex of monkeys suggest that their spike trains represent objects by the hand postures needed for grasping or by the underlying patterns of muscle activation. To analyze the role of hand kinematics and object properties in a trained prehension task, we correlated the firing rates of neurons in anterior area 5 with hand behaviors as monkeys grasped and lifted knobs of different shapes and locations in the workspace. Trials were divided into four classes depending on the approach trajectory: forward, lateral, and local approaches, and regrasps. The task factors controlled by the animal-how and when he used the hand-appeared to play the principal roles in modulating firing rates of area 5 neurons. In all, 77% of neurons studied (58/75) showed significant effects of approach style on firing rates; 80% of the population responded at higher rates and for longer durations on forward or lateral approaches that included reaching, wrist rotation, and hand preshaping prior to contact, but only 13% distinguished the direction of reach. The higher firing rates in reach trials reflected not only the arm movements needed to direct the hand to the target before contact, but persisted through the contact, grasp, and lift stages. Moreover, the approach style exerted a stronger effect on firing rates than object features, such as shape and location, which were distinguished by half of the population. Forty-three percent of the neurons signaled both the object properties and the hand actions used to acquire them. However, the spread in firing rates evoked by each knob on reach and no-reach trials was greater than distinctions between different objects grasped with the same approach style. Our data provide clear evidence for synergies between reaching and grasping that may facilitate smooth, coordinated actions of the arm and hand.
Pinto, Joshua G. A.; Jones, David G.; Williams, C. Kate; Murphy, Kathryn M.
Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and abo...
Joshua G.A Pinto; David G Jones; Kate eWilliams; Kathryn M Murphy; Kathryn M Murphy
Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and a...
Klein, Carsten; Evrard, Henry C; Shapcott, Katharine A; Haverkamp, Silke; Logothetis, Nikos K; Schmid, Michael C
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.
Tanaka, Shigeru; Moon, Chan-Hong; Fukuda, Mitsuhiro; Kim, Seong-Gi
In the cat primary visual cortex, it is accepted that neurons optimally responding to similar stimulus orientations are clustered in a column extending from the superficial to deep layers. The cerebral cortex is, however, folded inside a skull, which makes gyri and fundi. The primary visual area of cats, area 17, is located on the fold of the cortex called the lateral gyrus. These facts raise the question of how to reconcile the tangential arrangement of the orientation columns with the curvature of the gyrus. In the present study, we show a possible configuration of feature representation in the visual cortex using a three-dimensional (3D) self-organization model. We took into account preferred orientation, preferred direction, ocular dominance and retinotopy, assuming isotropic interaction. We performed computer simulation only in the middle layer at the beginning and expanded the range of simulation gradually to other layers, which was found to be a unique method in the present model for obtaining orientation columns spanning all the layers in the flat cortex. Vertical columns of preferred orientations were found in the flat parts of the model cortex. On the other hand, in the curved parts, preferred orientations were represented in wedge-like columns rather than straight columns, and preferred directions were frequently reversed in the deeper layers. Singularities associated with orientation representation appeared as warped lines in the 3D model cortex. Direction reversal appeared on the sheets that were delimited by orientation-singularity lines. These structures emerged from the balance between periodic arrangements of preferred orientations and vertical alignment of the same orientations. Our theoretical predictions about orientation representation were confirmed by multi-slice, high-resolution functional MRI in the cat visual cortex. We obtained a close agreement between theoretical predictions and experimental observations. The present study throws a
Full Text Available Pooja Balaram, Nicole A Young, Jon H Kaas Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA Abstract: The layers and sublayers of primary visual cortex, or V1, in primates are easily distinguishable compared to those in other cortical areas, and are especially distinct in anthropoid primates – monkeys, apes, and humans – where they also vary in histological appearance. This variation in primate-specific specialization has led to a longstanding confusion over the identity of layer 4 and its proposed sublayers in V1. As the application of different histological markers relate to the issue of defining and identifying layers and sublayers, we applied four traditional and four more recent histological markers to brain sections of V1 and adjoining secondary visual cortex (V2 in macaque monkeys, chimpanzees, and humans in order to compare identifiable layers and sublayers in both cortical areas across these species. The use of Nissl, neuronal nuclear antigen (NeuN, Gallyas myelin, cytochrome oxidase (CO, acetylcholinesterase (AChE, nonphosphorylated neurofilament H (SMI-32, parvalbumin (PV, and vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2 preparations support the conclusion that the most popular scheme of V1 lamination, that of Brodmann, misidentifies sublayers of layer 3 (3Bβ and 3C as sublayers of layer 4 (4A and 4B, and that the specialized sublayer of layer 3 in monkeys, 3Bβ, is not present in humans. These differences in interpretation are important as they relate to the proposed functions of layer 4 in primate species, where layer 4 of V1 is a layer that receives and processes information from the visual thalamus, and layer 3 is a layer that transforms and distributes information to other cortical areas. Keywords: area 17, area 18, cortical layers, histology, immunohistochemistry
Balaram, Pooja; Young, Nicole A; Kaas, Jon H
The layers and sublayers of primary visual cortex, or V1, in primates are easily distinguishable compared to those in other cortical areas, and are especially distinct in anthropoid primates - monkeys, apes, and humans - where they also vary in histological appearance. This variation in primate-specific specialization has led to a longstanding confusion over the identity of layer 4 and its proposed sublayers in V1. As the application of different histological markers relate to the issue of defining and identifying layers and sublayers, we applied four traditional and four more recent histological markers to brain sections of V1 and adjoining secondary visual cortex (V2) in macaque monkeys, chimpanzees, and humans in order to compare identifiable layers and sublayers in both cortical areas across these species. The use of Nissl, neuronal nuclear antigen (NeuN), Gallyas myelin, cytochrome oxidase (CO), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), nonphosphorylated neurofilament H (SMI-32), parvalbumin (PV), and vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) preparations support the conclusion that the most popular scheme of V1 lamination, that of Brodmann, misidentifies sublayers of layer 3 (3Bβ and 3C) as sublayers of layer 4 (4A and 4B), and that the specialized sublayer of layer 3 in monkeys, 3Bβ, is not present in humans. These differences in interpretation are important as they relate to the proposed functions of layer 4 in primate species, where layer 4 of V1 is a layer that receives and processes information from the visual thalamus, and layer 3 is a layer that transforms and distributes information to other cortical areas.
Indovina, Iole; Maffei, Vincenzo; Bosco, Gianfranco; Zago, Myrka; Macaluso, Emiliano; Lacquaniti, Francesco
How do we perceive the visual motion of objects that are accelerated by gravity? We propose that, because vision is poorly sensitive to accelerations, an internal model that calculates the effects of gravity is derived from graviceptive information, is stored in the vestibular cortex, and is activated by visual motion that appears to be coherent with natural gravity. The acceleration of visual targets was manipulated while brain activity was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging. In agreement with the internal model hypothesis, we found that the vestibular network was selectively engaged when acceleration was consistent with natural gravity. These findings demonstrate that predictive mechanisms of physical laws of motion are represented in the human brain.
Breitenseher, M.; Prayer Wimberger, D.; Trattnig, S.; Kramer, J.; Uhl, F.; Deecke, L.
MRI was used to study possible morphological changes in the visual system in 12 patients suffering from congenital blindness of peripheral (ocular) origin. While their optical pathways showed degeneration, hypoplasia or atrophy in 7 out of 12 cases, the occipital cortex appeared normal in all cases. This dissociation between afferent pathways and the cortex is contrary to the assumption that visually deprived cortex may undergo degeneration. The finding is congruent with evidence that the occipital cortex is used for other, nonvisual functions. (orig.)
Bridge, Holly; Thomas, Owen M; Minini, Loredana; Cavina-Pratesi, Cristiana; Milner, A David; Parker, Andrew J
Loss of shape recognition in visual-form agnosia occurs without equivalent losses in the use of vision to guide actions, providing support for the hypothesis of two visual systems (for "perception" and "action"). The human individual DF received a toxic exposure to carbon monoxide some years ago, which resulted in a persisting visual-form agnosia that has been extensively characterized at the behavioral level. We conducted a detailed high-resolution MRI study of DF's cortex, combining structural and functional measurements. We present the first accurate quantification of the changes in thickness across DF's occipital cortex, finding the most substantial loss in the lateral occipital cortex (LOC). There are reduced white matter connections between LOC and other areas. Functional measures show pockets of activity that survive within structurally damaged areas. The topographic mapping of visual areas showed that ordered retinotopic maps were evident for DF in the ventral portions of visual cortical areas V1, V2, V3, and hV4. Although V1 shows evidence of topographic order in its dorsal portion, such maps could not be found in the dorsal parts of V2 and V3. We conclude that it is not possible to understand fully the deficits in object perception in visual-form agnosia without the exploitation of both structural and functional measurements. Our results also highlight for DF the cortical routes through which visual information is able to pass to support her well-documented abilities to use visual information to guide actions.
Joshua G.A Pinto
Full Text Available Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and about alignment of synaptic age between animals and humans, has limited translation of neuroplasticity therapies. In this study, we quantified expression of a set of highly conserved pre- and post-synaptic proteins (Synapsin, Synaptophysin, PSD-95, Gephyrin and found that synaptic development in human primary visual cortex continues into late childhood. Indeed, this is many years longer than suggested by neuroanatomical studies and points to a prolonged sensitive period for plasticity in human sensory cortex. In addition, during childhood we found waves of inter-individual variability that are different for the 4 proteins and include a stage during early development (<1 year when only Gephyrin has high inter-individual variability. We also found that pre- and post-synaptic protein balances develop quickly, suggesting that maturation of certain synaptic functions happens within the first year or two of life. A multidimensional analysis (principle component analysis showed that most of the variance was captured by the sum of the 4 synaptic proteins. We used that sum to compare development of human and rat visual cortex and identified a simple linear equation that provides robust alignment of synaptic age between humans and rats. Alignment of synaptic ages is important for age-appropriate targeting and effective translation of neuroplasticity therapies from the lab to the clinic.
Jonas, Jacques; Frismand, Solène; Vignal, Jean-Pierre; Colnat-Coulbois, Sophie; Koessler, Laurent; Vespignani, Hervé; Rossion, Bruno; Maillard, Louis
Electrical brain stimulation can provide important information about the functional organization of the human visual cortex. Here, we report the visual phenomena evoked by a large number (562) of intracerebral electrical stimulations performed at low-intensity with depth electrodes implanted in the occipito-parieto-temporal cortex of 22 epileptic patients. Focal electrical stimulation evoked primarily visual hallucinations with various complexities: simple (spot or blob), intermediary (geometric forms), or complex meaningful shapes (faces); visual illusions and impairments of visual recognition were more rarely observed. With the exception of the most posterior cortical sites, the probability of evoking a visual phenomenon was significantly higher in the right than the left hemisphere. Intermediary and complex hallucinations, illusions, and visual recognition impairments were almost exclusively evoked by stimulation in the right hemisphere. The probability of evoking a visual phenomenon decreased substantially from the occipital pole to the most anterior sites of the temporal lobe, and this decrease was more pronounced in the left hemisphere. The greater sensitivity of the right occipito-parieto-temporal regions to intracerebral electrical stimulation to evoke visual phenomena supports a predominant role of right hemispheric visual areas from perception to recognition of visual forms, regardless of visuospatial and attentional factors. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Baldassarre, Antonello; Capotosto, Paolo; Committeri, Giorgia; Corbetta, Maurizio
The ability to learn and process visual stimuli more efficiently is important for survival. Previous neuroimaging studies have shown that perceptual learning on a shape identification task differently modulates activity in both frontal-parietal cortical regions and visual cortex (Sigman et al., 2005;Lewis et al., 2009). Specifically, fronto-parietal regions (i.e. intra parietal sulcus, pIPS) became less activated for trained as compared to untrained stimuli, while visual regions (i.e. V2d/V3 and LO) exhibited higher activation for familiar shape. Here, after the intensive training, we employed transcranial magnetic stimulation over both visual occipital and parietal regions, previously shown to be modulated, to investigate their causal role in learning the shape identification task. We report that interference with V2d/V3 and LO increased reaction times to learned stimuli as compared to pIPS and Sham control condition. Moreover, the impairment observed after stimulation over the two visual regions was positive correlated. These results strongly support the causal role of the visual network in the control of the perceptual learning. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dorph-Petersen, Karl-Anton; Pierri, Joseph H.; Wu, Qiang
A number of studies that assessed the visual system in subjects with schizophrenia found impairments in early visual processing. Furthermore, functional imaging studies suggested changes in primary visual cortex activity in subjects with schizophrenia. Interestingly, postmortem studies of subject...
Wannig, Aurel; Stanisor, Liviu; Roelfsema, Pieter R.
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
Stigliani, Anthony; Jeska, Brianna; Grill-Spector, Kalanit
How is temporal information processed in human visual cortex? Visual input is relayed to V1 through segregated transient and sustained channels in the retina and lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). However, there is intense debate as to how sustained and transient temporal channels contribute to visual processing beyond V1. The prevailing view associates transient processing predominately with motion-sensitive regions and sustained processing with ventral stream regions, while the opposing view suggests that both temporal channels contribute to neural processing beyond V1. Using fMRI, we measured cortical responses to time-varying stimuli and then implemented a two temporal channel-encoding model to evaluate the contributions of each channel. Different from the general linear model of fMRI that predicts responses directly from the stimulus, the encoding approach first models neural responses to the stimulus from which fMRI responses are derived. This encoding approach not only predicts cortical responses to time-varying stimuli from milliseconds to seconds but also, reveals differential contributions of temporal channels across visual cortex. Consistent with the prevailing view, motion-sensitive regions and adjacent lateral occipitotemporal regions are dominated by transient responses. However, ventral occipitotemporal regions are driven by both sustained and transient channels, with transient responses exceeding the sustained. These findings propose a rethinking of temporal processing in the ventral stream and suggest that transient processing may contribute to rapid extraction of the content of the visual input. Importantly, our encoding approach has vast implications, because it can be applied with fMRI to decipher neural computations in millisecond resolution in any part of the brain. Copyright © 2017 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.
Huang, Z; Zhang, J X; Yang, Z; Dong, G; Wu, J; Chan, A S; Weng, X
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.
Langkilde, Annika Reynberg; Frederiksen, J.L.; Rostrup, Egill
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...
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.
Prechtl, J. C.; Cohen, L. B.; Pesaran, B.; Mitra, P. P.; Kleinfeld, D.
The computations involved in the processing of a visual scene invariably involve the interactions among neurons throughout all of visual cortex. One hypothesis is that the timing of neuronal activity, as well as the amplitude of activity, provides a means to encode features of objects. The experimental data from studies on cat [Gray, C. M., Konig, P., Engel, A. K. & Singer, W. (1989) Nature (London) 338, 334-337] support a view in which only synchronous (no phase lags) activity carries information about the visual scene. In contrast, theoretical studies suggest, on the one hand, the utility of multiple phases within a population of neurons as a means to encode independent visual features and, on the other hand, the likely existence of timing differences solely on the basis of network dynamics. Here we use widefield imaging in conjunction with voltage-sensitive dyes to record electrical activity from the virtually intact, unanesthetized turtle brain. Our data consist of single-trial measurements. We analyze our data in the frequency domain to isolate coherent events that lie in different frequency bands. Low frequency oscillations (scale differences in neuronal timing are present and persistent during visual processing.
Kamke, Marc R; Hall, Michelle G; Lye, Hayley F; Sale, Martin V; Fenlon, Laura R; Carroll, Timothy J; Riek, Stephan; Mattingley, Jason B
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.
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.
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.
Dundon, Neil Michael; Katshu, Mohammad Zia Ul Haq; Harry, Bronson; Roberts, Daniel; Leek, E Charles; Downing, Paul; Sapir, Ayelet; Roberts, Craig; d'Avossa, Giovanni
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: email@example.com.
Schepers, Inga M.; Hipp, Joerg F.; Schneider, Till R.; Roder, Brigitte; Engel, Andreas K.
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…
Zwickel, Timm; Wachtler, Thomas; Eckhorn, Reinhard
Before we can recognize a visual object, our visual system has to segregate it from its background. This requires a fast mechanism for establishing the presence and location of objects independently of their identity. Recently, border-ownership neurons were recorded in monkey visual cortex which might be involved in this task [Zhou, H., Friedmann, H., von der Heydt, R., 2000. Coding of border ownership in monkey visual cortex. J. Neurosci. 20 (17), 6594-6611]. In order to explain the basic mechanisms required for fast coding of object presence, we have developed a neural network model of visual cortex consisting of three stages. Feed-forward and lateral connections support coding of Gestalt properties, including similarity, good continuation, and convexity. Neurons of the highest area respond to the presence of an object and encode its position, invariant of its form. Feedback connections to the lowest area facilitate orientation detectors activated by contours belonging to potential objects, and thus generate the experimentally observed border-ownership property. This feedback control acts fast and significantly improves the figure-ground segregation required for the consecutive task of object recognition.
Lou, Astrid R.; Madsen, Kristoffer Hougaard; Julian, Hanne O.
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 by res...... of visual input from both eyes. We conclude that activity-dependent cortical plasticity is preserved in the ageing visual cortex and may be triggered by restoring impaired vision.......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...
Salmela, Viljami R; Vanni, Simo
Several psychophysical studies have shown that transparency can have drastic effects on brightness and lightness. However, the neural processes generating these effects have remained unresolved. Several lines of evidence suggest that the early visual cortex is important for brightness perception. While single cell recordings suggest that surface brightness is represented in the primary visual cortex, the results of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have been discrepant. In addition, the location of the neural representation of transparency is not yet known. We investigated whether the fMRI responses in areas V1, V2, and V3 correlate with brightness and transparency. To dissociate the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response to brightness from the response to local border contrast and mean luminance, we used variants of White's brightness illusion, both opaque and transparent, in which luminance increments and decrements cancel each other out. The stimuli consisted of a target surface and a surround. The surround luminance was always sinusoidally modulated at 0.5 Hz to induce brightness modulation to the target. The target luminance was constant or modulated in counterphase to null brightness modulation. The mean signal changes were calculated from the voxels in V1, V2, and V3 corresponding to the retinotopic location of the target surface. The BOLD responses were significantly stronger for modulating brightness than for stimuli with constant brightness. In addition, the responses were stronger for transparent than for opaque stimuli, but there was more individual variation. No interaction between brightness and transparency was found. The results show that the early visual areas V1-V3 are sensitive to surface brightness and transparency and suggest that brightness and transparency are represented separately.
Almeida, Jorge; He, Dongjun; Chen, Quanjing; Mahon, Bradford Z.; Zhang, Fan; Gonçalves, Óscar F.; Fang, Fang; Bi, Yanchao
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
Berger, B.; Trottier, S.; Verney, C.; Gaspar, P.; Alvarez, C.
The regional density and laminar distribution of dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) afferents were investigated in the cerebral cortex of cynomolgus monkeys using a radioautographic technique that is based on the high affinity uptake capacity of these aminergic neurons. Large vibratome sections, 50 micron thick, were incubated with [3H] DA (0.2 microM) and desipramine (5 microM) or with unlabeled norepinephrine (5 microM) and [3H] 5-HT (0.6 microM), which allowed for the specific labeling of the DA and 5-HT innervations, respectively. After fixation, these sections were dried, defatted, and radioautographed by dipping. Semiquantitative data on the DA innervation also were provided by counting [3H] DA-labeled axonal varicosities in radioautographs from 4-micron-thick sections of the slices obtained after epon embedding. The DA innervation was widespread and differed in density and laminar distribution in the agranular and granular cortices. DA afferents were densest in the anterior cingulate (area 24) and the motor areas (areas 4, 6, and supplementary motor area [SMA]). In the latter they displayed a trilaminar pattern of distribution, predominating in layers I, IIIa, and V-VI, with characteristic cluster-like formations in layer IIIa, especially in the medial part of motor areas. In the granular prefrontal (areas 46, 9, 10, 11, 12), parietal (areas 1, 2, 3, 5, 7), temporal (areas 21, 22), and posterior cingulate (area 23) cortices, DA afferents were less dense and showed a bilaminar pattern of distribution, predominating in the depth of layer I and in layers V-VI; density in layers II, III, and IV was only 20% of that in layer I. The lowest density was in the visual cortex, particularly in area 17, where the DA afferents were almost restricted to layer I
McTeague, Lisa M; Gruss, L Forest; Keil, Andreas
The responses of sensory cortical neurons are shaped by experience. As a result perceptual biases evolve, selectively facilitating the detection and identification of sensory events that are relevant for adaptive behaviour. Here we examine the involvement of human visual cortex in the formation of learned perceptual biases. We use classical aversive conditioning to associate one out of a series of oriented gratings with a noxious sound stimulus. After as few as two grating-sound pairings, visual cortical responses to the sound-paired grating show selective amplification. Furthermore, as learning progresses, responses to the orientations with greatest similarity to the sound-paired grating are increasingly suppressed, suggesting inhibitory interactions between orientation-selective neuronal populations. Changes in cortical connectivity between occipital and fronto-temporal regions mirror the changes in visuo-cortical response amplitudes. These findings suggest that short-term behaviourally driven retuning of human visual cortical neurons involves distal top-down projections as well as local inhibitory interactions.
Mizuguchi, Nobuaki; Nakamura, Maiko; Kanosue, Kazuyuki
Motor imagery can be divided into kinesthetic and visual aspects. In the present study, we investigated excitability in the corticospinal tract and primary visual cortex (V1) during kinesthetic and visual motor imagery. To accomplish this, we measured motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and probability of phosphene occurrence during the two types of motor imageries of finger tapping. The MEPs and phosphenes were induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation to the primary motor cortex and V1, respectively. The amplitudes of MEPs and probability of phosphene occurrence during motor imagery were normalized based on the values obtained at rest. Corticospinal excitability increased during both kinesthetic and visual motor imagery, while excitability in V1 was increased only during visual motor imagery. These results imply that modulation of cortical excitability during kinesthetic and visual motor imagery is task dependent. The present finding aids in the understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying motor imagery and provides useful information for the use of motor imagery in rehabilitation or motor imagery training. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bi, H; Zhang, B; Tao, X; Harwerth, R S; Smith, E L; Chino, Y M
Amblyopia, a developmental disorder of spatial vision, is thought to result from a cascade of cortical deficits over several processing stages beginning at the primary visual cortex (V1). However, beyond V1, little is known about how cortical development limits the visual performance of amblyopic primates. We quantitatively analyzed the monocular and binocular responses of V1 and V2 neurons in a group of strabismic monkeys exhibiting varying depths of amblyopia. Unlike in V1, the relative effectiveness of the affected eye to drive V2 neurons was drastically reduced in the amblyopic monkeys. The spatial resolution and the orientation bias of V2, but not V1, neurons were subnormal for the affected eyes. Binocular suppression was robust in both cortical areas, and the magnitude of suppression in individual monkeys was correlated with the depth of their amblyopia. These results suggest that the reduced functional connections beyond V1 and the subnormal spatial filter properties of V2 neurons might have substantially limited the sensitivity of the amblyopic eyes and that interocular suppression was likely to have played a key role in the observed alterations of V2 responses and the emergence of amblyopia.
Thompson, Benjamin; Mansouri, Behzad; Koski, Lisa; Hess, Robert F
Noninvasive brain stimulation is a technique for inducing changes in the excitability of discrete neural populations in the human brain. A current model of the underlying pathological processes contributing to the loss of motor function after stroke has motivated a number of research groups to investigate the potential therapeutic application of brain stimulation to stroke rehabilitation. The loss of motor function is modeled as resulting from a combination of reduced excitability in the lesioned motor cortex and an increased inhibitory drive from the nonlesioned hemisphere over the lesioned hemisphere. This combination of impaired neural function and pathological suppression resonates with current views on the cause of the visual impairment in amblyopia. Here, we discuss how the rationale for using noninvasive brain stimulation in stroke rehabilitation can be applied to amblyopia, review a proof-of-principle study demonstrating that brain stimulation can temporarily improve amblyopic eye function, and propose future research avenues. Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Full Text Available Alexander Maier,1 Michele A Cox,1 Kacie Dougherty,1 Brandon Moore,1 David A Leopold2 1Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA; 2Section on Cognitive Neurophysiology and Imaging, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA Abstract: The mammalian neocortex features distinct anatomical variation in its tangential and radial extents. This review consolidates previously published findings from our group in order to compare and contrast the spatial profile of neural activity coherence across these distinct cortical dimensions. We focus on studies of ongoing local field potential (LFP data obtained simultaneously from multiple sites in the primary visual cortex in two types of experiments in which electrode contacts were spaced either along the cortical surface or at different laminar positions. These studies demonstrate that across both dimensions the coherence of ongoing LFP fluctuations diminishes as a function of interelectrode distance, although the nature and spatial scale of this falloff is very different. Along the cortical surface, the overall LFP coherence declines gradually and continuously away from a given position. In contrast, across the cortical layers, LFP coherence is discontinuous and compartmentalized as a function of depth. Specifically, regions of high LFP coherence fall into discrete superficial and deep laminar zones, with an abrupt discontinuity between the granular and infragranular layers. This spatial pattern of ongoing LFP coherence is similar when animals are at rest and when they are engaged in a behavioral task. These results point to the existence of partially segregated laminar zones of cortical processing that extend tangentially within the laminar compartments and are thus oriented orthogonal to the cortical columns. We interpret these electrophysiological observations in light of the known anatomical organization of
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.
Full Text Available Non-extrastriate projections to area V1 in monkeys, now demonstrated by several anatomical studies, are potential substrates of physiologically documented multisensory effects in primary sensory areas. The full network of projections among association and primary areas, however, is likely to be complex and is still only partially understood. In the present report, we used the anterograde tracer biotinylated dextran amine to investigate projections to areas V1 and V2 from subdivisions of the parietal association cortex in macaque. Parietal cortex was chosen to allow comparisons between projections from this higher association area and from other previously reported areas. In addition, we were interested in further elucidating pathways to areas V1 and V2 from parietal areas, as potentially contributing to attention and active vision. Of eight cases, three brains had projections only to area V2, and the five others projected to both areas V1 and V2. Terminations in area V1 were sparse. These were located in supragranular layers I, II, upper III; occasionally in IVB; and in layer VI. Terminations in V2 were denser, and slightly more prevalent in the supragranular layers. For both areas, terminations were in the calcarine region, corresponding to the representation of the peripheral visual field. By reconstructions of single axons, we demonstrated that four of nine axons had collaterals, either to V1 and V2 (n=1 or to area V1 and a ventral area likely to be TEO (n=3. In area V1, axons extended divergently in layer VI as well as layer I. Overall, these and previous results suggest a nested connectivity architecture, consisting of multiple direct and indirect recurrent projections from association areas to area V1. Terminations in area V1 are not abundant, but could be potentiated by the network of indirect connections.
The primary visual cortex (V1) is traditionally viewed as remote from influencing brain's motor outputs. However, V1 provides the most abundant cortical inputs directly to the sensory layers of superior colliculus (SC), a midbrain structure to command visual orienting such as shifting gaze and turning heads. I will show physiological, anatomical, and behavioral data suggesting that V1 transforms visual input into a saliency map to guide a class of visual orienting that is reflexive or involuntary. In particular, V1 receives a retinotopic map of visual features, such as orientation, color, and motion direction of local visual inputs; local interactions between V1 neurons perform a local-to-global computation to arrive at a saliency map that highlights conspicuous visual locations by higher V1 responses. The conspicuous location are usually, but not always, where visual input statistics changes. The population V1 outputs to SC, which is also retinotopic, enables SC to locate, by lateral inhibition between SC neurons, the most salient location as the saccadic target. Experimental tests of this hypothesis will be shown. Variations of the neural circuit for visual orienting across animal species, with more or less V1 involvement, will be discussed. Supported by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation.
