WorldWideScience

Sample records for superior visual cortex

  1. Functional Connectivity Between Superior Parietal Lobule and Primary Visual Cortex "at Rest" Predicts Visual Search Efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bueichekú, Elisenda; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Palomar-García, María-Ángeles; Miró-Padilla, Anna; Parcet, María-Antonia; Ávila, César

    2015-10-01

    Spatiotemporal activity that emerges spontaneously "at rest" has been proposed to reflect individual a priori biases in cognitive processing. This research focused on testing neurocognitive models of visual attention by studying the functional connectivity (FC) of the superior parietal lobule (SPL), given its central role in establishing priority maps during visual search tasks. Twenty-three human participants completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging session that featured a resting-state scan, followed by a visual search task based on the alphanumeric category effect. As expected, the behavioral results showed longer reaction times and more errors for the within-category (i.e., searching a target letter among letters) than the between-category search (i.e., searching a target letter among numbers). The within-category condition was related to greater activation of the superior and inferior parietal lobules, occipital cortex, inferior frontal cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and the superior colliculus than the between-category search. The resting-state FC analysis of the SPL revealed a broad network that included connections with the inferotemporal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and dorsal frontal areas like the supplementary motor area and frontal eye field. Noteworthy, the regression analysis revealed that the more efficient participants in the visual search showed stronger FC between the SPL and areas of primary visual cortex (V1) related to the search task. We shed some light on how the SPL establishes a priority map of the environment during visual attention tasks and how FC is a valuable tool for assessing individual differences while performing cognitive tasks.

  2. How Configural Is the Configural Superiority Effect? A Neuroimaging Investigation of Emergent Features in Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Olivia M; Harel, Assaf; Bennett, Kevin B

    2017-01-01

    The perception of a visual stimulus is dependent not only upon local features, but also on the arrangement of those features. When stimulus features are perceptually well organized (e.g., symmetric or parallel), a global configuration with a high degree of salience emerges from the interactions between these features, often referred to as emergent features. Emergent features can be demonstrated in the Configural Superiority Effect (CSE): presenting a stimulus within an organized context relative to its presentation in a disarranged one results in better performance. Prior neuroimaging work on the perception of emergent features regards the CSE as an "all or none" phenomenon, focusing on the contrast between configural and non-configural stimuli. However, it is still not clear how emergent features are processed between these two endpoints. The current study examined the extent to which behavioral and neuroimaging markers of emergent features are responsive to the degree of configurality in visual displays. Subjects were tasked with reporting the anomalous quadrant in a visual search task while being scanned. Degree of configurality was manipulated by incrementally varying the rotational angle of low-level features within the stimulus arrays. Behaviorally, we observed faster response times with increasing levels of configurality. These behavioral changes were accompanied by increases in response magnitude across multiple visual areas in occipito-temporal cortex, primarily early visual cortex and object-selective cortex. Our findings suggest that the neural correlates of emergent features can be observed even in response to stimuli that are not fully configural, and demonstrate that configural information is already present at early stages of the visual hierarchy.

  3. Optic nerve, superior colliculus, visual thalamus, and primary visual cortex of the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) and California sea lion (Zalophus californianus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Emily C; Sawyer, Eva K; Kaas, Jon H

    2017-02-11

    The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) and California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) are members of a diverse clade of carnivorous mammals known as pinnipeds. Pinnipeds are notable for their large, ape-sized brains, yet little is known about their central nervous system. Both the northern elephant seal and California sea lion spend most of their lives at sea, but each also spends time on land to breed and give birth. These unique coastal niches may be reflected in specific evolutionary adaptations to their sensory systems. Here, we report on components of the visual pathway in these two species. We found evidence for two classes of myelinated fibers within the pinniped optic nerve, those with thick myelin sheaths (elephant seal: 9%, sea lion: 7%) and thin myelin sheaths (elephant seal: 91%, sea lion: 93%). In order to investigate the architecture of the lateral geniculate nucleus, superior colliculus, and primary visual cortex, we processed brain sections from seal and sea lion pups for Nissl substance, cytochrome oxidase, and vesicular glutamate transporters. As in other carnivores, the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus consisted of three main layers, A, A1, and C, while each superior colliculus similarly consisted of seven distinct layers. The sea lion visual cortex is located at the posterior side of cortex between the upper and lower banks of the postlateral sulcus, while the elephant seal visual cortex extends far more anteriorly along the dorsal surface and medial wall. These results are relevant to comparative studies related to the evolution of large brains.

  4. Plasticity in bilateral superior temporal cortex: Effects of deafness and cochlear implantation on auditory and visual speech processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Carly A; Lazard, Diane S; Hartley, Douglas E H

    2017-01-01

    While many individuals can benefit substantially from cochlear implantation, the ability to perceive and understand auditory speech with a cochlear implant (CI) remains highly variable amongst adult recipients. Importantly, auditory performance with a CI cannot be reliably predicted based solely on routinely obtained information regarding clinical characteristics of the CI candidate. This review argues that central factors, notably cortical function and plasticity, should also be considered as important contributors to the observed individual variability in CI outcome. Superior temporal cortex (STC), including auditory association areas, plays a crucial role in the processing of auditory and visual speech information. The current review considers evidence of cortical plasticity within bilateral STC, and how these effects may explain variability in CI outcome. Furthermore, evidence of audio-visual interactions in temporal and occipital cortices is examined, and relation to CI outcome is discussed. To date, longitudinal examination of changes in cortical function and plasticity over the period of rehabilitation with a CI has been restricted by methodological challenges. The application of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in studying cortical function in CI users is becoming increasingly recognised as a potential solution to these problems. Here we suggest that fNIRS offers a powerful neuroimaging tool to elucidate the relationship between audio-visual interactions, cortical plasticity during deafness and following cochlear implantation, and individual variability in auditory performance with a CI. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Signed words in the congenitally deaf evoke typical late lexicosemantic responses with no early visual responses in left superior temporal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, Matthew K; Ferjan Ramirez, Naja; Torres, Christina; Travis, Katherine E; Hatrak, Marla; Mayberry, Rachel I; Halgren, Eric

    2012-07-11

    Congenitally deaf individuals receive little or no auditory input, and when raised by deaf parents, they acquire sign as their native and primary language. We asked two questions regarding how the deaf brain in humans adapts to sensory deprivation: (1) is meaning extracted and integrated from signs using the same classical left hemisphere frontotemporal network used for speech in hearing individuals, and (2) in deafness, is superior temporal cortex encompassing primary and secondary auditory regions reorganized to receive and process visual sensory information at short latencies? Using MEG constrained by individual cortical anatomy obtained with MRI, we examined an early time window associated with sensory processing and a late time window associated with lexicosemantic integration. We found that sign in deaf individuals and speech in hearing individuals activate a highly similar left frontotemporal network (including superior temporal regions surrounding auditory cortex) during lexicosemantic processing, but only speech in hearing individuals activates auditory regions during sensory processing. Thus, neural systems dedicated to processing high-level linguistic information are used for processing language regardless of modality or hearing status, and we do not find evidence for rewiring of afferent connections from visual systems to auditory cortex.

  6. Action word Related to Walk Heard by the Ears Activates Visual Cortex and Superior Temporal Gyrus: An fMRI Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoyuki Osaka

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive neuroscience of language of action processing is one of the interesting issues on the cortical “seat” of word meaning and related action (Pulvermueller, 1999 Behavioral Brain Sciences 22 253–336. For example, generation of action verbs referring to various arm or leg actions (e.g., pick or kick differentially activate areas along the motor strip that overlap with those areas activated by actual movement of the fingers or feet (Hauk et al., 2004 Neuron 41 301–307. Meanwhile, mimic words like onomatopoeia have the other potential to selectively and strongly stimulate specific brain regions having a specified “seat” of action meaning. In fact, mimic words highly suggestive of laughter and gaze significantly activated the extrastriate visual /premotor cortices and the frontal eye field, respectively (Osaka et al., 2003 Neuroscience Letters 340 127–130; 2009 Neuroscience Letters 461 65–68. However, the role of a mimic word related to walk on specific brain regions has not yet been investigated. The present study showed that a mimic word highly suggestive of human walking, heard by the ears with eyes closed, significantly activated the visual cortex located in extrastriate cortex and superior temporal gyrus while hearing non-sense words that did not imply walk under the same task did not activate these areas. These areas would be a critical region for generating visual images of walking and related action.

  7. fMRI reveals a lower visual field preference for hand actions in human superior parieto-occipital cortex (SPOC) and precuneus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossit, Stéphanie; McAdam, Teresa; McLean, D Adam; Goodale, Melvyn A; Culham, Jody C

    2013-10-01

    Humans are more efficient when performing actions towards objects presented in the lower visual field (VF) than in the upper VF. The present study used slow event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine whether human brain areas implicated in action would show such VF preferences. Participants were asked to fixate one of four different positions allowing objects to be presented in the upper left, upper right, lower left or lower right VF. In some trials they reached to grasp the object with the right hand while in others they passively viewed the object. Crucially, by manipulating the fixation position, rather than the position of the objects, the biomechanics of the movements did not differ across conditions. The superior parieto-occipital cortex (SPOC) and the left precuneus, brain areas implicated in the control of reaching, were significantly more activated when participants grasped objects presented in the lower VF relative to the upper VF. Importantly, no such VF preferences were observed in these regions during passive viewing. This finding fits well with evidence from the macaque neurophysiology that neurons within visuomotor regions over-represent the lower VF relative to the upper VF and indicate that the neural responses within these regions may reflect a functional lower VF advantage during visually-guided actions.

  8. Stimulation of the Lateral Geniculate, Superior Colliculus, or Visual Cortex is Sufficient for Eyeblink Conditioning in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halverson, Hunter E.; Hubbard, Erin M.; Freeman, John H.

    2009-01-01

    The role of the cerebellum in eyeblink conditioning is well established. Less work has been done to identify the necessary conditioned stimulus (CS) pathways that project sensory information to the cerebellum. A possible visual CS pathway has been hypothesized that consists of parallel inputs to the pontine nuclei from the lateral geniculate…

  9. Preference for Audiovisual Speech Congruency in Superior Temporal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüttke, Claudia S; Ekman, Matthias; van Gerven, Marcel A J; de Lange, Floris P

    2016-01-01

    Auditory speech perception can be altered by concurrent visual information. The superior temporal cortex is an important combining site for this integration process. This area was previously found to be sensitive to audiovisual congruency. However, the direction of this congruency effect (i.e., stronger or weaker activity for congruent compared to incongruent stimulation) has been more equivocal. Here, we used fMRI to look at the neural responses of human participants during the McGurk illusion--in which auditory /aba/ and visual /aga/ inputs are fused to perceived /ada/--in a large homogenous sample of participants who consistently experienced this illusion. This enabled us to compare the neuronal responses during congruent audiovisual stimulation with incongruent audiovisual stimulation leading to the McGurk illusion while avoiding the possible confounding factor of sensory surprise that can occur when McGurk stimuli are only occasionally perceived. We found larger activity for congruent audiovisual stimuli than for incongruent (McGurk) stimuli in bilateral superior temporal cortex, extending into the primary auditory cortex. This finding suggests that superior temporal cortex prefers when auditory and visual input support the same representation.

  10. Mismatch Receptive Fields in Mouse Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zmarz, Pawel; Keller, Georg B

    2016-11-23

    In primary visual cortex, a subset of neurons responds when a particular stimulus is encountered in a certain location in visual space. This activity can be modeled using a visual receptive field. In addition to visually driven activity, there are neurons in visual cortex that integrate visual and motor-related input to signal a mismatch between actual and predicted visual flow. Here we show that these mismatch neurons have receptive fields and signal a local mismatch between actual and predicted visual flow in restricted regions of visual space. These mismatch receptive fields are aligned to the retinotopic map of visual cortex and are similar in size to visual receptive fields. Thus, neurons with mismatch receptive fields signal local deviations of actual visual flow from visual flow predicted based on self-motion and could therefore underlie the detection of objects moving relative to the visual flow caused by self-motion. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

  11. Preparatory attention in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  12. Electrocorticography Reveals Enhanced Visual Cortex Responses to Visual Speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schepers, Inga M; Yoshor, Daniel; Beauchamp, Michael S

    2015-11-01

    Human speech contains both auditory and visual components, processed by their respective sensory cortices. We test a simple model in which task-relevant speech information is enhanced during cortical processing. Visual speech is most important when the auditory component is uninformative. Therefore, the model predicts that visual cortex responses should be enhanced to visual-only (V) speech compared with audiovisual (AV) speech. We recorded neuronal activity as patients perceived auditory-only (A), V, and AV speech. Visual cortex showed strong increases in high-gamma band power and strong decreases in alpha-band power to V and AV speech. Consistent with the model prediction, gamma-band increases and alpha-band decreases were stronger for V speech. The model predicts that the uninformative nature of the auditory component (not simply its absence) is the critical factor, a prediction we tested in a second experiment in which visual speech was paired with auditory white noise. As predicted, visual speech with auditory noise showed enhanced visual cortex responses relative to AV speech. An examination of the anatomical locus of the effects showed that all visual areas, including primary visual cortex, showed enhanced responses. Visual cortex responses to speech are enhanced under circumstances when visual information is most important for comprehension.

  13. Spatiotemporal structure of visual receptive fields in macaque superior colliculus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churan, Jan; Guitton, Daniel; Pack, Christopher C

    2012-11-01

    Saccades are useful for directing the high-acuity fovea to visual targets that are of behavioral relevance. The selection of visual targets for eye movements involves the superior colliculus (SC), where many neurons respond to visual stimuli. Many of these neurons are also activated before and during saccades of specific directions and amplitudes. Although the role of the SC in controlling eye movements has been thoroughly examined, far less is known about the nature of the visual responses in this area. We have, therefore, recorded from neurons in the intermediate layers of the macaque SC, while using a sparse-noise mapping procedure to obtain a detailed characterization of the spatiotemporal structure of visual receptive fields. We find that SC responses to flashed visual stimuli start roughly 50 ms after the onset of the stimulus and last for on average ~70 ms. About 50% of these neurons are strongly suppressed by visual stimuli flashed at certain locations flanking the excitatory center, and the spatiotemporal pattern of suppression exerts a predictable influence on the timing of saccades. This suppression may, therefore, contribute to the filtering of distractor stimuli during target selection. We also find that saccades affect the processing of visual stimuli by SC neurons in a manner that is quite similar to the saccadic suppression and postsaccadic enhancement that has been observed in the cortex and in perception. However, in contrast to what has been observed in the cortex, decreased visual sensitivity was generally associated with increased firing rates, while increased sensitivity was associated with decreased firing rates. Overall, these results suggest that the processing of visual stimuli by SC receptive fields can influence oculomotor behavior and that oculomotor signals originating in the SC can shape perisaccadic visual perception.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Involvement of the superior temporal cortex and the occipital cortex in spatial hearing: evidence from repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewald, Jörg; Meister, Ingo G; Weidemann, Jürgen; Töpper, Rudolf

    2004-06-01

    The processing of auditory spatial information in cortical areas of the human brain outside of the primary auditory cortex remains poorly understood. Here we investigated the role of the superior temporal gyrus (STG) and the occipital cortex (OC) in spatial hearing using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). The right STG is known to be of crucial importance for visual spatial awareness, and has been suggested to be involved in auditory spatial perception. We found that rTMS of the right STG induced a systematic error in the perception of interaural time differences (a primary cue for sound localization in the azimuthal plane). This is in accordance with the recent view, based on both neurophysiological data obtained in monkeys and human neuroimaging studies, that information on sound location is processed within a dorsolateral "where" stream including the caudal STG. A similar, but opposite, auditory shift was obtained after rTMS of secondary visual areas of the right OC. Processing of auditory information in the OC has previously been shown to exist only in blind persons. Thus, the latter finding provides the first evidence of an involvement of the visual cortex in spatial hearing in sighted human subjects, and suggests a close interconnection of the neural representation of auditory and visual space. Because rTMS induced systematic shifts in auditory lateralization, but not a general deterioration, we propose that rTMS of STG or OC specifically affected neuronal circuits transforming auditory spatial coordinates in order to maintain alignment with vision.

  16. Hierarchical Bayesian inference in the visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tai Sing; Mumford, David

    2003-07-01

    Traditional views of visual processing suggest that early visual neurons in areas V1 and V2 are static spatiotemporal filters that extract local features from a visual scene. The extracted information is then channeled through a feedforward chain of modules in successively higher visual areas for further analysis. Recent electrophysiological recordings from early visual neurons in awake behaving monkeys reveal that there are many levels of complexity in the information processing of the early visual cortex, as seen in the long-latency responses of its neurons. These new findings suggest that activity in the early visual cortex is tightly coupled and highly interactive with the rest of the visual system. They lead us to propose a new theoretical setting based on the mathematical framework of hierarchical Bayesian inference for reasoning about the visual system. In this framework, the recurrent feedforward/feedback loops in the cortex serve to integrate top-down contextual priors and bottom-up observations so as to implement concurrent probabilistic inference along the visual hierarchy. We suggest that the algorithms of particle filtering and Bayesian-belief propagation might model these interactive cortical computations. We review some recent neurophysiological evidences that support the plausibility of these ideas. 2003 Optical Society of America

  17. Orientational and directional selectivities of visual neurons in the superior colliculus of the cat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李兵; 王磊; 王毅; 刁云程

    1996-01-01

    Based on quantitative analyses of the response characteristics of visual neurons in the superior colliculus to moving optical bar stimuli, it is demonstrated for the first time that the visual neurons in superior colliculus of the cat have, to some extent, orientational selectivity. The significance of this selectivity is discussed in reference to its morphological substrate and physiological functions. In addition, both the directional and orientational selectivities in the superior colliculus are relatively weak when compared with those in the primary visual cortex, and the majority of the neurons prefer upward or downward motion in the visual field.

  18. Vowel sound extraction in anterior superior temporal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obleser, Jonas; Boecker, Henning; Drzezga, Alexander; Haslinger, Bernhard; Hennenlotter, Andreas; Roettinger, Michael; Eulitz, Carsten; Rauschecker, Josef P

    2006-07-01

    We investigated the functional neuroanatomy of vowel processing. We compared attentive auditory perception of natural German vowels to perception of nonspeech band-passed noise stimuli using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). More specifically, the mapping in auditory cortex of first and second formants was considered, which spectrally characterize vowels and are linked closely to phonological features. Multiple exemplars of natural German vowels were presented in sequences alternating either mainly along the first formant (e.g., [u]-[o], [i]-[e]) or along the second formant (e.g., [u]-[i], [o]-[e]). In fixed-effects and random-effects analyses, vowel sequences elicited more activation than did nonspeech noise in the anterior superior temporal cortex (aST) bilaterally. Partial segregation of different vowel categories was observed within the activated regions, suggestive of a speech sound mapping across the cortical surface. Our results add to the growing evidence that speech sounds, as one of the behaviorally most relevant classes of auditory objects, are analyzed and categorized in aST. These findings also support the notion of an auditory "what" stream, with highly object-specialized areas anterior to primary auditory cortex. 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Binocular form deprivation influences the visual cortex

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mingming Liu; Chuanhuang Weng; Hanping Xie; Wei Qin

    2012-01-01

    1a-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors are considered to play a crucial role in synaptic plasticity in the developing visual cortex. In this study, we established a rat model of binocular form deprivation by suturing the rat binocular eyelids before eye-opening at postnatal day 14. During development, the decay time of excitatory postsynaptic currents mediated by 1a-amino-3- hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors of normal rats became longer after eyeopening; however, the decay time did not change significantly in binocular form deprivation rats. The peak value in the normal group became gradually larger with age, but there was no significant change in the binocular form deprivation group. These findings indicate that binocular form deprivation influences the properties of excitatory postsynaptic currents mediated by β-amino-3- hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors in the rat visual cortex around the end of the critical period, indicating that form stimulation is associated with the experience-dependent modification of neuronal synapses in the visual cortex.

  1. Deep Hierarchies in the Primate Visual Cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Computational modeling of the primate visual system yields insights of potential relevance to some of the challenges that computer vision is facing, such as object recognition and categorization, motion detection and activity recognition or vision-based navigation and manipulation. This article...... reviews some functional principles and structures that are generally thought to underlie the primate visual cortex, and attempts to extract biological principles that could further advance computer 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 hierarchal processing in the primate visual system is characterized by a sequence of different levels of processing (in the order of ten) that constitute a deep hierarchy in contrast to the flat...

  2. Audiovisual Association Learning in the Absence of Primary Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seirafi, Mehrdad; De Weerd, Peter; Pegna, Alan J; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2015-01-01

    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.

  3. The spatiotopic 'visual' cortex of the blind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Likova, Lora

    2012-03-01

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

  4. Functional magnetic resonance imaging evaluation of visual cortex activation in patients with anterior visual pathway lesions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiufeng Song; Guohua Wang; Tong Zhang; Lei Feng; Peng An; Yueli Zhu

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the secondary visual cortex functional disorder in patients with glaucoma and large pituitary adenoma by functional magnetic resonance imaging, and to determine the correlation between visual field defect and primary visual cortex activation. Results showed that single eye stimulation resulted in bilateral visual cortex activation in patients with glaucoma or large pituitary adenoma. Compared with the normal control group, the extent and intensity of visual cortex activation was decreased after left and right eye stimulation, and functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed a correlation between visual field defects and visual cortex activation in patients with glaucoma and large pituitary adenoma. These functional magnetic resonance imaging data suggest that anterior optic pathway lesions can cause secondary functional disorder of the visual cortex, and that visual defects are correlated with visual cortex activation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eCallan

    2014-05-01

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

  6. Orientation pop-out processing in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogler, Carsten; Bode, Stefan; Haynes, John-Dylan

    2013-11-01

    Visual stimuli can "pop out" if they are different to their background. There has been considerable debate as to the role of primary visual cortex (V1) versus higher visual areas (esp. V4) in pop-out processing. Here we parametrically modulated the relative orientation of stimuli and their backgrounds to investigate the neural correlates of pop-out in visual cortex while subjects were performing a demanding fixation task in a scanner. Whole brain and region of interest analyses confirmed a representation of orientation contrast in extrastriate visual cortex (V4), but not in striate visual cortex (V1). Thus, although previous studies have shown that human V1 can be involved in orientation pop-out, our findings demonstrate that there are cases where V1 is "blind" and pop-out detection is restricted to higher visual areas. Pop-out processing is presumably a distributed process across multiple visual regions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. The primary visual cortex in the neural circuit for visual orienting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhaoping, Li

    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.

  8. Retinotopy versus face selectivity in macaque visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajimehr, Reza; Bilenko, Natalia Y; Vanduffel, Wim; Tootell, Roger B H

    2014-12-01

    Retinotopic organization is a ubiquitous property of lower-tier visual cortical areas in human and nonhuman primates. In macaque visual cortex, the retinotopic maps extend to higher-order areas in the ventral visual pathway, including area TEO in the inferior temporal (IT) cortex. Distinct regions within IT cortex are also selective to specific object categories such as faces. Here we tested the topographic relationship between retinotopic maps and face-selective patches in macaque visual cortex using high-resolution fMRI and retinotopic face stimuli. Distinct subregions within face-selective patches showed either (1) a coarse retinotopic map of eccentricity and polar angle, (2) a retinotopic bias to a specific location of visual field, or (3) nonretinotopic selectivity. In general, regions along the lateral convexity of IT cortex showed more overlap between retinotopic maps and face selectivity, compared with regions within the STS. Thus, face patches in macaques can be subdivided into smaller patches with distinguishable retinotopic properties.

  9. Retinal oscillations carry visual information to cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kilian Koepsell

    2009-04-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, Sebastian; Kissler, Johanna

    2016-10-01

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

  11. Experience-dependent spatial expectations in mouse visual cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    In generative models of brain function, internal representations are used to generate predictions of sensory input, yet little is known about how internal models influence sensory processing. Here we show that, with experience in a virtual environment, the activity of neurons in layer 2/3 of mouse...... primary visual cortex (V1) becomes increasingly informative of spatial location. We found that a subset of V1 neurons exhibited responses that were predictive of the upcoming visual stimulus in a spatially dependent manner and that the omission of an expected stimulus drove strong responses in V1....... Stimulus-predictive responses also emerged in V1-projecting anterior cingulate cortex axons, suggesting that anterior cingulate cortex serves as a source of predictions of visual input to V1. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that visual cortex forms an internal representation of the visual...

  12. Action preparation shapes processing in early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutteling, Tjerk P; Petridou, Natalia; Dumoulin, Serge O; Harvey, Ben M; Aarnoutse, Erik J; Kenemans, J Leon; Neggers, Sebastian F W

    2015-04-22

    Preparation for an action, such as grasping an object, is accompanied by an enhanced perception of the object's action-relevant features, such as orientation and size. Cortical feedback from motor planning areas to early visual areas may drive this enhanced perception. To examine whether action preparation modulates activity in early human visual cortex, subjects grasped or pointed to oriented objects while high-resolution fMRI data were acquired. Using multivoxel pattern analysis techniques, we could decode with >70% accuracy whether a grasping or pointing action was prepared from signals in visual cortex as early as V1. These signals in early visual cortex were observed even when actions were only prepared but not executed. Anterior parietal cortex, on the other hand, showed clearest modulation for actual movements. This demonstrates that preparation of actions, even without execution, modulates relevant neuronal populations in early visual areas.

  13. Visual field map clusters in human frontoparietal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackey, Wayne E; Winawer, Jonathan; Curtis, Clayton E

    2017-06-19

    The visual neurosciences have made enormous progress in recent decades, in part because of the ability to drive visual areas by their sensory inputs, allowing researchers to define visual areas reliably across individuals and across species. Similar strategies for parcellating higher-order cortex have proven elusive. Here, using a novel experimental task and nonlinear population receptive field modeling, we map and characterize the topographic organization of several regions in human frontoparietal cortex. We discover representations of both polar angle and eccentricity that are organized into clusters, similar to visual cortex, where multiple gradients of polar angle of the contralateral visual field share a confluent fovea. This is striking because neural activity in frontoparietal cortex is believed to reflect higher-order cognitive functions rather than external sensory processing. Perhaps the spatial topography in frontoparietal cortex parallels the retinotopic organization of sensory cortex to enable an efficient interface between perception and higher-order cognitive processes. Critically, these visual maps constitute well-defined anatomical units that future studies of frontoparietal cortex can reliably target.

  14. Peripheral sounds rapidly activate visual cortex: evidence from electrocorticography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brang, David; Towle, Vernon L; Suzuki, Satoru; Hillyard, Steven A; Di Tusa, Senneca; Dai, Zhongtian; Tao, James; Wu, Shasha; Grabowecky, Marcia

    2015-11-01

    Neurophysiological studies with animals suggest that sounds modulate activity in primary visual cortex in the presence of concurrent visual stimulation. Noninvasive neuroimaging studies in humans have similarly shown that sounds modulate activity in visual areas even in the absence of visual stimuli or visual task demands. However, the spatial and temporal limitations of these noninvasive methods prevent the determination of how rapidly sounds activate early visual cortex and what information about the sounds is relayed there. Using spatially and temporally precise measures of local synaptic activity acquired from depth electrodes in humans, we demonstrate that peripherally presented sounds evoke activity in the anterior portion of the contralateral, but not ipsilateral, calcarine sulcus within 28 ms of sound onset. These results suggest that auditory stimuli rapidly evoke spatially specific activity in visual cortex even in the absence of concurrent visual stimulation or visual task demands. This rapid auditory-evoked activation of primary visual cortex is likely to be mediated by subcortical pathways or direct cortical projections from auditory to visual areas.

  15. Multisensory and modality specific processing of visual speech in different regions of the premotor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callan, Daniel E; Jones, Jeffery A; Callan, Akiko

    2014-01-01

    Behavioral and neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that brain regions involved with speech production also support speech perception, especially under degraded conditions. The premotor cortex (PMC) 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 PMC 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 functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analysis for visual only and audio-visual conditions showed overlapping activity in inferior frontal gyrus and PMC. The left ventral inferior premotor cortex (PMvi) 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 (PMvs/PMd) 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 PMC are involved with mapping unimodal (in this case visual) sensory features of the speech signal with

  16. Decoding sound and imagery content in early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Petra; Smith, Fraser W; Muckli, Lars

    2014-06-02

    Human early visual cortex was traditionally thought to process simple visual features such as orientation, contrast, and spatial frequency via feedforward input from the lateral geniculate nucleus (e.g., [1]). However, the role of nonretinal influence on early visual cortex is so far insufficiently investigated despite much evidence that feedback connections greatly outnumber feedforward connections [2-5]. Here, we explored in five fMRI experiments how information originating from audition and imagery affects the brain activity patterns in early visual cortex in the absence of any feedforward visual stimulation. We show that category-specific information from both complex natural sounds and imagery can be read out from early visual cortex activity in blindfolded participants. The coding of nonretinal information in the activity patterns of early visual cortex is common across actual auditory perception and imagery and may be mediated by higher-level multisensory areas. Furthermore, this coding is robust to mild manipulations of attention and working memory but affected by orthogonal, cognitively demanding visuospatial processing. Crucially, the information fed down to early visual cortex is category specific and generalizes to sound exemplars of the same category, providing evidence for abstract information feedback rather than precise pictorial feedback. Our results suggest that early visual cortex receives nonretinal input from other brain areas when it is generated by auditory perception and/or imagery, and this input carries common abstract information. Our findings are compatible with feedback of predictive information to the earliest visual input level (e.g., [6]), in line with predictive coding models [7-10].

  17. Visual Cortex Plasticity Following Peripheral Damage To The Visual System: fMRI Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemos, João; Pereira, Daniela; Castelo-Branco, Miguel

    2016-10-01

    Over the last two decades, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has become a powerful research method to investigate cortical visual plasticity. Abnormal fMRI response patterns have been occasionally detected in the visually deprived cortex of patients with bilateral retinal diseases. Controversy remains whether these observations indicate structural reorganization of the visual cortex or unmasking of previously silent cortico-cortical connections. In optic nerve diseases, there is weak evidence showing that early visual cortex seems to lack reorganization, while higher-order visual areas undergo plastic changes which may contribute to optimise visual function. There is however accumulating imaging evidence demonstrating trans-synaptic degeneration of the visual cortex in patients with disease of the anterior visual pathways. This may preclude the use of restorative treatments in these patients. Here, we review and update the body of fMRI evidence on visual cortical plasticity.

  18. The multisensory function of the human primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Micah M; Thelen, Antonia; Thut, Gregor; Romei, Vincenzo; Martuzzi, Roberto; Matusz, Pawel J

    2016-03-01

    It has been nearly 10 years since Ghazanfar and Schroeder (2006) proposed that the neocortex is essentially multisensory in nature. However, it is only recently that sufficient and hard evidence that supports this proposal has accrued. We review evidence that activity within the human primary visual cortex plays an active role in multisensory processes and directly impacts behavioural outcome. This evidence emerges from a full pallet of human brain imaging and brain mapping methods with which multisensory processes are quantitatively assessed by taking advantage of particular strengths of each technique as well as advances in signal analyses. Several general conclusions about multisensory processes in primary visual cortex of humans are supported relatively solidly. First, haemodynamic methods (fMRI/PET) show that there is both convergence and integration occurring within primary visual cortex. Second, primary visual cortex is involved in multisensory processes during early post-stimulus stages (as revealed by EEG/ERP/ERFs as well as TMS). Third, multisensory effects in primary visual cortex directly impact behaviour and perception, as revealed by correlational (EEG/ERPs/ERFs) as well as more causal measures (TMS/tACS). While the provocative claim of Ghazanfar and Schroeder (2006) that the whole of neocortex is multisensory in function has yet to be demonstrated, this can now be considered established in the case of the human primary visual cortex.

  19. Early Visual Cortex as a Multiscale Cognitive Blackboard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelfsema, Pieter R; de Lange, Floris P

    2016-10-14

    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 mental operations? We review evidence supporting the hypothesis that the modulation of activity in early visual areas has a causal role in cognition. The modulatory influences allow the early visual cortex to act as a multiscale cognitive blackboard for read and write operations by higher visual areas, which can thereby efficiently exchange information. This blackboard architecture explains how the activity of neurons in the early visual cortex contributes to scene segmentation and working memory, and relates to the subject's inferences about the visual world. The architecture also has distinct advantages for the processing of visual routines that rely on a number of sequentially executed processing steps.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-19

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

  1. Contextual modulation of primary visual cortex by auditory signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paton, A. T.

    2017-01-01

    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’. PMID:28044015

  2. Association fiber pathways to the frontal cortex from the superior temporal region in the rhesus monkey

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petrides, M.; Pandya, D.N.

    1988-07-01

    The projections to the frontal cortex that originate from the various areas of the superior temporal region of the rhesus monkey were investigated with the autoradiographic technique. The results demonstrated that the rostral part of the superior temporal gyrus (areas Pro, Ts1, and Ts2) projects to the proisocortical areas of the orbital and medial frontal cortex, as well as to the nearby orbital areas 13, 12, and 11, and to medial areas 9, 10, and 14. These fibers travel to the frontal lobe as part of the uncinate fascicle. The middle part of the superior temporal gyrus (areas Ts3 and paAlt) projects predominantly to the lateral frontal cortex (areas 12, upper 46, and 9) and to the dorsal aspect of the medial frontal lobe (areas 9 and 10). Only a small number of these fibers terminated within the orbitofrontal cortex. The temporofrontal fibers originating from the middle part of the superior temporal gyrus occupy the lower portion of the extreme capsule and lie just dorsal to the fibers of the uncinate fascicle. The posterior part of the superior temporal gyrus projects to the lateral frontal cortex (area 46, dorsal area 8, and the rostralmost part of dorsal area 6). Some of the fibers from the posterior superior temporal gyrus run initially through the extreme capsule and then cross the claustrum as they ascend to enter the external capsule before continuing their course to the frontal lobe. A larger group of fibers curves round the caudalmost Sylvian fissure and travels to the frontal cortex occupying a position just above and medial to the upper branch of the circular sulcus. This latter pathway constitutes a part of the classically described arcuate fasciculus.

  3. Computational Model of Primary Visual Cortex Combining Visual Attention for Action Recognition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Shu

    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.

  4. Decoding information about dynamically occluded objects in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erlikhman, Gennady; Caplovitz, Gideon P

    2017-02-01

    During dynamic occlusion, an object passes behind an occluding surface and then later reappears. Even when completely occluded from view, such objects are experienced as continuing to exist or persist behind the occluder even though they are no longer visible. The contents and neural basis of this persistent representation remain poorly understood. Questions remain as to whether there is information maintained about the object itself (i.e. its shape or identity) or non-object-specific information such as its position or velocity as it is tracked behind an occluder, as well as which areas of visual cortex represent such information. Recent studies have found that early visual cortex is activated by "invisible" objects during visual imagery and by unstimulated regions along the path of apparent motion, suggesting that some properties of dynamically occluded objects may also be neurally represented in early visual cortex. We applied functional magnetic resonance imaging in human subjects to examine representations within visual cortex during dynamic occlusion. For gradually occluded, but not for instantly disappearing objects, there was an increase in activity in early visual cortex (V1, V2, and V3). This activity was spatially-specific, corresponding to the occluded location in the visual field. However, the activity did not encode enough information about object identity to discriminate between different kinds of occluded objects (circles vs. stars) using MVPA. In contrast, object identity could be decoded in spatially-specific subregions of higher-order, topographically organized areas such as ventral, lateral, and temporal occipital areas (VO, LO, and TO) as well as the functionally defined LOC and hMT+. These results suggest that early visual cortex may only represent the dynamically occluded object's position or motion path, while later visual areas represent object-specific information.

  5. Rapid and reversible recruitment of early visual cortex for touch.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lotfi B Merabet

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Spatial Working Memory Effects in Early Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Population Receptive Field Dynamics in Human Visual Cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haak, Koen V.; Cornelissen, Frans W.; Morland, Antony B.

    2012-01-01

    Seminal work in the early nineties revealed that the visual receptive field of neurons in cat primary visual cortex can change in location and size when artificial scotomas are applied. Recent work now suggests that these single neuron receptive field dynamics also pertain to the neuronal population

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  11. Topography and areal organization of mouse visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrett, Marina E; Nauhaus, Ian; Marshel, James H; Callaway, Edward M

    2014-09-10

    To guide future experiments aimed at understanding the mouse visual system, it is essential that we have a solid handle on the global topography of visual cortical areas. Ideally, the method used to measure cortical topography is objective, robust, and simple enough to guide subsequent targeting of visual areas in each subject. We developed an automated method that uses retinotopic maps of mouse visual cortex obtained with intrinsic signal imaging (Schuett et al., 2002; Kalatsky and Stryker, 2003; Marshel et al., 2011) and applies an algorithm to automatically identify cortical regions that satisfy a set of quantifiable criteria for what constitutes a visual area. This approach facilitated detailed parcellation of mouse visual cortex, delineating nine known areas (primary visual cortex, lateromedial area, anterolateral area, rostrolateral area, anteromedial area, posteromedial area, laterointermediate area, posterior area, and postrhinal area), and revealing two additional areas that have not been previously described as visuotopically mapped in mice (laterolateral anterior area and medial area). Using the topographic maps and defined area boundaries from each animal, we characterized several features of map organization, including variability in area position, area size, visual field coverage, and cortical magnification. We demonstrate that higher areas in mice often have representations that are incomplete or biased toward particular regions of visual space, suggestive of specializations for processing specific types of information about the environment. This work provides a comprehensive description of mouse visuotopic organization and describes essential tools for accurate functional localization of visual areas.

  12. Origins of superior dynamic visual acuity in baseball players: superior eye movements or superior image processing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke Uchida

    Full Text Available Dynamic visual acuity (DVA is defined as the ability to discriminate the fine parts of a moving object. DVA is generally better in athletes than in non-athletes, and the better DVA of athletes has been attributed to a better ability to track moving objects. In the present study, we hypothesized that the better DVA of athletes is partly derived from better perception of moving images on the retina through some kind of perceptual learning. To test this hypothesis, we quantitatively measured DVA in baseball players and non-athletes using moving Landolt rings in two conditions. In the first experiment, the participants were allowed to move their eyes (free-eye-movement conditions, whereas in the second they were required to fixate on a fixation target (fixation conditions. The athletes displayed significantly better DVA than the non-athletes in the free-eye-movement conditions. However, there was no significant difference between the groups in the fixation conditions. These results suggest that the better DVA of athletes is primarily due to an improved ability to track moving targets with their eyes, rather than to improved perception of moving images on the retina.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is known to play a crucial role in regulating human social and emotional behaviour, yet the precise mechanisms by which it subserves this broad function remain unclear. Whereas previous neuropsychological studies have largely focused on the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in higher-order deliberative processes related to valuation and decision-making, here we test whether ventromedial prefrontal cortex may also be critical for more basic aspects of orienting attention to socially and emotionally meaningful stimuli. Using eye tracking during a test of facial emotion recognition in a sample of lesion patients, we show that bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage impairs visual attention to the eye regions of faces, particularly for fearful faces. This finding demonstrates a heretofore unrecognized function of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex-the basic attentional process of controlling eye movements to faces expressing emotion.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koen V Haak

    2012-05-01

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

  15. Pinwheel-dipole configuration in cat early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribot, Jérôme; Romagnoni, Alberto; Milleret, Chantal; Bennequin, Daniel; Touboul, Jonathan

    2016-03-01

    In the early visual cortex, information is processed within functional maps whose layouts are thought to underlie visual perception. However, the precise organization of these functional maps as well as their interrelationships remain unsettled. Here, we show that spatial frequency representation in cat early visual cortex exhibits singularities around which the map organizes like an electric dipole potential. These singularities are precisely co-located with singularities of the orientation map: the pinwheel centers. To show this, we used high resolution intrinsic optical imaging in cat areas 17 and 18. First, we show that a majority of pinwheel centers exhibit in their neighborhood both semi-global maximum and minimum in the spatial frequency map (i.e. extreme values of the spatial frequency in a hypercolumn). This contradicts pioneering studies suggesting that pinwheel centers are placed at the locus of a single spatial frequency extremum. Based on an analogy with electromagnetism, we proposed a mathematical model for a dipolar structure, accurately fitting optical imaging data. We conclude that a majority of orientation pinwheel centers form spatial frequency dipoles in cat early visual cortex. Given the functional specificities of neurons at singularities in the visual cortex, it is argued that the dipolar organization of spatial frequency around pinwheel centers could be fundamental for visual processing.

  16. Stimulus Dependence of Gamma Oscillations in Human Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermes, D; Miller, K J; Wandell, B A; Winawer, J

    2015-09-01

    A striking feature of some field potential recordings in visual cortex is a rhythmic oscillation within the gamma band (30-80 Hz). These oscillations have been proposed to underlie computations in perception, attention, and information transmission. Recent studies of cortical field potentials, including human electrocorticography (ECoG), have emphasized another signal within the gamma band, a nonoscillatory, broadband signal, spanning 80-200 Hz. It remains unclear under what conditions gamma oscillations are elicited in visual cortex, whether they are necessary and ubiquitous in visual encoding, and what relationship they have to nonoscillatory, broadband field potentials. We demonstrate that ECoG responses in human visual cortex (V1/V2/V3) can include robust narrowband gamma oscillations, and that these oscillations are reliably elicited by some spatial contrast patterns (luminance gratings) but not by others (noise patterns and many natural images). The gamma oscillations can be conspicuous and robust, but because they are absent for many stimuli, which observers can see and recognize, the oscillations are not necessary for seeing. In contrast, all visual stimuli induced broadband spectral changes in ECoG responses. Asynchronous neural signals in visual cortex, reflected in the broadband ECoG response, can support transmission of information for perception and recognition in the absence of pronounced gamma oscillations.

  17. Visual sensitivity of deepwater fishes in Lake Superior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly A Harrington

    Full Text Available The predator-prey interactions in the offshore food web of Lake Superior have been well documented, but the sensory systems mediating these interactions remain unknown. The deepwater sculpin, (Myoxocephalus thompsoni, siscowet (Salvelinus namaycush siscowet, and kiyi (Coregonus kiyi inhabit low light level environments. To investigate the potential role of vision in predator-prey interactions, electroretinography was used to determine visual sensitivity for each species. Spectral sensitivity curves revealed peak sensitivity at 525 nm for each species which closely corresponds to the prevalent downwelling light spectrum at depth. To determine if sufficient light was available to mediate predator-prey interactions, visual sensitivity was correlated with the intensity of downwelling light in Lake Superior to construct visual depth profiles for each species. Sufficient daytime irradiance exists for visual interactions to approximately 325 m for siscowet and kiyi and 355 m for the deepwater sculpin during summer months. Under full moon conditions, sufficient irradiance exists to elicit ERG response to light available at approximately 30 m for the siscowet and kiyi and 45 m for the deepwater sculpin. Visual interactions are therefore possible at the depths and times when these organisms overlap in the water column indicating that vision may play a far greater role at depth in deep freshwater lakes than had been previously documented.

  18. Task context impacts visual object processing differentially across the cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-11

    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.

  19. Levodopa methyl ester increases nerve growth factor expression in visual cortex area 17 in a feline model of strabismic amblyopia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yongwen Li; Xing Lin; Shijun Zhang; Rong Li; Weizhe Jiang; Renbin Huang

    2011-01-01

    In the present study, a feline model of strabismic amblyopia was established during a sensitive developmental period, and the influence of levodopa methyl ester and levodopa on nerve growth factor expression in the visual cortex (area 17) was compared. Pattern visual-evoked potential and immunohistochemistry results showed that levodopa methyl ester and levodopa treatment shortened P100 wave latency, increased P100 amplitude, and increased the number of endogenous nerve growth factor-positive cells in visual cortex levels. In particular, the effects of levodopa methyl ester were superior to levodopa treatment.

  20. Distance modulation of neural activity in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobbins, A C; Jeo, R M; Fiser, J; Allman, J M

    1998-07-24

    Humans use distance information to scale the size of objects. Earlier studies demonstrated changes in neural response as a function of gaze direction and gaze distance in the dorsal visual cortical pathway to parietal cortex. These findings have been interpreted as evidence of the parietal pathway's role in spatial representation. Here, distance-dependent changes in neural response were also found to be common in neurons in the ventral pathway leading to inferotemporal cortex of monkeys. This result implies that the information necessary for object and spatial scaling is common to all visual cortical areas.

  1. Crossmodal Association of Visual and Haptic Material Properties of Objects in the Monkey Ventral Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goda, Naokazu; Yokoi, Isao; Tachibana, Atsumichi; Minamimoto, Takafumi; Komatsu, Hidehiko

    2016-04-04

    Just by looking at an object, we can recognize its non-visual properties, such as hardness. The visual recognition of non-visual object properties is generally accurate [1], and influences actions toward the object [2]. Recent studies suggest that, in the primate brain, this may involve the ventral visual cortex, which represents objects in a way that reflects not only visual but also non-visual object properties, such as haptic roughness, hardness, and weight [3-7]. This new insight raises a fundamental question: how does the visual cortex come to represent non-visual properties--knowledge that cannot be acquired directly through vision? Here we addressed this unresolved question using fMRI in macaque monkeys. Specifically, we explored whether and how simple visuo-haptic experience--just seeing and touching objects made of various materials--can shape representational content in the visual cortex. We measured brain activity evoked by viewing images of objects before and after the monkeys acquired the visuo-haptic experience and decoded the representational space from the activity patterns [8]. We show that simple long-term visuo-haptic experience greatly impacts representation in the posterior inferior temporal cortex, the higher ventral visual cortex. After the experience, but not before, the activity pattern in this region well reflected the haptic material properties of the experienced objects. Our results suggest that neural representation of non-visual object properties in the visual cortex emerges through long-term crossmodal exposure to objects. This highlights the importance of unsupervised learning of crossmodal associations through everyday experience [9-12] for shaping representation in the visual cortex.