Malkova, Ludise; Kozikowski, Alan P.; Gale, Karen
Nootropic agents or cognitive enhancers are purported to improve mental functions such as cognition, memory, or attention. The aim of our study was to determine the effects of two possible cognitive enhancers, huperzine A and IDRA 21, in normal young adult monkeys performing a visual memory task of varying degrees of difficulty. Huperzine A is a reversible acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor, its administration results in regionally specific increases in acetylcholine levels in the brain. In human clinical trials, Huperzine A resulted in cognitive improvement in patients with mild to moderate form of Alzheimer's disease (AD) showing its potential as a palliative agent in the treatment of AD. IDRA 21 is a positive allosteric modulator of glutamate AMPA receptors. It increases excitatory synaptic strength by attenuating rapid desensitization of AMPA receptors and may thus have beneficial therapeutic effects to ameliorate memory deficits in patients with cognitive impairments, including AD. The present study evaluated the effects of the two drugs in normal, intact, young adult monkeys to determine whether they can result in cognitive enhancement in a system that is presumably functioning optimally. Six young pigtail macaques (Macaca nemestrina) were trained on delayed non-matching-to-sample task, a measure of visual recognition memory, up to criterion of 90% correct responses on each of the four delays (10s, 30s, 60s, and 90s). They were then tested on two versions of the task: Task 1 included the four delays intermixed within a session and the monkeys performed it with the accuracy of 90%. Task 2 included, in each of 24 trials, a list of six objects presented in succession. Two objects from the list were then presented for choice paired with novel objects and following two of the four delays intermixed within a session. This task with a higher mnemonic demand yielded an average performance of 64% correct. Oral administration of huperzine A did not significantly
van de Ven, Vincent; Sack, Alexander T
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.
Langkilde, Annika Reynberg; Frederiksen, J.L.; Rostrup, Egill
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...... 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...
Ishikawa, Nobuyoshi; Satou, Motohiro; Takeda, Tohoru; Itai, Yuji; Nishijo, Kazushi.
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)
Lee, Wonhye; Kim, Hyun-Chul; Jung, Yujin; Chung, Yong An; Song, In-Uk; Lee, Jong-Hwan; Yoo, Seung-Schik
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.
Walker, Gary A; Ohzawa, Izumi; Freeman, Ralph D
By definition, the region outside the classical receptive field (CRF) of a neuron in the visual cortex does not directly activate the cell. However, the response of a neuron can be influenced by stimulation of the surrounding area. In previous work, we showed that this influence is mainly suppressive and that it is generally limited to a local region outside the CRF. In the experiments reported here, we investigate the mechanisms of the suppressive effect. Our approach is to find the position of a grating patch that is most effective in suppressing the response of a cell. We then use a masking stimulus at different contrasts over the grating patch in an attempt to disinhibit the response. We find that suppressive effects may be partially or completely reversed by use of the masking stimulus. This disinhibition suggests that effects from outside the CRF may be local. Although they do not necessarily underlie the perceptual analysis of a figure-ground visual scene, they may provide a substrate for this process.
Breitenseher, M.; Prayer Wimberger, D.; Trattnig, S.; Kramer, J. [MR-Institute of the Medical Faculty and Clinic for Diagnostic Radiology, University of Vienna (Austria); Uhl, F.; Deecke, L. [Department of Neurology, University of Vienna (Austria)
MRI was used to study possible morphological changes in the visual system in 12 patients suffering from congenital blindness of peripheral (ocular) origin. While their optical pathways showed degeneration, hypoplasia or atrophy in 7 out of 12 cases, the occipital cortex appeared normal in all cases. This dissociation between afferent pathways and the cortex is contrary to the assumption that visually deprived cortex may undergo degeneration. The finding is congruent with evidence that the occipital cortex is used for other, nonvisual functions. (orig.) With 3 figs., 1 tab., 23 refs.
Stenner, Max-Philipp; Bauer, Markus; Haggard, Patrick; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Dolan, Ray
The perceived intensity of sensory stimuli is reduced when these stimuli are caused by the observer's actions. This phenomenon is traditionally explained by forward models of sensory action-outcome, which arise from motor processing. Although these forward models critically predict anticipatory modulation of sensory neural processing, neurophysiological evidence for anticipatory modulation is sparse and has not been linked to perceptual data showing sensory attenuation. By combining a psychophysical task involving contrast discrimination with source-level time-frequency analysis of MEG data, we demonstrate that the amplitude of alpha-oscillations in visual cortex is enhanced before the onset of a visual stimulus when the identity and onset of the stimulus are controlled by participants' motor actions. Critically, this prestimulus enhancement of alpha-amplitude is paralleled by psychophysical judgments of a reduced contrast for this stimulus. We suggest that alpha-oscillations in visual cortex preceding self-generated visual stimulation are a likely neurophysiological signature of motor-induced sensory anticipation and mediate sensory attenuation. We discuss our results in relation to proposals that attribute generic inhibitory functions to alpha-oscillations in prioritizing and gating sensory information via top-down control.
Annie Wai Yiu Chan
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.
Schindler, Sebastian; Kissler, Johanna
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.
Pearce, Eiluned; Bridge, Holly
In humans orbital volume increases linearly with absolute latitude. Scaling across mammals between visual system components suggests that these larger orbits should translate into larger eyes and visual cortices in high latitude humans. Larger eyes at high latitudes may be required to maintain adequate visual acuity and enhance visual sensitivity under lower light levels. To test the assumption that orbital volume can accurately index eyeball and visual cortex volumes specifically in humans. Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) techniques are employed to measure eye and orbit (n = 88) and brain and visual cortex (n = 99) volumes in living humans. Facial dimensions and foramen magnum area (a proxy for body mass) were also measured. A significant positive linear relationship was found between (i) orbital and eyeball volumes, (ii) eyeball and visual cortex grey matter volumes and (iii) different visual cortical areas, independently of overall brain volume. In humans the components of the visual system scale from orbit to eye to visual cortex volume independently of overall brain size. These findings indicate that orbit volume can index eye and visual cortex volume in humans, suggesting that larger high latitude orbits do translate into larger visual cortices.
Zhe Charles Zhou; Chunxiu Yu; Kristin K. Sellers; Flavio Fröhlich
Visual discrimination requires sensory processing followed by a perceptual decision. Despite a growing understanding of visual areas in this behavior, it is unclear what role top-down signals from prefrontal cortex play, in particular as a function of perceptual difficulty. To address this gap, we investigated how neurons in dorso-lateral frontal cortex (dl-FC) of freely-moving ferrets encode task variables in a two-alternative forced choice visual discrimination task with high- and low-contr...
López‐Hidalgo, Mónica; Hoover, Walter B.
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
Han, Yunyun; Kebschull, Justus M; Campbell, Robert A A; Cowan, Devon; Imhof, Fabia; Zador, Anthony M; Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas D
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.
Full Text Available Humans can easily understand other people's actions through visual systems, while computers cannot. Therefore, a new bio-inspired computational model is proposed in this paper aiming for automatic action recognition. The model focuses on dynamic properties of neurons and neural networks in the primary visual cortex (V1, and simulates the procedure of information processing in V1, which consists of visual perception, visual attention and representation of human action. In our model, a family of the three-dimensional spatial-temporal correlative Gabor filters is used to model the dynamic properties of the classical receptive field of V1 simple cell tuned to different speeds and orientations in time for detection of spatiotemporal information from video sequences. Based on the inhibitory effect of stimuli outside the classical receptive field caused by lateral connections of spiking neuron networks in V1, we propose surround suppressive operator to further process spatiotemporal information. Visual attention model based on perceptual grouping is integrated into our model to filter and group different regions. Moreover, in order to represent the human action, we consider the characteristic of the neural code: mean motion map based on analysis of spike trains generated by spiking neurons. The experimental evaluation on some publicly available action datasets and comparison with the state-of-the-art approaches demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed model.
Alyssa A. Brewer
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.
Baseler, Heidi A.; Gouws, Andre; Haak, Koen V.; Racey, Christopher; Crossland, Michael D.; Tufail, Adnan; Rubin, Gary S.; Cornelissen, Frans W.; Morland, Antony B.
The occipital lobe contains retinotopic representations of the visual field. The representation of the central retina in early visual areas (V1-3) is found at the occipital pole. When the central retina is lesioned in both eyes by macular degeneration, this region of visual cortex at the occipital
Hales, Jena B.; Broadbent, Nicola J.; Velu, Priya D.; Squire, Larry R.; Clark, Robert E.
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…
Nishimura, Masataka; Song, Wen-Jie
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
Becke, Andreas; Müller, Notger; Vellage, Anne; Schoenfeld, Mircea Ariel; Hopf, Jens-Max
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.
Full Text Available AIM: To explore changes and possible communication relationship of local potential signals recorded simultaneously from retina and visual cortex I (V1. METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSION: 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.
Chang, Li-Hung; Yotsumoto, Yuko; Salat, David H; Andersen, George J; Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka
Although normal aging is known to reduce cortical structures globally, the effects of aging on local structures and functions of early visual cortex are less understood. Here, using standard retinotopic mapping and magnetic resonance imaging morphologic analyses, we investigated whether aging affects areal size of the early visual cortex, which were retinotopically localized, and whether those morphologic measures were associated with individual performance on visual perceptual learning. First, significant age-associated reduction was found in the areal size of V1, V2, and V3. Second, individual ability of visual perceptual learning was significantly correlated with areal size of V3 in older adults. These results demonstrate that aging changes local structures of the early visual cortex, and the degree of change may be associated with individual visual plasticity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Yang, Xu; Gong, Bo; Lu, Jian-Wei
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.
Chen, Ling-Chia; Sandmann, Pascale; Thorne, Jeremy D; Bleichner, Martin G; Debener, Stefan
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.
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.
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
Hunt, Jonathan J; Dayan, Peter; Goodhill, Geoffrey J
Receptive fields acquired through unsupervised learning of sparse representations of natural scenes have similar properties to primary visual cortex (V1) simple cell receptive fields. However, what drives in vivo development of receptive fields remains controversial. The strongest evidence for the importance of sensory experience in visual development comes from receptive field changes in animals reared with abnormal visual input. However, most sparse coding accounts have considered only normal visual input and the development of monocular receptive fields. Here, we applied three sparse coding models to binocular receptive field development across six abnormal rearing conditions. In every condition, the changes in receptive field properties previously observed experimentally were matched to a similar and highly faithful degree by all the models, suggesting that early sensory development can indeed be understood in terms of an impetus towards sparsity. As previously predicted in the literature, we found that asymmetries in inter-ocular correlation across orientations lead to orientation-specific binocular receptive fields. Finally we used our models to design a novel stimulus that, if present during rearing, is predicted by the sparsity principle to lead robustly to radically abnormal receptive fields.
Damien J. Mannion
Full Text Available Asymmetries in the response to visual patterns in the upper and lower visual fields (above and below the centre of gaze have been associated with ecological factors relating to the structure of typical visual environments. Here, we investigated whether the content of the upper and lower visual field representations in low-level regions of human visual cortex are specialised for visual patterns that arise from the upper and lower visual fields in natural images. We presented image patches, drawn from above or below the centre of gaze of an observer navigating a natural environment, to either the upper or lower visual fields of human participants (n = 7 while we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to measure the magnitude of evoked activity in the visual areas V1, V2, and V3. We found a significant interaction between the presentation location (upper or lower visual field and the image patch source location (above or below fixation; the responses to lower visual field presentation were significantly greater for image patches sourced from below than above fixation, while the responses in the upper visual field were not significantly different for image patches sourced from above and below fixation. This finding demonstrates an association between the representation of the lower visual field in human visual cortex and the structure of the visual input that is likely to be encountered below the centre of gaze.
Bola, Łukasz; Siuda-Krzywicka, Katarzyna; Paplińska, Małgorzata; Sumera, Ewa; Zimmermann, Maria; Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Marchewka, Artur; Szwed, Marcin
Training can induce cross-modal plasticity in the human cortex. A well-known example of this phenomenon is the recruitment of visual areas for tactile and auditory processing. It remains unclear to what extent such plasticity is associated with changes in anatomy. Here we enrolled 29 sighted adults into a nine-month tactile Braille-reading training, and used voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging to describe the resulting anatomical changes. In addition, we collected resting-state fMRI data to relate these changes to functional connectivity between visual and somatosensory-motor cortices. Following Braille-training, we observed substantial grey and white matter reorganization in the anterior part of early visual cortex (peripheral visual field). Moreover, relative to its posterior, foveal part, the peripheral representation of early visual cortex had stronger functional connections to somatosensory and motor cortices even before the onset of training. Previous studies show that the early visual cortex can be functionally recruited for tactile discrimination, including recognition of Braille characters. Our results demonstrate that reorganization in this region induced by tactile training can also be anatomical. This change most likely reflects a strengthening of existing connectivity between the peripheral visual cortex and somatosensory cortices, which suggests a putative mechanism for cross-modal recruitment of visual areas.
White, Alex L; Runeson, Erik; Palmer, John; Ernst, Zachary R; Boynton, Geoffrey M
Performance in many visual tasks is impaired when observers attempt to divide spatial attention across multiple visual field locations. Correspondingly, neuronal response magnitudes in visual cortex are often reduced during divided compared with focused spatial attention. This suggests that early visual cortex is the site of capacity limits, where finite processing resources must be divided among attended stimuli. However, behavioral research demonstrates that not all visual tasks suffer such capacity limits: The costs of divided attention are minimal when the task and stimulus are simple, such as when searching for a target defined by orientation or contrast. To date, however, every neuroimaging study of divided attention has used more complex tasks and found large reductions in response magnitude. We bridged that gap by using functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure responses in the human visual cortex during simple feature detection. The first experiment used a visual search task: Observers detected a low-contrast Gabor patch within one or four potentially relevant locations. The second experiment used a dual-task design, in which observers made independent judgments of Gabor presence in patches of dynamic noise at two locations. In both experiments, blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signals in the retinotopic cortex were significantly lower for ignored than attended stimuli. However, when observers divided attention between multiple stimuli, BOLD signals were not reliably reduced and behavioral performance was unimpaired. These results suggest that processing of simple features in early visual cortex has unlimited capacity.
Bastos, Andre M; Briggs, Farran; Alitto, Henry J; Mangun, George R; Usrey, W Martin
Oscillatory synchronization of neuronal activity has been proposed as a mechanism to modulate effective connectivity between interacting neuronal populations. In the visual system, oscillations in the gamma-frequency range (30-100 Hz) are thought to subserve corticocortical communication. To test whether a similar mechanism might influence subcortical-cortical communication, we recorded local field potential activity from retinotopically aligned regions in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and primary visual cortex (V1) of alert macaque monkeys viewing stimuli known to produce strong cortical gamma-band oscillations. As predicted, we found robust gamma-band power in V1. In contrast, visual stimulation did not evoke gamma-band activity in the LGN. Interestingly, an analysis of oscillatory phase synchronization of LGN and V1 activity identified synchronization in the alpha (8-14 Hz) and beta (15-30 Hz) frequency bands. Further analysis of directed connectivity revealed that alpha-band interactions mediated corticogeniculate feedback processing, whereas beta-band interactions mediated geniculocortical feedforward processing. These results demonstrate that although the LGN and V1 display functional interactions in the lower frequency bands, gamma-band activity in the alert monkey is largely an emergent property of cortex. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/347639-06$15.00/0.
Blumberg, Julie; Kreiman, Gabriel
Through a series of complex transformations, the pixel-like input to the retina is converted into rich visual perceptions that constitute an integral part of visual recognition. Multiple visual problems arise due to damage or developmental abnormalities in the cortex of the brain. Here, we provide an overview of how visual information is processed along the ventral visual cortex in the human brain. We discuss how neurophysiological recordings in macaque monkeys and in humans can help us under...
Turchi, Janita; Saunders, Richard C; Mishkin, Mortimer
Excitotoxic lesion studies have confirmed that the rhinal cortex is essential for visual recognition ability in monkeys. To evaluate the mnemonic role of cholinergic inputs to this cortical region, we compared the visual recognition performance of monkeys given rhinal cortex infusions of a selective cholinergic immunotoxin, ME20.4-SAP, with the performance of monkeys given control infusions into this same tissue. The immunotoxin, which leads to selective cholinergic deafferentation of the infused cortex, yielded recognition deficits of the same magnitude as those produced by excitotoxic lesions of this region, providing the most direct demonstration to date that cholinergic activation of the rhinal cortex is essential for storing the representations of new visual stimuli and thereby enabling their later recognition.
Gabbott, P L; Stewart, M G
The effect of visual deprivation followed by light exposure on the tangential organisation of dendritic bundles passing through layer 4 of the rat visual cortex was studied quantitatively in the light microscope. Four groups of animals were investigated: (I) rats reared in an environment illuminated normally--group 52 dL; (II) rats reared in the dark until 21 days postnatum (DPN) and subsequently light exposed for 31 days-group 21/31; (III) rats dark reared until 52 DPN and then subsequently light exposed for 3 days--group 3 dL; and (IV) rats totally dark reared until 52 DPN--group 52 DPN. Each group contained five animals. Semithin 0.5-1-μm thick resin-embedded sections were collected from tangential sampling levels through the middle of layer 4 in area 17 and stained with Toluidine Blue. These sections were used to quantitatively analyse the composition and distribution of dendritic clusters in the tangential plane. The key result of this study indicates a significant reduction in the mean number of medium- and small-sized dendritic profiles (diameter less than 2 μm) contributing to clusters in layer 4 of groups 3 dL and 52 dD compared with group 21/31. No differences were detected in the mean number of large-sized dendritic profiles composing a bundle in these experimental groups. Moreover, the mean number of clusters and their tangential distribution in layer 4 did not vary significantly between all four groups. Finally, the clustering parameters were not significantly different between groups 21/31 and the normally reared group 52 dL. This study demonstrates, for the first time, that extended periods of dark rearing followed by light exposure can alter the morphological composition of dendritic bundles in thalamorecipient layer 4 of rat visual cortex. Because these changes occur in the primary region of thalamocortical input, they may underlie specific alterations in the processing of visual information both cortically and subcortically during periods of
Schliebs, R.; Walch, C.
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)
Schliebs, R; Walch, C [Leipzig Univ. (German Democratic Republic). Bereich Medizin; Stewart, M G [Open Univ., Milton Keynes (UK)
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).
Roelfsema, P.R.; Tolboom, M.; Khayat, P.S.
Our visual system imposes structure onto images that usually contain a diversity of surfaces, contours, and colors. Psychological theories propose that there are multiple steps in this process that occur in hierarchically organized regions of the cortex: early visual areas register basic features,
Zhan Jie; Gong Honghan
An increasing amount of neuroimaging studies recently demonstrated activation of visual cortex in both blind and sighted participants when performing a variety of tactile tasks such as Braille reading and tactile object recognition, which indicates that visual cortex not only receives visual information, but may participate in tactile perception. To address these cross-modal changes of visual cortex and the neurophysiological mechanisms, many researchers conducted explosive studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and have made some achievements. This review focuses on cross-modal activation of visual cortex and the underlying mechanisms during tactile perception in both blind and sighted individuals. (authors)
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.
Rasmussen, Rune; Yonehara, Keisuke
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...
van Vugt, Bram; Dagnino, Bruno; Vartak, Devavrat; Safaai, Houman; Panzeri, Stefano; Dehaene, Stanislas; Roelfsema, Pieter R
Why are some visual stimuli consciously detected, whereas others remain subliminal? We investigated the fate of weak visual stimuli in the visual and frontal cortex of awake monkeys trained to report stimulus presence. Reported stimuli were associated with strong sustained activity in the frontal cortex, and frontal activity was weaker and quickly decayed for unreported stimuli. Information about weak stimuli could be lost at successive stages en route from the visual to the frontal cortex, and these propagation failures were confirmed through microstimulation of area V1. Fluctuations in response bias and sensitivity during perception of identical stimuli were traced back to prestimulus brain-state markers. A model in which stimuli become consciously reportable when they elicit a nonlinear ignition process in higher cortical areas explained our results. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
Yoshii, Takanobu; Oishi, Naoya; Ikoma, Kazuya; Nishimura, Isao; Sakai, Yuki; Matsuda, Kenichi; Yamada, Shunji; Tanaka, Masaki; Kawata, Mitsuhiro; Narumoto, Jin; Fukui, Kenji
Psychological stress induces many diseases including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); however, the causal relationship between stress and brain atrophy has not been clarified. Applying single-prolonged stress (SPS) to explore the global effect of severe stress, we performed brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) acquisition and Voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Significant atrophy was detected in the bilateral thalamus and right visual cortex. Fluorescent immunohistochemistry for Iba-1 as the marker of activated microglia indicates regional microglial activation as stress-reaction in these atrophic areas. These data certify the impact of severe psychological stress on the atrophy of the visual cortex and the thalamus. Unexpectedly, these results are similar to chronic neuropathic pain rather than PTSD clinical research. We believe that some sensitisation mechanism from severe stress-induced atrophy in the visual cortex and thalamus, and the functional defect of the visual system may be a potential therapeutic target for stress-related diseases.
Liu, Hesheng; Agam, Yigal; Madsen, Joseph R.; Kreiman, Gabriel
Summary The difficulty of visual recognition stems from the need to achieve high selectivity while maintaining robustness to object transformations within hundreds of milliseconds. Theories of visual recognition differ in whether the neuronal circuits invoke recurrent feedback connections or not. The timing of neurophysiological responses in visual cortex plays a key role in distinguishing between bottom-up and top-down theories. Here we quantified at millisecond resolution the amount of visual information conveyed by intracranial field potentials from 912 electrodes in 11 human subjects. We could decode object category information from human visual cortex in single trials as early as 100 ms post-stimulus. Decoding performance was robust to depth rotation and scale changes. The results suggest that physiological activity in the temporal lobe can account for key properties of visual recognition. The fast decoding in single trials is compatible with feed-forward theories and provides strong constraints for computational models of human vision. PMID:19409272
Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob
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.
Wokke, Martijn E; Sligte, Ilja G; Steven Scholte, H; Lamme, Victor A F
.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 cortex (V1/V2). However, areas V1/V2 have also been frequently associated with later stages of figure-ground segregation (such as border ownership or surface segregation). To causally link activit...
Bourgeois, J P; Jastreboff, P J; Rakic, P
We used quantitative electron microscopy to determine the effect of precocious visual experience on the time course, magnitude, and pattern of perinatal synaptic overproduction in the primary visual cortex of the rhesus monkey. Fetuses were delivered by caesarean section 3 weeks before term, exposed to normal light intensity and day/night cycles, and killed within the first postnatal month, together with age-matched controls that were delivered at term. We found that premature visual stimulat...
Bao, Min; Yang, Lin; Rios, Cristina; He, Bin; Engel, Stephen A
Training improves performance on most visual tasks. Such perceptual learning can modify how information is read out from, and represented in, later visual areas, but effects on early visual cortex are controversial. In particular, it remains unknown whether learning can reshape neural response properties in early visual areas independent from feedback arising in later cortical areas. Here, we tested whether learning can modify feedforward signals in early visual cortex as measured by the human electroencephalogram. Fourteen subjects were trained for >24 d to detect a diagonal grating pattern in one quadrant of the visual field. Training improved performance, reducing the contrast needed for reliable detection, and also reliably increased the amplitude of the earliest component of the visual evoked potential, the C1. Control orientations and locations showed smaller effects of training. Because the C1 arises rapidly and has a source in early visual cortex, our results suggest that learning can increase early visual area response through local receptive field changes without feedback from later areas.
Mehrdad eSeirafi; Peter eDe Weerd; Alan J Pegna; Beatrice ede Gelder
Learning audiovisual associations is mediated by the primary cortical areas; however, recent animal studies suggest that such learning can take place even in the absence of the primary visual cortex. Other studies have demonstrated the involvement of extra-geniculate pathways and especially the superior colliculus (SC) in audiovisual association learning. Here, we investigated such learning in a rare human patient with complete loss of the bilateral striate cortex. We carried out an implicit...
Mulckhuyse, M.; Belopolsky, A.V.; Heslenfeld, D.J.; Talsma, D.; Theeuwes, J.
Previous research has shown that the extent to which people spread attention across the visual field plays a crucial role in visual selection and the occurrence of bottom-up driven attentional capture. Consistent with previous findings, we show that when attention was diffusely distributed across
Roelfsema, Pieter R.; de Lange, Floris P.
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
Roelfsema, P.R.; De Lange, Floris
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
Sergent, Claire; Ruff, Christian C; Barbot, Antoine; Driver, Jon; Rees, Geraint
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.
Bosking, William H; Sun, Ping; Ozker, Muge; Pei, Xiaomei; Foster, Brett L; Beauchamp, Michael S; Yoshor, Daniel
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
Brewer, Alyssa A; Barton, Brian
One of the fundamental properties of the mammalian brain is that sensory regions of cortex are formed of multiple, functionally specialized cortical field maps (CFMs). Each CFM comprises two orthogonal topographical representations, reflecting two essential aspects of sensory space. In auditory cortex, auditory field maps (AFMs) are defined by the combination of tonotopic gradients, representing the spectral aspects of sound (i.e., tones), with orthogonal periodotopic gradients, representing the temporal aspects of sound (i.e., period or temporal envelope). Converging evidence from cytoarchitectural and neuroimaging measurements underlies the definition of 11 AFMs across core and belt regions of human auditory cortex, with likely homology to those of macaque. On a macrostructural level, AFMs are grouped into cloverleaf clusters, an organizational structure also seen in visual cortex. Future research can now use these AFMs to investigate specific stages of auditory processing, key for understanding behaviors such as speech perception and multimodal sensory integration.
Qin, Pengmin; Duncan, Niall W; Wiebking, Christine; Gravel, Paul; Lyttelton, Oliver; Hayes, Dave J; Verhaeghe, Jeroen; Kostikov, Alexey; Schirrmacher, Ralf; Reader, Andrew J; Northoff, Georg
Recent imaging studies have demonstrated that levels of resting γ-aminobutyric acid (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 GABA(A) 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 modeling of the haemodynamic response, followed by longer periods of EC and EO to allow the measuring of functional connectivity. The same subjects also underwent [(18)F]Flumazenil PET to measure GABA(A) receptor binding potentials. It was demonstrated that the local-to-global ratio of GABA(A) 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 GABA(A) receptor binding potential in the visual cortex also predicted the change in functional connectivity between the visual and auditory cortex from EC to EO. These findings contribute to our understanding of the role of GABA(A) receptors in stimulus-induced neural activity in local regions and in inter-regional functional connectivity.
Larsen, A.; Madsen, Kristoffer Hougaard; Lund, T.E.
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...
Konstantinou, Nikos; Bahrami, Bahador; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli
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.
Full Text Available Christina M Cerkevich,1 David C Lyon,2 Pooja Balaram,3 Jon H Kaas3 1Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Systems Neuroscience Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 2Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA; 3Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA Abstract: To better reveal the pattern of corticotectal projections to the superficial layers of the superior colliculus (SC, we made a total of ten retrograde tracer injections into the SC of three macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta. The majority of these injections were in the superficial layers of the SC, which process visual information. To isolate inputs to the purely visual layers in the superficial SC from those inputs to the motor and multisensory layers deeper in the SC, two injections were placed to include the intermediate and deep layers of the SC. In another case, an injection was placed in the medial pulvinar, a nucleus not known to be strongly connected with visual cortex, to identify possible projections from tracer spread past the lateral boundary of the SC. Four conclusions are supported by the results: 1 all early visual areas of cortex, including V1, V2, V3, and the middle temporal area, project to the superficial layers of the SC; 2 with the possible exception of the frontal eye field, few areas of cortex outside of the early visual areas project to the superficial SC, although many do, however, project to the intermediate and deep layers of the SC; 3 roughly matching retinotopy is conserved in the projections of visual areas to the SC; and 4 the projections from different visual areas are similarly dense, although projections from early visual areas appear somewhat denser than those of higher order visual areas in macaque cortex. Keywords: visual cortex, superior colliculus, frontal eye field, posterior parietal cortex, visual system
Rowe, James B.; Stephan, Klaas E.; Friston, Karl
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...
Veith, Vera K; Quigley, Cliodhna; Treue, Stefan
The top-down modulation of feed-forward cortical information processing is functionally important for many cognitive processes, including the modulation of sensory information processing by attention. However, little is known about which neurotransmitter systems are involved in such modulations. A practical way to address this question is to combine single-cell recording with local and temporary neuropharmacological manipulation in a suitable animal model. Here we demonstrate a technique combining acute single-cell recordings with the injection of neuropharmacological agents in the direct vicinity of the recording electrode. The video shows the preparation of the pressure injection/recording system, including preparation of the substance to be injected. We show a rhesus monkey performing a visual attention task and the procedure of single-unit recording with block-wise pharmacological manipulations.