  2. Hemodynamic responses in human multisensory and auditory association cortex to purely visual stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baumann Simon

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent findings of a tight coupling between visual and auditory association cortices during multisensory perception in monkeys and humans raise the question whether consistent paired presentation of simple visual and auditory stimuli prompts conditioned responses in unimodal auditory regions or multimodal association cortex once visual stimuli are presented in isolation in a post-conditioning run. To address this issue fifteen healthy participants partook in a "silent" sparse temporal event-related fMRI study. In the first (visual control habituation phase they were presented with briefly red flashing visual stimuli. In the second (auditory control habituation phase they heard brief telephone ringing. In the third (conditioning phase we coincidently presented the visual stimulus (CS paired with the auditory stimulus (UCS. In the fourth phase participants either viewed flashes paired with the auditory stimulus (maintenance, CS- or viewed the visual stimulus in isolation (extinction, CS+ according to a 5:10 partial reinforcement schedule. The participants had no other task than attending to the stimuli and indicating the end of each trial by pressing a button. Results During unpaired visual presentations (preceding and following the paired presentation we observed significant brain responses beyond primary visual cortex in the bilateral posterior auditory association cortex (planum temporale, planum parietale and in the right superior temporal sulcus whereas the primary auditory regions were not involved. By contrast, the activity in auditory core regions was markedly larger when participants were presented with auditory stimuli. Conclusion These results demonstrate involvement of multisensory and auditory association areas in perception of unimodal visual stimulation which may reflect the instantaneous forming of multisensory associations and cannot be attributed to sensation of an auditory event. More importantly, we are able

  3. Preparatory effects of distractor suppression: evidence from visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaap Munneke

    Full Text Available Spatial selective attention is the mechanism that facilitates the selection of relevant information over irrelevant information in the visual field. The current study investigated whether foreknowledge of the presence or absence of distractors surrounding an impending target stimulus results in preparatory changes in visual cortex. We cued the location of the target and the presence or absence of distractors surrounding the target while changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD signals were measured. In line with prior work, we found that top-down spatial attention resulted in an increased contralateral BOLD response, evoked by the cue throughout early visual cortex (areas V1, V2 and V3. In addition, cues indicating distractor presence evoked a substantial increase in the magnitude of the BOLD signal in visual area V3, but not in V2 or V1. This study shows that prior knowledge concerning the presence of a distractor results in enhanced attentional modulation of visual cortex, in visual areas where neuronal receptive fields are large enough to encompass both targets and distractors. We interpret these findings as evidence that top-down attentional control processes include active preparatory suppression mechanisms for irrelevant, distracting information in the visual scene.

  4. Preparatory effects of distractor suppression: evidence from visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munneke, Jaap; Heslenfeld, Dirk J; Usrey, W Martin; Theeuwes, Jan; Mangun, George R

    2011-01-01

    Spatial selective attention is the mechanism that facilitates the selection of relevant information over irrelevant information in the visual field. The current study investigated whether foreknowledge of the presence or absence of distractors surrounding an impending target stimulus results in preparatory changes in visual cortex. We cued the location of the target and the presence or absence of distractors surrounding the target while changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals were measured. In line with prior work, we found that top-down spatial attention resulted in an increased contralateral BOLD response, evoked by the cue throughout early visual cortex (areas V1, V2 and V3). In addition, cues indicating distractor presence evoked a substantial increase in the magnitude of the BOLD signal in visual area V3, but not in V2 or V1. This study shows that prior knowledge concerning the presence of a distractor results in enhanced attentional modulation of visual cortex, in visual areas where neuronal receptive fields are large enough to encompass both targets and distractors. We interpret these findings as evidence that top-down attentional control processes include active preparatory suppression mechanisms for irrelevant, distracting information in the visual scene.

  5. fMR-adaptation indicates selectivity to audiovisual content congruency in distributed clusters in human superior temporal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blomert Leo

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Efficient multisensory integration is of vital importance for adequate interaction with the environment. In addition to basic binding cues like temporal and spatial coherence, meaningful multisensory information is also bound together by content-based associations. Many functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI studies propose the (posterior superior temporal cortex (STC as the key structure for integrating meaningful multisensory information. However, a still unanswered question is how superior temporal cortex encodes content-based associations, especially in light of inconsistent results from studies comparing brain activation to semantically matching (congruent versus nonmatching (incongruent multisensory inputs. Here, we used fMR-adaptation (fMR-A in order to circumvent potential problems with standard fMRI approaches, including spatial averaging and amplitude saturation confounds. We presented repetitions of audiovisual stimuli (letter-speech sound pairs and manipulated the associative relation between the auditory and visual inputs (congruent/incongruent pairs. We predicted that if multisensory neuronal populations exist in STC and encode audiovisual content relatedness, adaptation should be affected by the manipulated audiovisual relation. Results The results revealed an occipital-temporal network that adapted independently of the audiovisual relation. Interestingly, several smaller clusters distributed over superior temporal cortex within that network, adapted stronger to congruent than to incongruent audiovisual repetitions, indicating sensitivity to content congruency. Conclusions These results suggest that the revealed clusters contain multisensory neuronal populations that encode content relatedness by selectively responding to congruent audiovisual inputs, since unisensory neuronal populations are assumed to be insensitive to the audiovisual relation. These findings extend our previously revealed mechanism for

  6. Left superior parietal cortex involvement in writing: integrating fMRI with lesion evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menon, V; Desmond, J E

    2001-10-01

    Writing is a uniquely human skill that we utilize nearly everyday. Lesion studies in patients with Gerstmann's syndrome have pointed to the parietal cortex as being critical for writing. Very little information is, however, available about the precise anatomical location of brain regions subserving writing in normal healthy individuals. In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate parietal lobe function during writing to dictation. Significant clusters of activation were observed in left superior parietal lobe (SPL) and the dorsal aspects of the inferior parietal cortex (IPC) bordering the SPL. Localized clusters of activation were also observed in the left premotor cortex, sensorimotor cortex and supplementary motor area. No activation cluster was observed in the right hemisphere. These results clearly indicate that writing appears to be primarily organized in the language-dominant hemisphere. Further analysis revealed that within the parietal cortex, activation was significantly greater in the left SPL, compared to left IPC. Together with lesion studies, findings from the present study provide further evidence for the essential role of the left SPL in writing. Deficits to the precise left hemisphere parietal cortex regions identified in the present study may specifically underlie disorders of writing observed in Gerstmann's syndrome and apractic agraphia.

  7. Preparatory Effects of Distractor Suppression: Evidence from Visual Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Jaap Munneke; Heslenfeld, Dirk J; W Martin Usrey; Jan Theeuwes; Mangun, George R.

    2011-01-01

    Spatial selective attention is the mechanism that facilitates the selection of relevant information over irrelevant information in the visual field. The current study investigated whether foreknowledge of the presence or absence of distractors surrounding an impending target stimulus results in preparatory changes in visual cortex. We cued the location of the target and the presence or absence of distractors surrounding the target while changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals w...

  8. Adaptation to sensory input tunes visual cortex to criticality

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  9. Modeling and Simulation. II. Specificity Models for Visual Cortex Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-12-12

    Excitation and Inhibition Excit at ion in VC comesvia 3 1 * the specific thialamic afferents. * spiny stellate interneurons , * *0 collaterals of local p...D., Receptive field p~rolperties of EPSPs and IPSPs in cat visual cortex, Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 10, 521;- 1984. * 32. Freeman, P. D. and A. B. Bonds

  10. Figure-Ground Organization in Visual Cortex for Natural Scenes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williford, Jonathan R; von der Heydt, Rüdiger

    2016-01-01

    Figure-ground organization and border-ownership assignment are essential for understanding natural scenes. It has been shown that many neurons in the macaque visual cortex signal border-ownership in displays of simple geometric shapes such as squares, but how well these neurons resolve border-owners

  11. Orientation-tuned surround suppression in mouse visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Self, Matthew W; Lorteije, Jeannette A M; Vangeneugden, Joris; van Beest, Enny H; Grigore, Mihaela E; Levelt, Christiaan N; Heimel, J.A.; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2014-01-01

    The firing rates of neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) are suppressed by large stimuli, an effect known as surround suppression. In cats and monkeys, the strength of suppression is sensitive to orientation; responses to regions containing uniform orientations are more suppressed than those contai

  12. Auditory and visual connectivity gradients in frontoparietal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Functional Connectivity Patterns of Visual Cortex Reflect its Anatomical Organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genç, Erhan; Schölvinck, Marieke Louise; Bergmann, Johanna; Singer, Wolf; Kohler, Axel

    2016-09-01

    The brain is continuously active, even without external input or task demands. This so-called resting-state activity exhibits a highly specific spatio-temporal organization. However, how exactly these activity patterns map onto the anatomical and functional architecture of the brain is still unclear. We addressed this question in the human visual cortex. We determined the representation of the visual field in visual cortical areas of 44 subjects using fMRI and examined resting-state correlations between these areas along the visual hierarchy, their dorsal and ventral segments, and between subregions representing foveal versus peripheral parts of the visual field. We found that retinotopically corresponding regions, particularly those representing peripheral visual fields, exhibit strong correlations. V1 displayed strong internal correlations between its dorsal and ventral segments and the highest correlation with LGN compared with other visual areas. In contrast, V2 and V3 showed weaker correlations with LGN and stronger between-area correlations, as well as with V4 and hMT+. Interhemispheric correlations between homologous areas were especially strong. These correlation patterns were robust over time and only marginally altered under task conditions. These results indicate that resting-state fMRI activity closely reflects the anatomical organization of the visual cortex both with respect to retinotopy and hierarchy.

  14. A BOLD signature of eyeblinks in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hupé, Jean-Michel; Bordier, Cécile; Dojat, Michel

    2012-05-15

    We are usually unaware of the brief but large illumination changes caused by blinks, presumably because of blink suppression mechanisms. In fMRI however, increase of the BOLD signal was reported in the visual cortex, e.g. during blocks of voluntary blinks (Bristow, Frith and Rees, 2005) or after spontaneous blinks recorded during the prolonged fixation of a static stimulus (Tse, Baumgartner and Greenlee, 2010). We tested whether such activation, possibly related to illumination changes, was also present during standard fMRI retinotopic and visual experiments and was large enough to contaminate the BOLD signal we are interested in. We monitored in a 3T scanner the eyeblinks of 14 subjects who observed three different types of visual stimuli, including periodic rotating wedges and contracting/expanding rings, event-related Mondrians and graphemes, while fixating. We performed event-related analyses on the set of detected spontaneous blinks. We observed large and widespread BOLD responses related to blinks in the visual cortex of every subject and whatever the visual stimulus. The magnitude of the modulation was comparable to visual stimulation. However, blink-related activations lay mostly in the anterior parts of retinotopic visual areas, coding the periphery of the visual field well beyond the extent of our stimuli. Blinks therefore represent an important source of BOLD variations in the visual cortex and a troublesome source of noise since any correlation, even weak, between the distribution of blinks and a tested protocol could trigger artifactual activities. However, the typical signature of blinks along the anterior calcarine and the parieto-occipital sulcus allows identifying, even in the absence of eyetracking, fMRI protocols possibly contaminated by a heterogeneous distribution of blinks.

  15. Reverse sequencing syllables of spoken words activates primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ino, Tadashi; Asada, Tomohiko; Hirose, Syuichi; Ito, Jin; Fukuyama, Hidenao

    2003-10-27

    Using fMRI, we investigated the neural correlates for sequencing the individual syllables of spoken words in reverse order. The comparison of this task to a control task requiring subjects to repeat identical syllables given acoustically revealed the activation of the primary visual cortex. Because one syllable is generally expressed by one kana character (Japanese phonogram), most subjects used a strategy in which the kana character string corresponding to the word was imagined visually and then read mentally in reverse order to perform the task effectively. Such strategy was not used during a control condition. These results suggest that the primary visual cortex plays a role in the generation of an imagined string.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, Alyssa A; Barton, Brian

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Sparsification of Neuronal Activity in the Visual Cortex at Eye-Opening

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nathalie L. Rochefort; Olga Garaschuk; Ruxandra-Lulia Milos; Madoka Narushima; Nima Marandi; Bruno Pichler; Yury Kovalchuk; Arthur Konnerth; Bert Sakmann

    2009-01-01

    Eye-opening represents a turning point in thè function of the visual cortex. Before eye-opening, the visual cortex is largely devoid of sensory inputs and neuronal activities are generated intrinsically...

  18. Visual Map Shifts based on Whisker-Guided Cues in the Young Mouse Visual Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohei Yoshitake

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Mice navigate nearby space using their vision and whiskers, and young mice learn to integrate these heterogeneous inputs in perceptual space. We found that cortical responses were depressed in the primary visual cortex of young mice after wearing a monocular prism. This depression was uniformly observed in the primary visual cortex and was eliminated by whisker trimming or lesions in the posterior parietal cortex. Compensatory visual map shifts of responses elicited via the eye that had worn the prism were also observed. As a result, cortical responses elicited via each eye were clearly separated when a visual stimulus was placed in front of the mice. A comparison of response areas before and after prism wearing indicated that the map shifts were produced by depression with spatial eccentricity. Visual map shifts based on whisker-guided cues may serve as a model for investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying higher sensory integration in the mammalian brain.

  19. Simultaneous selection by object-based attention in visual and frontal cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pooresmaeili, Arezoo; Poort, Jasper; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2014-01-01

    Models of visual attention hold that top-down signals from frontal cortex influence information processing in visual cortex. It is unknown whether situations exist in which visual cortex actively participates in attentional selection. To investigate this question, we simultaneously recorded neuronal

  20. Neural mechanisms of perceptual grouping in human visual cortex

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    MAO Lihua; HAN Shihui; GUO Chunyan; JIANG Yi

    2004-01-01

    The current work examined neural substrates of perceptual grouping in human visual cortex using event-related potential (ERP) recording. Stimulus arrays consisted of local elements that were either evenly spaced (uniform stimuli) or grouped into columns or rows by proximity or color similarity (grouping stimuli). High-density ERPs were recorded while subjects identified orientations of perceptual groups in stimulus arrays that were presented randomly in one of the four quadrants of the visual field. Both uniform and grouping stimulus arrays elicited an early ERP component (C1), which peaked at about 70 ms after stimulus onset and changed its polarity as a function of stimulated elevations. Dipole modeling based on realistic- head boundary-element models revealed generators of the C1 component in the calcarine cortex. The C1 was modulated by perceptual grouping of local elements based on proximity, and this grouping effect was stronger in the upper than in the lower visual field. The findings provide ERP evidence for the engagement of human primary visual cortex in the early stage of perceptual grouping.

  1. The neural representation of Arabic digits in visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Lien; De Smedt, Bert; Op de Beeck, Hans P.

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we investigated how Arabic digits are represented in the visual cortex, and how their representation changes throughout the ventral visual processing stream, compared to the representation of letters. We probed these questions with two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments. In Experiment 1, we explored whether we could find brain regions that were more activated for digits than for number words in a subtraction task. One such region was detected in lateral occipital cortex. However, the activity in this region might have been confounded by string length—number words contain more characters than digits. We therefore conducted a second experiment in which string length was systematically controlled. Experiment 2 revealed that the findings of the first experiment were task dependent (as it was only observed in a task in which numerosity was relevant) or stimulus dependent (as it was only observed when the number of characters of a stimulus was not controlled). We further explored the characteristics of the activation patterns for digit and letter strings across the ventral visual processing stream through multi-voxel pattern analyses. We found an alteration in representations throughout the ventral processing stream from clustering based on amount of visual information in primary visual cortex (V1) towards clustering based on symbolic stimulus category higher in the visual hierarchy. The present findings converge to the conclusion that in the ventral visual system, as far as can be detected with fMRI, the distinction between Arabic digits and letter strings is represented in terms of distributed patterns rather than separate regions. PMID:26441613

  2. Characterizing synaptic protein development in human visual cortex enables alignment of synaptic age with rat visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Joshua G A; Jones, David G; Williams, C Kate; Murphy, Kathryn M

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  4. Relationship of Visual Cortex Function and Visual Acuity in Anisometropic Amblyopic Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuanming Li, Lin Cheng, Qiongwu Yu, Bing Xie, Jian Wang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To detect the functional deficit of the visual cortex in anisometropic amblyopia children using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI technique, and investigate the relationship between visual acuity and visual cortex function.Methods: Blood oxygenation level-dependent fMRI (BOLD-fMRI was performed in ten monocular anisometropic amblyopia children and ten normal controls. fMRI images were acquired in two runs with visual stimulation delivered separately through the sound and amblyopic eyes. Measurements were performed in cortical activation of striate and extrastriate areas at the occipital lobe. The relationship between cortex function and visual acuity was analyzed by Pearson partial analysis.Results: The activation areas of both the striate and extrastriate cortices in the amblyopic eyes were significantly lower than that of the sound fellow eyes. No relationship was found between the striate and extrastriate cortex activation. No relationship was found between the visual cortical activation of striate, extrastriate areas and visual acuity of anisometropic amblyopes.Conclusions: BOLD-fMRI revealed the independent striate and extrastriate cortical deficits in anisometropic amblyopes. In addition, the visual acuity lesion and the striate and extrastriate cortical deficits were not parallel, and results of fMRI examination have much potential value in the evaluation of amblyopia.

  5. Modulation of visual responses in the superior temporal sulcus by audio-visual congruency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahl, Christoph D; Logothetis, Nikos K; Kayser, Christoph

    2010-01-01

    Our ability to identify or recognize visual objects is often enhanced by evidence provided by other sensory modalities. Yet, where and how visual object processing benefits from the information received by the other senses remains unclear. One candidate region is the temporal lobe, which features neural representations of visual objects, and in which previous studies have provided evidence for multisensory influences on neural responses. In the present study we directly tested whether visual representations in the lower bank of the superior temporal sulcus (STS) benefit from acoustic information. To this end, we recorded neural responses in alert monkeys passively watching audio-visual scenes, and quantified the impact of simultaneously presented sounds on responses elicited by the presentation of naturalistic visual scenes. Using methods of stimulus decoding and information theory, we then asked whether the responses of STS neurons become more reliable and informative in multisensory contexts. Our results demonstrate that STS neurons are indeed sensitive to the modality composition of the sensory stimulus. Importantly, information provided by STS neurons' responses about the particular visual stimulus being presented was highest during congruent audio-visual and unimodal visual stimulation, but was reduced during incongruent bimodal stimulation. Together, these findings demonstrate that higher visual representations in the STS not only convey information about the visual input but also depend on the acoustic context of a visual scene.

  6. Modulation of visual responses in the superior temporal sulcus by audio-visual congruency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Dahl

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Our ability to identify or recognize visual objects is often enhanced by evidence provided by other sensory modalities. Yet, where and how visual object processing benefits from the information received by the other senses remains unclear. One candidate region is the temporal lobe, which features neural representations of visual objects, and in which previous studies have provided evidence for multisensory influences on neural responses. In the present study we directly tested whether visual representations in the lower bank of the superior temporal sulcus (STS benefit from acoustic information. To this end, we recorded neural responses in alert monkeys passively watching audio-visual scenes, and quantified the impact of simultaneously presented sounds on responses elicited by the presentation of naturalistic visual scenes. Using methods of stimulus decoding and information theory, we then asked whether the responses of STS neurons become more reliable and informative in multisensory contexts. Our results demonstrate that STS neurons are indeed sensitive to the modality composition of the sensory stimulus. Importantly, information provided by STS neurons’ responses about the particular visual stimulus being presented was highest during congruent audio-visual and unimodal visual stimulation, but was reduced during incongruent bimodal stimulation. Together, these findings demonstrate that higher visual representations in the STS not only convey information about the visual input but also depend on the acoustic context of a visual scene.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guozheng Yao

    2010-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilaie-Dotan, Sharon; Saygin, Ayse P; Lorenzi, Lauren J; Egan, Ryan; Rees, Geraint; Behrmann, Marlene

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon ePipa

    2011-06-01

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

  10. Plasticity of the visual cortex and treatment of amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengpiel, Frank

    2014-09-22

    Over the last 50 years, research into the developmental plasticity of the visual cortex has led to a growing understanding of first the causes and then of the underlying cellular mechanisms of amblyopia or 'lazy eye', the commonest childhood disorder of vision. While it is widely believed that amblyopia cannot be treated successfully after the age of about 7, recent animal studies have demonstrated that visual cortex plasticity can be restored or enhanced later in life, paving the way for new strategies for the treatment of amblyopia that attempt to remove molecular brakes on plasticity. In addition, both animal and human work has established that amblyopia is not simply a monocular deficit, and therefore the most promising new non-invasive approaches force the two eyes to cooperate as opposed to conventional procedures that severely penalise the good eye. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Mouth and Voice: A Relationship between Visual and Auditory Preference in the Human Superior Temporal Sulcus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Lin L; Beauchamp, Michael S

    2017-03-08

    Cortex in and around the human posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) is known to be critical for speech perception. The pSTS responds to both the visual modality (especially biological motion) and the auditory modality (especially human voices). Using fMRI in single subjects with no spatial smoothing, we show that visual and auditory selectivity are linked. Regions of the pSTS were identified that preferred visually presented moving mouths (presented in isolation or as part of a whole face) or moving eyes. Mouth-preferring regions responded strongly to voices and showed a significant preference for vocal compared with nonvocal sounds. In contrast, eye-preferring regions did not respond to either vocal or nonvocal sounds. The converse was also true: regions of the pSTS that showed a significant response to speech or preferred vocal to nonvocal sounds responded more strongly to visually presented mouths than eyes. These findings can be explained by environmental statistics. In natural environments, humans see visual mouth movements at the same time as they hear voices, while there is no auditory accompaniment to visual eye movements. The strength of a voxel's preference for visual mouth movements was strongly correlated with the magnitude of its auditory speech response and its preference for vocal sounds, suggesting that visual and auditory speech features are coded together in small populations of neurons within the pSTS.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Humans interacting face to face make use of auditory cues from the talker's voice and visual cues from the talker's mouth to understand speech. The human posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), a brain region known to be important for speech perception, is complex, with some regions responding to specific visual stimuli and others to specific auditory stimuli. Using BOLD fMRI, we show that the natural statistics of human speech, in which voices co-occur with mouth movements, are reflected in the neural architecture of

  12. Orientation anisotropies in human primary visual cortex depend on contrast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maloney, Ryan T; Clifford, Colin W G

    2015-10-01

    Orientation processing in visual cortex appears matched to the environment, such that larger neural populations are tuned to cardinal (horizontal/vertical) than oblique orientations. This may be manifested perceptually as a cardinal bias: poorer sensitivity to oblique compared to cardinal orientations (the "oblique effect"). However, a growing body of psychophysical data reveals the opposite pattern of anisotropy: a bias towards the oblique over the cardinal orientations (the "horizontal effect"), something matched by recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies that have found an increased response to the oblique over the cardinal orientations in early visual cortex. This may reveal the operation of an efficient coding strategy optimised to the diet of orientations encountered during natural viewing. From consideration of coding efficiency, it might be expected that the anisotropies would change as the quality/strength of the oriented stimulus changes. In two experiments, fMRI response modulations were measured in retinotopically-defined human early visual cortex as a function of the contrast and orientation of sinusoidal gratings. Both experiments revealed a marked change in the V1 response from a cardinal (vertical) bias at low contrast to an oblique bias at high contrast. In Experiment 2, this was also apparent in areas V2 and V3. On average, there was no systematic "radial bias" (a preference for orientations aligned with the visual field meridian) in V1, although it was present in some individual subjects. The change in orientation anisotropies with contrast is consistent with an adaptive stimulus coding strategy in cortex that shifts according to the strength of the sensory inputs.