Land, Rüdiger; Radecke, Jan-Ole; Kral, Andrej
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.
van Lamsweerde, Amanda E; Johnson, Jeffrey S
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.
Takemura, Hiromasa; Pestilli, Franco; Weiner, Kevin S; Keliris, Georgios A; Landi, Sofia M; Sliwa, Julia; Ye, Frank Q; Barnett, Michael A; Leopold, David A; Freiwald, Winrich A; Logothetis, Nikos K; Wandell, Brian A
We compare several major white-matter tracts in human and macaque occipital lobe using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging. The comparison suggests similarities but also significant differences in the tracts. There are several apparently homologous tracts in the 2 species, including the vertical occipital fasciculus (VOF), optic radiation, forceps major, and inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF). There is one large human tract, the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, with no corresponding fasciculus in macaque. We could identify the macaque VOF (mVOF), which has been little studied. Its position is consistent with classical invasive anatomical studies by Wernicke. VOF homology is supported by similarity of the endpoints in V3A and ventral V4 across species. The mVOF fibers intertwine with the dorsal segment of the ILF, but the human VOF appears to be lateral to the ILF. These similarities and differences between the occipital lobe tracts will be useful in establishing which circuitry in the macaque can serve as an accurate model for human visual cortex. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grossman, Emily D.; Srinivasan, Ramesh
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
Nakamichi, Yu; Kalatsky, Valery A; Watanabe, Hideyuki; Sato, Takayuki; Rajagopalan, Uma Maheswari; Tanifuji, Manabu
Orientation tuning is a canonical neuronal response property of six-layer visual cortex that is encoded in pinwheel structures with center orientation singularities. Optical imaging of intrinsic signals enables us to map these surface two-dimensional (2D) structures, whereas lack of appropriate techniques has not allowed us to visualize depth structures of orientation coding. In the present study, we performed functional optical coherence tomography (fOCT), a technique capable of acquiring a 3D map of the intrinsic signals, to study the topology of orientation coding inside the cat visual cortex. With this technique, for the first time, we visualized columnar assemblies in orientation coding that had been predicted from electrophysiological recordings. In addition, we found that the columnar structures were largely distorted around pinwheel centers: center singularities were not rigid straight lines running perpendicularly to the cortical surface but formed twisted string-like structures inside the cortex that turned and extended horizontally through the cortex. Looping singularities were observed with their respective termini accessing the same cortical surface via clockwise and counterclockwise orientation pinwheels. These results suggest that a 3D topology of orientation coding cannot be fully anticipated from 2D surface measurements. Moreover, the findings demonstrate the utility of fOCT as an in vivo mesoscale imaging method for mapping functional response properties of cortex in the depth axis. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We used functional optical coherence tomography (fOCT) to visualize three-dimensional structure of the orientation columns with millimeter range and micrometer spatial resolution. We validated vertically elongated columnar structure in iso-orientation domains. The columnar structure was distorted around pinwheel centers. An orientation singularity formed a string with tortuous trajectories inside the cortex and connected clockwise and counterclockwise
Yao, Tao; Treue, Stefan; Krishna, B Suresh
While making saccadic eye-movements to scan a visual scene, humans and monkeys are able to keep track of relevant visual stimuli by maintaining spatial attention on them. This ability requires a shift of attentional modulation from the neuronal population representing the relevant stimulus pre-saccadically to the one representing it post-saccadically. For optimal performance, this trans-saccadic attention shift should be rapid and saccade-synchronized. Whether this is so is not known. We trained two rhesus monkeys to make saccades while maintaining covert attention at a fixed spatial location. We show that the trans-saccadic attention shift in cortical visual medial temporal (MT) area is well synchronized to saccades. Attentional modulation crosses over from the pre-saccadic to the post-saccadic neuronal representation by about 50 ms after a saccade. Taking response latency into account, the trans-saccadic attention shift is well timed to maintain spatial attention on relevant stimuli, so that they can be optimally tracked and processed across saccades.
Sczesny-Kaiser, Matthias; Beckhaus, Katharina; Dinse, Hubert R; Schwenkreis, Peter; Tegenthoff, Martin; Höffken, Oliver
Studies on noninvasive motor cortex stimulation and motor learning demonstrated cortical excitability as a marker for a learning effect. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive tool to modulate cortical excitability. It is as yet unknown how tDCS-induced excitability changes and perceptual learning in visual cortex correlate. Our study aimed to examine the influence of tDCS on visual perceptual learning in healthy humans. Additionally, we measured excitability in primary visual cortex (V1). We hypothesized that anodal tDCS would improve and cathodal tDCS would have minor or no effects on visual learning. Anodal, cathodal or sham tDCS were applied over V1 in a randomized, double-blinded design over four consecutive days (n = 30). During 20 min of tDCS, subjects had to learn a visual orientation-discrimination task (ODT). Excitability parameters were measured by analyzing paired-stimulation behavior of visual-evoked potentials (ps-VEP) and by measuring phosphene thresholds (PTs) before and after the stimulation period of 4 days. Compared with sham-tDCS, anodal tDCS led to an improvement of visual discrimination learning (p learning effect. For cathodal tDCS, no significant effects on learning or on excitability could be seen. Our results showed that anodal tDCS over V1 resulted in improved visual perceptual learning and increased cortical excitability. tDCS is a promising tool to alter V1 excitability and, hence, perceptual visual learning.
Haxby, J.V.; Grady, C.L.; Horwitz, B.; Ungerleider, L.G.; Mishkin, M.; Carson, R.E.; Herscovitch, P.; Schapiro, M.B.; Rapoport, S.I. (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (USA))
The existence and neuroanatomical locations of separate extrastriate visual pathways for object recognition and spatial localization were investigated in healthy young men. Regional cerebral blood flow was measured by positron emission tomography and bolus injections of H2(15)O, while subjects performed face matching, dot-location matching, or sensorimotor control tasks. Both visual matching tasks activated lateral occipital cortex. Face discrimination alone activated a region of occipitotemporal cortex that was anterior and inferior to the occipital area activated by both tasks. The spatial location task alone activated a region of lateral superior parietal cortex. Perisylvian and anterior temporal cortices were not activated by either task. These results demonstrate the existence of three functionally dissociable regions of human visual extrastriate cortex. The ventral and dorsal locations of the regions specialized for object recognition and spatial localization, respectively, suggest some homology between human and nonhuman primate extrastriate cortex, with displacement in human brain, possibly related to the evolution of phylogenetically newer cortical areas.
Liebe, Stefanie; Hoerzer, Gregor M; Logothetis, Nikos K; Rainer, Gregor
Short-term memory requires communication between multiple brain regions that collectively mediate the encoding and maintenance of sensory information. It has been suggested that oscillatory synchronization underlies intercortical communication. Yet, whether and how distant cortical areas cooperate during visual memory remains elusive. We examined neural interactions between visual area V4 and the lateral prefrontal cortex using simultaneous local field potential (LFP) recordings and single-unit activity (SUA) in monkeys performing a visual short-term memory task. During the memory period, we observed enhanced between-area phase synchronization in theta frequencies (3-9 Hz) of LFPs together with elevated phase locking of SUA to theta oscillations across regions. In addition, we found that the strength of intercortical locking was predictive of the animals' behavioral performance. This suggests that theta-band synchronization coordinates action potential communication between V4 and prefrontal cortex that may contribute to the maintenance of visual short-term memories.
Teichmann, Michael; Wiltschut, Jan; Hamker, Fred
The human visual system has the remarkable ability to largely recognize objects invariant of their position, rotation, and scale. A good interpretation of neurobiological findings involves a computational model that simulates signal processing of the visual cortex. In part, this is likely achieved step by step from early to late areas of visual perception. While several algorithms have been proposed for learning feature detectors, only few studies at hand cover the issue of biologically plausible learning of such invariance. In this study, a set of Hebbian learning rules based on calcium dynamics and homeostatic regulations of single neurons is proposed. Their performance is verified within a simple model of the primary visual cortex to learn so-called complex cells, based on a sequence of static images. As a result, the learned complex-cell responses are largely invariant to phase and position.
Gibson, J R; Maunsell, J H
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.
Spekreijse, H.; Lamme, V.A.F.
The cortical visual system consists of many richly interconnected areas. Each area is characterized by more or less specific receptive field tuning properties. However, these tuning properties reflect only a subset of the interactions that occur within and between areas. Neuronal responses may be
Hang, Giao B.; Dan, Yang
Neocortical neurons in vivo receive concurrent synaptic inputs from multiple sources, including feedforward, horizontal, and feedback pathways. Layer 2/3 of the visual cortex receives feedforward input from layer 4 and horizontal input from layer 2/3. Firing of the pyramidal neurons, which carries the output to higher cortical areas, depends critically on the interaction of these pathways. Here we examined synaptic integration of inputs from layer 4 and layer 2/3 in rat visual cortical slices...
Kruger, Norbert; Janssen, Peter; Kalkan, Sinan; Lappe, Markus; Leonardis, Ales; Piater, Justus; Rodriguez-Sanchez, Antonio J.; Wiskott, Laurenz
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 ...
von der Heydt, Rüdiger
A long history of studies of perception has shown that the visual system organizes the incoming information early on, interpreting the 2D image in terms of a 3D world and producing a structure that provides perceptual continuity and enables object-based attention. Recordings from monkey visual cortex show that many neurons, especially in area V2, are selective for border ownership. These neurons are edge selective and have ordinary classical receptive fields, but in addition their responses a...
David F Nichols
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.
Abid, Hina; Ahmad, Fayyaz; Lee, Soo Y; Park, Hyun W; Im, Dongmi; Ahmad, Iftikhar; Chaudhary, Safee U
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.
Vangeneugden, Joris; Pollick, Frank; Vogels, Rufin
Neurons in the rostral superior temporal sulcus (STS) are responsive to displays of body movements. We employed a parametric action space to determine how similarities among actions are represented by visual temporal neurons and how form and motion information contributes to their responses. The stimulus space consisted of a stick-plus-point-light figure performing arm actions and their blends. Multidimensional scaling showed that the responses of temporal neurons represented the ordinal similarity between these actions. Further tests distinguished neurons responding equally strongly to static presentations and to actions ("snapshot" neurons), from those responding much less strongly to static presentations, but responding well when motion was present ("motion" neurons). The "motion" neurons were predominantly found in the upper bank/fundus of the STS, and "snapshot" neurons in the lower bank of the STS and inferior temporal convexity. Most "motion" neurons showed strong response modulation during the course of an action, thus responding to action kinematics. "Motion" neurons displayed a greater average selectivity for these simple arm actions than did "snapshot" neurons. We suggest that the "motion" neurons code for visual kinematics, whereas the "snapshot" neurons code for form/posture, and that both can contribute to action recognition, in agreement with computation models of action recognition.
Liang Ping; Shao Qing; Zhang Zhiqiang; Lu Guangming
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)
Luis Fernando Hernández-Zimbrón
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.
van Kerkoerle, Timo; Self, Matthew W.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.
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
Van Kerkoerle, Timo; Self, M.W.; Roelfsema, P.R.
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
Vijay Singh, Martin Tchernookov, Rebecca Butterfield, Ilya Nemenman, Rongrong Ji. Director Field Model of the Primary Visual Cortex for Contour...FTE Equivalent: Total Number: DISCIPLINE Vijay Singh 40 Physics 0.40 1 PERCENT_SUPPORTEDNAME FTE Equivalent: Total Number: Martin Tchernookov 0.20
Watkins, Kate E.; Cowey, Alan; Alexander, Iona; Filippini, Nicola; Kennedy, James M.; Smith, Stephen M.; Ragge, Nicola; Bridge, Holly
Imaging studies in blind subjects have consistently shown that sensory and cognitive tasks evoke activity in the occipital cortex, which is normally visual. The precise areas involved and degree of activation are dependent upon the cause and age of onset of blindness. Here, we investigated the cortical language network at rest and during an…
Atilgan, Huriye; Town, Stephen M; Wood, Katherine C; Jones, Gareth P; Maddox, Ross K; Lee, Adrian K C; Bizley, Jennifer K
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.
Gavornik, Jeffrey P.; Bear, Mark F.
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…
Recorded neuronal activity in the monkey primary visual cortex while Ss were viewing full screen arrays of either oriented line segments or moving random dots. Almost every cell gave a significantly larger response for texture elements perceived as a figure (FI) than for background elements. Cell
Self, Matthew W.; Peters, Judith C.; Possel, Jessy K.; Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.
Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive
Self, Matthew W; Peters, Judith C; Possel, Jessy K; Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C; Roelfsema, Pieter R
Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive
Striem-Amit, Ella; Ovadia-Caro, Smadar; Caramazza, Alfonso; Margulies, Daniel S; Villringer, Arno; Amedi, Amir
Is visual input during critical periods of development crucial for the emergence of the fundamental topographical mapping of the visual cortex? And would this structure be retained throughout life-long blindness or would it fade as a result of plastic, use-based reorganization? We used functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging based on intrinsic blood oxygen level-dependent fluctuations to investigate whether significant traces of topographical mapping of the visual scene in the form of retinotopic organization, could be found in congenitally blind adults. A group of 11 fully and congenitally blind subjects and 18 sighted controls were studied. The blind demonstrated an intact functional connectivity network structural organization of the three main retinotopic mapping axes: eccentricity (centre-periphery), laterality (left-right), and elevation (upper-lower) throughout the retinotopic cortex extending to high-level ventral and dorsal streams, including characteristic eccentricity biases in face- and house-selective areas. Functional connectivity-based topographic organization in the visual cortex was indistinguishable from the normally sighted retinotopic functional connectivity structure as indicated by clustering analysis, and was found even in participants who did not have a typical retinal development in utero (microphthalmics). While the internal structural organization of the visual cortex was strikingly similar, the blind exhibited profound differences in functional connectivity to other (non-visual) brain regions as compared to the sighted, which were specific to portions of V1. Central V1 was more connected to language areas but peripheral V1 to spatial attention and control networks. These findings suggest that current accounts of critical periods and experience-dependent development should be revisited even for primary sensory areas, in that the connectivity basis for visual cortex large-scale topographical organization can develop without any
Full Text Available Although the relationship between color signal and luminance signal is an important problem in visual perception, relatively little is known about how the luminance contrast affects the responses of color selective neurons in the visual cortex. In this study, we examined this problem in the inferior temporal (IT of the awake monkey performing a visual fixation task. Single neuron activities were recorded from the anterior and posterior color selective regions in IT cortex (AITC and PITC identified in previous studies where color selective neurons are accumulated. Color stimuli consisted of 28 stimuli that evenly distribute across the gamut of the CRT display defined on the CIE- xychromaticity diagram at two different luminance levels (5 cd/m 2or 20 cd/m 2 and 2 stimuli at white points. The background was maintained at 10 cd/m 2gray. We found that the effect of luminance contrast on the color selectivity was markedly different between AITC and PITC. When we examined the correlation between the responses to the bright stimuli and those to the dark stimuli with the same chromaticity coordinates, most AITC neurons exhibited high correlation whereas many PITC neurons showed no correlation or only weak correlation. In PITC, the effect was specifically large for neutral colors (white, gray, black and for colors with low saturation. These results indicate that the effect of luminance contrast on the color selective responses differs across different areas and suggest that the separation between color signal and luminance signal involves a higher stage of the cortical color processing.
Responses of visual cortical neurons in early processing stages can be modulated by stimuli presented outside the classical receptive field. The function of these context effects is still not completly understood, but its relevance for global image processing such as figure-ground segregation has been suggested. In the present study we investigate aspects of centre-surround interactions and the role of neural synchronisation in this context. Neuronal synchronization has been proposed to under...
Magnain, Caroline; Augustinack, Jean C.; Konukoglu, Ender; Frosch, Matthew P.; Sakadžić, Sava; Varjabedian, Ani; Garcia, Nathalie; Wedeen, Van J.; Boas, David A.; Fischl, Bruce
Abstract. The cytoarchitecture of the human brain is of great interest in diverse fields: neuroanatomy, neurology, neuroscience, and neuropathology. Traditional histology is a method that has been historically used to assess cell and fiber content in the ex vivo human brain. However, this technique suffers from significant distortions. We used a previously demonstrated optical coherence microscopy technique to image individual neurons in several square millimeters of en-face tissue blocks from layer II of the human entorhinal cortex, over 50 μm in depth. The same slices were then sectioned and stained for Nissl substance. We registered the optical coherence tomography (OCT) images with the corresponding Nissl stained slices using a nonlinear transformation. The neurons were then segmented in both images and we quantified the overlap. We show that OCT images contain information about neurons that is comparable to what can be obtained from Nissl staining, and thus can be used to assess the cytoarchitecture of the ex vivo human brain with minimal distortion. With the future integration of a vibratome into the OCT imaging rig, this technique can be scaled up to obtain undistorted volumetric data of centimeter cube tissue blocks in the near term, and entire human hemispheres in the future. PMID:25741528
Joshua G A Pinto
Full Text Available Functional maturation of visual cortex is linked with dynamic changes in synaptic expression of GABAergic mechanisms. These include setting the excitation-inhibition balance required for experience-dependent plasticity, as well as, intracortical inhibition underlying development and aging of receptive field properties. Animal studies have shown developmental regulation of GABAergic mechanisms in visual cortex. In this study, we show for the first time how these mechanisms develop in the human visual cortex across the lifespan. We used Western blot analysis of postmortem tissue from human primary visual cortex (n=30, range: 20 days to 80 years to quantify expression of 8 pre- and post-synaptic GABAergic markers. We quantified the inhibitory modulating cannabinoid receptor (CB1, GABA vesicular transporter (VGAT, GABA synthesizing enzymes (GAD65/GAD67, GABAA receptor anchoring protein (Gephyrin, and GABAA receptor subunits (GABAA∝1, GABAA∝2, GABAA∝3. We found a complex pattern of changes, many of which were prolonged and continued well into into the teen, young adult, and even older adult years. These included a monotonic increase or decrease (GABAA∝1, GABAA∝2, a biphasic increase then decrease (GAD65, Gephyrin, or multiple increases and decreases (VGAT, CB1 across the lifespan. Comparing the balances between the pre- and post-synaptic markers we found 3 main transitions (early childhood, early teen years, aging when there were rapid switches in the composition of the GABAergic signaling system, indicating that functioning of the GABAergic system must change as the visual cortex develops and ages. Furthermore, these results provide key information for translating therapies developed in animal models into effective treatments for amblyopia in humans.
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.
Full Text Available The mammalian visual system exhibits significant experience-induced plasticity in the early postnatal period. While physiological studies have revealed the contribution of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1 to developmental plasticity in the primary visual cortex (V1, it remains unknown whether the expression and localization of CB1 is regulated during development or by visual experience. To explore a possible role of the endocannabinoid system in visual cortical plasticity, we examined the expression of CB1 in the visual cortex of mice. We found intense CB1 immunoreactivity in layers II/III and VI. CB1 mainly localized at vesicular GABA transporter-positive inhibitory nerve terminals. The amount of CB1 protein increased throughout development, and the specific laminar pattern of CB1 appeared at P20 and remained until adulthood. Dark rearing from birth to P30 decreased the amount of CB1 protein in V1 and altered the synaptic localization of CB1 in the deep layer. Dark rearing until P50, however, did not influence the expression of CB1. Brief monocular deprivation for 2 days upregulated the localization of CB1 at inhibitory nerve terminals in the deep layer. Taken together, the expression and the localization of CB1 are developmentally regulated, and both parameters are influenced by visual experience.
Watkins, Kate E; Cowey, Alan; Alexander, Iona; Filippini, Nicola; Kennedy, James M; Smith, Stephen M; Ragge, Nicola; Bridge, Holly
Imaging studies in blind subjects have consistently shown that sensory and cognitive tasks evoke activity in the occipital cortex, which is normally visual. The precise areas involved and degree of activation are dependent upon the cause and age of onset of blindness. Here, we investigated the cortical language network at rest and during an auditory covert naming task in five bilaterally anophthalmic subjects, who have never received visual input. When listening to auditory definitions and covertly retrieving words, these subjects activated lateral occipital cortex bilaterally in addition to the language areas activated in sighted controls. This activity was significantly greater than that present in a control condition of listening to reversed speech. The lateral occipital cortex was also recruited into a left-lateralized resting-state network that usually comprises anterior and posterior language areas. Levels of activation to the auditory naming and reversed speech conditions did not differ in the calcarine (striate) cortex. This primary 'visual' cortex was not recruited to the left-lateralized resting-state network and showed high interhemispheric correlation of activity at rest, as is typically seen in unimodal cortical areas. In contrast, the interhemispheric correlation of resting activity in extrastriate areas was reduced in anophthalmia to the level of cortical areas that are heteromodal, such as the inferior frontal gyrus. Previous imaging studies in the congenitally blind show that primary visual cortex is activated in higher-order tasks, such as language and memory to a greater extent than during more basic sensory processing, resulting in a reversal of the normal hierarchy of functional organization across 'visual' areas. Our data do not support such a pattern of organization in anophthalmia. Instead, the patterns of activity during task and the functional connectivity at rest are consistent with the known hierarchy of processing in these areas
Blumberg, Julie; Kreiman, Gabriel
Through a series of complex transformations, the pixel-like input to the retina is converted into rich visual perceptions that constitute an integral part of visual recognition. Multiple visual problems arise due to damage or developmental abnormalities in the cortex of the brain. Here, we provide an overview of how visual information is processed along the ventral visual cortex in the human brain. We discuss how neurophysiological recordings in macaque monkeys and in humans can help us understand the computations performed by visual cortex. PMID:20811161
Full Text Available 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 available. Although mouse visual cortex lacks the highly ordered orientation columns of primates, it is organized in functional sub-networks and contains striate- and extrastriate areas like its primate counterparts. In this Perspective article, we provide an overview of the experimental and theoretical 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 for delineating and solving how individual sensory features extracted by neural circuits in peripheral brain areas are integrated to build our rich cohesive sensory experiences.
Henriksen, L; Paulson, O B; Lassen, N A
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......Regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) was studied tomographically with 133Xe administered by inhalation over a 1-min period at a concentration of 10 mCi/l. A fast rotating ("dynamic') single-photon emission computed tomograph with four detector heads was used, an instrument that has been found......% respectively. Looking at different pictures displayed on a screen raised regional CBF by 26%. The most complex task, reading and copying a text, increased blood flow by 45%. Averaging the different tasks resulted in a mean regional CBF increase in the visual cortex of 35%. The result is comparable...
Samonds, Jason M; Zhou, Zhiyi; Bernard, Melanie R; Bonds, A B
We explored how contour information in primary visual cortex might be embedded in the simultaneous activity of multiple cells recorded with a 100-electrode array. Synchronous activity in cat visual cortex was more selective and predictable in discriminating between drifting grating and concentric ring stimuli than changes in firing rate. Synchrony was found even between cells with wholly different orientation preferences when their receptive fields were circularly aligned, and membership in synchronous groups was orientation and curvature dependent. The existence of synchrony between cocircular cells reinforces its role as a general mechanism for contour integration and shape detection as predicted by association field concepts. Our data suggest that cortical synchrony results from common and synchronous input from earlier visual areas and that it could serve to shape extrastriate response selectivity.
Schölvinck, M L; Friston, K J; Rees, G
Spontaneous activity in the resting human brain has been studied extensively; however, how such activity affects the local processing of a sensory stimulus is relatively unknown. Here, we examined the impact of spontaneous activity in primary visual cortex on neuronal and behavioural responses to a simple visual stimulus, using functional MRI. Stimulus-evoked responses remained essentially unchanged by spontaneous fluctuations, combining with them in a largely linear fashion (i.e., with little evidence for an interaction). However, interactions between spontaneous fluctuations and stimulus-evoked responses were evident behaviourally; high levels of spontaneous activity tended to be associated with increased stimulus detection at perceptual threshold. Our results extend those found in studies of spontaneous fluctuations in motor cortex and higher order visual areas, and suggest a fundamental role for spontaneous activity in stimulus processing. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Inagaki, Mikio; Fujita, Ichiro
Social communication in nonhuman primates and humans is strongly affected by facial information from other individuals. Many cortical and subcortical brain areas are known to be involved in processing facial information. However, how the neural representation of faces differs across different brain areas remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the reference frame for spatial frequency (SF) tuning of face-responsive neurons differs in the temporal visual cortex and amygdala in monkeys. Consistent with psychophysical properties for face recognition, temporal cortex neurons were tuned to image-based SFs (cycles/image) and showed viewing distance-invariant representation of face patterns. On the other hand, many amygdala neurons were influenced by retina-based SFs (cycles/degree), a characteristic that is useful for social distance computation. The two brain areas also differed in the luminance contrast sensitivity of face-responsive neurons; amygdala neurons sharply reduced their responses to low luminance contrast images, while temporal cortex neurons maintained the level of their responses. From these results, we conclude that different types of visual processing in the temporal visual cortex and the amygdala contribute to the construction of the neural representations of faces.
Full Text Available Research has shown that unlike other threat emotions, disgust does not evoke a typical sympathetic fight or flight response. Rather, disgust induces a parasympathetic response. A recent EEG study has demonstrated that this inhibitory reaction is also present in neuronal systems. Disgust stimuli elicited diminished Visual Event Related Potential (VERP amplitude in comparison to neutral and fear stimuli at P1 in the posterior Oz electrode (Kruesmark and Li, 2011 J Neurosci 31 (9, 3429–3434. In order to investigate whether VERPs were sensitive to different domains of disgust, we presented participants with random sequence of neutral, sociomoral, mutilation, and contamination images derived from the IAPS database. EEG results indicated no significant effect at Oz contrary to prior research. The results did, however, demonstrate lateralization effects. Whilst no differences were found between the disgust conditions themselves, the left P1 potential for all the disgust conditions was significantly attenuated compared to neutral. Conversely, this effect did not occur in the right posterior electrodes. In a second study, we presented the different disgust images in blocks in order to investigate the role of anticipation. Again, the left sided P1 was attenuated compared to neutral; however, on the right, mutilation elicited significantly greater P1 amplitude than did all other conditions. The results suggest suppressed visual processing for disgust elicitors in the left posterior regions and heightened activity for mutilation stimuli in the right, when mutilation was expected. These results may reflect a lateralized approach-avoidance mechanism, which begins as early as 125 ms after stimulus onset.
Full Text Available Understanding how populations of neurons encode sensory information is a major goal of systems neuroscience. Attempts to answer this question have focused on responses measured over several hundred milliseconds, a duration much longer than that frequently used by animals to make decisions about the environment. How reliably sensory information is encoded on briefer time scales, and how best to extract this information, is unknown. Although it has been proposed that neuronal response latency provides a major cue for fast decisions in the visual system, this hypothesis has not been tested systematically and in a quantitative manner. Here we use a simple 'race to threshold' readout mechanism to quantify the information content of spike time latency of primary visual (V1 cortical cells to stimulus orientation. We find that many V1 cells show pronounced tuning of their spike latency to stimulus orientation and that almost as much information can be extracted from spike latencies as from firing rates measured over much longer durations. To extract this information, stimulus onset must be estimated accurately. We show that the responses of cells with weak tuning of spike latency can provide a reliable onset detector. We find that spike latency information can be pooled from a large neuronal population, provided that the decision threshold is scaled linearly with the population size, yielding a processing time of the order of a few tens of milliseconds. Our results provide a novel mechanism for extracting information from neuronal populations over the very brief time scales in which behavioral judgments must sometimes be made.
Miyashita, Y; Kameyama, M; Hasegawa, I; Fukushima, T
Neuropsychological theories have proposed a critical role for the interaction between the medial temporal lobe and the neocortex in the formation of long-term memory for facts and events, which has often been tested by learning of a series of paired words or figures in humans. We have examined neural mechanisms underlying the memory "consolidation" process by single-unit recording and molecular biological methods in an animal model of a visual pair-association task in monkeys. In our previous studies, we found that long-term associative representations of visual objects are acquired through learning in the neural network of the anterior inferior temporal (IT) cortex. In this article, we propose the hypothesis that limbic neurons undergo rapid modification of synaptic connectivity and provide backward signals that guide the reorganization of neocortical neural circuits. Two experiments tested this hypothesis: (1) we examined the role of the backward connections from the medial temporal lobe to the IT cortex by injecting ibotenic acid into the entorhinal and perirhinal cortices, which provided massive backward projections ipsilaterally to the IT cortex. We found that the limbic lesion disrupted the associative code of the IT neurons between the paired associates, without impairing the visual response to each stimulus. (2) We then tested the first half of this hypothesis by detecting the expression of immediate-early genes in the monkey temporal cortex. We found specific expression of zif268 during the learning of a new set of paired associates in the pair-association task, most intensively in area 36 of the perirhinal cortex. All these results with the visual pair-association task support our hypothesis and demonstrate that the consolidation process, which was first proposed on the basis of clinico-psychological evidence, can now be examined in primates using neurophysiolocical and molecular biological approaches. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.