  13. Enhancement of visual cortex plasticity by dark exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erchova, Irina; Vasalauskaite, Asta; Longo, Valentina

    2017-01-01

    Dark rearing is known to delay the time course of the critical period for ocular dominance plasticity in the visual cortex. Recent evidence suggests that a period of dark exposure (DE) may enhance or reinstate plasticity even after closure of the critical period, mediated through modification of the excitatory–inhibitory balance and/or removal of structural brakes on plasticity. Here, we investigated the effects of a week of DE on the recovery from a month of monocular deprivation (MD) in the primary visual cortex (V1) of juvenile mice. Optical imaging of intrinsic signals revealed that ocular dominance in V1 of mice that had received DE recovered slightly more quickly than of mice that had not, but the level of recovery after three weeks was similar in both groups. Two-photon calcium imaging showed no significant difference in the recovery of orientation selectivity of excitatory neurons between the two groups. Parvalbumin-positive (PV+) interneurons exhibited a smaller ocular dominance shift during MD but again no differences in subsequent recovery. The percentage of PV+ cells surrounded by perineuronal nets, a structural brake on plasticity, was lower in mice with than those without DE. Overall, DE causes a modest enhancement of mouse visual cortex plasticity. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Integrating Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity’. PMID:28093553

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalva Matthew B

    2010-02-01

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

  15. Enhanced peripheral visual processing in congenitally deaf humans is supported by multiple brain regions, including primary auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Gregory D; Karns, Christina M; Dow, Mark W; Stevens, Courtney; Neville, Helen J

    2014-01-01

    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 vs. 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 vs. 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 (PPC), 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 congenitally deaf adults.

  16. Enhanced peripheral visual processing in congenitally deaf humans is supported by multiple brain regions, including primary auditory cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory D. Scott

    2014-03-01

    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

  17. Magnetic stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex dissociates fragile visual short-term memory from visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sligte, Ilja G; Wokke, Martijn E; Tesselaar, Johannes P; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2011-05-01

    To guide our behavior in successful ways, we often need to rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). While VSTM is usually broken down into iconic memory (brief and high-capacity store) and visual working memory (sustained, yet limited-capacity 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.

  18. Visual motion discrimination by propagating patterns in primate cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-14

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

  19. High visual demand following theta burst stimulation modulates the effect on visual cortex excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brückner, Sabrina; Kammer, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Modulatory effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) depend on the activity of the stimulated cortical area before, during, and even after application. In the present study, we investigated the effects of theta burst stimulation (TBS) on visual cortex excitability using phosphene threshold (PTs). In a between-group design either continuous or intermittent TBS was applied with 100% of individual PT intensity. We varied visual demand following stimulation in form of high demand (acuity task) or low demand (looking at the wall). No change of PTs was observed directly after TBS. We found increased PTs only if subjects had high visual demand following continuous TBS. With low visual demand following stimulation no change of PT was observed. Intermittent TBS had no effect on visual cortex excitability at all. Since other studies showed increased PTs following continuous TBS using subthreshold intensities, our results highlight the importance of stimulation intensity applying TBS to the visual cortex. Furthermore, the state of the neurons in the stimulated cortex area not only before but also following TBS has an important influence on the effects of stimulation, making it necessary to scrupulously control for activity during the whole experimental session in a study.

  20. Structural and functional changes across the visual cortex of a patient with visual form agnosia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridge, Holly; Thomas, Owen M; Minini, Loredana; Cavina-Pratesi, Cristiana; Milner, A David; Parker, Andrew J

    2013-07-31

    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.

  1. Directional tunings independent of orientation in the primary visual cortex of the cat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN; Yao(

    2001-01-01

    [1]Movshon. J. A., Adelson, E. H., Gizzi, M. S. et al., The analysis of moving visual patterns, in Pattern Recognition Mechanisms (eds. Chagas, C., Gattass, R., Gross, C. G.), Vatican City: Ponticifica Academia Scientiarum, 1985, 117-151.[2]Gizzi. M. S., Katz, E., Schumer, R. A. et al., Selectivity for orientation and direction of motion of single neurons in cat striate and extrastriate visual cortex, J. Neurophysiol., 1990, 63: 1529-1543.[3]Nakayama, K., Silverman, G. H., The aperture problem. Ⅱ. Spatial integration of velocity information along contours, Vision Res., 1988, 28: 747-753.[4]Rubin. N., Hochstein, S., Solomon, S., Restricted ability to recover three-dimensional global motion from one-dimensional motion signals: Psychophysical observations, Vision Res., 1995, 35: 463-476.[5]Wang. Y., Wang, L., Li, B. et al., How is direction selectivity organized in the extrastriate visual area PMLS of the cat?Neuroreport, 1995, 63: 1969-1974.[6]Li, B., Wang, L, Wang, Y. et al,, Orientational and directional selectivities of visual neurons in the superior colliculus of the cat. Science in China, Ser. C, 1996, 39 (2): 123-132.[7]Hubel, D. H., Wiesel, T N., Receptive fields, binocular interaction and functional architecture in the cat's visual cortex, J.Physiol. (London), 1962, 168: 106-154.[8]Casanova, C., Savard, T., Nordmann, J. P. et al., Comparison of the responses to moving texture patterns of simple and complex cells in the cat's area 17, J. Neurophysiol., 1995, 74: 1271-1286.[9]Yang, J. K., Qi, X. L., Modem Biological Statistics (in Chinese), Hefei: Anhui Educational Publication, 1985, 160-215.[10]Shipp, S., Grant, S., Organization of reciprocal connections between area 17 and the lateral suprasylvian area of cat visual cortex, Visual Neurosci., 1991, 6: 339-355.[11]Albright, T. D., Stoner, G. R., Visual motion perception, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 1995, 92: 2433-2440.[12]Hammond, R, MacKay, D. M

  2. Tetanus neurotoxin-induced epilepsy in mouse visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainardi, Marco; Pietrasanta, Marta; Vannini, Eleonora; Rossetto, Ornella; Caleo, Matteo

    2012-07-01

    Tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) is a metalloprotease that cleaves the synaptic protein VAMP/synaptobrevin, leading to focal epilepsy. Although this model is widely used in rats, the time course and spatial specificity of TeNT proteolytic action have not been precisely defined. Here we have studied the biochemical, electrographic, and anatomic characteristics of TeNT-induced epilepsy in mouse visual cortex (V1). We found that VAMP cleavage peaked at 10 days, was reduced at 21 days, and completely extinguished 45 days following TeNT delivery. VAMP proteolysis was restricted to the injected V1 and ipsilateral thalamus, whereas it was undetectable in other cortical areas. Electrographic epileptiform activity was evident both during and after the time window of TeNT effects, indicating development of chronic epilepsy. Anatomic analyses found no evidence for long-term tissue damage, such as neuronal loss or microglia activation. These data show that TeNT reliably induces nonlesional epilepsy in mouse cortex. Due to the excellent physiologic knowledge of the visual cortex and the availability of mouse transgenic strains, this model will be useful for examining the network and cellular alterations underlying hyperexcitability within an epileptic focus.

  3. Large-scale Contextual Effects in Early Human Visual Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung Jun Joo

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available A commonly held view about neurons in early visual cortex is that they serve as localized feature detectors. Here, however, we demonstrate that the responses of neurons in early visual cortex are sensitive to global visual patterns. Using multiple methodologies–psychophysics, fMRI, and EEG–we measured neural responses to an oriented Gabor (“target” embedded in various orientation patterns. Specifically, we varied whether a central target deviated from its context by changing distant orientations while leaving the immediately neighboring flankers unchanged. The results of psychophysical contrast adaptation and fMRI experiments show that a target that deviates from its context results in more neural activity compared to a target that is grouped into an alternating pattern. For example, the neural response to a vertically oriented target was greater when it deviated from the orientation of flankers (HHVHH compared to when it was grouped into an alternating pattern (VHVHV. We then found that this pattern-sensitive response manifests in the earliest sensory component of the event-related potential to the target. Finally, in a forced-choice classification task of “noise” stimuli, perceptions are biased to “see” an orientation that deviates from its context. Our results show that neurons in early visual cortex are sensitive to large-scale global patterns in images in a way that is more sophisticated than localized feature detection. Our results showing a reduced neural response to statistical redundancies in images is not only optimal from an information theory perspective but also takes into account known energy constraints in neural processing.

  4. Images of Illusory Motion in Primary Visual Cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Axel; Madsen, Kristoffer; Ellegaard Lund, Torben

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Optogenetic Activation of Normalization in Alert Macaque Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nassi, Jonathan J; Avery, Michael C; Cetin, Ali H; Roe, Anna W; Reynolds, John H

    2015-06-17

    Normalization has been proposed as a canonical computation that accounts for a variety of nonlinear neuronal response properties associated with sensory processing and higher cognitive functions. A key premise of normalization is that the excitability of a neuron is inversely proportional to the overall activity level of the network. We tested this by optogenetically activating excitatory neurons in alert macaque primary visual cortex and measuring changes in neuronal activity as a function of stimulation intensity, with or without variable-contrast visual stimulation. Optogenetic depolarization of excitatory neurons either facilitated or suppressed baseline activity, consistent with indirect recruitment of inhibitory networks. As predicted by the normalization model, neurons exhibited sub-additive responses to optogenetic and visual stimulation, which depended lawfully on stimulation intensity and luminance contrast. We conclude that the normalization computation persists even under the artificial conditions of optogenetic stimulation, underscoring the canonical nature of this form of neural computation.

  6. Neural correlates of superior intelligence: stronger recruitment of posterior parietal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kun Ho; Choi, Yu Yong; Gray, Jeremy R; Cho, Sun Hee; Chae, Jeong-Ho; Lee, Seungheun; Kim, Kyungjin

    2006-01-15

    General intelligence (g) is a common factor in diverse cognitive abilities and a major influence on life outcomes. Neuroimaging studies in adults suggest that the lateral prefrontal and parietal cortices play a crucial role in related cognitive activities including fluid reasoning, the control of attention, and working memory. Here, we investigated the neural bases for intellectual giftedness (superior-g) in adolescents, using fMRI. The participants consisted of a superior-g group (n = 18, mean RAPM = 33.9 +/- 0.8, >99%) from the national academy for gifted adolescents and the control group (n = 18, mean RAPM = 22.8 +/- 1.6, 60%) from local high schools in Korea (mean age = 16.5 +/- 0.8). fMRI data were acquired while they performed two reasoning tasks with high and low g-loadings. In both groups, the high g-loaded tasks specifically increased regional activity in the bilateral fronto-parietal network including the lateral prefrontal, anterior cingulate, and posterior parietal cortices. However, the regional activations of the superior-g group were significantly stronger than those of the control group, especially in the posterior parietal cortex. Moreover, regression analysis revealed that activity of the superior and intraparietal cortices (BA 7/40) strongly covaried with individual differences in g (r = 0.71 to 0.81). A correlated vectors analysis implicated bilateral posterior parietal areas in g. These results suggest that superior-g may not be due to the recruitment of additional brain regions but to the functional facilitation of the fronto-parietal network particularly driven by the posterior parietal activation.

  7. Expectation Suppression in Early Visual Cortex Depends on Task Set.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St John-Saaltink, Elexa; Utzerath, Christian; Kok, Peter; Lau, Hakwan C; de Lange, Floris P

    2015-01-01

    Stimulus expectation can modulate neural responses in early sensory cortical regions, with expected stimuli often leading to a reduced neural response. However, it is unclear whether this expectation suppression is an automatic phenomenon or is instead dependent on the type of task a subject is engaged in. To investigate this, human subjects were presented with visual grating stimuli in the periphery that were either predictable or non-predictable while they performed three tasks that differently engaged cognitive resources. In two of the tasks, the predictable stimulus was task-irrelevant and spatial attention was engaged at fixation, with a high load on either perceptual or working memory resources. In the third task, the predictable stimulus was task-relevant, and therefore spatially attended. We observed that expectation suppression is dependent on the cognitive resources engaged by a subjects' current task. When the grating was task-irrelevant, expectation suppression for predictable items was visible in retinotopically specific areas of early visual cortex (V1-V3) during the perceptual task, but it was abolished when working memory was loaded. When the grating was task-relevant and spatially attended, there was no significant effect of expectation in early visual cortex. These results suggest that expectation suppression is not an automatic phenomenon, but dependent on attentional state and type of available cognitive resources.

  8. Binding 3-D object perception in the human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yang; Boehler, C N; Nönnig, Nina; Düzel, Emrah; Hopf, Jens-Max; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea Ariel

    2008-04-01

    How do visual luminance, shape, motion, and depth bind together in the brain to represent the coherent percept of a 3-D object within hundreds of milliseconds (msec)? We provide evidence from simultaneous magnetoencephalographic (MEG) and electroencephalographic (EEG) data that perception of 3-D objects defined by luminance or motion elicits sequential activity in human visual cortices within 500 msec. Following activation of the primary visual cortex around 100 msec, 3-D objects elicited sequential activity with only little overlap (dynamic 3-D shapes: MT-LO-Temp; stationary 3-D shapes: LO-Temp). A delay of 80 msec, both in MEG/EEG responses and in reaction times (RTs), was found when additional motion information was processed. We also found significant positive correlations between RT, and MEG and EEG responses in the right temporal location. After about 400 msec, long-lasting activity was observed in the parietal cortex and concurrently in previously activated regions. Novel time-frequency analyses indicate that the activity in the lateral occipital (LO) complex is associated with an increase of induced power in the gamma band, a hallmark of binding. The close correspondence of an induced gamma response with concurrent sources located in the LO in both experimental conditions at different points in time ( approximately 200 msec for luminance and approximately 300 msec for dynamic cues) strongly suggests that the LO is the key region for the assembly of object features. The assembly is fed forward to achieve coherent perception of a 3-D object within 500 msec.

  9. Reduced myelin basic protein and actin-related gene expression in visual cortex in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Paul R; Eastwood, Sharon L; Harrison, Paul J

    2012-01-01

    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.

  10. Reduced myelin basic protein and actin-related gene expression in visual cortex in schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul R Matthews

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    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...... 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...... 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...

  12. Cortisol reduces plasticity in the kitten visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daw, N W; Sato, H; Fox, K; Carmichael, T; Gingerich, R

    1991-03-01

    We investigated the effect of elevated levels of cortisol on plasticity in the visual cortex of the cat. Animals were given daily injections of cortisol i.m. for 20 days starting around 35 days of age. After 10 days they were monocularly deprived, and after an additional 10 days recordings were made from the visual cortex to construct an ocular dominance histogram. The results were compared with those from normal animals of the same age, and with animals monocularly deprived for the same period but not treated with cortisol. Cortisol reduced the ocular dominance shift in a dose-dependent manner, but did not totally abolish it even at the highest doses used. Two other series of animals were recorded, one slightly later in the critical period and one slightly earlier, with care taken to give cortisol before the animals were exposed to light in the morning. In both cases, cortisol reduced the ocular dominance shift but did not abolish it. To interpret these results, we measured levels of plasma cortisol in normal cats of various ages. Average levels were fairly constant between birth and 12 months of age (0.5-1 microgram/dl), and increased slightly after that, but there was a large variation between animals. Thus elevated levels of cortisol can have a substantial effect on plasticity in the visual cortex of the cat, but the decline of the critical period for plasticity between 6 weeks and 3-5 months of age does not seem to be due to a rise in cortisol levels during this time.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pengmin eQin

    2012-12-01

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

  14. Role of white-matter pathways in coordinating alpha oscillations in resting visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindriks, R; Woolrich, M; Luckhoo, H; Joensson, M; Mohseni, H; Kringelbach, M L; Deco, G

    2015-02-01

    In the absence of cognitive tasks and external stimuli, strong rhythmic fluctuations with a frequency ≈ 10 Hz emerge from posterior regions of human neocortex. These posterior α-oscillations can be recorded throughout the visual cortex and are particularly strong in the calcarine sulcus, where the primary visual cortex is located. The mechanisms and anatomical pathways through which local \\alpha-oscillations are coordinated however, are not fully understood. In this study, we used a combination of magnetoencephalography (MEG), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and biophysical modeling to assess the role of white-matter pathways in coordinating cortical α-oscillations. Our findings suggest that primary visual cortex plays a special role in coordinating α-oscillations in higher-order visual regions. Specifically, the amplitudes of α-sources throughout visual cortex could be explained by propagation of α-oscillations from primary visual cortex through white-matter pathways. In particular, α-amplitudes within visual cortex correlated with both the anatomical and functional connection strengths to primary visual cortex. These findings reinforce the notion of posterior α-oscillations as intrinsic oscillations of the visual system. We speculate that they might reflect a default-mode of the visual system during which higher-order visual regions are rhythmically primed for expected visual stimuli by α-oscillations in primary visual cortex.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Brückner

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

  16. Optimization of Visual Tasks for Detecting Visual Cortex Activity in fMRI Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    "A. Mirzajani

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: functional magnetic resonance imaging is a useful non-invasive technique for the evaluation and mapping of human brain, especially the visual cortex. One of the most important subjects in this background is optimizing visual stimuli in various forms of visual tasks for acquiring significant and ro-bust signals. Materials and methods: The effects of physical pa-rameters of visual stimuli on 14 healthy volunteers for detecting visual cortical activity were evaluated by functional magnetic resonance imaging. These pa-rameters were temporal frequency (TF, different pat-terns of activation including, square wave and sine wave grating, and two different states of rest includ-ing black and white screens. Results: The results showed that BOLD signal will be maximally in the TF of 8 Hz, and use the black screen in the rest state. However there was not significant difference between square-¬wave and sine-wave grat-ings in producing visual activation in the cortex. Conclusion: Physical parameters of visual tasks are effective in detecting visual cortical activity, and it is necessary to pay attention to them in order to get sig-nificant and robust signal. Visual tasks with TF of 8 Hz and one pattern of square-wave or sine-wave in activation state, and black screen in rest state are op-timally suitable for fMRI studies.

  17. Decoding brain responses to pixelized images in the primary visual cortex: implications for visual cortical prostheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Bing-Bing; Zheng, Xiao-Lin; Lu, Zhen-Gang; Wang, Xing; Yin, Zheng-Qin; Hou, Wen-Sheng; Meng, Ming

    2015-10-01

    Visual cortical prostheses have the potential to restore partial vision. Still limited by the low-resolution visual percepts provided by visual cortical prostheses, implant wearers can currently only "see" pixelized images, and how to obtain the specific brain responses to different pixelized images in the primary visual cortex (the implant area) is still unknown. We conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment on normal human participants to investigate the brain activation patterns in response to 18 different pixelized images. There were 100 voxels in the brain activation pattern that were selected from the primary visual cortex, and voxel size was 4 mm × 4 mm × 4 mm. Multi-voxel pattern analysis was used to test if these 18 different brain activation patterns were specific. We chose a Linear Support Vector Machine (LSVM) as the classifier in this study. The results showed that the classification accuracies of different brain activation patterns were significantly above chance level, which suggests that the classifier can successfully distinguish the brain activation patterns. Our results suggest that the specific brain activation patterns to different pixelized images can be obtained in the primary visual cortex using a 4 mm × 4 mm × 4 mm voxel size and a 100-voxel pattern.

  18. Neural discriminability in rat lateral extrastriate cortex and deep but not superficial primary visual cortex correlates with shape discriminability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermaercke, Ben; Van den Bergh, Gert; Gerich, Florian; Op de Beeck, Hans

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have revealed a surprising degree of functional specialization in rodent visual cortex. It is unknown to what degree this functional organization is related to the well-known hierarchical organization of the visual system in primates. We designed a study in rats that targets one of the hallmarks of the hierarchical object vision pathway in primates: selectivity for behaviorally relevant dimensions. We compared behavioral performance in a visual water maze with neural discriminability in five visual cortical areas. We tested behavioral discrimination in two independent batches of six rats using six pairs of shapes used previously to probe shape selectivity in monkey cortex (Lehky and Sereno, 2007). The relative difficulty (error rate) of shape pairs was strongly correlated between the two batches, indicating that some shape pairs were more difficult to discriminate than others. Then, we recorded in naive rats from five visual areas from primary visual cortex (V1) over areas LM, LI, LL, up to lateral occipito-temporal cortex (TO). Shape selectivity in the upper layers of V1, where the information enters cortex, correlated mostly with physical stimulus dissimilarity and not with behavioral performance. In contrast, neural discriminability in lower layers of all areas was strongly correlated with behavioral performance. These findings, in combination with the results from Vermaercke et al. (2014b), suggest that the functional specialization in rodent lateral visual cortex reflects a processing hierarchy resulting in the emergence of complex selectivity that is related to behaviorally relevant stimulus differences.