Roseman, Leor; Sereno, Martin I; Leech, Robert; Kaelen, Mendel; Orban, Csaba; McGonigle, John; Feilding, Amanda; Nutt, David J; Carhart-Harris, Robin L
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.
Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint
Visual neuroscience has long sought to determine the extent to which stimulus-evoked activity in visual cortex depends on attention and awareness. Some influential theories of consciousness maintain that the allocation of attention is restricted to conscious representations [1, 2]. However, in the load theory of attention , competition between task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimuli for limited-capacity attention does not depend on conscious perception of the irrelevant stimuli. The critical test is whether the level of attentional load in a relevant task would determine unconscious neural processing of invisible stimuli. Human participants were scanned with high-field fMRI while they performed a foveal task of low or high attentional load. Irrelevant, invisible monocular stimuli were simultaneously presented peripherally and were continuously suppressed by a flashing mask in the other eye . Attentional load in the foveal task strongly modulated retinotopic activity evoked in primary visual cortex (V1) by the invisible stimuli. Contrary to traditional views [1, 2, 5, 6], we found that availability of attentional capacity determines neural representations related to unconscious processing of continuously suppressed stimuli in human primary visual cortex. Spillover of attention to cortical representations of invisible stimuli (under low load) cannot be a sufficient condition for their awareness.
Conner, Ian P; Odom, J Vernon; Schwartz, Terry L; Mendola, Janine D
Amblyopia is a developmental visual disorder associated with loss of monocular acuity and sensitivity as well as profound alterations in binocular integration. Abnormal connections in visual cortex are known to underlie this loss, but the extent to which these abnormalities are regionally or retinotopically specific has not been fully determined. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study compared the retinotopic maps in visual cortex produced by each individual eye in 19 adults (7 esotropic strabismics, 6 anisometropes and 6 controls). In our standard viewing condition, the non-tested eye viewed a dichoptic homogeneous mid-level grey stimulus, thereby permitting some degree of binocular interaction. Regions-of-interest analysis was performed for extrafoveal V1, extrafoveal V2 and the foveal representation at the occipital pole. In general, the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal was reduced for the amblyopic eye. At the occipital pole, population receptive fields were shifted to represent more parafoveal locations for the amblyopic eye, compared with the fellow eye, in some subjects. Interestingly, occluding the fellow eye caused an expanded foveal representation for the amblyopic eye in one early-onset strabismic subject with binocular suppression, indicating real-time cortical remapping. In addition, a few subjects actually showed increased activity in parietal and temporal cortex when viewing with the amblyopic eye. We conclude that, even in a heterogeneous population, abnormal early visual experience commonly leads to regionally specific cortical adaptations.
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.
Limanowski, Jakub; Blankenburg, Felix
The brain constructs a flexible representation of the body from multisensory information. Previous work on monkeys suggests that the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and ventral premotor cortex (PMv) represent the position of the upper limbs based on visual and proprioceptive information. Human experiments on the rubber hand illusion implicate similar regions, but since such experiments rely on additional visuo-tactile interactions, they cannot isolate visuo-proprioceptive integration. Here, we independently manipulated the position (palm or back facing) of passive human participants' unseen arm and of a photorealistic virtual 3D arm. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) revealed that matching visual and proprioceptive information about arm position engaged the PPC, PMv, and the body-selective extrastriate body area (EBA); activity in the PMv moreover reflected interindividual differences in congruent arm ownership. Further, the PPC, PMv, and EBA increased their coupling with the primary visual cortex during congruent visuo-proprioceptive position information. These results suggest that human PPC, PMv, and EBA evaluate visual and proprioceptive position information and, under sufficient cross-modal congruence, integrate it into a multisensory representation of the upper limb in space. The position of our limbs in space constantly changes, yet the brain manages to represent limb position accurately by combining information from vision and proprioception. Electrophysiological recordings in monkeys have revealed neurons in the posterior parietal and premotor cortices that seem to implement and update such a multisensory limb representation, but this has been difficult to demonstrate in humans. Our fMRI experiment shows that human posterior parietal, premotor, and body-selective visual brain areas respond preferentially to a virtual arm seen in a position corresponding to one's unseen hidden arm, while increasing their communication with regions conveying visual
Bourgeois, J P; Jastreboff, P J; Rakic, P
We used quantitative electron microscopy to determine the effect of precocious visual experience on the time course, magnitude, and pattern of perinatal synaptic overproduction in the primary visual cortex of the rhesus monkey. Fetuses were delivered by caesarean section 3 weeks before term, exposed to normal light intensity and day/night cycles, and killed within the first postnatal month, together with age-matched controls that were delivered at term. We found that premature visual stimulation does not affect the rate of synaptic accretion and overproduction. Both of these processes proceed in relation to the time of conception rather than to the time of delivery. In contrast, the size, type, and laminar distribution of synapses were significantly different between preterm and control infants. The changes and differences in these parameters correlate with the duration of visual stimulation and become less pronounced with age. If visual experience in infancy influences the maturation of the visual cortex, it must do so predominantly by strengthening, modifying, and/or eliminating synapses that have already been formed, rather than by regulating the rate of synapse production. Images PMID:2726773
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.
Walter, Martin; Witzel, Joachim; Wiebking, Christine; Gubka, Udo; Rotte, Michael; Schiltz, Kolja; Bermpohl, Felix; Tempelmann, Claus; Bogerts, Bernhard; Heinze, Hans Jochen; Northoff, Georg
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.
Fattah, Nabeel; Laha, Soumyasanta; Sokolov, Danil; Chester, Graeme; Degenaar, Patrick
In this paper, the wireless data and power transfer for a novel optogenetic visual cortex implant system was demonstrated by using pork tissue mimic in-vitro at the ISM 2.4 GHz and 13.5 MHz frequency band respectively. The observed data rate was 120 kbps with no loss in data for up to a thickness of 35 mm in both water & pork. To increase the power level of the implant a Class E power amplifier is separately designed and simulated for the transmitter end and has an output power of around 223 mW with an efficiency of 81.83%. The transferred power at the receiver was measured to be 66.80 mW for the pork tissue medium considering a distance of 5 mm between the transmitter and the receiver coils, with a coupling coefficient of ~0.8. This serves the power requirement of the visual cortex implant.
Sligte, Ilja G; Wokke, Martijn E; Tesselaar, Johannes P; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F
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 store), recent studies have suggested the existence of an additional and intermediate form of VSTM that depends on activity in extrastriate cortex. In previous work, we have shown that this fragile form of VSTM can be dissociated from iconic memory. In the present study, we provide evidence that fragile VSTM is different from visual working memory as magnetic stimulation of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) disrupts visual working memory, while leaving fragile VSTM intact. In addition, we observed that people with high DLPFC activity had superior working memory capacity compared to people with low DLPFC activity, and only people with high DLPFC activity really showed a reduction in working memory capacity in response to magnetic stimulation. Altogether, this study shows that VSTM consists of three stages that have clearly different characteristics and rely on different neural structures. On the methodological side, we show that it is possible to predict individual susceptibility to magnetic stimulation based on functional MRI activity. Crown Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Byers, Anna; Serences, John T
Learning to better discriminate a specific visual feature (i.e., a specific orientation in a specific region of space) has been associated with plasticity in early visual areas (sensory modulation) and with improvements in the transmission of sensory information from early visual areas to downstream sensorimotor and decision regions (enhanced readout). However, in many real-world scenarios that require perceptual expertise, observers need to efficiently process numerous exemplars from a broad stimulus class as opposed to just a single stimulus feature. Some previous data suggest that perceptual learning leads to highly specific neural modulations that support the discrimination of specific trained features. However, the extent to which perceptual learning acts to improve the discriminability of a broad class of stimuli via the modulation of sensory responses in human visual cortex remains largely unknown. Here, we used functional MRI and a multivariate analysis method to reconstruct orientation-selective response profiles based on activation patterns in the early visual cortex before and after subjects learned to discriminate small offsets in a set of grating stimuli that were rendered in one of nine possible orientations. Behavioral performance improved across 10 training sessions, and there was a training-related increase in the amplitude of orientation-selective response profiles in V1, V2, and V3 when orientation was task relevant compared with when it was task irrelevant. These results suggest that generalized perceptual learning can lead to modified responses in the early visual cortex in a manner that is suitable for supporting improved discriminability of stimuli drawn from a large set of exemplars. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.
Andreia Martins Rosa; Maria Fátima Silva; Sónia Ferreira; Joaquim Murta; Miguel Castelo-Branco
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 con...
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.
Iordan, Marius Cătălin; Greene, Michelle R; Beck, Diane M; Fei-Fei, Li
Objects can be simultaneously categorized at multiple levels of specificity ranging from very broad ("natural object") to very distinct ("Mr. Woof"), with a mid-level of generality (basic level: "dog") often providing the most cognitively useful distinction between categories. It is unknown, however, how this hierarchical representation is achieved in the brain. Using multivoxel pattern analyses, we examined how well each taxonomic level (superordinate, basic, and subordinate) of real-world object categories is represented across occipitotemporal cortex. We found that, although in early visual cortex objects are best represented at the subordinate level (an effect mostly driven by low-level feature overlap between objects in the same category), this advantage diminishes compared to the basic level as we move up the visual hierarchy, disappearing in object-selective regions of occipitotemporal cortex. This pattern stems from a combined increase in within-category similarity (category cohesion) and between-category dissimilarity (category distinctiveness) of neural activity patterns at the basic level, relative to both subordinate and superordinate levels, suggesting that successive visual areas may be optimizing basic level representations.
Full Text Available An experience-dependent postnatal increase in GABAergic inhibition in the visual cortex is important for the closure of a critical period of enhanced synaptic plasticity. Although maturation of the subclass of parvalbumin (Pv–expressing GABAergic interneurons is known to contribute to critical period closure, the role of epigenetics on cortical inhibition and synaptic plasticity has not been explored. The transcription regulator, histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2, has been shown to modulate synaptic plasticity and learning processes in hippocampal excitatory neurons. We found that genetic deletion of HDAC2 specifically from Pv interneurons reduces inhibitory input in the visual cortex of adult mice and coincides with enhanced long-term depression that is more typical of young mice. These findings show that HDAC2 loss in Pv interneurons leads to a delayed closure of the critical period in the visual cortex and supports the hypothesis that HDAC2 is a key negative regulator of synaptic plasticity in the adult brain.
Nott, Alexi; Cho, Sukhee; Seo, Jinsoo; Tsai, Li-Huei
An experience-dependent postnatal increase in GABAergic inhibition in the visual cortex is important for the closure of a critical period of enhanced synaptic plasticity. Although maturation of the subclass of Parvalbumin (Pv)-expressing GABAergic interneurons is known to contribute to critical period closure, the role of epigenetics on cortical inhibition and synaptic plasticity has not been explored. The transcription regulator, histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2), has been shown to modulate synaptic plasticity and learning processes in hippocampal excitatory neurons. We found that genetic deletion of HDAC2 specifically from Pv-interneurons reduces inhibitory input in the visual cortex of adult mice, and coincides with enhanced long-term depression (LTD) that is more typical of young mice. These findings show that HDAC2 loss in Pv-interneurons leads to a delayed closure of the critical period in the visual cortex and supports the hypothesis that HDAC2 is a key negative regulator of synaptic plasticity in the adult brain.
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.
Mongelli, Valeria; Dehaene, Stanislas; Vinckier, Fabien; Peretz, Isabelle; Bartolomeo, Paolo; Cohen, Laurent
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.
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
Villena-Gonzalez, Mario; Wang, Hao-Ting; Sormaz, Mladen; Mollo, Giovanna; Margulies, Daniel S; Jefferies, Elizabeth A; Smallwood, Jonathan
It is well recognized that the default mode network (DMN) is involved in states of imagination, although the cognitive processes that this association reflects are not well understood. The DMN includes many regions that function as cortical "hubs", including the posterior cingulate/retrosplenial cortex, anterior temporal lobe and the hippocampus. This suggests that the role of the DMN in cognition may reflect a process of cortical integration. In the current study we tested whether functional connectivity from uni-modal regions of cortex into the DMN is linked to features of imaginative thought. We found that strong intrinsic communication between visual and retrosplenial cortex was correlated with the degree of social thoughts about the future. Using an independent dataset, we show that the same region of retrosplenial cortex is functionally coupled to regions of primary visual cortex as well as core regions that make up the DMN. Finally, we compared the functional connectivity of the retrosplenial cortex, with a region of medial prefrontal cortex implicated in the integration of information from regions of the temporal lobe associated with future thought in a prior study. This analysis shows that the retrosplenial cortex is preferentially coupled to medial occipital, temporal lobe regions and the angular gyrus, areas linked to episodic memory, scene construction and navigation. In contrast, the medial prefrontal cortex shows preferential connectivity with motor cortex and lateral temporal and prefrontal regions implicated in language, motor processes and working memory. Together these findings suggest that integrating neural information from visual cortex into retrosplenial cortex may be important for imagining the future and may do so by creating a mental scene in which prospective simulations play out. We speculate that the role of the DMN in imagination may emerge from its capacity to bind together distributed representations from across the cortex in a
Bartsch, Mandy V; Loewe, Kristian; Merkel, Christian; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Tsotsos, John K; Hopf, Jens-Max
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
Arcaro, Michael J; Honey, Christopher J; Mruczek, Ryan EB; Kastner, Sabine; Hasson, Uri
The human visual system can be divided into over two-dozen distinct areas, each of which contains a topographic map of the visual field. A fundamental question in vision neuroscience is how the visual system integrates information from the environment across different areas. Using neuroimaging, we investigated the spatial pattern of correlated BOLD signal across eight visual areas on data collected during rest conditions and during naturalistic movie viewing. The correlation pattern between areas reflected the underlying receptive field organization with higher correlations between cortical sites containing overlapping representations of visual space. In addition, the correlation pattern reflected the underlying widespread eccentricity organization of visual cortex, in which the highest correlations were observed for cortical sites with iso-eccentricity representations including regions with non-overlapping representations of visual space. This eccentricity-based correlation pattern appears to be part of an intrinsic functional architecture that supports the integration of information across functionally specialized visual areas. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03952.001 PMID:25695154
Understanding the balance between synaptic excitation and inhibition in cortical circuits in the brain, and how this contributes to cortical rhythms, is fundamental to explaining information processing in the cortex. This study used cortical layer-specific optogenetic activation in mouse cortex to show that excitatory neurons in any cortical layer can drive powerful gamma rhythms, while inhibition balances excitation. The net impact of this is to keep activity within each layer in check, but simultaneously to promote the propagation of activity to downstream layers. The data show that rhythm-generating circuits exist in all principle layers of the cortex, and provide layer-specific balances of excitation and inhibition that affect the flow of information across the layers. Rhythmic activity can synchronize neural ensembles within and across cortical layers. While gamma band rhythmicity has been observed in all layers, the laminar sources and functional impacts of neuronal synchronization in the cortex remain incompletely understood. Here, layer-specific optogenetic stimulation demonstrates that populations of excitatory neurons in any cortical layer of the mouse's primary visual cortex are sufficient to powerfully entrain neuronal oscillations in the gamma band. Within each layer, inhibition balances excitation and keeps activity in check. Across layers, translaminar output overcomes inhibition and drives downstream firing. These data establish that rhythm-generating circuits exist in all principle layers of the cortex, but provide layer-specific balances of excitation and inhibition that may dynamically shape the flow of information through cortical circuits. These data might help explain how excitation/inhibition (E/I) balances across cortical layers shape information processing, and shed light on the diverse nature and functional impacts of cortical gamma rhythms. © 2018 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2018 The Physiological Society.
Einstein, Michael C; Polack, Pierre-Olivier; Tran, Duy T; Golshani, Peyman
Low-frequency membrane potential ( V m ) oscillations were once thought to only occur in sleeping and anesthetized states. Recently, low-frequency V m oscillations have been described in inactive awake animals, but it is unclear whether they shape sensory processing in neurons and whether they occur during active awake behavioral states. To answer these questions, we performed two-photon guided whole-cell V m recordings from primary visual cortex layer 2/3 excitatory and inhibitory neurons in awake mice during passive visual stimulation and performance of visual and auditory discrimination tasks. We recorded stereotyped 3-5 Hz V m oscillations where the V m baseline hyperpolarized as the V m underwent high amplitude rhythmic fluctuations lasting 1-2 s in duration. When 3-5 Hz V m oscillations coincided with visual cues, excitatory neuron responses to preferred cues were significantly reduced. Despite this disruption to sensory processing, visual cues were critical for evoking 3-5 Hz V m oscillations when animals performed discrimination tasks and passively viewed drifting grating stimuli. Using pupillometry and animal locomotive speed as indicators of arousal, we found that 3-5 Hz oscillations were not restricted to unaroused states and that they occurred equally in aroused and unaroused states. Therefore, low-frequency V m oscillations play a role in shaping sensory processing in visual cortical neurons, even during active wakefulness and decision making. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A neuron's membrane potential ( V m ) strongly shapes how information is processed in sensory cortices of awake animals. Yet, very little is known about how low-frequency V m oscillations influence sensory processing and whether they occur in aroused awake animals. By performing two-photon guided whole-cell recordings from layer 2/3 excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the visual cortex of awake behaving animals, we found visually evoked stereotyped 3-5 Hz V m oscillations that disrupt
Golumbic, Elana Zion; Cogan, Gregory B.; Schroeder, Charles E.; Poeppel, David
Our ability to selectively attend to one auditory signal amidst competing input streams, epitomized by the ‘Cocktail Party’ problem, continues to stimulate research from various approaches. How this demanding perceptual feat is achieved from a neural systems perspective remains unclear and controversial. It is well established that neural responses to attended stimuli are enhanced compared to responses to ignored ones, but responses to ignored stimuli are nonetheless highly significant, leading to interference in performance. We investigated whether congruent visual input of an attended speaker enhances cortical selectivity in auditory cortex, leading to diminished representation of ignored stimuli. We recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG) signals from human participants as they attended to segments of natural continuous speech. Using two complementary methods of quantifying the neural response to speech, we found that viewing a speaker’s face enhances the capacity of auditory cortex to track the temporal speech envelope of that speaker. This mechanism was most effective in a ‘Cocktail Party’ setting, promoting preferential tracking of the attended speaker, whereas without visual input no significant attentional modulation was observed. These neurophysiological results underscore the importance of visual input in resolving perceptual ambiguity in a noisy environment. Since visual cues in speech precede the associated auditory signals, they likely serve a predictive role in facilitating auditory processing of speech, perhaps by directing attentional resources to appropriate points in time when to-be-attended acoustic input is expected to arrive. PMID:23345218
Flevaris, Anastasia V; Murray, Scott O
Neural responses in primary visual cortex (V1) depend on stimulus context in seemingly complex ways. For example, responses to an oriented stimulus can be suppressed when it is flanked by iso-oriented versus orthogonally oriented stimuli but can also be enhanced when attention is directed to iso-oriented versus orthogonal flanking stimuli. Thus the exact same contextual stimulus arrangement can have completely opposite effects on neural responses-in some cases leading to orientation-tuned suppression and in other cases leading to orientation-tuned enhancement. Here we show that stimulus-based suppression and enhancement of fMRI responses in humans depends on small changes in the focus of attention and can be explained by a model that combines feature-based attention with response normalization. Neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) respond to stimuli within a restricted portion of the visual field, termed their "receptive field." However, neuronal responses can also be influenced by stimuli that surround a receptive field, although the nature of these contextual interactions and underlying neural mechanisms are debated. Here we show that the response in V1 to a stimulus in the same context can either be suppressed or enhanced depending on the focus of attention. We are able to explain the results using a simple computational model that combines two well established properties of visual cortical responses: response normalization and feature-based enhancement. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3512273-08$15.00/0.
Wokke, Martijn E; Sligte, Ilja G; Steven Scholte, H; Lamme, Victor A F
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 cortex (V1/V2). However, areas V1/V2 have also been frequently associated with later stages of figure–ground segregation (such as border ownership or surface segregation). To causally link activity in early visual cortex to different stages of figure–ground segregation, we briefly disrupted activity in areas V1/V2 at various moments in time using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Prior to stimulation we presented stimuli that made it possible to differentiate between figure border detection and surface segregation. We concurrently recorded electroencephalographic (EEG) signals to examine how neural correlates of figure–ground segregation were affected by TMS. Results show that disruption of V1/V2 in an early time window (96–119 msec) affected detection of figure stimuli and affected neural correlates of figure border detection, border ownership, and surface segregation. TMS applied in a relatively late time window (236–259 msec) selectively deteriorated performance associated with surface segregation. We conclude that areas V1/V2 are not only essential in an early stage of figure–ground segregation when figure borders are detected, but subsequently causally contribute to more sophisticated stages of figure–ground segregation such as surface segregation. PMID:23170239
Wokke, Martijn E; Sligte, Ilja G; Steven Scholte, H; Lamme, Victor A F
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 cortex (V1/V2). However, areas V1/V2 have also been frequently associated with later stages of figure-ground segregation (such as border ownership or surface segregation). To causally link activity in early visual cortex to different stages of figure-ground segregation, we briefly disrupted activity in areas V1/V2 at various moments in time using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Prior to stimulation we presented stimuli that made it possible to differentiate between figure border detection and surface segregation. We concurrently recorded electroencephalographic (EEG) signals to examine how neural correlates of figure-ground segregation were affected by TMS. Results show that disruption of V1/V2 in an early time window (96-119 msec) affected detection of figure stimuli and affected neural correlates of figure border detection, border ownership, and surface segregation. TMS applied in a relatively late time window (236-259 msec) selectively deteriorated performance associated with surface segregation. We conclude that areas V1/V2 are not only essential in an early stage of figure-ground segregation when figure borders are detected, but subsequently causally contribute to more sophisticated stages of figure-ground segregation such as surface segregation.
Zhou, Zhe Charles; Yu, Chunxiu; Sellers, Kristin K; Fröhlich, Flavio
Visual discrimination requires sensory processing followed by a perceptual decision. Despite a growing understanding of visual areas in this behavior, it is unclear what role top-down signals from prefrontal cortex play, in particular as a function of perceptual difficulty. To address this gap, we investigated how neurons in dorso-lateral frontal cortex (dl-FC) of freely-moving ferrets encode task variables in a two-alternative forced choice visual discrimination task with high- and low-contrast visual input. About two-thirds of all recorded neurons in dl-FC were modulated by at least one of the two task variables, task difficulty and target location. More neurons in dl-FC preferred the hard trials; no such preference bias was found for target location. In individual neurons, this preference for specific task types was limited to brief epochs. Finally, optogenetic stimulation confirmed the functional role of the activity in dl-FC before target touch; suppression of activity in pyramidal neurons with the ArchT silencing opsin resulted in a decrease in reaction time to touch the target but not to retrieve reward. In conclusion, dl-FC activity is differentially recruited for high perceptual difficulty in the freely-moving ferret and the resulting signal may provide top-down behavioral inhibition.
Peter J Fried
Full Text Available Phosphenes are commonly evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS to study the functional organization, connectivity, and excitability of the human visual brain. For years, phosphenes have been documented only from stimulating early visual areas (V1-V3 and a handful of specialized visual regions (V4, V5/MT+ in occipital cortex. Recently, phosphenes were reported after applying TMS to a region of posterior parietal cortex involved in the top-down modulation of visuo-spatial processing. In the present study, we systematically characterized parietal phosphenes to determine if they are generated directly by local mechanisms or emerge through indirect activation of other visual areas. Using technology developed in-house to record the subjective features of phosphenes, we found no systematic differences in the size, shape, location, or frame-of-reference of parietal phosphenes when compared to their occipital counterparts. In a second experiment, discrete deactivation by 1 Hz repetitive TMS yielded a double dissociation: phosphene thresholds increased at the deactivated site without producing a corresponding change at the non-deactivated location. Overall, the commonalities of parietal and occipital phosphenes, and our ability to independently modulate their excitability thresholds, lead us to conclude that they share a common neural basis that is separate from either of the stimulated regions.
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.
Matthews, Paul R; Eastwood, Sharon L; Harrison, Paul J
Most brain gene expression studies of schizophrenia have been conducted in the frontal cortex or hippocampus. The extent to which alterations occur in other cortical regions is not well established. We investigated primary visual cortex (Brodmann area 17) from the Stanley Neuropathology Consortium collection of tissue from 60 subjects with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, or controls. We first carried out a preliminary array screen of pooled RNA, and then used RT-PCR to quantify five mRNAs which the array identified as differentially expressed in schizophrenia (myelin basic protein [MBP], myelin-oligodendrocyte glycoprotein [MOG], β-actin [ACTB], thymosin β-10 [TB10], and superior cervical ganglion-10 [SCG10]). Reduced mRNA levels were confirmed by RT-PCR for MBP, ACTB and TB10. The MBP reduction was limited to transcripts containing exon 2. ACTB and TB10 mRNAs were also decreased in bipolar disorder. None of the transcripts were altered in subjects with major depression. Reduced MBP mRNA in schizophrenia replicates findings in other brain regions and is consistent with oligodendrocyte involvement in the disorder. The decreases in expression of ACTB, and the actin-binding protein gene TB10, suggest changes in cytoskeletal organisation. The findings confirm that the primary visual cortex shows molecular alterations in schizophrenia and extend the evidence for a widespread, rather than focal, cortical pathophysiology.
Kim, Taekjun; Allen, Elena A.; Pasley, Brian N.; Freeman, Ralph D.
Background Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is used to selectively alter neuronal activity of specific regions in the cerebral cortex. TMS is reported to induce either transient disruption or enhancement of different neural functions. However, its effects on tuning properties of sensory neurons have not been studied quantitatively. Objective/Hypothesis Here, we use specific TMS application parameters to determine how they may alter tuning characteristics (orientation, spatial frequency, and contrast sensitivity) of single neurons in the cat’s visual cortex. Methods Single unit spikes were recorded with tungsten microelectrodes from the visual cortex of anesthetized and paralyzed cats (12 males). Repetitive TMS (4Hz, 4sec) was delivered with a 70mm figure-8 coil. We quantified basic tuning parameters of individual neurons for each pre- and post-TMS condition. The statistical significance of changes for each tuning parameter between the two conditions was evaluated with a Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results We generally find long-lasting suppression which persists well beyond the stimulation period. Pre- and post-TMS orientation tuning curves show constant peak values. However, strong suppression at non-preferred orientations tends to narrow the widths of tuning curves. Spatial frequency tuning exhibits an asymmetric change in overall shape, which results in an emphasis on higher frequencies. Contrast tuning curves show nonlinear changes consistent with a gain control mechanism. Conclusions These findings suggest that TMS causes extended interruption of the balance between sub-cortical and intra-cortical inputs. PMID:25862599
van Kerkoerle, Timo; Self, Matthew W; Dagnino, Bruno; Gariel-Mathis, Marie-Alice; Poort, Jasper; van der Togt, Chris; Roelfsema, Pieter R
Cognitive functions rely on the coordinated activity of neurons in many brain regions, but the interactions between cortical areas are not yet well understood. Here we investigated whether low-frequency (α) and high-frequency (γ) oscillations characterize different directions of information flow in monkey visual cortex. We recorded from all layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) and found that γ-waves are initiated in input layer 4 and propagate to the deep and superficial layers of cortex, whereas α-waves propagate in the opposite direction. Simultaneous recordings from V1 and downstream area V4 confirmed that γ- and α-waves propagate in the feedforward and feedback direction, respectively. Microstimulation in V1 elicited γ-oscillations in V4, whereas microstimulation in V4 elicited α-oscillations in V1, thus providing causal evidence for the opposite propagation of these rhythms. Furthermore, blocking NMDA receptors, thought to be involved in feedback processing, suppressed α while boosting γ. These results provide new insights into the relation between brain rhythms and cognition.