  19. Categorically distinct types of receptive fields in early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talebi, Vargha; Baker, Curtis L

    2016-05-01

    In the visual cortex, distinct types of neurons have been identified based on cellular morphology, response to injected current, or expression of specific markers, but neurophysiological studies have revealed visual receptive field (RF) properties that appear to be on a continuum, with only two generally recognized classes: simple and complex. Most previous studies have characterized visual responses of neurons using stereotyped stimuli such as bars, gratings, or white noise and simple system identification approaches (e.g., reverse correlation). Here we estimate visual RF models of cortical neurons using visually rich natural image stimuli and regularized regression system identification methods and characterize their spatial tuning, temporal dynamics, spatiotemporal behavior, and spiking properties. We quantitatively demonstrate the existence of three functionally distinct categories of simple cells, distinguished by their degree of orientation selectivity (isotropic or oriented) and the nature of their output nonlinearity (expansive or compressive). In addition, these three types have differing average values of several other properties. Cells with nonoriented RFs tend to have smaller RFs, shorter response durations, no direction selectivity, and high reliability. Orientation-selective neurons with an expansive output nonlinearity have Gabor-like RFs, lower spontaneous activity and responsivity, and spiking responses with higher sparseness. Oriented RFs with a compressive nonlinearity are spatially nondescript and tend to show longer response latency. Our findings indicate multiple physiologically defined types of RFs beyond the simple/complex dichotomy, suggesting that cortical neurons may have more specialized functional roles rather than lying on a multidimensional continuum.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-16

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

  1. Summation and Division by Neurons in Primate Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carandini, Matteo; Heeger, David J.

    1994-05-01

    Recordings from monkey primary visual cortex (V1) were used to test a model for the visually driven responses of simple cells. According to the model, simple cells compute a linear sum of the responses of lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) neurons. In addition, each simple cell's linear response is divided by the pooled activity of a large number of other simple cells. The cell membrane performs both operations; synaptic currents are summed and then divided by the total membrane conductance. Current and conductance are decoupled (by a complementary arrangement of excitation and inhibition) so that current depends only on the LGN inputs and conductance depends only on the cortical inputs. Closed form expressions were derived for fitting and interpreting physiological data. The model accurately predicted responses to drifting grating stimuli of various contrasts, orientations, and spatiotemporal frequencies.

  2. Statistical learning of visual transitions in monkey inferotemporal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Travis; Olson, Carl R

    2011-11-29

    One of the most fundamental functions of the brain is to predict upcoming events on the basis of the recent past. A closely related function is to signal when a prediction has been violated. The identity of the brain regions that mediate these functions is not known. We set out to determine whether they are implemented at the level of single neurons in the visual system. We gave monkeys prolonged exposure to pairs of images presented in fixed sequence so that each leading image became a strong predictor for the corresponding trailing image. We then monitored the responses of neurons in the inferotemporal cortex to image sequences that obeyed or violated the transitional rules imposed during training. Inferotemporal neurons exhibited a transitional surprise effect, responding much more strongly to unpredicted transitions than to predicted transitions. Thus, neurons even in the visual system make experience-based predictions and react when they fail.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Systematic variation of population receptive field properties across cortical depth in human visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fracasso, A.; Petridou, Natalia; Dumoulin, Serge O

    2016-01-01

    Receptive fields (RFs) in visual cortex are organized in antagonistic, center-surround, configurations. RF properties change systematically across eccentricity and between visual field maps. However, it is unknown how center-surround configurations are organized in human visual cortex across lamina.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Motion-defined surface segregation in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigano, Gabriel J; Maloney, Ryan T; Clifford, Colin W G

    2014-11-01

    Surface segregation provides an efficient way to parse the visual scene for perceptual analysis. Here, we investigated the segregation of a bivectorial motion display into transparent surfaces through a psychophysical task and fMRI. We found that perceptual transparency correlated with neural activity in the early areas of the visual cortex, suggesting these areas may be involved in the segregation of motion-defined surfaces. Two oppositely rotating, uniquely colored random dot kinematograms (RDKs) were presented either sequentially or in a spatially interleaved manner, displayed at varying alternation frequencies. Participants reported the color and rotation direction pairing of the RDKs in the psychophysical task. The spatially interleaved display generated the percept of motion transparency across the range of frequencies tested, yielding ceiling task performance. At high alternation frequencies, performance on the sequential display also approached ceiling, indicative of perceived transparency. However, transparency broke down in lower alternation frequency sequential displays, producing performance close to chance. A corresponding pattern mirroring the psychophysical data was also evident in univariate and multivariate analyses of the fMRI BOLD activity in visual cortical areas V1, V2, V3, V3AB, hV4, and V5/MT+. Using gray RDKs, we found significant presentation by frequency interactions in most areas; differences in BOLD signal between presentation types were significant only at the lower alternation frequency. Multivariate pattern classification was similarly unable to discriminate between presentation types at the higher frequency. This study provides evidence that early visual cortex may code for motion-defined surface segregation, which in turn may enable perceptual transparency.

  7. Cortical thickness of superior frontal cortex predicts impulsiveness and perceptual reasoning in adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schilling, C; Kühn, S; Paus, T; Romanowski, A; Banaschewski, T; Barbot, A; Barker, G J; Brühl, R; Büchel, C; Conrod, P J; Dalley, J W; Flor, H; Ittermann, B; Ivanov, N; Mann, K; Martinot, J-L; Nees, F; Rietschel, M; Robbins, T W; Smolka, M N; Ströhle, A; Kathmann, N; Garavan, H; Heinz, A; Schumann, G; Gallinat, J

    2013-05-01

    Impulsiveness is a pivotal personality trait representing a core domain in all major personality inventories. Recently, impulsiveness has been identified as an important modulator of cognitive processing, particularly in tasks that require the processing of large amounts of information. Although brain imaging studies have implicated the prefrontal cortex to be a common underlying representation of impulsiveness and related cognitive functioning, to date a fine-grain and detailed morphometric analysis has not been carried out. On the basis of ahigh-resolution magnetic resonance scans acquired in 1620 healthy adolescents (IMAGEN), the individual cortical thickness (CT) was estimated. Correlations between Cloninger's impulsiveness and CT were studied in an entire cortex analysis. The cluster identified was tested for associations with performance in perceptual reasoning tasks of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC IV). We observed a significant inverse correlation between trait impulsiveness and CT of the left superior frontal cortex (SFC; Monte Carlo Simulation P<0.01). CT within this cluster correlated with perceptual reasoning scores (Bonferroni corrected) of the WISC IV. On the basis of a large sample of adolescents, we identified an extended area in the SFC as a correlate of impulsiveness, which appears to be in line with the trait character of this prominent personality facet. The association of SFC thickness with perceptual reasoning argues for a common neurobiological basis of personality and specific cognitive domains comprising attention, spatial reasoning and response selection. The results may facilitate the understanding of the role of impulsiveness in several psychiatric disorders associated with prefrontal dysfunctions and cognitive deficits.

  8. Visual map shifts based on whisker-guided cues in the young mouse visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshitake, Kohei; Tsukano, Hiroaki; Tohmi, Manavu; Komagata, Seiji; Hishida, Ryuichi; Yagi, Takeshi; Shibuki, Katsuei

    2013-12-12

    Mice navigate nearby space using their vision and whiskers, and young mice learn to integrate these heterogeneous inputs in perceptual space. We found that cortical responses were depressed in the primary visual cortex of young mice after wearing a monocular prism. This depression was uniformly observed in the primary visual cortex and was eliminated by whisker trimming or lesions in the posterior parietal cortex. Compensatory visual map shifts of responses elicited via the eye that had worn the prism were also observed. As a result, cortical responses elicited via each eye were clearly separated when a visual stimulus was placed in front of the mice. A comparison of response areas before and after prism wearing indicated that the map shifts were produced by depression with spatial eccentricity. Visual map shifts based on whisker-guided cues may serve as a model for investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying higher sensory integration in the mammalian brain. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Assessment of visual function during brain surgery near the visual cortex by intraoperative optical imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobottka, Stephan B; Meyer, Tobias; Kirsch, Matthias; Reiss, Gilfe; Koch, Edmund; Morgenstern, Ute; Schackert, Gabriele

    2013-06-01

    Several functional brain imaging and mapping techniques have been used for the intraoperative identification and preservation of the sensory, motor, and speech areas of the brain. However, intraoperative monitoring and mapping of the visual function is less frequently performed in the clinical routine. To our knowledge, here we demonstrate for the first time that the individual visual cortex can be mapped to the brain surface using a contact-free optical camera system during brain surgery. Intraoperative optical imaging (IOI) was performed by visual stimulation of both eyes using stobe-light flashes. Images were acquired by a camera mounted to a standard surgical microscope. Activity maps could reproducibly be computed by detecting the blood volume-dependent signal changes of the exposed cortex. To the preliminary experience, the new technique seems to be suitable for mapping the visual function in any neurosurgical intervention that requires exposure of the visual cortex. However, the clinical relevance and reliability of the technique need to be confirmed in further studies.

  10. Neuronal Representation of Ultraviolet Visual Stimuli in Mouse Primary Visual Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Zhongchao Tan; Wenzhi Sun; Tsai-Wen Chen; Douglas Kim; Na Ji

    2015-01-01

    The mouse has become an important model for understanding the neural basis of visual perception. Although it has long been known that mouse lens transmits ultraviolet (UV) light and mouse opsins have absorption in the UV band, little is known about how UV visual information is processed in the mouse brain. Using a custom UV stimulation system and in vivo calcium imaging, we characterized the feature selectivity of layer 2/3 neurons in mouse primary visual cortex (V1). In adult mice, a compara...

  11. A map of visual space in the primate entorhinal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killian, Nathaniel J; Jutras, Michael J; Buffalo, Elizabeth A

    2012-11-29

    Place-modulated activity among neurons in the hippocampal formation presents a means to organize contextual information in the service of memory formation and recall. One particular spatial representation, that of grid cells, has been observed in the entorhinal cortex (EC) of rats and bats, but has yet to be described in single units in primates. Here we examined spatial representations in the EC of head-fixed monkeys performing a free-viewing visual memory task. Individual neurons were identified in the primate EC that emitted action potentials when the monkey fixated multiple discrete locations in the visual field in each of many sequentially presented complex images. These firing fields possessed spatial periodicity similar to a triangular tiling with a corresponding well-defined hexagonal structure in the spatial autocorrelation. Further, these neurons showed theta-band oscillatory activity and changing spatial scale as a function of distance from the rhinal sulcus, which is consistent with previous findings in rodents. These spatial representations may provide a framework to anchor the encoding of stimulus content in a complex visual scene. Together, our results provide a direct demonstration of grid cells in the primate and suggest that EC neurons encode space during visual exploration, even without locomotion.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-24

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

  14. Spontaneous pattern formation and pinning in the visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Tanya I.

    Bifurcation theory and perturbation theory can be combined with a knowledge of the underlying circuitry of the visual cortex to produce an elegant story explaining the phenomenon of visual hallucinations. A key insight is the application of an important set of ideas concerning spontaneous pattern formation introduced by Turing in 1952. The basic mechanism is a diffusion driven linear instability favoring a particular wavelength that determines the size of the ensuing stripe or spot periodicity of the emerging spatial pattern. Competition between short range excitation and longer range inhibition in the connectivity profile of cortical neurons provides the difference in diffusion length scales necessary for the Turing mechanism to occur and has been proven by Ermentrout and Cowan to be sufficient to explain the generation of a subset of reported geometric hallucinations. Incorporating further details of the cortical circuitry, namely that neurons are also weakly connected to other neurons sharing a particular stimulus orientation or spatial frequency preference at even longer ranges and the resulting shift-twist symmetry of the neuronal connectivity, improves the story. We expand this approach in order to be able to include the tuned responses of cortical neurons to additional visual stimulus features such as motion, color and disparity. We apply a study of nonlinear dynamics similar to the analysis of wave propagation in a crystalline lattice to demonstrate how a spatial pattern formed through the Turing instability can be pinned to the geometric layout of various feature preferences. The perturbation analysis is analogous to solving the Schrodinger equation in a weak periodic potential. Competition between the local isotropic connections which produce patterns of activity via the Turing mechanism and the weaker patchy lateral connections that depend on a neuron's particular set of feature preferences create long wavelength affects analogous to commensurate

  15. Task-dependent engagements of the primary visual cortex during kinesthetic and visual motor imagery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuguchi, Nobuaki; Nakamura, Maiko; Kanosue, Kazuyuki

    2017-01-01

    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.

  16. Fast recruitment of recurrent inhibition in the cat visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ora Ohana

    Full Text Available Neurons of the same column in L4 of the cat visual cortex are likely to share the same sensory input from the same region of the visual field. Using visually-guided patch clamp recordings we investigated the biophysical properties of the synapses of neighboring layer 4 neurons. We recorded synaptic connections between all types of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in L4. The E-E, E-I, and I-E connections had moderate CVs and failure rates. However, E-I connections had larger amplitudes, faster rise-times, and shorter latencies. Identification of the sites of putative synaptic contacts together with compartmental simulations on 3D reconstructed cells, suggested that E-I synapses tended to be located on proximal dendritic branches, which would explain their larger EPSP amplitudes and faster kinetics. Excitatory and inhibitory synapses were located at the same distance on distal dendrites of excitatory neurons. We hypothesize that this co-localization and the fast recruitment of local inhibition provides an efficient means of modulating excitation in a precisely timed way.

  17. How Visual Is the Visual Cortex? Comparing Connectional and Functional Fingerprints between Congenitally Blind and Sighted Individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaoying; Peelen, Marius V; Han, Zaizhu; He, Chenxi; Caramazza, Alfonso; Bi, Yanchao

    2015-09-09

    Classical animal visual deprivation studies and human neuroimaging studies have shown that visual experience plays a critical role in shaping the functionality and connectivity of the visual cortex. Interestingly, recent studies have additionally reported circumscribed regions in the visual cortex in which functional selectivity was remarkably similar in individuals with and without visual experience. Here, by directly comparing resting-state and task-based fMRI data in congenitally blind and sighted human subjects, we obtained large-scale continuous maps of the degree to which connectional and functional "fingerprints" of ventral visual cortex depend on visual experience. We found a close agreement between connectional and functional maps, pointing to a strong interdependence of connectivity and function. Visual experience (or the absence thereof) had a pronounced effect on the resting-state connectivity and functional response profile of occipital cortex and the posterior lateral fusiform gyrus. By contrast, connectional and functional fingerprints in the anterior medial and posterior lateral parts of the ventral visual cortex were statistically indistinguishable between blind and sighted individuals. These results provide a large-scale mapping of the influence of visual experience on the development of both functional and connectivity properties of visual cortex, which serves as a basis for the formulation of new hypotheses regarding the functionality and plasticity of specific subregions. Significance statement: How is the functionality and connectivity of the visual cortex shaped by visual experience? By directly comparing resting-state and task-based fMRI data in congenitally blind and sighted subjects, we obtained large-scale continuous maps of the degree to which connectional and functional "fingerprints" of ventral visual cortex depend on visual experience. In addition to revealing regions that are strongly dependent on visual experience (early visual

  18. The speed of context integration in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugihara, Tadashi; Qiu, Fangtu T; von der Heydt, Rüdiger

    2011-07-01

    The observation of figure-ground selectivity in neurons of the visual cortex shows that these neurons can be influenced by the image context far beyond the classical receptive field. To clarify the nature of the context integration mechanism, we studied the latencies of neural edge signals, comparing the emergence of context-dependent definition of border ownership with the onset of local edge definition (contrast polarity; stereoscopic depth order). Single-neuron activity was recorded in areas V1 and V2 of Macaca mulatta under behaviorally induced fixation. Whereas local edge definition emerged immediately (predicted from horizontal signal propagation. The prediction was based on the increase in cortical distance, computed from the mapping of the test stimuli in the cortex, and the known conduction velocities of horizontal fibers. The measured latencies increased with cortical distance, but much less than predicted by the horizontal propagation hypothesis. Probability calculations showed that an explanation of the context influence by horizontal signal propagation alone is highly unlikely, whereas mechanisms involving back projections from other extrastriate areas are plausible.

  19. State dependence of noise correlations in macaque primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecker, Alexander S; Berens, Philipp; Cotton, R James; Subramaniyan, Manivannan; Denfield, George H; Cadwell, Cathryn R; Smirnakis, Stelios M; Bethge, Matthias; Tolias, Andreas S

    2014-04-02

    Shared, trial-to-trial variability in neuronal populations has a strong impact on the accuracy of information processing in the brain. Estimates of the level of such noise correlations are diverse, ranging from 0.01 to 0.4, with little consensus on which factors account for these differences. Here we addressed one important factor that varied across studies, asking how anesthesia affects the population activity structure in macaque primary visual cortex. We found that under opioid anesthesia, activity was dominated by strong coordinated fluctuations on a timescale of 1-2 Hz, which were mostly absent in awake, fixating monkeys. Accounting for these global fluctuations markedly reduced correlations under anesthesia, matching those observed during wakefulness and reconciling earlier studies conducted under anesthesia and in awake animals. Our results show that internal signals, such as brain state transitions under anesthesia, can induce noise correlations but can also be estimated and accounted for based on neuronal population activity.

  20. Stimulus-specific delay activity in human primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serences, John T; Ester, Edward F; Vogel, Edward K; Awh, Edward

    2009-02-01

    Working memory (WM) involves maintaining information in an on-line state. One emerging view is that information in WM is maintained via sensory recruitment, such that information is stored via sustained activity in the sensory areas that encode the to-be-remembered information. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we observed that key sensory regions such as primary visual cortex (V1) showed little evidence of sustained increases in mean activation during a WM delay period, though such amplitude increases have typically been used to determine whether a region is involved in on-line maintenance. However, a multivoxel pattern analysis of delay-period activity revealed a sustained pattern of activation in V1 that represented only the intentionally stored feature of a multifeature object. Moreover, the pattern of delay activity was qualitatively similar to that observed during the discrimination of sensory stimuli, suggesting that WM representations in V1 are reasonable "copies" of those evoked during pure sensory processing.

  1. Spatial Attention Changes Excitability of Human Visual Cortex to Direct Stimulation

    OpenAIRE

    Bestmann, Sven; Ruff, Christian C; Blakemore, Colin; Driver, Jon; Thilo, Kai V.

    2007-01-01

    Summary Conscious perception depends not only on sensory input, but also on attention [1, 2]. Recent studies in monkeys [3–6] and humans [7–12] suggest that influences of spatial attention on visual awareness may reflect top-down influences on excitability of visual cortex. Here we tested this specifically, by providing direct input into human visual cortex via cortical transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to produce illusory visual percepts, called phosphenes. We found that a lower TMS in...

  2. Visual cortex plasticity evokes excitatory alterations in the hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marian Tsanov

    2009-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-15

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

  4. Neuronal Representation of Ultraviolet Visual Stimuli in Mouse Primary Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Zhongchao; Sun, Wenzhi; Chen, Tsai-Wen; Kim, Douglas; Ji, Na

    2015-01-01

    The mouse has become an important model for understanding the neural basis of visual perception. Although it has long been known that mouse lens transmits ultraviolet (UV) light and mouse opsins have absorption in the UV band, little is known about how UV visual information is processed in the mouse brain. Using a custom UV stimulation system and in vivo calcium imaging, we characterized the feature selectivity of layer 2/3 neurons in mouse primary visual cortex (V1). In adult mice, a comparable percentage of the neuronal population responds to UV and visible stimuli, with similar pattern selectivity and receptive field properties. In young mice, the orientation selectivity for UV stimuli increased steadily during development, but not direction selectivity. Our results suggest that, by expanding the spectral window through which the mouse can acquire visual information, UV sensitivity provides an important component for mouse vision. PMID:26219604

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    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...

  6. The role of the different layers of primary visual cortex in working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2015-01-01

    Imaging studies have revealed a neuronal correlate of working memory in primary visual cortex (Harrison & Tong, Nature, 2009). However, it is unknown if working memories influence spiking activity in the primary visual cortex. To address this question, we recorded neuronal activity in the primary vi

  7. Mapping visual cortex in monkeys and humans using surface-based atlases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Essen, D. C.; Lewis, J. W.; Drury, H. A.; Hadjikhani, N.; Tootell, R. B.; Bakircioglu, M.; Miller, M. I.

    2001-01-01

    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.

  8. Deviations in cortex sulcation associated with visual hallucinations in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cachia, A; Amad, A; Brunelin, J; Krebs, M-O; Plaze, M; Thomas, P; Jardri, R

    2015-09-01

    Hallucinations, and auditory hallucinations (AH) in particular, constitute the most typical and disabling schizophrenia symptoms. Although visual hallucinations (VH) have been largely neglected in psychiatric disorders, a recent review reported a 27% mean prevalence of VH in schizophrenia patients. The pathophysiology underlying VH in schizophrenia remains elusive. Several schizophrenia studies reported a significant effect of age on VH; therefore, we tested the hypothesis that the neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia may explain VH occurrence. We analyzed cortex sulcation, a marker of brain development, in healthy controls (HCs) and two subgroups of carefully selected schizophrenia patients suffering from hallucinations: patients with only AH (that is, patients who never reported VH) and patients with audio-visual hallucinations (A+VH). Different cortical sulcation and left-right sulcal asymmetry were found between A+VH and AH patients, with decreased sulcation in both A+VH and AH patients in comparison with the HCs. Although a specific association between VH and neurodegenerative mechanisms, for example, in Body-Lewy Dementia or Parkinson's Disease, has previously been reported in the literature, the current study provides the first neuroimaging evidence of an association between VH and neurodevelopmental mechanisms.

  9. Functional implications of orientation maps in primary visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Erin; Jin, Jianzhong; Alonso, Jose M.; Zaidi, Qasim

    2016-11-01

    Stimulus orientation in the primary visual cortex of primates and carnivores is mapped as iso-orientation domains radiating from pinwheel centres, where orientation preferences of neighbouring cells change circularly. Whether this orientation map has a function is currently debated, because many mammals, such as rodents, do not have such maps. Here we show that two fundamental properties of visual cortical responses, contrast saturation and cross-orientation suppression, are stronger within cat iso-orientation domains than at pinwheel centres. These differences develop when excitation (not normalization) from neighbouring oriented neurons is applied to different cortical orientation domains and then balanced by inhibition from un-oriented neurons. The functions of the pinwheel mosaic emerge from these local intra-cortical computations: Narrower tuning, greater cross-orientation suppression and higher contrast gain of iso-orientation cells facilitate extraction of object contours from images, whereas broader tuning, greater linearity and less suppression of pinwheel cells generate selectivity for surface patterns and textures.

  10. Inter-ocular contrast normalization in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moradi, Farshad; Heeger, David J

    2009-03-20

    The brain combines visual information from the two eyes and forms a coherent percept, even when inputs to the eyes are different. However, it is not clear how inputs from the two eyes are combined in visual cortex. We measured fMRI responses to single gratings presented monocularly, or pairs of gratings presented monocularly or dichoptically with several combinations of contrasts. Gratings had either the same orientation or orthogonal orientations (i.e., plaids). Observers performed a demanding task at fixation to minimize top-down modulation of the stimulus-evoked responses. Dichoptic presentation of compatible gratings (same orientation) evoked greater activity than monocular presentation of a single grating only when contrast was low (presentation of orthogonal gratings evoked greater activity than monocular presentation of a single grating for all contrasts. However, activity evoked by dichoptic plaids was equal to that evoked by monocular plaids. Introducing an onset asynchrony (stimulating one eye 500 ms before the other, which under attentive vision results in flash suppression) had no impact on the results; the responses to dichoptic and monocular plaids were again equal. We conclude that when attention is diverted, inter-ocular suppression in V1 can be explained by a normalization model in which the mutual suppression between orthogonal orientations does not depend on the eye of origin, nor on the onset times, and cross-orientation suppression is weaker than inter-ocular (same orientation) suppression.