Cocchi, Luca; Sale, Martin V; L Gollo, Leonardo; Bell, Peter T; Nguyen, Vinh T; Zalesky, Andrew; Breakspear, Michael; Mattingley, Jason B
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.
Bullins, Jessica; Laurienti, Paul J; Morgan, Ashley R; Norris, James; Paolini, Brielle M; Rejeski, W Jack
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 h prior to scanning. On 1 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 analog 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.
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.
Arngrim, Nanna; Hougaard, Anders; Ahmadi, Khazar
Objective: 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. Methods: 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. 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...
Born, A.P.; Rostrup, Egill; Miranda Gimenez-Ricco, Maria Jo
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...
Forsberg, Lars E.; Bonde, Lars H.; Harvey, Michael A.
and moving visual stimuli from the spontaneous ongoing spiking state, in all layers and zones of areas 17 and 18 indicating that the second threshold is a property of the network. Spontaneous and evoked spiking, thus can easily be distinguished. In addition, the trajectories of spontaneous ongoing states......Most neurons have a threshold separating the silent non-spiking state and the state of producing temporal sequences of spikes. But neurons in vivo also have a second threshold, found recently in granular layer neurons of the primary visual cortex, separating spontaneous ongoing spiking from...... 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...
Chklovskii, Dmitri B.; Koulakov, Alexei A.
The primary visual area (V1) of the mammalian brain is a thin sheet of neurons. Because each neuron is dominated by either right or left eye one can treat V1 as a binary mixture of neurons. The spatial arrangement of neurons dominated by different eyes is known as the ocular dominance (OD) pattern. We propose a theory for OD patterns based on the premise that they are evolutionary adaptations to minimize the length of intra-cortical connections. Thus, the existing OD patterns are obtained by solving a wire length minimization problem. We divide all the neurons into two classes: right- and left-eye dominated. We find that if the number of connections of each neuron with the neurons of the same class differs from that with the other class, the segregation of neurons into monocular regions indeed reduces the wire length. The shape of the regions depends on the relative number of neurons in the two classes. If both classes are equally represented we find that the optimal OD pattern consists of alternating stripes. If one class is less numerous than the other, the optimal OD pattern consists of patches of the underrepresented (ipsilateral) eye dominated neurons surrounded by the neurons of the other class. We predict the transition from stripes to patches when the fraction of neurons dominated by the ipsilateral eye is about 40%. This prediction agrees with the data in macaque and Cebus monkeys. Our theory can be applied to other binary cortical systems.
Mitros, K.; Kossut, M.; Skangiel-Kramska, J.; Mueller, L.; Niemierko, S.; Zernicki, B.
One-month old kittens, binocularly deprived with hoods from birth, were used. Before the experiments in which visual stimulation was applied the brainstem of kittens was transected at the pretrigeminal level. Cortical EEG activity and ocular behavior indicated that the isolated cerebrum of preparations was usually awake during experiment. Patterned visual stimulation was directed to one hemisphere, while the other was used as a control. Visual stimulation evoked in some cases (in 8 out of 17) an increase of incorporation of labelled leucine into the proteins of the striate cortex. Electrophoresis on polyacrylamide gel did not reveal any differences in the pattern of insoluble proteins between the stimulated and control visual cortex. It is suggested that first visual stimulation may enhance the protein metabolism of striate cortex in young kittens. Some unknown up to now physiological factors (motivation, attention) may be critical for these phenomena. (author)
Maloney, Ryan T
Orientation signals in human primary visual cortex (V1) can be reliably decoded from the multivariate pattern of activity as measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The precise underlying source of these decoded signals (whether by orientation biases at a fine or coarse scale in cortex) remains a matter of some controversy, however. Freeman and colleagues (J Neurosci 33: 19695-19703, 2013) recently showed that the accuracy of decoding of spiral patterns in V1 can be predicted by a voxel's preferred spatial position (the population receptive field) and its coarse orientation preference, suggesting that coarse-scale biases are sufficient for orientation decoding. Whether they are also necessary for decoding remains an open question, and one with implications for the broader interpretation of multivariate decoding results in fMRI studies. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
Cicmil, Nela; Krug, Kristine
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.
Cicmil, Nela; Krug, Kristine
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
Wang, Yan; Wu, Wei; Zhang, Xian; Hu, Xu; Li, Yue; Lou, Shihao; Ma, Xiao; An, Xu; Liu, Hui; Peng, Jing; Ma, Danyi; Zhou, Yifeng; Yang, Yupeng
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.
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.
Bolognini, Nadia; Rossetti, Angela; Maravita, Angelo; Miniussi, Carlo
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.
Zhou, Zhiyi; Bernard, Melanie R; Bonds, A B
Spatiotemporal relationships among contour segments can influence synchronization of neural responses in the primary visual cortex. We performed a systematic study to dissociate the impact of spatial and temporal factors in the signaling of contour integration via synchrony. In addition, we characterized the temporal evolution of this process to clarify potential underlying mechanisms. With a 10 x 10 microelectrode array, we recorded the simultaneous activity of multiple cells in the cat primary visual cortex while stimulating with drifting sine-wave gratings. We preserved temporal integrity and systematically degraded spatial integrity of the sine-wave gratings by adding spatial noise. Neural synchronization was analyzed in the time and frequency domains by conducting cross-correlation and coherence analyses. The general association between neural spike trains depends strongly on spatial integrity, with coherence in the gamma band (35-70 Hz) showing greater sensitivity to the change of spatial structure than other frequency bands. Analysis of the temporal dynamics of synchronization in both time and frequency domains suggests that spike timing synchronization is triggered nearly instantaneously by coherent structure in the stimuli, whereas frequency-specific oscillatory components develop more slowly, presumably through network interactions. Our results suggest that, whereas temporal integrity is required for the generation of synchrony, spatial integrity is critical in triggering subsequent gamma band synchronization.
Kark, Sarah M; Slotnick, Scott D; Kensinger, Elizabeth A
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.
Liu, Tina T; Behrmann, Marlene
Understanding the nature and extent of neural plasticity in humans remains a key challenge for neuroscience. Importantly, however, a precise characterization of plasticity and its underlying mechanism has the potential to enable new approaches for enhancing reorganization of cortical function. Investigations of the impairment and subsequent recovery of cognitive and perceptual functions following early-onset cortical lesions in humans provide a unique opportunity to elucidate how the brain changes, adapts, and reorganizes. Specifically, here, we focus on restitution of visual function, and we review the findings on plasticity and re-organization of the ventral occipital temporal cortex (VOTC) in published reports of 46 patients with a lesion to or resection of the visual cortex early in life. Findings reveal that a lesion to the VOTC results in a deficit that affects the visual recognition of more than one category of stimuli (faces, objects and words). In addition, the majority of pediatric patients show limited recovery over time, especially those in whom deficits in low-level vision also persist. Last, given that neither the equipotentiality nor the modularity view on plasticity was clearly supported, we suggest some intermediate possibilities in which some plasticity may be evident but that this might depend on the area that was affected, its maturational trajectory as well as its structural and functional connectivity constraints. Finally, we offer suggestions for future research that can elucidate plasticity further. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Meindertsma, Thomas; Hillebrand, Arjan; van Dijk, Bob W.; Lamme, Victor A. F.; Donner, Tobias H.
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
Luft, Caroline D B; Meeson, Alan; Welchman, Andrew E; Kourtzi, Zoe
Learning the structure of the environment is critical for interpreting the current scene and predicting upcoming events. However, the brain mechanisms that support our ability to translate knowledge about scene statistics to sensory predictions remain largely unknown. Here we provide evidence that learning of temporal regularities shapes representations in early visual cortex that relate to our ability to predict sensory events. We tested the participants' ability to predict the orientation of a test stimulus after exposure to sequences of leftward- or rightward-oriented gratings. Using fMRI decoding, we identified brain patterns related to the observers' visual predictions rather than stimulus-driven activity. Decoding of predicted orientations following structured sequences was enhanced after training, while decoding of cued orientations following exposure to random sequences did not change. These predictive representations appear to be driven by the same large-scale neural populations that encode actual stimulus orientation and to be specific to the learned sequence structure. Thus our findings provide evidence that learning temporal structures supports our ability to predict future events by reactivating selective sensory representations as early as in primary visual cortex. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
Sengpiel, F.; Beaver, C. J.; Crocker-Buque, A.; Kelly, G. M.; Matthews, R. T.; Mitchell, D. E.
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
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.
Folias, Stefanos E; Yu, Shan; Snyder, Abigail; Nikolić, Danko; Rubin, Jonathan E
Neurons in the visual cortex exhibit heterogeneity in feature selectivity and the tendency to generate action potentials synchronously with other nearby neurons. By examining visual responses from cat area 17 we found that, during gamma oscillations, there was a positive correlation between each unit's sharpness of orientation tuning, strength of oscillations, and propensity towards synchronisation with other units. Using a computational model, we demonstrated that heterogeneity in the strength of rhythmic inhibitory inputs can account for the correlations between these three properties. Neurons subject to strong inhibition tend to oscillate strongly in response to both optimal and suboptimal stimuli and synchronise promiscuously with other neurons, even if they have different orientation preferences. Moreover, these strongly inhibited neurons can exhibit sharp orientation selectivity provided that the inhibition they receive is broadly tuned relative to their excitatory inputs. These results predict that the strength and orientation tuning of synaptic inhibition are heterogeneous across area 17 neurons, which could have important implications for these neurons' sensory processing capabilities. Furthermore, although our experimental recordings were conducted in the visual cortex, our model and simulation results can apply more generally to any brain region with analogous neuron types in which heterogeneity in the strength of rhythmic inhibition can arise during gamma oscillations. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
In human long-term memory, ideas and concepts become associated in the learning process1. No neuronal correlate for this cognitive function has so far been described, except that memory traces are thought to be localized in the cerebral cortex; the temporal lobe has been assigned as the site for visual experience because electric stimulation of this area results in imagery recall,2 and lesions produce deficits in visual recognition of objects3-9. We previously reported that in the anterior ventral temporal cortex of monkeys, individual neurons have a sustained activity that is highly selective for a few of the 100 coloured fractal patterns used in a visual working-memory task10. Here I report the development of this selectivity through repeated trials involving the working memory. The few patterns for which a neuron was conjointly selective were frequently related to each other through stimulus-stimulus association imposed during training. The results indicate that the selectivity acquired by these cells represents a neuronal correlate of the associative long-term memory of pictures.
Huh, Carey Y L; Peach, John P; Bennett, Corbett; Vega, Roxana M; Hestrin, Shaul
Higher and lower cortical areas in the visual hierarchy are reciprocally connected . 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.
Full Text Available A repetitive movement practice by motor imagery (MI can inﬂuence motor cortical excitability in the electroencephalogram (EEG. The feedback and the feedback environment should be inherently motivating and relevant for the learner and should have an appeal of novelty, real-world relevance or aesthetic value (Ryan and Deci, 2000; Merrill, 2007. This study investigated if a realistic visualization in 3D of upper and lower limb movements can amplify motor related potentials during motor imagery. We hypothesized that a richer sensory visualization might be more effective during instrumental conditioning, resulting in a more pronounced event related desynchronisation (ERD of the upper alpha band (10-12 Hz over the sensorimotor cortices thereby potentially improving MI based BCI protocols for motor rehabilitation. The results show a strong increase of the characteristic patterns of ERD of the upper alpha band components for left and right limb motor imagery present over the sensorimotor areas in both visualization conditions. Overall, significant differences were observed as a function of visualization modality (2D vs. 3D. The largest upper alpha band power decrease was obtained during motor imagery after a 3-dimensional visualization. In total in 12 out of 20 tasks the end-user of the 3D visualization group showed an enhanced upper alpha ERD relative to 2D visualization modality group, with statistical significance in nine tasks.With a realistic visualization of the limb movements, we tried to increase motor cortex activation during MI. Realistic visual feedback, consistent with the participant’s motor imagery, might be helpful for accomplishing successful motor imagery and the use of such feedback may assist in making BCI a more natural interface for motor imagery based BCI rehabilitation.
Rosenberg, Ari; Angelaki, Dora E
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.
Gregory D. Scott
Full Text Available Brain reorganization associated with altered sensory experience clarifies the critical role of neuroplasticity in development. An example is enhanced peripheral visual processing associated with congenital deafness, but the neural systems supporting this have not been fully characterized. A gap in our understanding of deafness-enhanced peripheral vision is the contribution of primary auditory cortex. Previous studies of auditory cortex that use anatomical normalization across participants were limited by inter-subject variability of Heschl’s gyrus. In addition to reorganized auditory cortex (cross-modal plasticity, a second gap in our understanding is the contribution of altered modality-specific cortices (visual intramodal plasticity in this case, as well as supramodal and multisensory cortices, especially when target detection is required across contrasts. Here we address these gaps by comparing fMRI signal change for peripheral versus perifoveal visual stimulation (11-15° vs. 2°-7° in congenitally deaf and hearing participants in a blocked experimental design with two analytical approaches: a Heschl’s gyrus region of interest analysis and a whole brain analysis. Our results using individually-defined primary auditory cortex (Heschl’s gyrus indicate that fMRI signal change for more peripheral stimuli was greater than perifoveal in deaf but not in hearing participants. Whole-brain analyses revealed differences between deaf and hearing participants for peripheral versus perifoveal visual processing in extrastriate visual cortex including primary auditory cortex, MT+/V5, superior-temporal auditory and multisensory and/or supramodal regions, such as posterior parietal cortex, frontal eye fields, anterior cingulate, and supplementary eye fields. Overall, these data demonstrate the contribution of neuroplasticity in multiple systems including primary auditory cortex, supramodal and multisensory regions, to altered visual processing in
Godde, Ben; Leonhardt, Ralph; Cords, Sven M.; Dinse, Hubert R.
In contrast to the high degree of experience-dependent plasticity usually exhibited by cortical representational maps, a number of experiments performed in visual cortex suggest that the basic layout of orientation preference maps is only barely susceptible to activity-dependent modifications. In fact, most of what we know about activity-dependent plasticity in adults comes from experiments in somatosensory, auditory, or motor cortex. Applying a stimulation protocol that has been proven highly effective in other cortical areas, we demonstrate here that enforced synchronous cortical activity induces major changes of orientation preference maps (OPMs) in adult cats. Combining optical imaging of intrinsic signals and electrophysiological single-cell recordings, we show that a few hours of intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) lead to an enlargement of the cortical representational zone at the ICMS site and an extensive restructuring of the entire OPM layout up to several millimeters away, paralleled by dramatic changes of pinwheel numbers and locations. At the single-cell level, we found that the preferred orientation was shifted toward the orientation of the ICMS site over a region of up to 4 mm. Our results show that manipulating the synchronicity of cortical activity locally without invoking training, attention, or reinforcement, OPMs undergo large-scale reorganization reminiscent of plastic changes observed for nonvisual cortical maps. However, changes were much more widespread and enduring. Such large-scale restructuring of the visual cortical networks indicates a substantial capability for activity-dependent plasticity of adult visual cortex and may provide the basis for cognitive learning processes. PMID:11959906
De Weerd, Peter; Reithler, Joel; van de Ven, Vincent; Been, Marin; Jacobs, Christianne; Sack, Alexander T
Practice-induced improvements in skilled performance reflect "offline " consolidation processes extending beyond daily training sessions. According to visual learning theories, an early, fast learning phase driven by high-level areas is followed by a late, asymptotic learning phase driven by low-level, retinotopic areas when higher resolution is required. Thus, low-level areas would not contribute to learning and offline consolidation until late learning. Recent studies have challenged this notion, demonstrating modified responses to trained stimuli in primary visual cortex (V1) and offline activity after very limited training. However, the behavioral relevance of modified V1 activity for offline consolidation of visual skill memory in V1 after early training sessions remains unclear. Here, we used neuronavigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) directed to a trained retinotopic V1 location to test for behaviorally relevant consolidation in human low-level visual cortex. Applying TMS to the trained V1 location within 45 min of the first or second training session strongly interfered with learning, as measured by impaired performance the next day. The interference was conditional on task context and occurred only when training in the location targeted by TMS was followed by training in a second location before TMS. In this condition, high-level areas may become coupled to the second location and uncoupled from the previously trained low-level representation, thereby rendering consolidation vulnerable to interference. Our data show that, during the earliest phases of skill learning in the lowest-level visual areas, a behaviorally relevant form of consolidation exists of which the robustness is controlled by high-level, contextual factors.
Charles F Cadieu
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.
Merkel, Nina; Wibral, Michael; Bland, Gareth; Singer, Wolf
Human subjects were trained with neurofeedback (NFB) to enhance the power of narrow-band gamma oscillations in circumscribed regions of early visual cortex. To select the region and the oscillation frequency for NFB training, gamma oscillations were induced with locally presented drifting gratings. The source and frequency of these induced oscillations were determined using beamforming methods. During NFB training the power of narrow band gamma oscillations was continuously extracted from this source with online beamforming and converted into the pitch of a tone signal. We found that seven out of ten subjects were able to selectively increase the amplitude of gamma oscillations in the absence of visual stimulation. One subject however failed completely and two subjects succeeded to manipulate the feedback signal by contraction of muscles. In all subjects the attempts to enhance visual gamma oscillations were associated with an increase of beta oscillations over precentral/frontal regions. Only successful subjects exhibited an additional marked increase of theta oscillations over precentral/prefrontal and temporal regions whereas unsuccessful subjects showed an increase of alpha band oscillations over occipital regions. We argue that spatially confined networks in early visual cortex can be entrained to engage in narrow band gamma oscillations not only by visual stimuli but also by top down signals. We interpret the concomitant increase in beta oscillations as indication for an engagement of the fronto-parietal attention network and the increase of theta oscillations as a correlate of imagery. Our finding support the application of NFB in disease conditions associated with impaired gamma synchronization. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Tschechne, Stephan; Neumann, Heiko
Visual structures in the environment are segmented into image regions and those combined to a representation of surfaces and prototypical objects. Such a perceptual organization is performed by complex neural mechanisms in the visual cortex of primates. Multiple mutually connected areas in the ventral cortical pathway receive visual input and extract local form features that are subsequently grouped into increasingly complex, more meaningful image elements. Such a distributed network of processing must be capable to make accessible highly articulated changes in shape boundary as well as very subtle curvature changes that contribute to the perception of an object. We propose a recurrent computational network architecture that utilizes hierarchical distributed representations of shape features to encode surface and object boundary over different scales of resolution. Our model makes use of neural mechanisms that model the processing capabilities of early and intermediate stages in visual cortex, namely areas V1-V4 and IT. We suggest that multiple specialized component representations interact by feedforward hierarchical processing that is combined with feedback signals driven by representations generated at higher stages. Based on this, global configurational as well as local information is made available to distinguish changes in the object's contour. Once the outline of a shape has been established, contextual contour configurations are used to assign border ownership directions and thus achieve segregation of figure and ground. The model, thus, proposes how separate mechanisms contribute to distributed hierarchical cortical shape representation and combine with processes of figure-ground segregation. Our model is probed with a selection of stimuli to illustrate processing results at different processing stages. We especially highlight how modulatory feedback connections contribute to the processing of visual input at various stages in the processing hierarchy.
Full Text Available Visual structures in the environment are effortlessly segmented into image regions and those combined to a representation of surfaces and prototypical objects. Such a perceptual organization is performed by complex neural mechanisms in the visual cortex of primates. Multiple mutually connected areas in the ventral cortical pathway receive visual input and extract local form features that are subsequently grouped into increasingly complex, more meaningful image elements. At this stage, highly articulated changes in shape boundary as well as very subtle curvature changes contribute to the perception of an object.We propose a recurrent computational network architecture that utilizes a hierarchical distributed representation of shape features to encode boundary features over different scales of resolution. Our model makes use of neural mechanisms that model the processing capabilities of early and intermediate stages in visual cortex, namely areas V1-V4 and IT. We suggest that multiple specialized component representations interact by feedforward hierarchical processing that is combined with feedback from representations generated at higher stages. In so doing, global configurational as well as local information is available to distinguish changes in the object's contour. Once the outline of a shape has been established, contextual contour configurations are used to assign border ownership directions and thus achieve segregation of figure and ground. This combines separate findings about the generation of cortical shape representation using hierarchical representations with figure-ground segregation mechanisms.Our model is probed with a selection of artificial and real world images to illustrate processing results at different processing stages. We especially highlight how modulatory feedback connections contribute to the processing of visual input at various stages in the processing hierarchy.
Rüdiger evon der Heydt
Full Text Available A long history of studies of perception has shown that the visual system organizes the incoming information early on, interpreting the 2D image in terms of a 3D world and producing a structure that provides perceptual continuity and enables object-based attention. Recordings from monkey visual cortex show that many neurons, especially in area V2, are selective for border ownership. These neurons are edge selective and have ordinary classical receptive fields, but in addition their responses are modulated (enhanced or suppressed depending on the location of a ‘figure’ relative to the edge in their receptive field. Each neuron has a fixed preference for location on one side or the other. This selectivity is derived from the image context far beyond the classical receptive field. This paper reviews evidence indicating that border ownership selectivity reflects the formation of early object representations (‘proto-objects’. The evidence includes experiments showing (1 reversal of border ownership signals with change of perceived object structure, (2 border ownership specific enhancement of responses in object-based selective attention, (3 persistence of border ownership signals in accordance with continuity of object perception, and (4 remapping of border ownership signals across saccades and object movements. Findings 1 and 2 can be explained by hypothetical grouping circuits that sum contour feature signals in search of objecthood, and, via recurrent projections, enhance the corresponding low-level feature signals. Findings 3 and 4 might be explained by assuming that the activity of grouping circuits persists and can be remapped. Grouping, persistence and remapping are fundamental operations of vision. Finding these operations manifest in low-level visual areas challenges traditional views of visual processing. New computational models need to be developed for a comprehensive understanding of the function of the visual cortex.
von der Heydt, Rüdiger
A long history of studies of perception has shown that the visual system organizes the incoming information early on, interpreting the 2D image in terms of a 3D world and producing a structure that provides perceptual continuity and enables object-based attention. Recordings from monkey visual cortex show that many neurons, especially in area V2, are selective for border ownership. These neurons are edge selective and have ordinary classical receptive fields (CRF), but in addition their responses are modulated (enhanced or suppressed) depending on the location of a 'figure' relative to the edge in their receptive field. Each neuron has a fixed preference for location on one side or the other. This selectivity is derived from the image context far beyond the CRF. This paper reviews evidence indicating that border ownership selectivity reflects the formation of early object representations ('proto-objects'). The evidence includes experiments showing (1) reversal of border ownership signals with change of perceived object structure, (2) border ownership specific enhancement of responses in object-based selective attention, (3) persistence of border ownership signals in accordance with continuity of object perception, and (4) remapping of border ownership signals across saccades and object movements. Findings 1 and 2 can be explained by hypothetical grouping circuits that sum contour feature signals in search of objectness, and, via recurrent projections, enhance the corresponding low-level feature signals. Findings 3 and 4 might be explained by assuming that the activity of grouping circuits persists and can be remapped. Grouping, persistence, and remapping are fundamental operations of vision. Finding these operations manifest in low-level visual areas challenges traditional views of visual processing. New computational models need to be developed for a comprehensive understanding of the function of the visual cortex.
von der Heydt, Rüdiger
A long history of studies of perception has shown that the visual system organizes the incoming information early on, interpreting the 2D image in terms of a 3D world and producing a structure that provides perceptual continuity and enables object-based attention. Recordings from monkey visual cortex show that many neurons, especially in area V2, are selective for border ownership. These neurons are edge selective and have ordinary classical receptive fields (CRF), but in addition their responses are modulated (enhanced or suppressed) depending on the location of a ‘figure’ relative to the edge in their receptive field. Each neuron has a fixed preference for location on one side or the other. This selectivity is derived from the image context far beyond the CRF. This paper reviews evidence indicating that border ownership selectivity reflects the formation of early object representations (‘proto-objects’). The evidence includes experiments showing (1) reversal of border ownership signals with change of perceived object structure, (2) border ownership specific enhancement of responses in object-based selective attention, (3) persistence of border ownership signals in accordance with continuity of object perception, and (4) remapping of border ownership signals across saccades and object movements. Findings 1 and 2 can be explained by hypothetical grouping circuits that sum contour feature signals in search of objectness, and, via recurrent projections, enhance the corresponding low-level feature signals. Findings 3 and 4 might be explained by assuming that the activity of grouping circuits persists and can be remapped. Grouping, persistence, and remapping are fundamental operations of vision. Finding these operations manifest in low-level visual areas challenges traditional views of visual processing. New computational models need to be developed for a comprehensive understanding of the function of the visual cortex. PMID:26579062
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)
Emadi, Nazli; Rajimehr, Reza; Esteky, Hossein
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 (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. PMID:25404900
Miki, Atsushi [Niigata Univ. (Japan). Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences
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)
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)
Pietrasanta, M.; Restani, L.; Cerri, C.; Olcese, U.; Medini, P.; Caleo, M.
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
Schubert, Florian; Bock, Markus; Walaszek, Bernadeta; Waiczies, Helmar; Schwenteck, Thomas; Dörr, Jan; Bellmann-Strobl, Judith; Mohr, Christian; Weinges-Evers, Nicholetta; Ittermann, Bernd; Wuerfel, Jens T.; Paul, Friedemann
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. PMID:21494672
Sollfrank, Teresa; Hart, Daniel; Goodsell, Rachel; Foster, Jonathan; Tan, Tele
A repetitive movement practice by motor imagery (MI) can influence motor cortical excitability in the electroencephalogram (EEG). This study investigated if a realistic visualization in 3D of upper and lower limb movements can amplify motor related potentials during subsequent MI. We hypothesized that a richer sensory visualization might be more effective during instrumental conditioning, resulting in a more pronounced event related desynchronization (ERD) of the upper alpha band (10-12 Hz) over the sensorimotor cortices thereby potentially improving MI based brain-computer interface (BCI) protocols for motor rehabilitation. The results show a strong increase of the characteristic patterns of ERD of the upper alpha band components for left and right limb MI present over the sensorimotor areas in both visualization conditions. Overall, significant differences were observed as a function of visualization modality (VM; 2D vs. 3D). The largest upper alpha band power decrease was obtained during MI after a 3-dimensional visualization. In total in 12 out of 20 tasks the end-user of the 3D visualization group showed an enhanced upper alpha ERD relative to 2D VM group, with statistical significance in nine tasks.With a realistic visualization of the limb movements, we tried to increase motor cortex activation during subsequent MI. The feedback and the feedback environment should be inherently motivating and relevant for the learner and should have an appeal of novelty, real-world relevance or aesthetic value (Ryan and Deci, 2000; Merrill, 2007). Realistic visual feedback, consistent with the participant's MI, might be helpful for accomplishing successful MI and the use of such feedback may assist in making BCI a more natural interface for MI based BCI rehabilitation.
Krüger, Norbert; Janssen, Peter; Kalkan, Sinan; Lappe, Markus; Leonardis, Ales; Piater, Justus; Rodríguez-Sánchez, Antonio J; Wiskott, Laurenz
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.
Full Text Available Previous studies have reported inconsistent effects of dietary restriction (DR on cortical inhibition. To clarify this issue, we examined the response properties of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1 of DR and control groups of cats using in vivo extracellular single-unit recording techniques, and assessed the synthesis of inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the V1 of cats from both groups using immunohistochemical and Western blot techniques. Our results showed that the response of V1 neurons to visual stimuli was significantly modified by DR, as indicated by an enhanced selectivity for stimulus orientations and motion directions, decreased visually-evoked response, lowered spontaneous activity and increased signal-to-noise ratio in DR cats relative to control cats. Further, it was shown that, accompanied with these changes of neuronal responsiveness, GABA immunoreactivity and the expression of a key GABA-synthesizing enzyme GAD67 in the V1 were significantly increased by DR. These results demonstrate that DR may retard brain aging by increasing the intracortical inhibition effect and improve the function of visual cortical neurons in visual information processing. This DR-induced elevation of cortical inhibition may favor the brain in modulating energy expenditure based on food availability.
Yang, Jinfang; Wang, Qian; He, Fenfen; Ding, Yanxia; Sun, Qingyan; Hua, Tianmiao; Xi, Minmin
Previous studies have reported inconsistent effects of dietary restriction (DR) on cortical inhibition. To clarify this issue, we examined the response properties of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) of DR and control groups of cats using in vivo extracellular single-unit recording techniques, and assessed the synthesis of inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the V1 of cats from both groups using immunohistochemical and Western blot techniques. Our results showed that the response of V1 neurons to visual stimuli was significantly modified by DR, as indicated by an enhanced selectivity for stimulus orientations and motion directions, decreased visually-evoked response, lowered spontaneous activity and increased signal-to-noise ratio in DR cats relative to control cats. Further, it was shown that, accompanied with these changes of neuronal responsiveness, GABA immunoreactivity and the expression of a key GABA-synthesizing enzyme GAD67 in the V1 were significantly increased by DR. These results demonstrate that DR may retard brain aging by increasing the intracortical inhibition effect and improve the function of visual cortical neurons in visual information processing. This DR-induced elevation of cortical inhibition may favor the brain in modulating energy expenditure based on food availability.
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.
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.
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.
Piëch, Valentin; Li, Wu; Reeke, George N; Gilbert, Charles D
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.
Silvanto, Juha; Cattaneo, Zaira
Cortical areas involved in sensory analysis are also believed to be involved in short-term storage of that sensory information. Here we investigated whether transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can reveal the content of visual short-term memory (VSTM) by bringing this information to visual awareness. Subjects were presented with two random-dot displays (moving either to the left or to the right) and they were required to maintain one of these in VSTM. In Experiment 1, TMS was applied over the motion-selective area V5/MT+ above phosphene threshold during the maintenance phase. The reported phosphene contained motion features of the memory item, when the phosphene spatially overlapped with memory item. Specifically, phosphene motion was enhanced when the memory item moved in the same direction as the subjects' V5/MT+ baseline phosphene, whereas it was reduced when the motion direction of the memory item was incongruent with that of the baseline V5/MT+ phosphene. There was no effect on phosphene reports when there was no spatial overlap between the phosphene and the memory item. In Experiment 2, VSTM maintenance did not influence the appearance of phosphenes induced from the lateral occipital region. These interactions between VSTM maintenance and phosphene appearance demonstrate that activity in V5/MT+ reflects the motion qualities of items maintained in VSTM. Furthermore, these results also demonstrate that information in VSTM can modulate the pattern of visual activation reaching awareness, providing evidence for the view that overlapping neuronal populations are involved in conscious visual perception and VSTM. 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Li, Qiaojun; Song, Ming; Xu, Jiayuan; Qin, Wen; Yu, Chunshui; Jiang, Tianzi
Blindness primarily induces structural alteration in the primary visual cortex (V1). Some studies have found that the early blind subjects had a thicker V1 compared to sighted controls, whereas late blind subjects showed no significant differences in the V1. This implies that the age of blindness onset may exert significant effects on the development of cortical thickness of the V1. However, no previous research used a trajectory of the age of blindness onset-related changes to investigate these effects. Here we explored this issue by mapping the cortical thickness trajectory of the V1 against the age of blindness onset using data from 99 blind individuals whose age of blindness onset ranged from birth to 34 years. We found that the cortical thickness of the V1 could be fitted well with a quadratic curve in both the left (F = 11.59, P = 3 × 10 -5 ) and right hemispheres (F = 6.54, P = 2 × 10 -3 ). Specifically, the cortical thickness of the V1 thinned rapidly during childhood and adolescence and did not change significantly thereafter. This trend was not observed in the primary auditory cortex (A1), primary motor cortex (M1), or primary somatosensory cortex (S1). These results provide evidence that an onset of blindness before adulthood significantly affects the cortical thickness of the V1 and suggest a critical period for cortical development of the human V1.
Kunz, Portia A; Burette, Alain C; Weinberg, Richard J; Philpot, Benjamin D
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
Rosanne L Rademaker
Full Text Available 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.
Rademaker, Rosanne L; van de Ven, Vincent G; Tong, Frank; Sack, Alexander T
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.
Osaka, Naoyuki; Matsuyoshi, Daisuke; Ikeda, Takashi; Osaka, Mariko
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.
Vaziri, Siavash; Connor, Charles E
The ventral visual pathway in humans and non-human primates is known to represent object information, including shape and identity . 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 . 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 , 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.
Peters, Benjamin; Kaiser, Jochen; Rahm, Benjamin; Bledowski, Christoph
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.
Forsberg, Lars E.; Bonde, Lars H.; Harvey, Michael A.; Roland, Per E.
Most neurons have a threshold separating the silent non-spiking state and the state of producing temporal sequences of spikes. But neurons in vivo also have a second threshold, found recently in granular layer neurons of the primary visual cortex, separating spontaneous ongoing spiking from 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 and moving visual stimuli from the spontaneous ongoing spiking state, in all layers and zones of areas 17 and 18 indicating that the second threshold is a property of the network. Spontaneous and evoked spiking, thus can easily be distinguished. In addition, the trajectories of spontaneous ongoing states were slow, frequently changing direction. In single trials, sharp as well as smooth and slow transients transform the trajectories to be outward directed, fast and crossing the threshold to become evoked. Although the speeds of the evolution of the evoked states differ, the same domain of the state space is explored indicating uniformity of the evoked states. All evoked states return to the spontaneous evoked spiking state as in a typical mono-stable dynamical system. In single trials, neither the original spiking rates, nor the temporal evolution in state space could distinguish simple visual scenes. PMID:27582693
Baumgartner, Elisabeth; Gegenfurtner, Karl R
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.
Scott, Gregory D.; Karns, Christina M.; Dow, Mark W.; Stevens, Courtney; Neville, Helen J.
Brain reorganization associated with altered sensory experience clarifies the critical role of neuroplasticity in development. An example is enhanced peripheral visual processing associated with congenital deafness, but the neural systems supporting this have not been fully characterized. A gap in our understanding of deafness-enhanced peripheral vision is the contribution of primary auditory cortex. Previous studies of auditory cortex that use anatomical normalization across participants wer...
Stephany, Céleste-Élise; Ikrar, Taruna; Nguyen, Collins; Xu, Xiangmin; McGee, Aaron W
A characteristic of the developing mammalian visual system is a brief interval of plasticity, termed the "critical period," when the circuitry of primary visual cortex is most sensitive to perturbation of visual experience. Depriving one eye of vision (monocular deprivation [MD]) during the critical period alters ocular dominance (OD) by shifting the responsiveness of neurons in visual cortex to favor the nondeprived eye. A disinhibitory microcircuit involving parvalbumin-expressing (PV) interneurons initiates this OD plasticity. The gene encoding the neuronal nogo-66-receptor 1 (ngr1/rtn4r) is required to close the critical period. Here we combined mouse genetics, electrophysiology, and circuit mapping with laser-scanning photostimulation to investigate whether disinhibition is confined to the critical period by ngr1 We demonstrate that ngr1 mutant mice retain plasticity characteristic of the critical period as adults, and that ngr1 operates within PV interneurons to restrict the loss of intracortical excitatory synaptic input following MD in adult mice, and this disinhibition induces a "lower PV network configuration" in both critical-period wild-type mice and adult ngr1 -/- mice. We propose that ngr1 limits disinhibition to close the critical period for OD plasticity and that a decrease in PV expression levels reports the diminished recent cumulative activity of these interneurons. Life experience refines brain circuits throughout development during specified critical periods. Abnormal experience during these critical periods can yield enduring maladaptive changes in neural circuits that impair brain function. In the developing visual system, visual deprivation early in life can result in amblyopia (lazy-eye), a prevalent childhood disorder comprising permanent deficits in spatial vision. Here we identify that the nogo-66 receptor 1 gene restricts an early and essential step in OD plasticity to the critical period. These findings link the emerging circuit
Pratte, Michael S; Tong, Frank
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.
Siu, Caitlin R; Balsor, Justin L; Jones, David G; Murphy, Kathryn M
Traditionally, myelin is viewed as insulation around axons, however, more recent studies have shown it also plays an important role in plasticity, axonal metabolism, and neuroimmune signaling. Myelin is a complex multi-protein structure composed of hundreds of proteins, with Myelin Basic Protein (MBP) being the most studied. MBP has two families: Classic-MBP that is necessary for activity driven compaction of myelin around axons, and Golli-MBP that is found in neurons, oligodendrocytes, and T-cells. Furthermore, Golli-MBP has been called a "molecular link" between the nervous and immune systems. In visual cortex specifically, myelin proteins interact with immune processes to affect experience-dependent plasticity. We studied myelin in human visual cortex using Western blotting to quantify Classic- and Golli-MBP expression in post-mortem tissue samples ranging in age from 20 days to 80 years. We found that Classic- and Golli-MBP have different patterns of change across the lifespan. Classic-MBP gradually increases to 42 years and then declines into aging. Golli-MBP has early developmental changes that are coincident with milestones in visual system sensitive period, and gradually increases into aging. There are three stages in the balance between Classic- and Golli-MBP expression, with Golli-MBP dominating early, then shifting to Classic-MBP, and back to Golli-MBP in aging. Also Golli-MBP has a wave of high inter-individual variability during childhood. These results about cortical MBP expression are timely because they compliment recent advances in MRI techniques that produce high resolution maps of cortical myelin in normal and diseased brain. In addition, the unique pattern of Golli-MBP expression across the lifespan suggests that it supports high levels of neuroimmune interaction in cortical development and in aging.
Brants, Marijke; Bulthé, Jessica; Daniels, Nicky; Wagemans, Johan; Op de Beeck, Hans P
Visual object perception is an important function in primates which can be fine-tuned by experience, even in adults. Which factors determine the regions and the neurons that are modified by learning is still unclear. Recently, it was proposed that the exact cortical focus and distribution of learning effects might depend upon the pre-learning mapping of relevant functional properties and how this mapping determines the informativeness of neural units for the stimuli and the task to be learned. From this hypothesis we would expect that visual experience would strengthen the pre-learning distributed functional map of the relevant distinctive object properties. Here we present a first test of this prediction in twelve human subjects who were trained in object categorization and differentiation, preceded and followed by a functional magnetic resonance imaging session. Specifically, training increased the distributed multi-voxel pattern information for trained object distinctions in object-selective cortex, resulting in a generalization from pre-training multi-voxel activity patterns to after-training activity patterns. Simulations show that the increased selectivity combined with the inter-session generalization is consistent with a training-induced strengthening of a pre-existing selectivity map. No training-related neural changes were detected in other regions. In sum, training to categorize or individuate objects strengthened pre-existing representations in human object-selective cortex, providing a first indication that the neuroanatomical distribution of learning effects depends upon the pre-learning mapping of visual object properties. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kok, Peter; de Lange, Floris P
An essential part of visual perception is the grouping of local elements (such as edges and lines) into coherent shapes. Previous studies have shown that this grouping process modulates neural activity in the primary visual cortex (V1) that is signaling the local elements [1-4]. However, the nature of this modulation is controversial. Some studies find that shape perception reduces neural activity in V1 [2, 5, 6], while others report increased V1 activity during shape perception [1, 3, 4, 7-10]. Neurocomputational theories that cast perception as a generative process [11-13] propose that feedback connections carry predictions (i.e., the generative model), while feedforward connections signal the mismatch between top-down predictions and bottom-up inputs. Within this framework, the effect of feedback on early visual cortex may be either enhancing or suppressive, depending on whether the feedback signal is met by congruent bottom-up input. Here, we tested this hypothesis by quantifying the spatial profile of neural activity in V1 during the perception of illusory shapes using population receptive field mapping. We find that shape perception concurrently increases neural activity in regions of V1 that have a receptive field on the shape but do not receive bottom-up input and suppresses activity in regions of V1 that receive bottom-up input that is predicted by the shape. These effects were not modulated by task requirements. Together, these findings suggest that shape perception changes lower-order sensory representations in a highly specific and automatic manner, in line with theories that cast perception in terms of hierarchical generative models. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Jehee, Janneke F.M.; Brady, Devin K.; Tong, Frank
When spatial attention is directed towards a particular stimulus, increased activity is commonly observed in corresponding locations of the visual cortex. Does this attentional increase in activity indicate improved processing of all features contained within the attended stimulus, or might spatial attention selectively enhance the features relevant to the observer’s task? We used fMRI decoding methods to measure the strength of orientation-selective activity patterns in the human visual cortex while subjects performed either an orientation or contrast discrimination task, involving one of two laterally presented gratings. Greater overall BOLD activation with spatial attention was observed in areas V1-V4 for both tasks. However, multivariate pattern analysis revealed that orientation-selective responses were enhanced by attention only when orientation was the task-relevant feature, and not when the grating’s contrast had to be attended. In a second experiment, observers discriminated the orientation or color of a specific lateral grating. Here, orientation-selective responses were enhanced in both tasks but color-selective responses were enhanced only when color was task-relevant. In both experiments, task-specific enhancement of feature-selective activity was not confined to the attended stimulus location, but instead spread to other locations in the visual field, suggesting the concurrent involvement of a global feature-based attentional mechanism. These results suggest that attention can be remarkably selective in its ability to enhance particular task-relevant features, and further reveal that increases in overall BOLD amplitude are not necessarily accompanied by improved processing of stimulus information. PMID:21632942
Spiegel, Daniel P; Byblow, Winston D; Hess, Robert F; Thompson, Benjamin
Amblyopia is a neurodevelopmental disorder of vision that is associated with abnormal patterns of neural inhibition within the visual cortex. This disorder is often considered to be untreatable in adulthood because of insufficient visual cortex plasticity. There is increasing evidence that interventions that target inhibitory interactions within the visual cortex, including certain types of noninvasive brain stimulation, can improve visual function in adults with amblyopia. We tested the hypothesis that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) would improve visual function in adults with amblyopia by enhancing the neural response to inputs from the amblyopic eye. Thirteen adults with amblyopia participated and contrast sensitivity in the amblyopic and fellow fixing eye was assessed before, during and after a-tDCS or cathodal tDCS (c-tDCS). Five participants also completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study designed to investigate the effect of a-tDCS on the blood oxygen level-dependent response within the visual cortex to inputs from the amblyopic versus the fellow fixing eye. A subgroup of 8/13 participants showed a transient improvement in amblyopic eye contrast sensitivity for at least 30 minutes after a-tDCS. fMRI measurements indicated that the characteristic cortical response asymmetry in amblyopes, which favors the fellow eye, was reduced by a-tDCS. These preliminary results suggest that a-tDCS deserves further investigation as a potential tool to enhance amblyopia treatment outcomes in adults.
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.
Gordon, J A; Cioffi, D; Silva, A J; Stryker, M P
The recent characterization of plasticity in the mouse visual cortex permits the use of mutant mice to investigate the cellular mechanisms underlying activity-dependent development. As calcium-dependent signaling pathways have been implicated in neuronal plasticity, we examined visual cortical plasticity in mice lacking the alpha-isoform of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (alpha CaMKII). In wild-type mice, brief occlusion of vision in one eye during a critical period reduces responses in the visual cortex. In half of the alpha CaMKII-deficient mice, visual cortical responses developed normally, but visual cortical plasticity was greatly diminished. After intensive training, spatial learning in the Morris water maze was severely impaired in a similar fraction of mutant animals. These data indicate that loss of alpha CaMKII results in a severe but variable defect in neuronal plasticity.
Teichert, Manuel; Bolz, Jürgen
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) . 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) . 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.
van de Ven, Vincent; Jacobs, Christianne; Sack, Alexander T
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.
Emmanuel eBui Quoc
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.
Wang Jian; Li Chuanming; Zhou Yang; Xie Bing; Yu Qiongwu; Wang Hui; Qiu Mingguo; Weng Xuchu
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
Heimbauer, Lisa A; Conway, Christopher M; Christiansen, Morten H; Beran, Michael J; Owren, Michael J
Humans and nonhuman primates can learn about the organization of stimuli in the environment using implicit sequential pattern learning capabilities. However, most previous artificial grammar learning studies with nonhuman primates have involved relatively simple grammars and short input sequences. The goal in the current experiments was to assess the learning capabilities of monkeys on an artificial grammar-learning task that was more complex than most others previously used with nonhumans. Three experiments were conducted using a joystick-based, symmetrical-response serial reaction time task in which two monkeys were exposed to grammar-generated sequences at sequence lengths of four in Experiment 1, six in Experiment 2, and eight in Experiment 3. Over time, the monkeys came to respond faster to the sequences generated from the artificial grammar compared to random versions. In a subsequent generalization phase, subjects generalized their knowledge to novel sequences, responding significantly faster to novel instances of sequences produced using the familiar grammar compared to those constructed using an unfamiliar grammar. These results reveal that rhesus monkeys can learn and generalize the statistical structure inherent in an artificial grammar that is as complex as some used with humans, for sequences up to eight items long. These findings are discussed in relation to whether or not rhesus macaques and other primate species possess implicit sequence learning abilities that are similar to those that humans draw upon to learn natural language grammar.
Lee, S W; Jeong, B S; Choi, J; Kim, J-W
Men tend to have greater positive responses than women to explicit visual erotic stimuli (EVES). However, it remains unclear, which brain network makes men more sensitive to EVES and which factors contribute to the brain network activity. In this study, we aimed to assess the effect of sex difference on brain connectivity patterns by EVES. We also investigated the association of testosterone with brain connection that showed the effects of sex difference. During functional magnetic resonance imaging scans, 14 males and 14 females were asked to see alternating blocks of pictures that were either erotic or non-erotic. Psychophysiological interaction analysis was performed to investigate the functional connectivity of the nucleus accumbens (NA) as it related to EVES. Men showed significantly greater EVES-specific functional connection between the right NA and the right lateral occipital cortex (LOC). In addition, the right NA and the right LOC network activity was positively correlated with the plasma testosterone level in men. Our results suggest that the reason men are sensitive to EVES is the increased interaction in the visual reward networks, which is modulated by their plasma testosterone level.
Herring, Jim D; Thut, Gregor; Jensen, Ole; Bergmann, Til O
Cortical oscillations, such as 8-12 Hz alpha-band activity, are thought to subserve gating of information processing in the human brain. While most of the supporting evidence is correlational, causal evidence comes from attempts to externally drive ("entrain") these oscillations by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Indeed, the frequency profile of TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) closely resembles that of oscillations spontaneously emerging in the same brain region. However, it is unclear whether TMS-locked and spontaneous oscillations are produced by the same neuronal mechanisms. If so, they should react in a similar manner to top-down modulation by endogenous attention. To test this prediction, we assessed the alpha-like EEG response to TMS of the visual cortex during periods of high and low visual attention while participants attended to either the visual or auditory modality in a cross-modal attention task. We observed a TMS-locked local oscillatory alpha response lasting several cycles after TMS (but not after sham stimulation). Importantly, TMS-locked alpha power was suppressed during deployment of visual relative to auditory attention, mirroring spontaneous alpha amplitudes. In addition, the early N40 TEP component, located at the stimulation site, was amplified by visual attention. The extent of attentional modulation for both TMS-locked alpha power and N40 amplitude did depend, with opposite sign, on the individual ability to modulate spontaneous alpha power at the stimulation site. We therefore argue that TMS-locked and spontaneous oscillations are of common neurophysiological origin, whereas the N40 TEP component may serve as an index of current cortical excitability at the time of stimulation. Copyright © 2015 Herring et al.
Harel, Assaf; Kravitz, Dwight J; Baker, Chris I
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.
Hang, Giao B; Dan, Yang
Neocortical neurons in vivo receive concurrent synaptic inputs from multiple sources, including feedforward, horizontal, and feedback pathways. Layer 2/3 of the visual cortex receives feedforward input from layer 4 and horizontal input from layer 2/3. Firing of the pyramidal neurons, which carries the output to higher cortical areas, depends critically on the interaction of these pathways. Here we examined synaptic integration of inputs from layer 4 and layer 2/3 in rat visual cortical slices. We found that the integration is sublinear and temporally asymmetric, with larger responses if layer 2/3 input preceded layer 4 input. The sublinearity depended on inhibition, and the asymmetry was largely attributable to the difference between the two inhibitory inputs. Interestingly, the asymmetric integration was specific to pyramidal neurons, and it strongly affected their spiking output. Thus via cortical inhibition, the temporal order of activation of layer 2/3 and layer 4 pathways can exert powerful control of cortical output during visual processing.
Asghar, Mohammed Sohail; Hansen, Adam E; Larsson, Henrik B W
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......% 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...... 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...
Malmir, Mohsen; Shiry Ghidary, S.
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.
Huang, Liangming; Liu, Yadong; Gui, Jianjun; Li, Ming; Hu, Dewen
Research on spontaneous low-frequency oscillations is important to reveal underlying regulatory mechanisms in the brain. The mechanism for the stimulus modulation of low-frequency oscillations is not known. Here, we used the intrinsic optical imaging technique to examine stimulus-modulated low-frequency oscillation signals in the rat visual cortex. The stimulation was presented monocularly as a flashing light with different frequencies and intensities. The phases of low-frequency oscillations in different regions tended to be synchronized and the rhythms typically accelerated within a 30-s period after stimulation. These phenomena were confined to visual stimuli with specific flashing frequencies (12.5-17.5 Hz) and intensities (5-10 mA). The acceleration and synchronization induced by the flashing frequency were more marked than those induced by the intensity. These results show that spontaneous low-frequency oscillations can be modulated by parameter-dependent flashing lights and indicate the potential utility of the visual stimulus paradigm in exploring the origin and function of low-frequency oscillations.
Meijer, Guido T; Montijn, Jorrit S; Pennartz, Cyriel M A; Lansink, Carien S
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
Amedi, Amir; Raz, Noa; Pianka, Pazit; Malach, Rafael; Zohary, Ehud
The visual cortex may be more modifiable than previously considered. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in ten congenitally blind human participants, we found robust occipital activation during a verbal-memory task (in the absence of any sensory input), as well as during verb generation and Braille reading. We also found evidence for reorganization and specialization of the occipital cortex, along the anterior-posterior axis. Whereas anterior regions showed preference for Braille, posterior regions (including V1) showed preference for verbal-memory and verb generation (which both require memory of verbal material). No such occipital activation was found in sighted subjects. This difference between the groups was mirrored by superior performance of the blind in various verbal-memory tasks. Moreover, the magnitude of V1 activation during the verbal-memory condition was highly correlated with the blind individual's abilities in a variety of verbal-memory tests, suggesting that the additional occipital activation may have a functional role.
Rosa, Andreia Martins; Silva, Maria Fátima; Murta, Joaquim
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
Andreia Martins Rosa
Full Text Available 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.
Zhu, M. M.; Xu, Y. L.; Ma, H. Q.
Aiming at the problem that it is difficult to balance the accuracy of edge detection and anti-noise performance, and referring to the dynamic and static perceptions of the primary visual cortex (V1) cells, a V1 cell model is established to perform edge detection. A spatiotemporal filter is adopted to simulate the receptive field of V1 simple cells, the model V1 cell is obtained after integrating the responses of simple cells by half-wave rectification and normalization, Then the natural image edge is detected by using static perception of V1 cells. The simulation results show that, the V1 model can basically fit the biological data and has the universality of biology. What’s more, compared with other edge detection operators, the proposed model is more effective and has better robustness
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.
Mannion, Damien J; Kersten, Daniel J; Olman, Cheryl A
The global structural arrangement and spatial layout of the visual environment must be derived from the integration of local signals represented in the lower tiers of the visual system. This interaction between the spatially local and global properties of visual stimulation underlies many of our visual capacities, and how this is achieved in the brain is a central question for visual and cognitive neuroscience. Here, we examine the sensitivity of regions of the posterior human brain to the global coordination of spatially displaced naturalistic image patches. We presented observers with image patches in two circular apertures to the left and right of central fixation, with the patches drawn from either the same (coherent condition) or different (noncoherent condition) extended image. Using fMRI at 7T (n = 5), we find that global coherence affected signal amplitude in regions of dorsal mid-level cortex. Furthermore, we find that extensive regions of mid-level visual cortex contained information in their local activity pattern that could discriminate coherent and noncoherent stimuli. These findings indicate that the global coordination of local naturalistic image information has important consequences for the processing in human mid-level visual cortex.
Fayol, Laurence; Baud, Olivier; Monier, Anne; Pellerin, Luc; Magistretti, Pierre; Evrard, Philippe; Verney, Catherine
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.
Geoffrey K Aguirre
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
Balslev, Daniela; Siebner, Hartwig R; Paulson, Olaf B
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......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...... in the eye proprioceptive representation in human left somatosensory cortex (S1(EYE)), so that after 1Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over S1(EYE), targets presented nearer the center of the orbit are detected more accurately. Here we used whole-brain functional magnetic resonance...
Antal, Andrea; Ambrus, Géza Gergely; Chaieb, Leila
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 (PTs) in 12 healthy subjects were recorded before and after 10 min of anodal, cathodal, and sham tDCS in combination with rea...
Higo, Noriyuki; Sato, Akira; Yamamoto, Tatsuya; Oishi, Takao; Nishimura, Yukio; Murata, Yumi; Onoe, Hirotaka; Isa, Tadashi; Kojima, Toshio
The present study aimed to assess the molecular bases of cortical compensatory mechanisms following spinal cord injury in primates. To accomplish this, comprehensive changes in gene expression were investigated in the bilateral primary motor cortex (M1), dorsal premotor cortex (PMd), and ventral premotor cortex (PMv) after a unilateral lesion of the lateral corticospinal tract (l-CST). At 2 weeks after the lesion, a large number of genes exhibited altered expression levels in the contralesional M1, which is directly linked to the lesioned l-CST. Gene ontology and network analyses indicated that these changes in gene expression are involved in the atrophy and plasticity changes observed in neurons. Orchestrated gene expression changes were present when behavioral recovery was attained 3 months after the lesion, particularly among the bilateral premotor areas, and a large number of these genes are involved in plasticity. Moreover, several genes abundantly expressed in M1 of intact monkeys were upregulated in both the PMd and PMv after the l-CST lesion. These area-specific and time-dependent changes in gene expression may underlie the molecular mechanisms of functional recovery following a lesion of the l-CST. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Gelashvili, N.A.; Kumsiashvili, L.B.; Gikoshvili, T.I.; Amashukeli, I.S.
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
Baumann, R; van der Zwan, R; Peterhans, E
An important task of vision is the segregation of figure and ground in situations of spatial occlusion. Psychophysical evidence suggests that the depth order at contours is defined early in visual processing. We have analysed this process in the visual cortex of the alert monkey. The animals were trained on a visual fixation task which reinforced foveal viewing. During periods of active visual fixation, we recorded the responses of single neurons in striate and prestriate cortex (areas V1, V2, and V3/V3A). The stimuli mimicked situations of spatial occlusion, usually a uniform light (or dark) rectangle overlaying a grating texture of opposite contrast. The direction of figure and ground at the borders of these rectangles was defined by the direction of the terminating grating lines (occlusion cues). Neuronal responses were analysed with respect to figure-ground direction and contrast polarity at such contours. Striate neurons often failed to respond to such stimuli, or were selective for contrast polarity; others were non-selective. Some neurons preferred a certain combination of figure-ground direction and contrast polarity. These neurons were rare both in striate and prestriate cortex. The majority of neurons signalled figure-ground direction independent of contrast polarity. These neurons were only found in prestriate cortex. We explain these responses in terms of a model which also explains neuronal signals of illusory contours. These results suggest that occlusion cues are used at an early level of processing to segregate figure and ground at contours.
Cynthia D. Rittenhouse
Full Text Available It has long been appreciated that in the visual cortex, particularly within a postnatal critical period for experience-dependent plasticity, the closure of one eye results in a shift in the responsiveness of cortical cells toward the experienced eye. While the functional aspects of this ocular dominance shift have been studied for many decades, their cortical substrates and synaptic mechanisms remain elusive. Nonetheless, it is becoming increasingly clear that ocular dominance plasticity is a complex phenomenon that appears to have an early and a late component. Early during monocular deprivation, deprived eye cortical synapses depress, while later during the deprivation open eye synapses potentiate. Here we review current literature on the cortical mechanisms of activity-dependent plasticity in the visual system during the critical period. These studies shed light on the role of activity in shaping neuronal structure and function in general and can lead to insights regarding how learning is acquired and maintained at the neuronal level during normal and pathological brain development.