  11. Transcranial focused ultrasound stimulation of human primary visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  12. Interocular transfer of adaptation in the primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howarth, Christopher M; Vorobyov, Vasily; Sengpiel, Frank

    2009-08-01

    Prolonged viewing of an unchanging pattern causes adaptation, which can be demonstrated by visual aftereffects such as the tilt and waterfall illusions. In normal observers, these typically exhibit interocular transfer (IOT), being observed when the adapting and test stimuli are shown to different eyes. Convergence of inputs from both eyes upon binocular neurons only occurs in the primary visual cortex (V1), and adaptation is substantially a cortical phenomenon. However, little is known about a physiological substrate of IOT in V1 and how it relates to the binocularity of neurons and local ocular dominance (OD) column architecture. We employed optical imaging to obtain OD maps in cat V1 and recorded from single neurons at targeted penetration sites to quantify their adaptation by drifting gratings when adapter and test stimulus were presented either to the same or to the opposite eyes. In contrast to earlier reports, clear IOT of adaptation was observed for binocular as well as monocular neurons; at population level, its strength amounted to 55%. Moreover, the position of the cells with respect to OD column borders had no significant effect on the strength of IOT. IOT does not appear to strongly depend on conventional binocularity of neurons.

  13. Involvement of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and superior temporal sulcus in impaired social perception in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Jung Eun; Choi, Soo-Hee; Lee, Hyeongrae; Shin, Young Seok; Jang, Dong-Pyo; Kim, Jae-Jin

    2015-04-03

    Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by impairments in diverse thinking and emotional responses, which are related to social perception dysfunction. This fMRI study was designed to investigate a neurobiological basis of social perception deficits of patients with schizophrenia in various social situations of daily life and their relationship with clinical symptoms and social dysfunction. Seventeen patients and 19 controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging, during which participants performed a virtual social perception task, containing an avatar's speech with positive, negative or neutral emotion in a virtual reality space. Participants were asked to determine whether or not the avatar's speech was appropriate to each situation. The significant group×appropriateness interaction was seen in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), resulting from lower activity in patients in the inappropriate condition, and left DLPFC activity was negatively correlated with the severity of negative symptoms and positively correlated with the level of social functioning. The significant appropriateness×emotion interaction observed in the left superior temporal sulcus (STS) was present in controls, but absent in patients, resulting from the existence and absence of a difference between the inappropriate positive and negative conditions, respectively. These findings indicate that dysfunction of the DLPFC-STS network may underlie patients' abnormal social perception in various social situations of daily life. Abnormal functioning of this network may contribute to increases of negative symptoms and decreases of social functioning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Direct projections from the dorsal premotor cortex to the superior colliculus in the macaque (macaca mulatta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Distler, Claudia; Hoffmann, Klaus-Peter

    2015-11-01

    The dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) is part of the cortical network for arm movements during reach-related behavior. Here we investigate the neuronal projections from the PMd to the midbrain superior colliculus (SC), which also contains reach-related neurons, to investigate how the SC integrates into a cortico-subcortical network responsible for initiation and modulation of goal-directed arm movements. By using anterograde transport of neuronal tracers, we found that the PMd projects most strongly to the deep layers of the lateral part of the SC and the underlying reticular formation corresponding to locations where reach-related neurons have been recorded, and from where descending tectofugal projections arise. A somewhat weaker projection targets the intermediate layers of the SC. By contrast, terminals originating from prearcuate area 8 mainly project to the intermediate layers of the SC. Thus, this projection pattern strengthens the view that different compartments in the SC are involved in the control of gaze and in the control or modulation of reaching movements. The PMD-SC projection assists in the participation of the SC in the skeletomotor system and provides the PMd with a parallel path to elicit forelimb movements.

  15. Why is "blindsight" blind? A new perspective on primary visual cortex, recurrent activity and visual awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvanto, Juha

    2015-03-01

    The neuropsychological phenomenon of blindsight has been taken to suggest that the primary visual cortex (V1) plays a unique role in visual awareness, and that extrastriate activation needs to be fed back to V1 in order for the content of that activation to be consciously perceived. The aim of this review is to evaluate this theoretical framework and to revisit its key tenets. Firstly, is blindsight truly a dissociation of awareness and visual detection? Secondly, is there sufficient evidence to rule out the possibility that the loss of awareness resulting from a V1 lesion simply reflects reduced extrastriate responsiveness, rather than a unique role of V1 in conscious experience? Evaluation of these arguments and the empirical evidence leads to the conclusion that the loss of phenomenal awareness in blindsight may not be due to feedback activity in V1 being the hallmark awareness. On the basis of existing literature, an alternative explanation of blindsight is proposed. In this view, visual awareness is a "global" cognitive function as its hallmark is the availability of information to a large number of perceptual and cognitive systems; this requires inter-areal long-range synchronous oscillatory activity. For these oscillations to arise, a specific temporal profile of neuronal activity is required, which is established through recurrent feedback activity involving V1 and the extrastriate cortex. When V1 is lesioned, the loss of recurrent activity prevents inter-areal networks on the basis of oscillatory activity. However, as limited amount of input can reach extrastriate cortex and some extrastriate neuronal selectivity is preserved, computations involving comparison of neural firing rates within a cortical area remain possible. This enables "local" read-out from specific brain regions, allowing for the detection and discrimination of basic visual attributes. Thus blindsight is blind due to lack of "global" long-range synchrony, and it functions via "local

  16. Abnormal visual field maps in human cortex : A mini-review and a case report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haak, Koen V.; Langers, Dave R. M.; Renken, Remco; van Dijk, Pim; Borgstein, Johannes; Cornelissen, Frans W.

    2014-01-01

    Human visual cortex contains maps of the visual field. Much research has been dedicated to answering whether and when these visual field maps change if critical components of the visual circuitry are damaged. Here, we first provide a focused mini-review of the functional magnetic resonance imaging (

  17. Fluctuation scaling in the visual cortex at threshold

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, José M.; Díaz, José A.

    2016-05-01

    Fluctuation scaling relates trial-to-trial variability to the average response by a power function in many physical processes. Here we address whether fluctuation scaling holds in sensory psychophysics and its functional role in visual processing. We report experimental evidence of fluctuation scaling in human color vision and form perception at threshold. Subjects detected thresholds in a psychophysical masking experiment that is considered a standard reference for studying suppression between neurons in the visual cortex. For all subjects, the analysis of threshold variability that results from the masking task indicates that fluctuation scaling is a global property that modulates detection thresholds with a scaling exponent that departs from 2, β =2.48 ±0.07 . We also examine a generalized version of fluctuation scaling between the sample kurtosis K and the sample skewness S of threshold distributions. We find that K and S are related and follow a unique quadratic form K =(1.19 ±0.04 ) S2+(2.68 ±0.06 ) that departs from the expected 4/3 power function regime. A random multiplicative process with weak additive noise is proposed based on a Langevin-type equation. The multiplicative process provides a unifying description of fluctuation scaling and the quadratic S -K relation and is related to on-off intermittency in sensory perception. Our findings provide an insight into how the human visual system interacts with the external environment. The theoretical methods open perspectives for investigating fluctuation scaling and intermittency effects in a wide variety of natural, economic, and cognitive phenomena.

  18. Fluctuation scaling in the visual cortex at threshold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, José M; Díaz, José A

    2016-05-01

    Fluctuation scaling relates trial-to-trial variability to the average response by a power function in many physical processes. Here we address whether fluctuation scaling holds in sensory psychophysics and its functional role in visual processing. We report experimental evidence of fluctuation scaling in human color vision and form perception at threshold. Subjects detected thresholds in a psychophysical masking experiment that is considered a standard reference for studying suppression between neurons in the visual cortex. For all subjects, the analysis of threshold variability that results from the masking task indicates that fluctuation scaling is a global property that modulates detection thresholds with a scaling exponent that departs from 2, β=2.48±0.07. We also examine a generalized version of fluctuation scaling between the sample kurtosis K and the sample skewness S of threshold distributions. We find that K and S are related and follow a unique quadratic form K=(1.19±0.04)S^{2}+(2.68±0.06) that departs from the expected 4/3 power function regime. A random multiplicative process with weak additive noise is proposed based on a Langevin-type equation. The multiplicative process provides a unifying description of fluctuation scaling and the quadratic S-K relation and is related to on-off intermittency in sensory perception. Our findings provide an insight into how the human visual system interacts with the external environment. The theoretical methods open perspectives for investigating fluctuation scaling and intermittency effects in a wide variety of natural, economic, and cognitive phenomena.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annie Wai Yiu Chan

    2013-07-01

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

  20. The visual pulvinar in tree shrews II. Projections of four nuclei to areas of visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, David C; Jain, Neeraj; Kaas, Jon H

    2003-12-22

    Patterns of thalamocortical connections were related to architectonically defined subdivisions of the pulvinar complex and the dorsolateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) in tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri). Tree shrews are of special interest because they are considered close relatives of primates, and they have a highly developed visual system. Several distinguishable tracers were injected within and across cortical visual areas in individual tree shrews in order to reveal retinotopic patterns and cortical targets of subdivisions of the pulvinar. The results indicate that each of the three architectonic regions of the pulvinar has a distinctive pattern of cortical connections and that one of these divisions is further divided into two regions with different patterns of connections. Two of the pulvinar nuclei have similar retinotopic patterns of projections to caudal visual cortex. The large central nucleus of the pulvinar (Pc) projects to the first and second visual areas, V1 and V2, and an adjoining temporal dorsal area (TD) in retinotopic patterns indicating that the upper visual quadrant is represented dorsal to the lower quadrant in Pc. The smaller ventral nucleus (Pv) which stains darkly for the Cat-301 antigen, projects to these same cortical areas, with a retinotopic pattern. Pv also projects to a temporal anterior area, TA. The dorsal nucleus (Pd), which densely expresses AChE, projects to posterior and ventral areas of temporal extrastriate cortex, areas TP and TPI. A posterior nucleus, Pp, projects to anterior areas TAL and TI, of the temporal lobe, as well as TPI. Injections in different cortical areas as much as 6 mm apart labeled overlapping zones in Pp and double-labeled some cells. These results indicate that the visual pulvinar of tree shrews contains at least four functionally distinct subdivisions, or nuclei. In addition, the cortical injections revealed that the LGN projects topographically and densely to V1 and that a significant number of LGN neurons

  1. Age-Dependent Cortical Thinning of Peripheral Visual Field Representations in Primary Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffis, Joseph C; Burge, Wesley K; Visscher, Kristina M

    2016-01-01

    The cerebral cortex changes throughout the lifespan, and the cortical gray matter in many brain regions becomes thinner with advancing age. Effects of aging on cortical thickness (CT) have been observed in many brain regions, including areas involved in basic perceptual functions such as processing visual inputs. An important property of early visual cortices is their topographic organization-the cortical structure of early visual areas forms a topographic map of retinal inputs. Primary visual cortex (V1) is considered to be the most basic cortical area in the visual processing hierarchy, and is topographically organized from posterior (central visual representation) to anterior (peripheral visual representation) along the calcarine sulcus. Some studies have reported strong age-dependent cortical thinning in portions of V1 that likely correspond to peripheral visual representations, while there is less evidence of substantial cortical thinning in central V1. However, the effect of aging on CT in V1 as a function of its topography has not been directly investigated. To address this gap in the literature, we estimated the CT of different eccentricity sectors in V1 using T1-weighted MRI scans acquired from groups of healthy younger and older adults, and then assessed whether between-group differences in V1 CT depended on cortical eccentricity. These analyses revealed age-dependent cortical thinning specific to peripheral visual field representations in anterior portions of V1, but did not provide evidence for age-dependent cortical thinning in other portions of V1. Additional analyses found similar effects when analyses were restricted to the gyral crown, sulcul depth and sulcul wall, indicating that these effects are not likely due to differences in gyral/sulcul contributions to our regions of interest (ROI). Importantly, this finding indicates that age-dependent changes in cortical structure may differ among functionally distinct zones within larger canonical

  2. Acuity-independent effects of visual deprivation on human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Chuan; Pettet, Mark W; Norcia, Anthony M

    2014-07-29

    Visual development depends on sensory input during an early developmental critical period. Deviation of the pointing direction of the two eyes (strabismus) or chronic optical blur (anisometropia) separately and together can disrupt the formation of normal binocular interactions and the development of spatial processing, leading to a loss of stereopsis and visual acuity known as amblyopia. To shed new light on how these two different forms of visual deprivation affect the development of visual cortex, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to study the temporal evolution of visual responses in patients who had experienced either strabismus or anisometropia early in life. To make a specific statement about the locus of deprivation effects, we took advantage of a stimulation paradigm in which we could measure deprivation effects that arise either before or after a configuration-specific response to illusory contours (ICs). Extraction of ICs is known to first occur in extrastriate visual areas. Our ERP measurements indicate that deprivation via strabismus affects both the early part of the evoked response that occurs before ICs are formed as well as the later IC-selective response. Importantly, these effects are found in the normal-acuity nonamblyopic eyes of strabismic amblyopes and in both eyes of strabismic patients without amblyopia. The nonamblyopic eyes of anisometropic amblyopes, by contrast, are normal. Our results indicate that beyond the well-known effects of strabismus on the development of normal binocularity, it also affects the early stages of monocular feature processing in an acuity-independent fashion.

  3. Whisker motor cortex reorganization after superior colliculus output suppression in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veronesi, Carlo; Maggiolini, Emma; Franchi, Gianfranco

    2013-10-01

    The effect of unilateral superior colliculus (SC) output suppression on the ipsilateral whisker motor cortex (WMC) was studied at different time points after tetrodotoxin and quinolinic acid injections, in adult rats. The WMC output was assessed by mapping the movement evoked by intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) and by recording the ICMS-evoked electromyographic (EMG) responses from contralateral whisker muscles. At 1 h after SC injections, the WMC showed: (i) a strong decrease in contralateral whisker sites, (ii) a strong increase in ipsilateral whisker sites and in ineffective sites, and (iii) a strong increase in threshold current values. At 6 h after injections, the WMC size had shrunk to 60% of the control value and forelimb representation had expanded into the lateral part of the normal WMC. Thereafter, the size of the WMC recovered, returning to nearly normal 12 h later (94% of control) and persisted unchanged over time (1-3 weeks). The ICMS-evoked EMG response area decreased at 1 h after SC lesion and had recovered its baseline value 12 h later. Conversely, the latency of ICMS-evoked EMG responses had increased by 1 h and continued to increase for as long as 3 weeks following the lesion. These findings provide physiological evidence that SC output suppression persistently withdrew the direct excitatory drive from whisker motoneurons and induced changes in the WMC. We suggest that the changes in the WMC are a form of reversible short-term reorganization that is induced by SC lesion. The persistent latency increase in the ICMS-evoked EMG response suggested that the recovery of basic WMC excitability did not take place with the recovery of normal explorative behaviour. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. BOLD temporal dynamics of rat superior colliculus and lateral geniculate nucleus following short duration visual stimulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Condon Lau

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The superior colliculus (SC and lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN are important subcortical structures for vision. Much of our understanding of vision was obtained using invasive and small field of view (FOV techniques. In this study, we use non-invasive, large FOV blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD fMRI to measure the SC and LGN's response temporal dynamics following short duration (1 s visual stimulation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Experiments are performed at 7 tesla on Sprague Dawley rats stimulated in one eye with flashing light. Gradient-echo and spin-echo sequences are used to provide complementary information. An anatomical image is acquired from one rat after injection of monocrystalline iron oxide nanoparticles (MION, a blood vessel contrast agent. BOLD responses are concentrated in the contralateral SC and LGN. The SC BOLD signal measured with gradient-echo rises to 50% of maximum amplitude (PEAK 0.2±0.2 s before the LGN signal (p<0.05. The LGN signal returns to 50% of PEAK 1.4±1.2 s before the SC signal (p<0.05. These results indicate the SC signal rises faster than the LGN signal but settles slower. Spin-echo results support these findings. The post-MION image shows the SC and LGN lie beneath large blood vessels. This subcortical vasculature is similar to that in the cortex, which also lies beneath large vessels. The LGN lies closer to the large vessels than much of the SC. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The differences in response timing between SC and LGN are very similar to those between deep and shallow cortical layers following electrical stimulation, which are related to depth-dependent blood vessel dilation rates. This combined with the similarities in vasculature between subcortex and cortex suggest the SC and LGN timing differences are also related to depth-dependent dilation rates. This study shows for the first time that BOLD responses in the rat SC and LGN following short duration visual stimulation are

  5. Spatial organization of astrocytes in ferret visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    López‐Hidalgo, Mónica; Hoover, Walter B.

    2016-01-01

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

  6. A neural locus for spatial-frequency specific saccadic suppression in visual-motor neurons of the primate superior colliculus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chih-Yang; Hafed, Ziad M

    2017-04-01

    Saccades cause rapid retinal-image shifts that go perceptually unnoticed several times per second. The mechanisms for saccadic suppression have been controversial, in part because of sparse understanding of neural substrates. In this study we uncovered an unexpectedly specific neural locus for spatial frequency-specific saccadic suppression in the superior colliculus (SC). We first developed a sensitive behavioral measure of suppression in two macaque monkeys, demonstrating selectivity to low spatial frequencies similar to that observed in earlier behavioral studies. We then investigated visual responses in either purely visual SC neurons or anatomically deeper visual motor neurons, which are also involved in saccade generation commands. Surprisingly, visual motor neurons showed the strongest visual suppression, and the suppression was dependent on spatial frequency, as in behavior. Most importantly, suppression selectivity for spatial frequency in visual motor neurons was highly predictive of behavioral suppression effects in each individual animal, with our recorded population explaining up to ~74% of behavioral variance even on completely different experimental sessions. Visual SC neurons had mild suppression, which was unselective for spatial frequency and thus only explained up to ~48% of behavioral variance. In terms of spatial frequency-specific saccadic suppression, our results run contrary to predictions that may be associated with a hypothesized SC saccadic suppression mechanism, in which a motor command in the visual motor and motor neurons is first relayed to the more superficial purely visual neurons, to suppress them and to then potentially be fed back to cortex. Instead, an extraretinal modulatory signal mediating spatial-frequency-specific suppression may already be established in visual motor neurons.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Saccades, which repeatedly realign the line of sight, introduce spurious signals in retinal images that normally go unnoticed. In

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alyssa A. Brewer

    2014-02-01

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

  8. Task-irrelevant visual letters interact with the processing of speech sounds in heteromodal and unimodal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blau, Vera; van Atteveldt, Nienke; Formisano, Elia; Goebel, Rainer; Blomert, Leo

    2008-08-01

    Letters and speech sounds are the basic units of correspondence between spoken and written language. Associating auditory information of speech sounds with visual information of letters is critical for learning to read; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this association remain poorly understood. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study investigates the automaticity and behavioral relevance of integrating letters and speech sounds. Within a unimodal auditory identification task, speech sounds were presented in isolation (unimodally) or bimodally in congruent and incongruent combinations with visual letters. Furthermore, the quality of the visual letters was manipulated parametrically. Our analyses revealed that the presentation of congruent visual letters led to a behavioral improvement in identifying speech sounds, which was paralleled by a similar modulation of cortical responses in the left superior temporal sulcus. Under low visual noise, cortical responses in superior temporal and occipito-temporal cortex were further modulated by the congruency between auditory and visual stimuli. These cross-modal modulations of performance and cortical responses during an unimodal auditory task (speech identification) indicate the existence of a strong and automatic functional coupling between processing of letters (orthography) and speech (phonology) in the literate adult brain.

  9. Surface-Based Analyses of Anatomical Properties of the Visual Cortex in Macular Degeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prins, Doety; Plank, Tina; Baseler, Heidi A.; Gouws, André D.; Beer, Anton; Morland, Antony B.; Greenlee, Mark W.; Cornelissen, Frans W.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Macular degeneration (MD) can cause a central visual field defect. In a previous study, we found volumetric reductions along the entire visual pathways of MD patients, possibly indicating degeneration of inactive neuronal tissue. This may have important implications. In particular, new therapeutic strategies to restore retinal function rely on intact visual pathways and cortex to reestablish visual function. Here we reanalyze the data of our previous study using surface-based morphometry (SBM) rather than voxel-based morphometry (VBM). This can help determine the robustness of the findings and will lead to a better understanding of the nature of neuroanatomical changes associated with MD. Methods The metrics of interest were acquired by performing SBM analysis on T1-weighted MRI data acquired from 113 subjects: patients with juvenile MD (JMD; n = 34), patients with age-related MD (AMD; n = 24) and healthy age-matched controls (HC; n = 55). Results Relative to age-matched controls, JMD patients showed a thinner cortex, a smaller cortical surface area and a lower grey matter volume in V1 and V2, while AMD patients showed thinning of the cortex in V2. Neither patient group showed a significant difference in mean curvature of the visual cortex. Discussion The thinner cortex, smaller surface area and lower grey matter volume in the visual cortex of JMD patients are consistent with our previous results showing a volumetric reduction in their visual cortex. Finding comparable results using two rather different analysis techniques suggests the presence of marked cortical degeneration in the JMD patients. In the AMD patients, we found a thinner cortex in V2 but not in V1. In contrast to our previous VBM analysis, SBM revealed no volumetric reductions of the visual cortex. This suggests that the cortical changes in AMD patients are relatively subtle, as they apparently can be missed by one of the methods. PMID:26789126

  10. Do Children with Visual Impairments Demonstrate Superior Short-term Memory, Memory Strategies, and Metamemory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyver, Shirley R.; Markham, Roslyn

    1998-01-01

    This study compared the memory processes underpinning the performance of 19 children with visual impairments and 19 sighted children on the Digit Span subtest of the Wechsler Intelligence Scales. No support was found for claims of the superior performance of children with visual impairments on the subtest nor of a greater awareness of memory…

  11. Visual search for emotional expressions: Effect of stimulus set on anger and happiness superiority.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Ruth A; Becker, Stefanie I; Lipp, Ottmar V

    2016-01-01

    Prior reports of preferential detection of emotional expressions in visual search have yielded inconsistent results, even for face stimuli that avoid obvious expression-related perceptual confounds. The current study investigated inconsistent reports of anger and happiness superiority effects using face stimuli drawn from the same database. Experiment 1 excluded procedural differences as a potential factor, replicating a happiness superiority effect in a procedure that previously yielded an anger superiority effect. Experiments 2a and 2b confirmed that image colour or poser gender did not account for prior inconsistent findings. Experiments 3a and 3b identified stimulus set as the critical variable, revealing happiness or anger superiority effects for two partially overlapping sets of face stimuli. The current results highlight the critical role of stimulus selection for the observation of happiness or anger superiority effects in visual search even for face stimuli that avoid obvious expression related perceptual confounds and are drawn from a single database.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masataka Nishimura

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling-Chia Chen

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Effect of Contrast on Visual Spatial Summation in Different Cell Categories in Cat Primary Visual Cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ke Chen

    Full Text Available Multiple cell classes have been found in the primary visual cortex, but the relationship between cell types and spatial summation has seldom been studied. Parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory interneurons can be distinguished from pyramidal neurons based on their briefer action potential durations. In this study, we classified V1 cells into fast-spiking units (FSUs and regular-spiking units (RSUs and then examined spatial summation at high and low contrast. Our results revealed that the excitatory classical receptive field and the suppressive non-classical receptive field expanded at low contrast for both FSUs and RSUs, but the expansion was more marked for the RSUs than for the FSUs. For most V1 neurons, surround suppression varied as the contrast changed from high to low. However, FSUs exhibited no significant difference in the strength of suppression between high and low contrast, although the overall suppression decreased significantly at low contrast for the RSUs. Our results suggest that the modulation of spatial summation by stimulus contrast differs across populations of neurons in the cat primary visual cortex.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. A Semi-Persistent Adult Ocular Dominance Plasticity in Visual Cortex Is Stabilized by Activated CREB

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barco, Angel; Kandel, Eric R.; Gordon, Barbara; Lickey, Marvin E.; Suzuki, Seigo; Pham, Tony A.; Graham, Sarah J.