Klink, P Christiaan; Dagnino, Bruno; Gariel-Mathis, Marie-Alice; Roelfsema, Pieter R
The visual cortex is hierarchically organized, with low-level areas coding for simple features and higher areas for complex ones. Feedforward and feedback connections propagate information between areas in opposite directions, but their functional roles are only partially understood. We used electrical microstimulation to perturb the propagation of neuronal activity between areas V1 and V4 in monkeys performing a texture-segregation task. In both areas, microstimulation locally caused a brief phase of excitation, followed by inhibition. Both these effects propagated faithfully in the feedforward direction from V1 to V4. Stimulation of V4, however, caused little V1 excitation, but it did yield a delayed suppression during the late phase of visually driven activity. This suppression was pronounced for the V1 figure representation and weaker for background representations. Our results reveal functional differences between feedforward and feedback processing in texture segregation and suggest a specific modulating role for feedback connections in perceptual organization. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Full Text Available Calretinin is a calcium-binding protein often used as a marker for a subset of inhibitory interneurons in the mammalian neocortex. We studied the labeled cells in offspring from a cross of a Cre-dependent reporter line with the CR-ires-Cre mice, which express Cre-recombinase in the same pattern as calretinin. We found that in the mature visual cortex, only a minority of the cells that have expressed calretinin and Cre-recombinase during their lifetime is GABAergic and only about 20% are immunoreactive for calretinin. The reason behind this is that calretinin is transiently expressed in many cortical pyramidal neurons during development. To determine whether neurons that express or have expressed calretinin share any distinct functional characteristics, we recorded their visual response properties using GCaMP6s calcium imaging. The average orientation selectivity, size tuning, and temporal and spatial frequency tuning of this group of cells, however, match the response profile of the general neuronal population, revealing the lack of functional specialization for the features studied.
Saproo, Sameer; Serences, John T
Selective attention enables sensory input from behaviorally relevant stimuli to be processed in greater detail, so that these stimuli can more accurately influence thoughts, actions, and future goals. Attention has been shown to modulate the spiking activity of single feature-selective neurons that encode basic stimulus properties (color, orientation, etc.). However, the combined output from many such neurons is required to form stable representations of relevant objects and little empirical work has formally investigated the relationship between attentional modulations on population responses and improvements in encoding precision. Here, we used functional MRI and voxel-based feature tuning functions to show that spatial attention induces a multiplicative scaling in orientation-selective population response profiles in early visual cortex. In turn, this multiplicative scaling correlates with an improvement in encoding precision, as evidenced by a concurrent increase in the mutual information between population responses and the orientation of attended stimuli. These data therefore demonstrate how multiplicative scaling of neural responses provides at least one mechanism by which spatial attention may improve the encoding precision of population codes. Increased encoding precision in early visual areas may then enhance the speed and accuracy of perceptual decisions computed by higher-order neural mechanisms.
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.
Bombeke, Klaas; Duthoo, Wout; Mueller, Sven C; Hopf, Jens-Max; Boehler, C Nico
Controversy revolves around the question of whether psychological factors like attention and emotion can influence the initial feedforward response in primary visual cortex (V1). Although traditionally, the electrophysiological correlate of this response in humans (the C1 component) has been found to be unaltered by psychological influences, a number of recent studies have described attentional and emotional modulations. Yet, research into psychological effects on the feedforward V1 response has neglected possible direct contributions of concomitant pupil-size modulations, which are known to also occur under various conditions of attentional load and emotional state. Here we tested the hypothesis that such pupil-size differences themselves directly affect the feedforward V1 response. We report data from two complementary experiments, in which we used procedures that modulate pupil size without differences in attentional load or emotion while simultaneously recording pupil-size and EEG data. Our results confirm that pupil size indeed directly influences the feedforward V1 response, showing an inverse relationship between pupil size and early V1 activity. While it is unclear in how far this effect represents a functionally-relevant adaptation, it identifies pupil-size differences as an important modulating factor of the feedforward response of V1 and could hence represent a confounding variable in research investigating the neural influence of psychological factors on early visual processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Li, Ya-tang; Liu, Bao-hua; Chou, Xiao-lin; Zhang, Li I; Tao, Huizhong W
In the primary visual cortex (V1), orientation-selective neurons can be categorized into simple and complex cells primarily based on their receptive field (RF) structures. In mouse V1, although previous studies have examined the excitatory/inhibitory interplay underlying orientation selectivity (OS) of simple cells, the synaptic bases for that of complex cells have remained obscure. Here, by combining in vivo loose-patch and whole-cell recordings, we found that complex cells, identified by their overlapping on/off subfields, had significantly weaker OS than simple cells at both spiking and subthreshold membrane potential response levels. Voltage-clamp recordings further revealed that although excitatory inputs to complex and simple cells exhibited a similar degree of OS, inhibition in complex cells was more narrowly tuned than excitation, whereas in simple cells inhibition was more broadly tuned than excitation. The differential inhibitory tuning can primarily account for the difference in OS between complex and simple cells. Interestingly, the differential synaptic tuning correlated well with the spatial organization of synaptic input: the inhibitory visual RF in complex cells was more elongated in shape than its excitatory counterpart and also was more elongated than that in simple cells. Together, our results demonstrate that OS of complex and simple cells is differentially shaped by cortical inhibition based on its orientation tuning profile relative to excitation, which is contributed at least partially by the spatial organization of RFs of presynaptic inhibitory neurons. Simple and complex cells, two classes of principal neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1), are generally thought to be equally selective for orientation. In mouse V1, we report that complex cells, identified by their overlapping on/off subfields, has significantly weaker orientation selectivity (OS) than simple cells. This can be primarily attributed to the differential tuning selectivity
Huertas, Marco A; Hussain Shuler, Marshall G; Shouval, Harel Z
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
Hoffmann, M B; Kaule, F; Grzeschik, R; Behrens-Baumann, W; Wolynski, B
Since its initial introduction in the mid-1990 s, retinotopic mapping of the human visual cortex, based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), has contributed greatly to our understanding of the human visual system. Multiple cortical visual field representations have been demonstrated and thus numerous visual areas identified. The organisation of specific areas has been detailed and the impact of pathophysiologies of the visual system on the cortical organisation uncovered. These results are based on investigations at a magnetic field strength of 3 Tesla or less. In a field-strength comparison between 3 and 7 Tesla, it was demonstrated that retinotopic mapping benefits from a magnetic field strength of 7 Tesla. Specifically, the visual areas can be mapped with high spatial resolution for a detailed analysis of the visual field maps. Applications of fMRI-based retinotopic mapping in ophthalmological research hold promise to further our understanding of plasticity in the human visual cortex. This is highlighted by pioneering studies in patients with macular dysfunction or misrouted optic nerves. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
Rosenthal, Clive R; Andrews, Samantha K; Antoniades, Chrystalina A; Kennard, Christopher; Soto, David
Human primary visual cortex (V1) has long been associated with learning simple low-level visual discriminations  and is classically considered outside of neural systems that support high-level cognitive behavior in contexts that differ from the original conditions of learning, such as recognition memory [2, 3]. Here, we used a novel fMRI-based dichoptic masking protocol-designed to induce activity in V1, without modulation from visual awareness-to test whether human V1 is implicated in human observers rapidly learning and then later (15-20 min) recognizing a non-conscious and complex (second-order) visuospatial sequence. Learning was associated with a change in V1 activity, as part of a temporo-occipital and basal ganglia network, which is at variance with the cortico-cerebellar network identified in prior studies of "implicit" sequence learning that involved motor responses and visible stimuli (e.g., ). Recognition memory was associated with V1 activity, as part of a temporo-occipital network involving the hippocampus, under conditions that were not imputable to mechanisms associated with conscious retrieval. Notably, the V1 responses during learning and recognition separately predicted non-conscious recognition memory, and functional coupling between V1 and the hippocampus was enhanced for old retrieval cues. The results provide a basis for novel hypotheses about the signals that can drive recognition memory, because these data (1) identify human V1 with a memory network that can code complex associative serial visuospatial information and support later non-conscious recognition memory-guided behavior (cf. ) and (2) align with mouse models of experience-dependent V1 plasticity in learning and memory . Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Malik, Pankhuri; Dessing, Joost C; Crawford, J Douglas
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.
Vasireddi, Anil K; Vazquez, Alberto L; Whitney, David E; Fukuda, Mitsuhiro; Kim, Seong-Gi
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging has been increasingly used for examining connectivity across brain regions. The spatial scale by which hemodynamic imaging can resolve functional connections at rest remains unknown. To examine this issue, deoxyhemoglobin-weighted intrinsic optical imaging data were acquired from the visual cortex of lightly anesthetized ferrets. The neural activity of orientation domains, which span a distance of 0.7-0.8 mm, has been shown to be correlated during evoked activity and at rest. We performed separate analyses to assess the degree to which the spatial and temporal characteristics of spontaneous hemodynamic signals depend on the known functional organization of orientation columns. As a control, artificial orientation column maps were generated. Spatially, resting hemodynamic patterns showed a higher spatial resemblance to iso-orientation maps than artificially generated maps. Temporally, a correlation analysis was used to establish whether iso-orientation domains are more correlated than orthogonal orientation domains. After accounting for a significant decrease in correlation as a function of distance, a small but significant temporal correlation between iso-orientation domains was found, which decreased with increasing difference in orientation preference. This dependence was abolished when using artificially synthetized orientation maps. Finally, the temporal correlation coefficient as a function of orientation difference at rest showed a correspondence with that calculated during visual stimulation suggesting that the strength of resting connectivity is related to the strength of the visual stimulation response. Our results suggest that temporal coherence of hemodynamic signals measured by optical imaging of intrinsic signals exists at a submillimeter columnar scale in resting state.
Chen, Xin; Sun, Chao; Huang, Luoxiu; Shou, Tiande
To compare the orientation column maps elicited by different spatial frequency gratings in cortical area 17 of cats before and during brief elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP). IOP was elevated by injecting saline into the anterior chamber of a cat's eye through a syringe needle. The IOP was elevated enough to cause a retinal perfusion pressure (arterial pressure minus IOP) of approximately 30 mm Hg during a brief elevation of IOP. The visual stimulus gratings were varied in spatial frequency, whereas other parameters were kept constant. The orientation column maps of the cortical area 17 were monocularly elicited by drifting gratings of different spatial frequencies and revealed by a brain intrinsic signal optical imaging system. These maps were compared before and during short-term elevation of IOP. The response amplitude of the orientation maps in area 17 decreased during a brief elevation of IOP. This decrease was dependent on the retinal perfusion pressure but not on the absolute IOP. The location of the most visible maps was spatial-frequency dependent. The blurring or loss of the pattern of the orientation maps was most severe when high-spatial-frequency gratings were used and appeared most significantly on the posterior part of the exposed cortex while IOP was elevated. However, the basic patterns of the maps remained unchanged. Changes in cortical signal were not due to changes in the optics of the eye with elevation of IOP. A stable normal IOP is essential for maintaining normal visual cortical functions. During a brief and high elevation of IOP, the cortical processing of high-spatial-frequency visual information was diminished because of a selectively functional decline of the retinogeniculocortical X pathway by a mechanism of retinal circulation origin.
Daniel James Miller
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.
Rauscher, Franziska G; Plant, Gordon T; James-Galton, Merle; Barbur, John L
Damage to ventral occipito-temporal extrastriate visual cortex leads to the syndrome of prosopagnosia often with coexisting cerebral achromatopsia. A patient with this syndrome resulting in a left upper homonymous quadrantanopia, prosopagnosia, and incomplete achromatopsia is described. Chromatic sensitivity was assessed at a number of locations in the intact visual field using a dynamic luminance contrast masking technique that isolates the use of colour signals. In normal subjects chromatic detection thresholds form an elliptical contour when plotted in the Commission Internationale d'Eclairage, (x-y), chromaticity diagram. Because the extraction of colour signals in early visual processing involves opponent mechanisms, subjects with Daltonism (congenital red/green loss of sensitivity) show symmetric increase in thresholds towards the long wavelength ("red") and middle wavelength ("green") regions of the spectrum locus. This is also the case with acquired loss of chromatic sensitivity as a result of retinal or optic nerve disease. Our patient's results were an exception to this rule. Whilst his chromatic sensitivity in the central region of the visual field was reduced symmetrically for both "red/green" and "yellow/blue" directions in colour space, the subject's lower left quadrant showed a marked asymmetry in "red/green" thresholds with the greatest loss of sensitivity towards the "green" region of the spectrum locus. This spatially localized asymmetric loss of "green" but not "red" sensitivity has not been reported previously in human vision. Such loss is consistent with selective damage of neural substrates in the visual cortex that process colour information, but are spectrally non-opponent.
Siu, Caitlin R; Beshara, Simon P; Jones, David G; Murphy, Kathryn M
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
Vaidya, Avinash R; Fellows, Lesley K
Adaptively interacting with our environment requires extracting information that will allow us to successfully predict reward. This can be a challenge, particularly when there are many candidate cues, and when rewards are probabilistic. Recent work has demonstrated that visual attention is allocated to stimulus features that have been associated with reward on previous trials. The ventromedial frontal lobe (VMF) has been implicated in learning in dynamic environments of this kind, but the mechanism by which this region influences this process is not clear. Here, we hypothesized that the VMF plays a critical role in guiding attention to reward-predictive stimulus features based on feedback. We tested the effects of VMF damage in human subjects on a visual search task in which subjects were primed to attend to task-irrelevant colors associated with different levels of reward, incidental to the search task. Consistent with previous work, we found that distractors had a greater influence on reaction time when they appeared in colors associated with high reward in the previous trial compared with colors associated with low reward in healthy control subjects and patients with prefrontal damage sparing the VMF. However, this reward modulation of attentional priming was absent in patients with VMF damage. Thus, an intact VMF is necessary for directing attention based on experience with cue-reward associations. We suggest that this region plays a role in selecting reward-predictive cues to facilitate future learning. There has been a swell of interest recently in the ventromedial frontal cortex (VMF), a brain region critical to associative learning. However, the underlying mechanism by which this region guides learning is not well understood. Here, we tested the effects of damage to this region in humans on a task in which rewards were linked incidentally to visual features, resulting in trial-by-trial attentional priming. Controls and subjects with prefrontal damage
Lim, Julian; Tan, Jiat Chow; Parimal, Sarayu; Dinges, David F; Chee, Michael W L
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. 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. 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.
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.
Tan, Andrew Y Y; Brown, Brandon D; Scholl, Benjamin; Mohanty, Deepankar; Priebe, Nicholas J
Primary visual cortex (V1) is the site at which orientation selectivity emerges in mammals: visual thalamus afferents to V1 respond equally to all stimulus orientations, whereas their target V1 neurons respond selectively to stimulus orientation. The emergence of orientation selectivity in V1 has long served as a model for investigating cortical computation. Recent evidence for orientation selectivity in mouse V1 opens cortical computation to dissection by genetic and imaging tools, but also raises two essential questions: (1) How does orientation selectivity in mouse V1 neurons compare with that in previously described species? (2) What is the synaptic basis for orientation selectivity in mouse V1? A comparison of orientation selectivity in mouse and in cat, where such measures have traditionally been made, reveals that orientation selectivity in mouse V1 is weaker than in cat V1, but that spike threshold plays a similar role in narrowing selectivity between membrane potential and spike rate. To uncover the synaptic basis for orientation selectivity, we made whole-cell recordings in vivo from mouse V1 neurons, comparing neuronal input selectivity-based on membrane potential, synaptic excitation, and synaptic inhibition-to output selectivity based on spiking. We found that a neuron's excitatory and inhibitory inputs are selective for the same stimulus orientations as is its membrane potential response, and that inhibitory selectivity is not broader than excitatory selectivity. Inhibition has different dynamics than excitation, adapting more rapidly. In neurons with temporally modulated responses, the timing of excitation and inhibition was different in mice and cats.
Zhang Xiang; Li Baoqing; Hong Hai; Chen Ping; Chen Jukun
Objective: To study the metabolic change of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ( 1 H-MRS) in the visual cortex and optic radiation region of patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR). Methods: 1 H-MRS was performed in 20 patients with DR and 20 healthy volunteers on GE 1.5 T MR system respectively. Metabolic peaks of N-acetylasparte (NAA), creatine (Cr, in 3.02 and 3.94 ppm), choline-containing compounds (Cho) and myo-inositol (mi) were observed, and the ratios were analyzed by each other. Independent-samples t test was performed between two sets of data. Results: In both visual cortex and optic radiation, the ratios of mI/Cr and mI/Cr sec in DR group (0.664±0.052 and 1.453± 0.068 in visual cortex, 0.717±0.074 and 1.484±0.114 in optic radiation) were significant higher than those in normal group (0.602±0.047 and 1.249±0.044 in visual cortex, 0.679±0.075 and 1.334± 0.089 in optic radiation, P sec /Cr, Cho/Cr and NAA/Cr in visual cortex and optic radiation were 0.458±0.043 and 0.488±0.052, 0.481±0.057 and 0.807±0.110, 1.633±0.105 and 1.709±0.140 respectively. In control group, the ratios of those were 0.484±0.041 and 0.502±0.056, 0.471±0.065 and 0.786±0.109, 1.625±0.098 and 1.716±0.135 respectively. The ratios of Cr sec /Cr, Cho/Cr and NAA/Cr had no statistic difference between two groups (P sec is a typical change in the visual cortex and optic radiation region, 1 H-MRS as a noninvasive examination could provide biochemical and metabolic informations for diabetic patients. (authors)
Emrich, Stephen M; Riggall, Adam C; Larocque, Joshua J; Postle, Bradley R
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.
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.
Jorrit S. Montijn
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 non-specific 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.
In a recent functional magnetic resonance imaging study, Kok and de Lange (2014) observed that BOLD activity for a Kanizsa illusory shape stimulus, in which pacmen-like inducers elicit an illusory shape percept, was either enhanced or suppressed relative to a nonillusory control configuration depending on whether the spatial profile of BOLD activity in early visual cortex was related to the illusory shape or the inducers, respectively. The authors argued that these findings fit well with the predictive coding framework, because top-down predictions related to the illusory shape are not met with bottom-up sensory input and hence the feedforward error signal is enhanced. Conversely, for the inducing elements, there is a match between top-down predictions and input, leading to a decrease in error. Rather than invoking predictive coding as the explanatory framework, the suppressive effect related to the inducers might be caused by neural adaptation to perceptually stable input due to the trial sequence used in the experiment.
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.
MacEvoy, Sean P; Tucker, Thomas R; Fitzpatrick, David
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.
Bednařík, Petr; Tkáč, Ivan; Giove, Federico; Eberly, Lynn E; Deelchand, Dinesh K; Barreto, Felipe R; Mangia, Silvia
In the present study, we aimed at determining the metabolic responses of the human visual cortex during the presentation of chromatic and achromatic stimuli, known to preferentially activate two separate clusters of neuronal populations (called "blobs" and "interblobs") with distinct sensitivity to color or luminance features. Since blobs and interblobs have different cytochrome-oxidase (COX) content and micro-vascularization level (i.e., different capacities for glucose oxidation), different functional metabolic responses during chromatic vs. achromatic stimuli may be expected. The stimuli were optimized to evoke a similar load of neuronal activation as measured by the bold oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) contrast. Metabolic responses were assessed using functional 1 H MRS at 7 T in 12 subjects. During both chromatic and achromatic stimuli, we observed the typical increases in glutamate and lactate concentration, and decreases in aspartate and glucose concentration, that are indicative of increased glucose oxidation. However, within the detection sensitivity limits, we did not observe any difference between metabolic responses elicited by chromatic and achromatic stimuli. We conclude that the higher energy demands of activated blobs and interblobs are supported by similar increases in oxidative metabolism despite the different capacities of these neuronal populations.
Strother, Lars; Lavell, Cheryl; Vilis, Tutis
We used fMRI to study figure-ground representation and its decay in primary visual cortex (V1). Human observers viewed a motion-defined figure that gradually became camouflaged by a cluttered background after it stopped moving. V1 showed positive fMRI responses corresponding to the moving figure and negative fMRI responses corresponding to the static background. This positive-negative delineation of V1 "figure" and "background" fMRI responses defined a retinotopically organized figure-ground representation that persisted after the figure stopped moving but eventually decayed. The temporal dynamics of V1 "figure" and "background" fMRI responses differed substantially. Positive "figure" responses continued to increase for several seconds after the figure stopped moving and remained elevated after the figure had disappeared. We propose that the sustained positive V1 "figure" fMRI responses reflected both persistent figure-ground representation and sustained attention to the location of the figure after its disappearance, as did subjects' reports of persistence. The decreasing "background" fMRI responses were relatively shorter-lived and less biased by spatial attention. Our results show that the transition from a vivid figure-ground percept to its disappearance corresponds to the concurrent decay of figure enhancement and background suppression in V1, both of which play a role in form-based perceptual memory.
Prusky, Glen T; Silver, Byron D; Tschetter, Wayne W; Alam, Nazia M; Douglas, Robert M
Developmentally regulated plasticity of vision has generally been associated with "sensitive" or "critical" periods in juvenile life, wherein visual deprivation leads to loss of visual function. Here we report an enabling form of visual plasticity that commences in infant rats from eye opening, in which daily threshold testing of optokinetic tracking, amid otherwise normal visual experience, stimulates enduring, visual cortex-dependent enhancement (>60%) of the spatial frequency threshold for tracking. The perceptual ability to use spatial frequency in discriminating between moving visual stimuli is also improved by the testing experience. The capacity for inducing enhancement is transitory and effectively limited to infancy; however, enhanced responses are not consolidated and maintained unless in-kind testing experience continues uninterrupted into juvenile life. The data show that selective visual experience from infancy can alone enable visual function. They also indicate that plasticity associated with visual deprivation may not be the only cause of developmental visual dysfunction, because we found that experientially inducing enhancement in late infancy, without subsequent reinforcement of the experience in early juvenile life, can lead to enduring loss of function.
Iramina, Keiji; Ge, Sheng; Hyodo, Akira; Hayami, Takehito; Ueno, Shoogo
In this study, we applied a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate the temporal aspect for the functional processing of visual attention. Although it has been known that right posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in the brain has a role in certain visual search tasks, there is little knowledge about the temporal aspect of this area. Three visual search tasks that have different difficulties of task execution individually were carried out. These three visual search tasks are the "easy feature task," the "hard feature task," and the "conjunction task." To investigate the temporal aspect of the PPC involved in the visual search, we applied various stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) and measured the reaction time of the visual search. The magnetic stimulation was applied on the right PPC or the left PPC by the figure-eight coil. The results show that the reaction times of the hard feature task are longer than those of the easy feature task. When SOA=150 ms, compared with no-TMS condition, there was a significant increase in target-present reaction time when TMS pulses were applied. We considered that the right PPC was involved in the visual search at about SOA=150 ms after visual stimulus presentation. The magnetic stimulation to the right PPC disturbed the processing of the visual search. However, the magnetic stimulation to the left PPC gives no effect on the processing of the visual search.
Chen Bo; Xia Jing; Li Guangxing; Zhou Yifeng
Physiological and behavioral studies have demonstrated that a number of visual functions such as visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and motion perception can be impaired by acute alcohol exposure. The orientation- and direction-selective responses of cells in primary visual cortex are thought to participate in the perception of form and motion. To investigate how orientation selectivity and direction selectivity of neurons are influenced by acute alcohol exposure in vivo, we used the extracellular single-unit recording technique to examine the response properties of neurons in primary visual cortex (A17) of adult cats. We found that alcohol reduces spontaneous activity, visual evoked unit responses, the signal-to-noise ratio, and orientation selectivity of A17 cells. In addition, small but detectable changes in both the preferred orientation/direction and the bandwidth of the orientation tuning curve of strongly orientation-biased A17 cells were observed after acute alcohol administration. Our findings may provide physiological evidence for some alcohol-related deficits in visual function observed in behavioral studies.
Xue Yanping; Zhai Renyou; Jiang Tao; Cui Yong; Zhou Tiangang; Rao Hengyi; Zhuo Yan
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
Wong-Riley, M T; Trusk, T C; Kaboord, W; Huang, Z
One of the hallmarks of the primate striate cortex is the presence of cytochrome oxidase-rich puffs in its supragranular layers. Neurons in puffs have been classified as type A, B, and C in ascending order of cytochrome oxidase content, with type C cells being the most vulnerable to retinal impulse blockade. The present study aimed at analysing cytochrome oxidase-poor interpuffs with reference to their metabolic cell types and the effect of intraretinal tetrodotoxin treatment. The same three metabolic types were found in interpuffs, except that type B and C neurons were smaller and less cytochrome oxidase-reactive in interpuffs than in puffs. Type A neurons had small perikarya, low levels of cytochrome oxidase, and received exclusively symmetric axosomatic synapses. The largest neurons were pyramidal, type B cells with moderate cytochrome oxidase activity and were also contacted exclusively by symmetric axosomatic synapses. Type C cells medium-sized with a rich supply of large, darkly reactive mitochondria and possessed all the characteristics of GABAergic neurons. They were the only cell type that received both symmetric and asymmetric axosomatic synapses. Two weeks of monocular tetrodotoxin blockade in adult monkeys caused all three major cell types in deprived interpuffs to suffer a significant downward shift in the size and cytochrome oxidase reactivity of their mitochondria, but the effects were more severe in type B and C neurons. In nondeprived interpuffs, all three cell types gained both in size and absolute number of mitochondria, and type A cells also had an elevated level of cytochrome oxidase, indicating that they might be functioning at a competitive advantage over cells in deprived columns. However, type B and C neurons showed a net loss of darkly reactive mitochondria, indicating that these cells became less active. Thus, mature interpuff neurons remained vulnerable to retinal impulse blockade and the metabolic capacity of these cells remains tightly
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.
Najarpour Foroushani, Armin; Pack, Christopher C.; Sawan, Mohamad
Cortical visual prostheses are intended to restore vision by targeted electrical stimulation of the visual cortex. The perception of spots of light, called phosphenes, resulting from microstimulation of the visual pathway, suggests the possibility of creating meaningful percept made of phosphenes. However, to date electrical stimulation of V1 has still not resulted in perception of phosphenated images that goes beyond punctate spots of light. In this review, we summarize the clinical and experimental progress that has been made in generating phosphenes and modulating their associated perceptual characteristics in human and macaque primary visual cortex (V1). We focus specifically on the effects of different microstimulation parameters on perception and we analyse key challenges facing the generation of meaningful artificial percepts. Finally, we propose solutions to these challenges based on the application of supervised learning of population codes for spatial stimulation of visual cortex.
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.
Ptak, Radek; Lazeyras, François; Di Pietro, Marie; Schnider, Armin; Simon, Stéphane R
Patients with visual object agnosia fail to recognize the identity of visually presented objects despite preserved semantic knowledge. Object agnosia may result from damage to visual cortex lying close to or overlapping with the lateral occipital complex (LOC), a brain region that exhibits selectivity to the shape of visually presented objects. Despite this anatomical overlap the relationship between shape processing in the LOC and shape representations in object agnosia is unknown. We studied a patient with object agnosia following isolated damage to the left occipito-temporal cortex overlapping with the LOC. The patient showed intact processing of object structure, yet often made identification errors that were mainly based on the global visual similarity between objects. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) we found that the damaged as well as the contralateral, structurally intact right LOC failed to show any object-selective fMRI activity, though the latter retained selectivity for faces. Thus, unilateral damage to the left LOC led to a bilateral breakdown of neural responses to a specific stimulus class (objects and artefacts) while preserving the response to a different stimulus class (faces). These findings indicate that representations of structure necessary for the identification of objects crucially rely on bilateral, distributed coding of shape features. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lobier, Muriel; Palva, J Matias; Palva, Satu
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.