    2004-01-01

    The adult cerebral cortex can adapt to environmental change. Using monocular deprivation as a paradigm, we find that rapid experience-dependent plasticity exists even in the mature primary visual cortex. However, adult cortical plasticity differs from developmental plasticity in two important ways. First, the effect of adult, but not juvenile…

  20. Reduction in the retinotopic early visual cortex with normal aging and magnitude of perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Li-Hung; Yotsumoto, Yuko; Salat, David H; Andersen, George J; Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Yang

    2015-12-01

    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.

  2. Sensitivity to the visual field origin of natural image patches in human low-level visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannion, Damien J

    2015-01-01

    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.

  3. Impact of chiasma opticum malformations on the organization of the human ventral visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaule, Falko R; Wolynski, Barbara; Gottlob, Irene; Stadler, Joerg; Speck, Oliver; Kanowski, Martin; Meltendorf, Synke; Behrens-Baumann, Wolfgang; Hoffmann, Michael B

    2014-10-01

    Congenital malformations of the optic chiasm, such as enhanced and reduced crossing of the optic nerve fibers, are evident in albinism and achiasma, respectively. In early visual cortex the resulting additional visual input from the ipsilateral visual hemifield is superimposed onto the normal retinotopic representation of the contralateral visual field, which is likely due to conservative geniculo-striate projections. Counterintuitively, this organization in early visual cortex does not have profound consequences on visual function. Here we ask, whether higher stages of visual processing provide a correction to the abnormal representation allowing for largely normal perception. To this end we assessed the organization patterns of early and ventral visual cortex in five albinotic, one achiasmic, and five control participants. In albinism and achiasma the mirror-symmetrical superposition of the ipsilateral and contalateral visual fields was evident not only in early visual cortex, but also in the higher areas of the ventral processing stream. Specifically, in the visual areas VO1/2 and PHC1/2 no differences in the extent, the degree of superposition, and the magnitude of the responses were evident in comparison to the early visual areas. Consequently, the highly atypical organization of the primary visual cortex was propagated downstream to highly specialized processing stages in an undiminished and unchanged manner. This indicates largely unaltered cortico-cortical connections in both types of misrouting, i.e., enhanced and reduced crossing of the optic nerves. It is concluded that main aspects of visual function are preserved despite sizable representation abnormalities in the ventral visual processing stream.

  4. Effect of visual experience on tubulin synthesis during a critical period of visual cortex development in the hooded rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronly-Dillon, J; Perry, G W

    1979-08-01

    1. In some species, restriction of visual experience in early life may affect normal functional development of visual cortical cells. The purpose of the present study was to determine if visual deprivation during post-natal development in the hooded rat also affects the production in brain cells of certain molecular components such as tubulin, that are needed for growth and maintenance of synapses and neurites. 2. Norwegian black hooded rats were reared under a variety of conditions of visual deprivation. At various stages of development the animals were killed and the rate of synthesis of tubulin in visual and motor cortex determined. Tritiated colchicine was used to assay tubulin and L-[14C]leucine injected into the brain ventricles 2 hr before death was used to measure rate of tubulin synthesis. 3. In rats reared in normal light there is a marked elevation in visual cortex tubulin synthesis that spans the period from eye-opening (13 days) until approximately 35 days. This elevation in tubulin synthesis is absent in animals reared in darkness from birth or deprived of pattern vision by eyelid suture. Also the effect of visual deprivation on tubulin synthesis was specifically confined to visual cortex and was not found for the motor cortex. Similarly, the incorporation of L-[14C]leucine into total protein in visual cortex was unaffected by dark rearing. Hence the stimulation of tubulin synthesis by visual experience in rat visual cortex is not attributable to a general non-specific stimulation of protein synthesis. 4. Rats that were dark-reared from birth and then exposed to a lighted environment for 24 hr during a certain critical period that extends from eye-opening (13 days) until approximately 35 days, displayed a significant increase in visual cortex tubulin rats that were brought into the light later than 35 days showed no significant increase in tubulin synthesis when compared with their continuously dark-rearer controls. 5. It is suggested that the number

  5. Double dissociation between motor and visual imagery in the posterior parietal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelgrims, Barbara; Andres, Michael; Olivier, Etienne

    2009-10-01

    Because motor imagery (MI) and visual imagery (VI) are influenced differently by factors such as biomechanical constraints or stimulus size, it is conceivable that they rely on separate processes, possibly involving distinct cortical networks, a view corroborated by neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies. In the posterior parietal cortex, it has been suggested that the superior parietal lobule (SPL) underlies VI, whereas MI relies on the supramarginalis gyrus (SMG). However, because several brain imaging studies have also shown an overlap of activations in SPL and SMG during VI or MI, the question arises as to which extent these 2 subregions really contribute to distinct imagery processes. To address this issue, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to induce virtual lesions of either SMG or SPL in subjects performing a MI (hand drawing rotation) or a VI (letter rotation) task. Whatever hemisphere was stimulated, SMG lesions selectively altered MI, whereas SPL lesions only affected VI, demonstrating a double dissociation between MI and VI. Because these deficits were not influenced by the angular distance of the stimuli, we suggest that SMG and SPL are involved in the reenactment of the motor and visual representations, respectively, and not in mental rotation processes per se.

  6. Analysis of primary visual cortex in dementia with Lewy bodies indicates GABAergic involvement associated with recurrent complex visual hallucinations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khundakar, Ahmad A; Hanson, Peter S; Erskine, Daniel; Lax, Nichola Z; Roscamp, Joseph; Karyka, Evangelia; Tsefou, Eliona; Singh, Preeti; Cockell, Simon J; Gribben, Andrew; Ramsay, Lynne; Blain, Peter G; Mosimann, Urs P; Lett, Deborah J; Elstner, Matthias; Turnbull, Douglass M; Xiang, Charles C; Brownstein, Michael J; O'Brien, John T; Taylor, John-Paul; Attems, Johannes; Thomas, Alan J; McKeith, Ian G; Morris, Christopher M

    2016-06-30

    Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) patients frequently experience well formed recurrent complex visual hallucinations (RCVH). This is associated with reduced blood flow or hypometabolism on imaging of the primary visual cortex. To understand these associations in DLB we used pathological and biochemical analysis of the primary visual cortex to identify changes that could underpin RCVH. Alpha-synuclein or neurofibrillary tangle pathology in primary visual cortex was essentially absent. Neurone density or volume within the primary visual cortex in DLB was also unchanged using unbiased stereology. Microarray analysis, however, demonstrated changes in neuropeptide gene expression and other markers, indicating altered GABAergic neuronal function. Calcium binding protein and GAD65/67 immunohistochemistry showed preserved interneurone populations indicating possible interneurone dysfunction. This was demonstrated by loss of post synaptic GABA receptor markers including gephyrin, GABARAP, and Kif5A, indicating reduced GABAergic synaptic activity. Glutamatergic neuronal signalling was also altered with vesicular glutamate transporter protein and PSD-95 expression being reduced. Changes to the primary visual cortex in DLB indicate that reduced GABAergic transmission may contribute to RCVH in DLB and treatment using targeted GABAergic modulation or similar approaches using glutamatergic modification may be beneficial.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

    The role of the prefrontal cortex remains controversial. Neuroimaging studies support modality-specific and process-specific functions related to working memory and attention. Its role may also be defined by changes in its influence over other brain regions including sensory and motor cortex. We...... 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...

  8. A Major Human White Matter Pathway Between Dorsal and Ventral Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takemura, Hiromasa; Rokem, Ariel; Winawer, Jonathan; Yeatman, Jason D; Wandell, Brian A; Pestilli, Franco

    2016-05-01

    Human visual cortex comprises many visual field maps organized into clusters. A standard organization separates visual maps into 2 distinct clusters within ventral and dorsal cortex. We combined fMRI, diffusion MRI, and fiber tractography to identify a major white matter pathway, the vertical occipital fasciculus (VOF), connecting maps within the dorsal and ventral visual cortex. We use a model-based method to assess the statistical evidence supporting several aspects of the VOF wiring pattern. There is strong evidence supporting the hypothesis that dorsal and ventral visual maps communicate through the VOF. The cortical projection zones of the VOF suggest that human ventral (hV4/VO-1) and dorsal (V3A/B) maps exchange substantial information. The VOF appears to be crucial for transmitting signals between regions that encode object properties including form, identity, and color and regions that map spatial information.

  9. Stability and Plasticity of Contextual Modulation in the Mouse Visual Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Ranson

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Activity of neurons in primary visual cortex is shaped by sensory and behavioral context. However, the long-term stability of the influence of contextual factors in the mature cortex remains poorly understood. To investigate this, we used two-photon calcium imaging to track the influence of surround suppression and locomotion on individual neurons over 14 days. We found that highly active excitatory neurons and parvalbumin-positive (PV+ interneurons exhibited relatively stable modulation by visual context. Similarly, most neurons exhibited a stable yet distinct degree of modulation by locomotion. In contrast, less active excitatory neurons exhibited plasticity in visual context influence, resulting in increased suppression. These findings suggest that the mature visual cortex possesses stable subnetworks of neurons, differentiated by cell type and activity level, which have distinctive and stable interactions with sensory and behavioral contexts, as well as other less active and more labile neurons, which are sensitive to visual experience.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brückner, Sabrina; Kammer, Thomas

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Interaction between visual and motor cortex: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strigaro, Gionata; Ruge, Diane; Chen, Jui-Cheng; Marshall, Louise; Desikan, Mahalekshmi; Cantello, Roberto; Rothwell, John C

    2015-05-15

    The major link between the visual and motor systems is via the dorsal stream pathways from visual to parietal and frontal areas of the cortex. Although the pathway appears to be indirect, there is evidence that visual input can reach the motor cortex at relatively short latency. To shed some light on its neural basis, we studied the visuomotor interaction using paired transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) were recorded from the right first dorsal interosseous in sixteen healthy volunteers. A conditioning stimulus (CS) was applied over the phosphene hotspot of the visual cortex, followed by a test stimulus over the left primary motor cortex (M1) with a random interstimulus interval (ISI) in range 12-40 ms. The effects of paired stimulation were retested during visual and auditory reaction-time tasks (RT). Finally, we measured the effects of a CS on short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI). At rest, a CS over the occiput significantly (P visual RT, inhibition with an ISI of 40 ms (but not 18 ms) was replaced by a time-specific facilitation (P visual to motor cortices using paired-TMS with an ISI in the range 18-40 ms. The connections are inhibitory at rest and possibly mediated by inhibitory interneurones in the motor cortex. The effect with an ISI of 40 ms reverses into facilitation during a visuomotor RT but not an audiomotor RT. This suggests that it plays a role in visuomotor integration.

  12. Reduced structural connectivity in ventral visual cortex in congenital prosopagnosia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Cibu; Avidan, Galia; Humphreys, Kate; Jung, Kwan-jin; Gao, Fuqiang; Behrmann, Marlene

    2009-01-01

    Using diffusion tensor imaging and tractography, we found that a disruption in structural connectivity in ventral occipito-temporal cortex may be the neurobiological basis for the lifelong impairment in face recognition that is experienced by individuals who suffer from congenital prosopagnosia. Our findings suggest that white-matter fibers in ventral occipito-temporal cortex support the integrated function of a distributed cortical network that subserves normal face processing.

  13. Microarray profiles on age-related genes in the earlier postnatal rat visual cortex

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Liu; NIE Yu-hong; ZHOU Li-hua; LIN Shao-chun; WU Kai-li

    2011-01-01

    Background Accumulating evidence indicates that both innate and adaptive mechanisms are responsible for the postnatal development of the mammalian visual cortex. Most of the studies, including gene expression analysis, were performed on the visual cortex during the critical period; few efforts were made to elucidate the molecular changes in the visual cortex during much earlier postnatal stages. The current study aimed to gain a general insight into the molecular mechanisms in the developmental process of the rat visual cortex using microarray to display the gene expression profiles of the visual cortex on postnatal days.Methods All age-matched Sprague-Dawley rats in various groups including postnatal day 0 (PO, n=20), day 10 (P10,n=15), day 20 (P20, n=15) and day 45 (P45, n=10) were sacrificed respectively. Fresh visual cortex from the binocular area (Area 17) was dissected for extraction of total RNA for microarray analyses. Taking advantage of annotation information from the gene ontology and pathway database, the gene expression profiles were systematically and globally analyzed.Results Of the 31 042 gene sequences represented on the rat expression microarray, more than 4000 of the transcripts significantly altered at days 45,20 or 10 compared to day 0. The most obvious alteration of gene expression occurred in the first ten days of the postnatal period and the genomic activities of the visual cortex maintained a high level from birth to day 45. Compared to the gene expression at birth, there were 2630 changed transcripts that shared in three postnatal periods.The up-regulated genes in most signaling pathways were more than those of the down-regulated genes.Conclusions Analyzing gene expression patterns, we provide a detailed insight into the molecular organization of the developing visual cortex in the earlier postnatal rat. The most obvious alteration of gene expression in visual cortex occurred in the first ten days. Our data were a basis to identify new

  14. Repetitive Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Induced Excitability Changes of Primary Visual Cortex and Visual Learning Effects-A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sczesny-Kaiser, Matthias; Beckhaus, Katharina; Dinse, Hubert R; Schwenkreis, Peter; Tegenthoff, Martin; Höffken, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    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 visual perceptual learning and increased cortical excitability. tDCS is a promising tool to alter V1 excitability and, hence, perceptual visual learning.

  15. Frequency-band signatures of visual responses to naturalistic input in ferret primary visual cortex during free viewing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellers, Kristin K; Bennett, Davis V; Fröhlich, Flavio

    2015-02-19

    Neuronal firing responses in visual cortex reflect the statistics of visual input and emerge from the interaction with endogenous network dynamics. Artificial visual stimuli presented to animals in which the network dynamics were constrained by anesthetic agents or trained behavioral tasks have provided fundamental understanding of how individual neurons in primary visual cortex respond to input. In contrast, very little is known about the mesoscale network dynamics and their relationship to microscopic spiking activity in the awake animal during free viewing of naturalistic visual input. To address this gap in knowledge, we recorded local field potential (LFP) and multiunit activity (MUA) simultaneously in all layers of primary visual cortex (V1) of awake, freely viewing ferrets presented with naturalistic visual input (nature movie clips). We found that naturalistic visual stimuli modulated the entire oscillation spectrum; low frequency oscillations were mostly suppressed whereas higher frequency oscillations were enhanced. In average across all cortical layers, stimulus-induced change in delta and alpha power negatively correlated with the MUA responses, whereas sensory-evoked increases in gamma power positively correlated with MUA responses. The time-course of the band-limited power in these frequency bands provided evidence for a model in which naturalistic visual input switched V1 between two distinct, endogenously present activity states defined by the power of low (delta, alpha) and high (gamma) frequency oscillatory activity. Therefore, the two mesoscale activity states delineated in this study may define the degree of engagement of the circuit with the processing of sensory input.

  16. Downregulation of GABA[Subscript A] Receptor Protein Subunits a6, ß2, d, e, ?2, ?, and ?2 in Superior Frontal Cortex of Subjects with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatemi, S. Hossein; Reutiman, Teri J.; Folsom, Timothy D.; Rustan, Oyvind G.; Rooney, Robert J.; Thuras, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    We measured protein and mRNA levels for nine gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABA[subscript A]) receptor subunits in three brain regions (cerebellum, superior frontal cortex, and parietal cortex) in subjects with autism versus matched controls. We observed changes in mRNA for a number of GABA[subscript A] and GABA[subscript B] subunits and overall…

  17. In search of the emotional face: anger versus happiness superiority in visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Ruth A; Lipp, Ottmar V; Craig, Belinda M; Becker, Stefanie I; Horstmann, Gernot

    2013-08-01

    Previous research has provided inconsistent results regarding visual search for emotional faces, yielding evidence for either anger superiority (i.e., more efficient search for angry faces) or happiness superiority effects (i.e., more efficient search for happy faces), suggesting that these results do not reflect on emotional expression, but on emotion (un-)related low-level perceptual features. The present study investigated possible factors mediating anger/happiness superiority effects; specifically search strategy (fixed vs. variable target search; Experiment 1), stimulus choice (Nimstim database vs. Ekman & Friesen database; Experiments 1 and 2), and emotional intensity (Experiment 3 and 3a). Angry faces were found faster than happy faces regardless of search strategy using faces from the Nimstim database (Experiment 1). By contrast, a happiness superiority effect was evident in Experiment 2 when using faces from the Ekman and Friesen database. Experiment 3 employed angry, happy, and exuberant expressions (Nimstim database) and yielded anger and happiness superiority effects, respectively, highlighting the importance of the choice of stimulus materials. Ratings of the stimulus materials collected in Experiment 3a indicate that differences in perceived emotional intensity, pleasantness, or arousal do not account for differences in search efficiency. Across three studies, the current investigation indicates that prior reports of anger or happiness superiority effects in visual search are likely to reflect on low-level visual features associated with the stimulus materials used, rather than on emotion.

  18. Extrastriate visual cortex reorganizes despite sequential bilateral occipital stroke: implications for vision recovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy eBrodtmann

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The extent of visual cortex reorganization following injury remains controversial. We report serial functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data from a patient with sequential posterior circulation strokes occurring three weeks apart, compared with data from an age-matched healthy control subject. At 8 days following a left occipital stroke, contralesional visual cortical activation was within expected striate and extrastriate sites, comparable to that seen in controls. Despite a further infarct in the right (previously unaffected hemisphere, there was evolution of visual cortical reorganization progressed. In this patient, there was evidence of utilization of peri-infarct sites (right-sided and recruitment of new activation sites in extrastriate cortices, including in the lateral middle and inferior temporal lobes. The changes over time corresponded topographically with the patient’s lesion site and its connections. Reorganization of the surviving visual cortex was demonstrated 8 days after the first stroke. Ongoing reorganization in extant cortex was demonstrated at the 6 month scan. We present a summary of mechanisms of recovery following stroke relevant to the visual system. We conclude that mature primary visual cortex displays considerable plasticity and capacity to reorganize, associated with evolution of visual field deficits. We discuss these findings and their implications for therapy within the context of current concepts in visual compensatory and restorative therapies.

  19. Top-down influence on the visual cortex of the blind during sensory substitution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Matthew C.; Nau, Amy C.; Fisher, Christopher; Kim, Seong-Gi; Schuman, Joel S.; Chan, Kevin C.

    2017-01-01

    Visual sensory substitution devices provide a non-surgical and flexible approach to vision rehabilitation in the blind. These devices convert images taken by a camera into cross-modal sensory signals that are presented as a surrogate for direct visual input. While previous work has demonstrated that the visual cortex of blind subjects is recruited during sensory substitution, the cognitive basis of this activation remains incompletely understood. To test the hypothesis that top-down input provides a significant contribution to this activation, we performed functional MRI scanning in 11 blind (7 acquired and 4 congenital) and 11 sighted subjects under two conditions: passive listening of image-encoded soundscapes before sensory substitution training and active interpretation of the same auditory sensory substitution signals after a 10-minute training session. We found that the modulation of visual cortex activity due to active interpretation was significantly stronger in the blind over sighted subjects. In addition, congenitally blind subjects showed stronger task-induced modulation in the visual cortex than acquired blind subjects. In a parallel experiment, we scanned 18 blind (11 acquired and 7 congenital) and 18 sighted subjects at rest to investigate alterations in functional connectivity due to visual deprivation. The results demonstrated that visual cortex connectivity of the blind shifted away from sensory networks and toward known areas of top-down input. Taken together, our data support the model of the brain, including the visual system, as a highly flexible task-based and not sensory-based machine. PMID:26584776

  20. Top-down influence on the visual cortex of the blind during sensory substitution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Matthew C; Nau, Amy C; Fisher, Christopher; Kim, Seong-Gi; Schuman, Joel S; Chan, Kevin C

    2016-01-15

    Visual sensory substitution devices provide a non-surgical and flexible approach to vision rehabilitation in the blind. These devices convert images taken by a camera into cross-modal sensory signals that are presented as a surrogate for direct visual input. While previous work has demonstrated that the visual cortex of blind subjects is recruited during sensory substitution, the cognitive basis of this activation remains incompletely understood. To test the hypothesis that top-down input provides a significant contribution to this activation, we performed functional MRI scanning in 11 blind (7 acquired and 4 congenital) and 11 sighted subjects under two conditions: passive listening of image-encoded soundscapes before sensory substitution training and active interpretation of the same auditory sensory substitution signals after a 10-minute training session. We found that the modulation of visual cortex activity due to active interpretation was significantly stronger in the blind over sighted subjects. In addition, congenitally blind subjects showed stronger task-induced modulation in the visual cortex than acquired blind subjects. In a parallel experiment, we scanned 18 blind (11 acquired and 7 congenital) and 18 sighted subjects at rest to investigate alterations in functional connectivity due to visual deprivation. The results demonstrated that visual cortex connectivity of the blind shifted away from sensory networks and toward known areas of top-down input. Taken together, our data support the model of the brain, including the visual system, as a highly flexible task-based and not sensory-based machine.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    with schizophrenia reported an increased density of neurons in the primary visual cortex (Brodmann's area 17, BA17). The observed changes in visual processing may thus be reflected in structural changes in the circuitry of BA17. To characterize the structural changes further we used stereological methods based...