Sanayei, M; Herrero, J L; Distler, C; Thiele, A
Attention affects neuronal processing and improves behavioural performance. In extrastriate visual cortex these effects have been explained by normalization models, which assume that attention influences the circuit that mediates surround suppression. While normalization models have been able to explain attentional effects, their validity has rarely been tested against alternative models. Here we investigate how attention and surround/mask stimuli affect neuronal firing rates and orientation tuning in macaque V1. Surround/mask stimuli provide an estimate to what extent V1 neurons are affected by normalization, which was compared against effects of spatial top down attention. For some attention/surround effect comparisons, the strength of attentional modulation was correlated with the strength of surround modulation, suggesting that attention and surround/mask stimulation (i.e. normalization) might use a common mechanism. To explore this in detail, we fitted multiplicative and additive models of attention to our data. In one class of models, attention contributed to normalization mechanisms, whereas in a different class of models it did not. Model selection based on Akaike's and on Bayesian information criteria demonstrated that in most cells the effects of attention were best described by models where attention did not contribute to normalization mechanisms. This demonstrates that attentional influences on neuronal responses in primary visual cortex often bypass normalization mechanisms. PMID:25757941
Sanayei, M; Herrero, J L; Distler, C; Thiele, A
Attention affects neuronal processing and improves behavioural performance. In extrastriate visual cortex these effects have been explained by normalization models, which assume that attention influences the circuit that mediates surround suppression. While normalization models have been able to explain attentional effects, their validity has rarely been tested against alternative models. Here we investigate how attention and surround/mask stimuli affect neuronal firing rates and orientation tuning in macaque V1. Surround/mask stimuli provide an estimate to what extent V1 neurons are affected by normalization, which was compared against effects of spatial top down attention. For some attention/surround effect comparisons, the strength of attentional modulation was correlated with the strength of surround modulation, suggesting that attention and surround/mask stimulation (i.e. normalization) might use a common mechanism. To explore this in detail, we fitted multiplicative and additive models of attention to our data. In one class of models, attention contributed to normalization mechanisms, whereas in a different class of models it did not. Model selection based on Akaike's and on Bayesian information criteria demonstrated that in most cells the effects of attention were best described by models where attention did not contribute to normalization mechanisms. This demonstrates that attentional influences on neuronal responses in primary visual cortex often bypass normalization mechanisms. © 2015 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available 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 hour retention interval, suggesting a longer lasting recognition memory. In parallel with behavioural 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.
Eline R Kupers
Full Text Available Currently, non-invasive methods for studying the human brain do not routinely and reliably measure spike-rate-dependent signals, independent of responses such as hemodynamic coupling (fMRI and subthreshold neuronal synchrony (oscillations and event-related potentials. In contrast, invasive methods-microelectrode recordings and electrocorticography (ECoG-have recently measured broadband power elevation in field potentials (~50-200 Hz as a proxy for locally averaged spike rates. Here, we sought to detect and quantify stimulus-related broadband responses using magnetoencephalography (MEG. Extracranial measurements like MEG and EEG have multiple global noise sources and relatively low signal-to-noise ratios; moreover high frequency artifacts from eye movements can be confounded with stimulus design and mistaken for signals originating from brain activity. For these reasons, we developed an automated denoising technique that helps reveal the broadband signal of interest. Subjects viewed 12-Hz contrast-reversing patterns in the left, right, or bilateral visual field. Sensor time series were separated into evoked (12-Hz amplitude and broadband components (60-150 Hz. In all subjects, denoised broadband responses were reliably measured in sensors over occipital cortex, even in trials without microsaccades. The broadband pattern was stimulus-dependent, with greater power contralateral to the stimulus. Because we obtain reliable broadband estimates with short experiments (~20 minutes, and with sufficient signal-to-noise to distinguish responses to different stimuli, we conclude that MEG broadband signals, denoised with our method, offer a practical, non-invasive means for characterizing spike-rate-dependent neural activity for addressing scientific questions about human brain function.
Nagasawa, Tetsuro; Juhász, Csaba; Rothermel, Robert; Hoechstetter, Karsten; Sood, Sandeep; Asano, Eishi
SUMMARY High-frequency oscillations (HFOs) at ≧80 Hz of nonepileptic nature spontaneously emerge from human cerebral cortex. In 10 patients with extra-occipital lobe epilepsy, we compared the spectral-spatial characteristics of HFOs spontaneously arising from the nonepileptic occipital cortex with those of HFOs driven by a visual task as well as epileptogenic HFOs arising from the extra-occipital seizure focus. We identified spontaneous HFOs at ≧80 Hz with a mean duration of 330 msec intermittently emerging from the occipital cortex during interictal slow-wave sleep. The spectral frequency band of spontaneous occipital HFOs was similar to that of visually-driven HFOs. Spontaneous occipital HFOs were spatially sparse and confined to smaller areas, whereas visually-driven HFOs involved the larger areas including the more rostral sites. Neither spectral frequency band nor amplitude of spontaneous occipital HFOs significantly differed from those of epileptogenic HFOs. Spontaneous occipital HFOs were strongly locked to the phase of delta activity, but the strength of delta-phase coupling decayed from 1 to 3 Hz. Conversely, epileptogenic extra-occipital HFOs were locked to the phase of delta activity about equally in the range from 1 to 3 Hz. The occipital cortex spontaneously generates physiological HFOs which may stand out on electrocorticography traces as prominently as pathological HFOs arising from elsewhere; this observation should be taken into consideration during presurgical evaluation. Coupling of spontaneous delta and HFOs may increase the understanding of significance of delta-oscillations during slow-wave sleep. Further studies are warranted to determine whether delta-phase coupling distinguishes physiological from pathological HFOs or simply differs across anatomical locations. PMID:21432945
Sanches, Mafalda; Abuhaiba, Sulaiman I; d'Almeida, Otília C; Quendera, Bruno; Gomes, Leonor; Moreno, Carolina; Guelho, Daniela; Castelo-Branco, Miguel
Visual impairment is one of the most feared complications of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Here, we aimed to investigate the role of occipital cortex γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as a predictor of visual performance in type 2 diabetes. 18 type 2 diabetes patients were included in a longitudinal prospective one-year study, as well as 22 healthy age-matched controls. We collected demographic data, HbA1C and used a novel set of visual psychophysical tests addressing color, achromatic luminance and speed discrimination in both groups. Psychophysical tests underwent dimension reduction with principle component analysis into three synthetic variables: speed, achromatic luminance and color discrimination. A MEGA-PRESS magnetic resonance brain spectroscopy sequence was used to measure occipital GABA levels in the type 2 diabetes group. Retinopathy grading and retinal microaneurysms counting were performed in the type 2 diabetes group for single-armed correlations. Speed discrimination thresholds were significantly higher in the type 2 diabetes group in both visits; mean difference (95% confidence interval), [0.86 (0.32-1.40) in the first visit, 0.74 (0.04-1.44) in the second visit]. GABA from the occipital cortex predicted speed and achromatic luminance discrimination thresholds within the same visit (r = 0.54 and 0.52; p = 0.02 and 0.03, respectively) in type 2 diabetes group. GABA from the occipital cortex also predicted speed discrimination thresholds one year later (r = 0.52; p = 0.03) in the type 2 diabetes group. Our results suggest that speed discrimination is impaired in type 2 diabetes and that occipital cortical GABA is a novel predictor of visual psychophysical performance independently from retinopathy grade, metabolic control or disease duration in the early stages of the disease.
Supèr, Hans; Lamme, Victor A F
When and where are decisions made? In the visual system a saccade, which is a fast shift of gaze toward a target in the visual scene, is the behavioral outcome of a decision. Current neurophysiological data and reaction time models show that saccadic reaction times are determined by a build-up of activity in motor-related structures, such as the frontal eye fields. These structures depend on the sensory evidence of the stimulus. Here we use a delayed figure-ground detection task to show that late modulated activity in the visual cortex (V1) predicts saccadic reaction time. This predictive activity is part of the process of figure-ground segregation and is specific for the saccade target location. These observations indicate that sensory signals are directly involved in the decision of when and where to look.
Zarella, Mark D; Ts'o, Daniel Y
Neurons in early visual cortical areas are influenced by stimuli presented well beyond the confines of their classical receptive fields, endowing them with the ability to encode fine-scale features while also having access to the global context of the visual scene. This property can potentially define a role for the early visual cortex to contribute to a number of important visual functions, such as surface segmentation and figure-ground segregation. It is unknown how extraclassical response properties conform to the functional architecture of the visual cortex, given the high degree of functional specialization in areas V1 and V2. We examined the spatial relationships of contextual activations in macaque V1 and V2 with intrinsic signal optical imaging. Using figure-ground stimulus configurations defined by orientation or motion, we found that extraclassical modulation is restricted to the cortical representations of the figural component of the stimulus. These modulations were positive in sign, suggesting a relative enhancement in neuronal activity that may reflect an excitatory influence. Orientation and motion cues produced similar patterns of activation that traversed the functional subdivisions of V2. The asymmetrical nature of the enhancement demonstrated the capacity for visual cortical areas as early as V1 to contribute to figure-ground segregation, and the results suggest that this information can be extracted from the population activity constrained only by retinotopy, and not the underlying functional organization.
Castillo-Padilla, Diana V; Funke, Klaus
Early cortical critical period resembles a state of enhanced neuronal plasticity enabling the establishment of specific neuronal connections during first sensory experience. Visual performance with regard to pattern discrimination is impaired if the cortex is deprived from visual input during the critical period. We wondered how unspecific activation of the visual cortex before closure of the critical period using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) could affect the critical period and the visual performance of the experimental animals. Would it cause premature closure of the plastic state and thus worsen experience-dependent visual performance, or would it be able to preserve plasticity? Effects of intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) were compared with those of an enriched environment (EE) during dark-rearing (DR) from birth. Rats dark-reared in a standard cage showed poor improvement in a visual pattern discrimination task, while rats housed in EE or treated with iTBS showed a performance indistinguishable from rats reared in normal light/dark cycle. The behavioral effects were accompanied by correlated changes in the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and atypical PKC (PKCζ/PKMζ), two factors controlling stabilization of synaptic potentiation. It appears that not only nonvisual sensory activity and exercise but also cortical activation induced by rTMS has the potential to alleviate the effects of DR on cortical development, most likely due to stimulation of BDNF synthesis and release. As we showed previously, iTBS reduced the expression of parvalbumin in inhibitory cortical interneurons, indicating that modulation of the activity of fast-spiking interneurons contributes to the observed effects of iTBS. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Liang Wenwen; Zhang Xuelin; Jiang Xiaoyong; Xu Yongming; Yang Zhihui; Zhang Yan; Chang Renmin; Wang Jianping; Wu Guijun
Objective: To analyse the changes in bilateral optic radiation and visual cortex in patients with primary glaucoma detected by magnetization transfer imaging (MTI), and try to explore the influence of the disease on posterior visual pathway. Methods: MTI was performed in 20 patients with primary glaucoma with normal signal on conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The same scanning was performed in 31 matched healthy controls. MTI was obtained using spoiled gradient recalled acquisition sequence (SPGR). Magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) of bilateral optic radiation and visual cortex was measured after post-processing. The MTR value differences of the same area between two groups were compared by independent-sample t test or Satterthwaite t test if variances were not equality. Result: The MTR value in the left and right optic radiation were (32.8 ± 2.2)% and (32.7 ± 2.0)% in the glaucoma group, (34.6 ± 1.4 )% and (34.8 ± 1.3)% in the control group. There was a statistically significant difference between the two groups (left t=3.284, right t=4.040; P<0.01). The MTR value of the left and right visual cortex were (30.1± 2.0)% and (30.8 ± 1.8)% in the glaucoma group, and (32.3 ± 1.2 )% and (32.4 ± 1.2)% in the control group. Statistically significant difference was found between the two groups (left t=4.319, right t=3.445; P<0.01). Conclusions: Potential neuropathology changes occurring in the posterior visual pathway of patients with glaucoma indicate that the whole visual pathway may be involved by glaucoma.The micro physiological changes can be detected by MTI which can not be found by conventional MRI. It is a useful method of studying trans-synaptic damage of visual pathway n vivo glaucoma which provides more information for guiding the clinic diagnosis, cure and prognosis of glaucoma. (authors)
Wu, Wei; Saunders, Richard C; Mishkin, Mortimer; Turchi, Janita
Microinfusions of the nonselective muscarinic antagonist scopolamine into perirhinal cortex impairs performance on visual recognition tasks, indicating that muscarinic receptors in this region play a pivotal role in recognition memory. To assess the mnemonic effects of selective blockade in perirhinal cortex of muscarinic receptor subtypes, we locally infused either the m1-selective antagonist pirenzepine or the m2-selective antagonist methoctramine in animals performing one-trial visual recognition, and compared these scores with those following infusions of equivalent volumes of saline. Compared to these control infusions, injections of pirenzepine, but not of methoctramine, significantly impaired recognition accuracy. Further, similar doses of scopolamine and pirenzepine yielded similar deficits, suggesting that the deficits obtained earlier with scopolamine were due mainly, if not exclusively, to blockade of m1 receptors. The present findings indicate that m1 and m2 receptors have functionally dissociable roles, and that the formation of new visual memories is critically dependent on the cholinergic activation of m1 receptors located on perirhinal cells. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Shi, Li; Niu, Xiaoke; Wan, Hong
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.
Strobl, Marie-Therese J; Freeman, Daniel; Patel, Jenica; Poulsen, Ryan; Wendler, Christopher C; Rivkees, Scott A; Coleman, Jason E
Insufficient or excessive thyroid hormone (TH) levels during fetal development can cause long-term neurological and cognitive problems. Studies in animal models of perinatal hypo- and hyperthyroidism suggest that these problems may be a consequence of the formation of maladaptive circuitry in the cerebral cortex, which can persist into adulthood. Here we used mouse models of maternal hypo- and hyperthyroidism to investigate the long-term effects of altering thyroxine (T4) levels during pregnancy (corresponding to embryonic days 6.5-18.5) on thalamocortical (TC) axon dynamics in adult offspring. Because perinatal hypothyroidism has been linked to visual processing deficits in humans, we performed chronic two-photon imaging of TC axons and boutons in primary visual cortex (V1). We found that a decrease or increase in maternal serum T4 levels was associated with atypical steady-state dynamics of TC axons and boutons in V1 of adult offspring. Hypothyroid offspring exhibited axonal branch and bouton dynamics indicative of an abnormal increase in TC connectivity, whereas changes in hyperthyroid offspring were indicative of an abnormal decrease in TC connectivity. Collectively, our data suggest that alterations to prenatal T4 levels can cause long-term synaptic instability in TC circuits, which could impair early stages of visual processing. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Farivar, Reza; Grigorov, Filip; van der Kouwe, Andre J; Wald, Lawrence L; Keil, Boris
Functional neuroimaging of small cortical patches such as columns is essential for testing computational models of vision, but imaging from cortical columns at conventional 3T fields is exceedingly difficult. By targeting the visual cortex exclusively, we tested whether combined optimization of shape, coil placement, and electronics would yield the necessary gains in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for submillimeter visual cortex functional MRI (fMRI). We optimized the shape of the housing to a population-averaged atlas. The shape was comfortable without cushions and resulted in the maximally proximal placement of the coil elements. By using small wire loops with the least number of solder joints, we were able to maximize the Q factor of the individual elements. Finally, by planning the placement of the coils using the brain atlas, we were able to target the arrangement of the coil elements to the extent of the visual cortex. The combined optimizations led to as much as two-fold SNR gain compared with a whole-head 32-channel coil. This gain was reflected in temporal SNR as well and enabled fMRI mapping at 0.75 mm resolutions using a conventional GRAPPA-accelerated gradient echo echo planar imaging. Integrated optimization of shape, electronics, and element placement can lead to large gains in SNR and empower submillimeter fMRI at 3T. Magn Reson Med 76:321-328, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 The Authors. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
Sligte, I.G.; Wokke, M.E.; Tesselaar, J.P.; Scholte, H.S.; Lamme, V.A.F.
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
Wokke, M.E.; Sligte, I.G.; Scholte, H.S.; Lamme, V.A.F.
.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
Paneri, Sofia; Gregoriou, Georgia G.
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. PMID:29033784
Full Text Available CDKL5 (cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 mutations are found in severe neurodevelopmental disorders, including the Hanefeld variant of Rett syndrome (CDKL5 disorder. CDKL5 loss-of-function murine models recapitulate pathological signs of the human disease, such as visual attention deficits and reduced visual acuity. Here we investigated the cellular and synaptic substrates of visual defects by studying the organization of the primary visual cortex (V1 of Cdkl5-/y mice. We found a severe reduction of c-fos expression in V1 of Cdkl5-/y mutants, suggesting circuit hypoactivity. Glutamatergic presynaptic structures were increased, but postsynaptic PSD-95 and Homer were significantly downregulated in CDKL5 mutants. Interneurons expressing parvalbumin, but not other types of interneuron, had a higher density in mutant V1, and were hyperconnected with pyramidal neurons. Finally, the developmental trajectory of pavalbumin-containing cells was also affected in Cdkl5-/y mice, as revealed by fainter appearance perineuronal nets at the closure of the critical period. The present data reveal an overall disruption of V1 cellular and synaptic organization that may cause a shift in the excitation/inhibition balance likely to underlie the visual deficits characteristic of CDKL5 disorder. Moreover, ablation of CDKL5 is likely to tamper with the mechanisms underlying experience-dependent refinement of cortical circuits during the critical period of development.
Pizzo, Riccardo; Gurgone, Antonia; Castroflorio, Enrico; Amendola, Elena; Gross, Cornelius; Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco; Giustetto, Maurizio
Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) mutations are found in severe neurodevelopmental disorders, including the Hanefeld variant of Rett syndrome (RTT; CDKL5 disorder). CDKL5 loss-of-function murine models recapitulate pathological signs of the human disease, such as visual attention deficits and reduced visual acuity. Here we investigated the cellular and synaptic substrates of visual defects by studying the organization of the primary visual cortex (V1) of Cdkl5 -/y mice. We found a severe reduction of c-Fos expression in V1 of Cdkl5 -/y mutants, suggesting circuit hypoactivity. Glutamatergic presynaptic structures were increased, but postsynaptic PSD-95 and Homer were significantly downregulated in CDKL5 mutants. Interneurons expressing parvalbumin, but not other types of interneuron, had a higher density in mutant V1, and were hyperconnected with pyramidal neurons. Finally, the developmental trajectory of pavalbumin-containing cells was also affected in Cdkl5 -/y mice, as revealed by fainter appearance perineuronal nets at the closure of the critical period (CP). The present data reveal an overall disruption of V1 cellular and synaptic organization that may cause a shift in the excitation/inhibition balance likely to underlie the visual deficits characteristic of CDKL5 disorder. Moreover, ablation of CDKL5 is likely to tamper with the mechanisms underlying experience-dependent refinement of cortical circuits during the CP of development.
Willmore, Ben D.B.; Bulstrode, Harry; Tolhurst, David J.
Neuronal populations in the primary visual cortex (V1) of mammals exhibit contrast normalization. Neurons that respond strongly to simple visual stimuli – such as sinusoidal gratings – respond less well to the same stimuli when they are presented as part of a more complex stimulus which also excites other, neighboring neurons. This phenomenon is generally attributed to generalized patterns of inhibitory connections between nearby V1 neurons. The Bienenstock, Cooper and Munro (BCM) rule is a neural network learning rule that, when trained on natural images, produces model neurons which, individually, have many tuning properties in common with real V1 neurons. However, when viewed as a population, a BCM network is very different from V1 – each member of the BCM population tends to respond to the same dominant features of visual input, producing an incomplete, highly redundant code for visual information. Here, we demonstrate that, by adding contrast normalization into the BCM rule, we arrive at a neurally-plausible Hebbian learning rule that can learn an efficient sparse, overcomplete representation that is a better model for stimulus selectivity in V1. This suggests that one role of contrast normalization in V1 is to guide the neonatal development of receptive fields, so that neurons respond to different features of visual input. PMID:22230381
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.
Frey, Stephen; Mackey, Scott; Petrides, Michael
In the human brain, areas 44 and 45 constitute Broca's region, the ventrolateral frontal region critical for language production. The homologues of these areas in the macaque monkey brain have been established by direct cytoarchitectonic comparison with the human brain. The cortical areas that project monosynaptically to areas 44 and 45B in the macaque monkey brain require clarification. Fluorescent retrograde tracers were placed in cytoarchitectonic areas 44 and 45B of the macaque monkey, as well as in the anterior part of the inferior parietal lobule and the superior temporal gyrus. The results demonstrate that ipsilateral afferent connections of area 44 arise from local frontal areas, including rostral premotor cortical area 6, from secondary somatosensory cortex, the caudal insula, and the cingulate motor region. Area 44 is strongly linked with the anterior inferior parietal lobule (particularly area PFG and the adjacent anterior intraparietal sulcus). Input from the temporal lobe is limited to the fundus of the superior temporal sulcus extending caudal to the central sulcus. There is also input from the sulcal part of area Tpt in the upper bank of the superior temporal sulcus. Area 45B shares some of the connections of area 44, but can be distinguished from area 44 by input from the caudal inferior parietal lobule (area PG) and significant input from the part of the superior temporal sulcus that extends anterior to the central sulcus. Area 45B also receives input from visual association cortex that is not observed in area 44. The results have provided a clarification of the relative connections of areas 44 and 45B of the ventrolateral frontal region which, in the human brain, subserves certain aspects of language processing. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Khan, Zafar U; Martín-Montañez, Elisa; Baxter, Mark G
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.
Tucker, Thomas R; Katz, Lawrence C
To investigate how neurons in cortical layer 2/3 integrate horizontal inputs arising from widely distributed sites, we combined intracellular recording and voltage-sensitive dye imaging to visualize the spatiotemporal dynamics of neuronal activity evoked by electrical stimulation of multiple sites in visual cortex. Individual stimuli evoked characteristic patterns of optical activity, while delivering stimuli at multiple sites generated interacting patterns in the regions of overlap. We observed that neurons in overlapping regions received convergent horizontal activation that generated nonlinear responses due to the emergence of large inhibitory potentials. The results indicate that co-activation of multiple sets of horizontal connections recruit strong inhibition from local inhibitory networks, causing marked deviations from simple linear integration.
Kleiter, Ingo; Luerding, Ralf; Diendorfer, Gerhard; Rek, Helga; Bogdahn, Ulrich; Schalke, Berthold
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
Baslow, Morris H; Hrabe, Jan; Guilfoyle, David N
N-acetyl-l-aspartic acid (NAA), an amino acid synthesized and stored primarily in neurons in the brain, has been proposed to be a molecular water pump (MWP) whose function is to rapidly remove water from neurons against a water gradient. In this communication, we describe the results of a functional (1)H proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (fMRS) study, and provide evidence that in the human visual cortex, over a 10-min period of visual stimulation, there are stimulation-induced graded changes in the NAA MRS signal from that of a preceding 10-min baseline period with a decline in the NAA signal of 13.1% by the end of the 10-min stimulation period. Upon cessation of visual stimulation, the NAA signal gradually increases during a 10-min recovery period and once again approaches the baseline level. Because the NAA MRS signal reflects the NAA concentration, these changes indicate rapid focal changes in its concentration, and transient changes in its intercompartmental metabolism. These include its rates of synthesis and efflux from neurons and its hydrolysis by oligodendrocytes. During stimulation, the apparent rate of NAA efflux and hydrolysis increased 14.2 times, from 0.55 to 7.8 micromol g(-1) h(-1). During recovery, the apparent rate of synthesis increased 13.3 times, from 0.55 to 7.3 micromol g(-1) h(-1). The decline in the NAA signal during stimulation suggests that a rapid increase in the rate of NAA-obligated water release to extracellular fluid (ECF) is the initial and seminal event in response to neurostimulation. It is concluded that the NAA metabolic cycle in the visual cortex is intimately linked to rates of neuronal signaling, and that the functional cycle of NAA is associated with its release to ECF, thus supporting the hypothesis that an important function of the NAA metabolic cycle is that of an efflux MWP.
Wang, Yan; Wu, Wei; Zhang, Xian; Hu, Xu; Li, Yue; Lou, Shihao; Ma, Xiao; An, Xu; Liu, Hui; Peng, Jing; Ma, Danyi; Zhou, Yifeng; Yang, Yupeng
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 p...
Murty, Vishnu P; Tompary, Alexa; Adcock, R Alison; Davachi, Lila
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
Taylor, John-Paul; Firbank, Michael J.; He, Jiabao; Barnett, Nicola; Pearce, Sarah; Livingstone, Anthea; Vuong, Quoc; McKeith, Ian G.; O’Brien, John T.
Background Visual hallucinations and visuoperceptual deficits are common in dementia with Lewy bodies, suggesting that cortical visual function may be abnormal. Aims To investigate: (1) cortical visual function using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); and (2) the nature and severity of perfusion deficits in visual areas using arterial spin labelling (ASL)-MRI. Method In total, 17 participants with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB group) and 19 similarly aged controls were presented with simple visual stimuli (checkerboard, moving dots, and objects) during fMRI and subsequently underwent ASL-MRI (DLB group n = 15, control group n = 19). Results Functional activations were evident in visual areas in both the DLB and control groups in response to checkerboard and objects stimuli but reduced visual area V5/MT (middle temporal) activation occurred in the DLB group in response to motion stimuli. Posterior cortical perfusion deficits occurred in the DLB group, particularly in higher visual areas. Conclusions Higher visual areas, particularly occipito-parietal, appear abnormal in dementia with Lewy bodies, while there is a preservation of function in lower visual areas (V1 and V2/3). PMID:22500014
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.
Lin Yan; Peter, M.; Wu Renhua
Objective: To investigate the metabolic changes in the visual cortex due to visual stimulation using high field functional proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7.0 T. A clear picture of brain metabolism and neurotransmitter activity during activation was expected to be established. Methods: Nine healthy subjects participated in this study. All MR measurements were acquired using a 7.0 T MR system and a 16-channel SENSE head coil. An initial fMRI scan was performed prior to spectroscopic acquisition in order to determine the activated region in the visual cortex. A cubic ROI of 2 cm× 2 cm × 2 cm was positioned inside the activated region for functional MRS acquisition. A short TE STEAM sequence was used for acquiring the MRS data. The functional paradigm comprised 6.6 min baseline followed by 13.2 min of visual stimulation and 19.8 min recovery. Summed averaged spectra for visual stimulus off and visual stimulus on were analyzed separately using LC Model and internal reference of water. A Wilcoxon signed rank test was conducted to compare the metabolite changes. Results During stimulation, concentration in Asp [(3.20 ± 0.28) μmol/g], Gln [(2.07 ± 0.10) μmol/g] and Gly [(1.65 ± 0.11)μmol/g] was found to be significantly decreased,compared with that of (3.52 ± 0.28), (2.25 ± 0.10) and (1.85 ± 0.11) μmol/g in rest (Z=-2.073, -2.073 and -2.429, respectively, P<0.05). The level in Glu [(11.50 ± 0.11) μmol/g], GSH [(2.45 ± 0.10) μmol/g] and Lac [(0.89 ± 0.05) μmol/g] due to neuronal activation was found to be significantly increased,versus resting concentration of (11.28 ± 0.11), (2.28 ± 0.10) and (0.79 ± 0.05) μmol/g,respectively (Z=2.521, 2.310, 2.016, respectively, P<0.05). Glc level [(1.54 ± 0.23)μmol/g] exhibited a tendency to decrease throughout the period of stimulation, compared with that of [(1.78 ± 0.28) μmol/g] in rest,but the decrease did not reach statistical significance (Z=-1.897, P>0.05). Conclusions: Using a novel visual
Electrophysiological methods were employed to determine whether or not partial visual cortical lesions in neonatal (7--11-day) hamster produced large scotomas in the cortical visual representation. In cases where such scotomas were present electrophoretic deposits of radioactive amino acids in the visually responsive ''cortical remnant'' of the damaged hemisphere resulted in labelling throughout the lower portion of the stratum griseum superficiale and the stratum opticum of the ipsilateral superior colliculus. No differential labeling of the part of the colliculus which was topographically matched with the remaining visual representation in the cortical remnant was observed. In normal hamsters relatively localized, visual cortical deposits of radioactive amino acids resulted in superficial layer labeling only in portions of the colliculus which corresponded to the locus of the cortical deposit. In a similar fashion, small lesions at physiologically defined loci in the cortical remnant produced degeneration throughout most of the superficial tectal laminae, but a more restricted ''focus'' of denser degeneration was also visible in these cases. The position of this focus in the colliculus for a given cortical lesion varied with the nature of the visual map in the cortical remnant. In several additional neonatally brain-damaged hamsters large lesions of the visual cortex in the intact hemisphere were combined with radioactive amino acid deposits in the cortical remnant to determine whether or not axons from the crossed corticocollicular pathway previously demonstr