  2. Extrastriate visual cortex reorganizes despite sequential bilateral occipital stroke: implications for vision recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodtmann, Amy; Puce, Aina; Darby, David; Donnan, Geoffrey

    2015-01-01

    The extent of visual cortex reorganization following injury remains controversial. We report serial functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from a patient with sequential posterior circulation strokes occurring 3 weeks apart, compared with data from an age-matched healthy control subject. At 8 days following a left occipital stroke, contralesional visual cortical activation was within expected striate and extrastriate sites, comparable to that seen in controls. Despite a further infarct in the right (previously unaffected hemisphere), there was evolution of visual cortical reorganization progressed. In this patient, there was evidence of utilization of peri-infarct sites (right-sided) and recruitment of new activation sites in extrastriate cortices, including in the lateral middle and inferior temporal lobes. The changes over time corresponded topographically with the patient's lesion site and its connections. Reorganization of the surviving visual cortex was demonstrated 8 days after the first stroke. Ongoing reorganization in extant cortex was demonstrated at the 6 month scan. We present a summary of mechanisms of recovery following stroke relevant to the visual system. We conclude that mature primary visual cortex displays considerable plasticity and capacity to reorganize, associated with evolution of visual field deficits. We discuss these findings and their implications for therapy within the context of current concepts in visual compensatory and restorative therapies.

  3. [Effect of neonatal unilateral enucleation on the development of orientation selectivity in kitten primary visual cortex].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fregnac, Y; Trotter, Y; Bienenstock, E; Imbert, M

    1979-11-26

    In normally reared Kittens (6 weeks old), all orientations encoded by visual cells in the primary visual cortex are equally represented. In Kittens of the same age, unilaterally enucleated at birth and reared in identical conditions, 70% of orientation-selective cells preferentially respond to horizontal or vertical orientations.

  4. Effects of visual cortex activation on the nociceptive blink reflex in healthy subjects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona L Sava

    Full Text Available Bright light can cause excessive visual discomfort, referred to as photophobia. The precise mechanisms linking luminance to the trigeminal nociceptive system supposed to mediate this discomfort are not known. To address this issue in healthy human subjects we modulated differentially visual cortex activity by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS or flash light stimulation, and studied the effect on supraorbital pain thresholds and the nociceptive-specific blink reflex (nBR. Low frequency rTMS that inhibits the underlying cortex, significantly decreased pain thresholds, increased the 1st nBR block ipsi- and contralaterally and potentiated habituation contralaterally. After high frequency or sham rTMS over the visual cortex, and rMS over the right greater occipital nerve we found no significant change. By contrast, excitatory flash light stimulation increased pain thresholds, decreased the 1st nBR block of ipsi- and contralaterally and increased habituation contralaterally. Our data demonstrate in healthy subjects a functional relation between the visual cortex and the trigeminal nociceptive system, as assessed by the nociceptive blink reflex. The results argue in favour of a top-down inhibitory pathway from the visual areas to trigemino-cervical nociceptors. We postulate that in normal conditions this visuo-trigeminal inhibitory pathway may avoid disturbance of vision by too frequent blinking and that hypoactivity of the visual cortex for pathological reasons may promote headache and photophobia.

  5. Visual activation and audiovisual interactions in the auditory cortex during speech perception: intracranial recordings in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besle, Julien; Fischer, Catherine; Bidet-Caulet, Aurélie; Lecaignard, Francoise; Bertrand, Olivier; Giard, Marie-Hélène

    2008-12-24

    Hemodynamic studies have shown that the auditory cortex can be activated by visual lip movements and is a site of interactions between auditory and visual speech processing. However, they provide no information about the chronology and mechanisms of these cross-modal processes. We recorded intracranial event-related potentials to auditory, visual, and bimodal speech syllables from depth electrodes implanted in the temporal lobe of 10 epileptic patients (altogether 932 contacts). We found that lip movements activate secondary auditory areas, very shortly (approximately equal to 10 ms) after the activation of the visual motion area MT/V5. After this putatively feedforward visual activation of the auditory cortex, audiovisual interactions took place in the secondary auditory cortex, from 30 ms after sound onset and before any activity in the polymodal areas. Audiovisual interactions in the auditory cortex, as estimated in a linear model, consisted both of a total suppression of the visual response to lipreading and a decrease of the auditory responses to the speech sound in the bimodal condition compared with unimodal conditions. These findings demonstrate that audiovisual speech integration does not respect the classical hierarchy from sensory-specific to associative cortical areas, but rather engages multiple cross-modal mechanisms at the first stages of nonprimary auditory cortex activation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Pietrasanta

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  8. Cell types, circuits, and receptive fields in the mouse visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niell, Cristopher M

    2015-07-08

    Over the past decade, the mouse has emerged as an important model system for studying cortical function, owing to the advent of powerful tools that can record and manipulate neural activity in intact neural circuits. This advance has been particularly prominent in the visual cortex, where studies in the mouse have begun to bridge the gap between cortical structure and function, allowing investigators to determine the circuits that underlie specific visual computations. This review describes the advances in our understanding of the mouse visual cortex, including neural coding, the role of different cell types, and links between vision and behavior, and discusses how recent findings and new approaches can guide future studies.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1981-01-01

    % 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...... 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...

  10. Predictive coding for motion stimuli in human early visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellekens, Wouter; van Wezel, Richard J A; Petridou, Natalia; Ramsey, Nick F.; Raemaekers, Mathijs

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates if early visual cortical areas, V1, V2 and V3, use predictive coding to process motion information. Previous studies have reported biased visual motion responses at locations where novel visual information was presented (i.e., the motion trailing edge), which is plausi

  11. Predictive coding for motion stimuli in human early visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellekens, Wouter; Wezel, van Richard J.A.; Petridou, Natalia; Ramsey, Nick F.; Raemeakers, Mathijs; Zaborszky, L.; Zilles, K.

    2014-01-01

    The current study investigates if early visual cortical areas, V1, V2 and V3, use predictive coding to process motion information. Previous studies have reported biased visual motion responses at locations where novel visual information was presented (i.e., the motion trailing edge), which is plausi

  12. Neuronal discharges and gamma oscillations explicitly reflect visual consciousness in the lateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panagiotaropoulos, Theofanis I; Deco, Gustavo; Kapoor, Vishal; Logothetis, Nikos K

    2012-06-07

    Neuronal discharges in the primate temporal lobe, but not in the striate and extrastriate cortex, reliably reflect stimulus awareness. However, it is not clear whether visual consciousness should be uniquely localized in the temporal association cortex. Here we used binocular flash suppression to investigate whether visual awareness is also explicitly reflected in feature-selective neural activity of the macaque lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), a cortical area reciprocally connected to the temporal lobe. We show that neuronal discharges in the majority of single units and recording sites in the LPFC follow the phenomenal perception of a preferred stimulus. Furthermore, visual awareness is reliably reflected in the power modulation of high-frequency (>50 Hz) local field potentials in sites where spiking activity is found to be perceptually modulated. Our results suggest that the activity of neuronal populations in at least two association cortical areas represents the content of conscious visual perception.

  13. Crossmodal interactions of haptic and visual texture information in early sensory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eck, Judith; Kaas, Amanda L; Goebel, Rainer

    2013-07-15

    Both visual and haptic information add to the perception of surface texture. While prior studies have reported crossmodal interactions of both sensory modalities at the behavioral level, neuroimaging studies primarily investigated texture perception in separate visual and haptic paradigms. These experimental designs, however, only allowed to identify overlap in both sensory processing streams but no interaction of visual and haptic texture processing. By varying texture characteristics in a bimodal task, the current study investigated how these crossmodal interactions are reflected at the cortical level. We used fMRI to compare cortical activation in response to matching versus non-matching visual-haptic texture information. We expected that passive simultaneous presentation of matching visual-haptic input would be sufficient to induce BOLD responses graded with varying texture characteristics. Since no cognitive evaluation of the stimuli was required, we expected to find changes primarily at a rather early processing stage. Our results confirmed our assumptions by showing crossmodal interactions of visual-haptic texture information in early somatosensory and visual cortex. However, the nature of the crossmodal effects was slightly different in both sensory cortices. In early visual cortex, matching visual-haptic information increased the average activation level and induced parametric BOLD signal variations with varying texture characteristics. In early somatosensory cortex only the latter was true. These results challenge the notion that visual and haptic texture information is processed independently and indicate a crossmodal interaction of sensory information already at an early cortical processing stage. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    surgery induces a regional increase in grey matter in areas V1 and V2 of the visual cortex. Results:  In all patients, cataract surgery immediately improved visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and mean sensitivity in the visual field of the operated eye. The improvement in vision was stable throughout...... the 6 weeks after operation. VBM revealed a regional expansion of grey matter volume in area V2 contralateral to the operated eye during the 6-week period after surgery. Individual increases in grey matter were predicted by the symmetry in visual acuity between the operated eye and nonoperated eye....... The more symmetrical visual acuity became after unilateral cataract surgery, the more pronounced was the grey matter increase in visual cortex. Conclusion:  The data suggest that cataract surgery triggered a use-dependent structural plasticity in V2 presumably through improved binocular integration...

  15. Modulation of visual responses in the superior temporal sulcus by audio-visual congruency

    OpenAIRE

    Christoph Dahl; Nikos K Logothetis; Christoph Kayser

    2010-01-01

    Our ability to identify or recognize visual objects is often enhanced by evidence provided by other sensory modalities. Yet, where and how visual object processing benefits from the information received by the other senses remains unclear. One candidate region is the temporal lobe, which features neural representations of visual objects, and in which previous studies have provided evidence for multisensory influences on neural responses. In the present study we directly tested whether visual ...

  16. Modulation of Visual Responses in the Superior Temporal Sulcus by Audio-Visual Congruency

    OpenAIRE

    Dahl, Christoph D.; Nikos K Logothetis; Kayser, Christoph

    2010-01-01

    Our ability to identify or recognize visual objects is often enhanced by evidence provided by other sensory modalities. Yet, where and how visual object processing benefits from the information received by the other senses remains unclear. One candidate region is the temporal lobe, which features neural representations of visual objects, and in which previous studies have provided evidence for multisensory influences on neural responses. In the present study we directly tested whether visual ...

  17. Altered cross-modal processing in the primary auditory cortex of congenitally deaf adults: a visual-somatosensory fMRI study with a double-flash illusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karns, Christina M; Dow, Mark W; Neville, Helen J

    2012-07-11

    The developing brain responds to the environment by using statistical correlations in input to guide functional and structural changes-that is, the brain displays neuroplasticity. Experience shapes brain development throughout life, but neuroplasticity is variable from one brain system to another. How does the early loss of a sensory modality affect this complex process? We examined cross-modal neuroplasticity in anatomically defined subregions of Heschl's gyrus, the site of human primary auditory cortex, in congenitally deaf humans by measuring the fMRI signal change in response to spatially coregistered visual, somatosensory, and bimodal stimuli. In the deaf Heschl's gyrus, signal change was greater for somatosensory and bimodal stimuli than that of hearing participants. Visual responses in Heschl's gyrus, larger in deaf than hearing, were smaller than those elicited by somatosensory stimulation. In contrast to Heschl's gyrus, in the superior-temporal cortex visual signal was comparable to somatosensory signal. In addition, deaf adults perceived bimodal stimuli differently; in contrast to hearing adults, they were susceptible to a double-flash visual illusion induced by two touches to the face. Somatosensory and bimodal signal change in rostrolateral Heschl's gyrus predicted the strength of the visual illusion in the deaf adults in line with the interpretation that the illusion is a functional consequence of the altered cross-modal organization observed in deaf auditory cortex. Our results demonstrate that congenital and profound deafness alters how vision and somatosensation are processed in primary auditory cortex.

  18. Age-related gene expression change of GABAergic system in visual cortex of rhesus macaque.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Chenghong; Han, Qian; Ma, Yuanye; Su, Bing

    2016-09-30

    Degradation of visual function is a common phenomenon during aging and likely mediated by change in the impaired central visual pathway. Treatment with GABA or its agonist could recover the ability of visual neurons in the primary visual cortex of senescent macaques. However, little is known about how GABAergic system change is related to the aged degradation of visual function in nonhuman primate. With the use of quantitative PCR method, we measured the expression change of 24 GABA related genes in the primary visual cortex (Brodmann's 17) of different age groups. In this study, both of mRNA and protein of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65) were measured by real-time RT-PCR and Western blot, respectively. Results revealed that the level of GAD65 message was not significantly altered, but the proteins were significantly decreased in the aged monkey. As GAD65 plays an important role in GABA synthesis, the down-regulation of GAD65 protein was likely the key factor leading to the observed GABA reduction in the primary visual cortex of the aged macaques. In addition, 7 of 14 GABA receptor genes were up-regulated and one GABA receptor gene was significantly reduced during aging process even after Banjamini correction for multiple comparisons (Pvisual dysfunctions and most of GABA receptor genes induce a clear indication of compensatory effect for the reduced GABA release in the healthy aged monkey cortex.

  19. Dynamics of contour, object and face processing in the human visual cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Tanskanen, Topi

    2008-01-01

    The neural basis of visual perception can be understood only when the sequence of cortical activity underlying successful recognition is known. The early steps in this processing chain, from retina to the primary visual cortex, are highly local, and the perception of more complex shapes requires integration of the local information. In Study I of this thesis, the progression from local to global visual analysis was assessed by recording cortical magnetoencephalographic (MEG) responses to arra...

  20. Superior Temporal Activation in Response to Dynamic Audio-Visual Emotional Cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robins, Diana L.; Hunyadi, Elinora; Schultz, Robert T.

    2009-01-01

    Perception of emotion is critical for successful social interaction, yet the neural mechanisms underlying the perception of dynamic, audio-visual emotional cues are poorly understood. Evidence from language and sensory paradigms suggests that the superior temporal sulcus and gyrus (STS/STG) play a key role in the integration of auditory and visual…

  1. Visual experience regulates Kv3.1b and Kv3.2 expression in developing rat visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabert, J; Wahle, P

    2009-01-23

    Among the GABAergic neocortical interneurons, parvalbumin-containing fast-spiking (FS) basket cells are essential mediators of feed-forward inhibition, network synchrony and oscillations, and timing of the critical period for sensory plasticity. The FS phenotype matures after birth. It depends on the expression of the voltage-gated potassium channels Kv3.1b/3.2 which mediate the fast membrane repolarization necessary for firing fast action potentials at high frequencies. We have now tested in rat visual cortex if visual deprivation affects the Kv3 expression. During normal development, Kv3.1b/3.2 mRNA and protein expression increased in rat visual cortex reaching adult levels around P20. Dark rearing from birth neither prevented nor delayed the upregulation. Rather unexpectedly, the expression of Kv3.1b protein and Kv3.2 mRNA and protein increased to higher levels from the third postnatal week onwards. Triple-labeling revealed that in dark-reared visual cortex Kv3.2 was upregulated in parvalbuminergic interneurons in supragranular layers which in normal animals rarely display Kv3.2 expression. Recovery from dark rearing normalized Kv3.2 expression. This showed that visual experience influences the Kv3 expression. The results suggest that an altered expression of Kv3 channels affects the functional properties of FS neurons, and may contribute to the deficits in inhibition observed in the sensory-deprived cortex.

  2. Sparse representation of global features of visual images in human primary visual cortex: Evidence from fMRI

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO SongNian; YAO Li; JIN Zhen; XIONG XiaoYun; WU Xia; ZOU Qi; YAO GuoZheng; CAI XiaoHong; LIU YiJun

    2008-01-01

    In fMRI experiments on object representation in visual cortex, we designed two types of stimuli: one is the gray face image and its line drawing, and the other is the illusion and its corresponding completed illusion. Both of them have the same global features with different minute details so that the results of fMRI experiments can be compared with each other. The first kind of visual stimuli was used in a block design fMRI experiment, and the second was used in an event-related fMRI experiment. Comparing and analyzing interesting visual cortex activity patterns and blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD)-fMRI signal, we obtained results to show some invariance of global features of visual images. A plau-sible explanation about the invariant mechanism is related with the cooperation of synchronized re-sponse to the global features of the visual image with a feedback of shape perception from higher cortex to cortex V1, namely the integration of global features and embodiment of sparse representation and distributed population code.

  3. Competition for attentional resources between low spatial frequency content of emotional images and a foreground task in early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Matthias M; Gundlach, Christopher

    2017-03-01

    Low spatial frequency (LSF) image content has been proposed to play a superior functional role in emotional content extraction via the magnocellular pathway biasing attentional resources toward emotional content in visual cortex. We investigated whether emotionally unpleasant complex images that were presented either unfiltered or with LSF content only in the background while subjects performed a foreground task will withdraw more attentional resources from the task compared to unemotional, neutral images (distraction paradigm). We measured steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) driven by flickering stimuli of a foreground task. Unfiltered unpleasant images resulted in a significant reduction of SSVEP amplitude compared to neutral images. No statistically significant differences were found with LSF background images. In a behavioral control experiment, we found no significant differences for complexity ratings between unfiltered and LSF pictures. Content identification was possible for unfiltered and LSF picture (correct responses > 74%). An additional EEG study examined typical emotion-related components for complex images presented either as unfiltered, LSF, or high spatial frequency (HSF, as an additional control) filtered, unpleasant, and neutral images. We found a significant main effect of emotional valence in the early posterior negativity. Late positive potential differences were only found for unfiltered and HSF images. Results suggest that, while LSF content is sufficient to allow for content and emotional cue extraction when images were presented alone, LSF content is not salient enough to serve as emotional distractor that withdraws attentional resources from a foreground task in early visual cortex. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  4. Altered glial gene expression, density, and architecture in the visual cortex upon retinal degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornett, Ashley; Sucic, Joseph F; Hillsburg, Dylan; Cyr, Lindsay; Johnson, Catherine; Polanco, Anthony; Figuereo, Joe; Cabine, Kenneth; Russo, Nickole; Sturtevant, Ann; Jarvinen, Michael K

    2011-11-08

    Genes encoding the proteins of cytoskeletal intermediate filaments (IF) are tightly regulated, and they are important for establishing neural connections. However, it remains uncertain to what extent neurological disease alters IF gene expression or impacts cells that express IFs. In this study, we determined the onset of visual deficits in a mouse model of progressive retinal degeneration (Pde6b(-) mice; Pde6b(+) mice have normal vision) by observing murine responses to a visual task throughout development, from postnatal day (PND) 21 to adult (N=174 reliable observations). Using Q-PCR, we evaluated whether expression of the genes encoding two Type III IF proteins, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin was altered in the visual cortex before, during, and after the onset of visual deficits. Using immunohistochemical techniques, we investigated the impact of vision loss on the density and morphology of astrocytes that expressed GFAP and vimentin in the visual cortex. We found that Pde6b(-) mice displayed 1) evidence of blindness at PND 49, with visual deficits detected at PND 35, 2) reduced GFAP mRNA expression in the visual cortex between PND 28 and PND 49, and 3) an increased ratio of vimentin:GFAP-labeled astrocytes at PND 49 with reduced GFAP cell body area. Together, these findings demonstrate that retinal degeneration modifies cellular and molecular indices of glial plasticity in a visual system with drastically reduced visual input. The functional consequences of these structural changes remain uncertain.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  7. GABA(A) receptors in visual and auditory cortex and neural activity changes during basic visual stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2012-01-01

    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.

  8. Distinct representation and distribution of visual information by specific cell types in mouse superficial superior colliculus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gale, Samuel D; Murphy, Gabe J

    2014-10-01

    The superficial superior colliculus (sSC) occupies a critical node in the mammalian visual system; it is one of two major retinorecipient areas, receives visual cortical input, and innervates visual thalamocortical circuits. Nonetheless, the contribution of sSC neurons to downstream neural activity and visually guided behavior is unknown and frequently neglected. Here we identified the visual stimuli to which specific classes of sSC neurons respond, the downstream regions they target, and transgenic mice enabling class-specific manipulations. One class responds to small, slowly moving stimuli and projects exclusively to lateral posterior thalamus; another, comprising GABAergic neurons, responds to the sudden appearance or rapid movement of large stimuli and projects to multiple areas, including the lateral geniculate nucleus. A third class exhibits direction-selective responses and targets deeper SC layers. Together, our results show how specific sSC neurons represent and distribute diverse information and enable direct tests of their functional role.

  9. The Effects of Context and Attention on Spiking Activity in Human Early Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27015604

  10. Early visual cortex as a multiscale cognitive blackboard.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelfsema, P.R.; De Lange, Floris

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Loss of Arc renders the visual cortex impervious to the effects of sensory experience or deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCurry, Cortina L; Shepherd, Jason D; Tropea, Daniela; Wang, Kuan H; Bear, Mark F; Sur, Mriganka

    2010-04-01

    A myriad of mechanisms have been suggested to account for the full richness of visual cortical plasticity. We found that visual cortex lacking Arc is impervious to the effects of deprivation or experience. Using intrinsic signal imaging and chronic visually evoked potential recordings, we found that Arc(-/-) mice did not exhibit depression of deprived-eye responses or a shift in ocular dominance after brief monocular deprivation. Extended deprivation also failed to elicit a shift in ocular dominance or open-eye potentiation. Moreover, Arc(-/-) mice lacked stimulus-selective response potentiation. Although Arc(-/-) mice exhibited normal visual acuity, baseline ocular dominance was abnormal and resembled that observed after dark-rearing. These data suggest that Arc is required for the experience-dependent processes that normally establish and modify synaptic connections in visual cortex.

  13. Topology of ON and OFF inputs in visual cortex enables an invariant columnar architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kuo-Sheng; Huang, Xiaoying; Fitzpatrick, David

    2016-05-05

    Circuits in the visual cortex integrate the information derived from separate ON (light-responsive) and OFF (dark-responsive) pathways to construct orderly columnar representations of stimulus orientation and visual space. How this transformation is achieved to meet the specific topographic constraints of each representation remains unclear. Here we report several novel features of ON-OFF convergence visualized by mapping the receptive fields of layer 2/3 neurons in the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri) visual cortex using two-photon imaging of GCaMP6 calcium signals. We show that the spatially separate ON and OFF subfields of simple cells in layer 2/3 exhibit topologically distinct relationships with the maps of visual space and orientation preference. The centres of OFF subfields for neurons in a given region of cortex are confined to a compact region of visual space and display a smooth visuotopic progression. By contrast, the centres of the ON subfields are distributed over a wider region of visual space, display substantial visuotopic scatter, and have an orientation-specific displacement consistent with orientation preference map structure. As a result, cortical columns exhibit an invariant aggregate receptive field structure: an OFF-dominated central region flanked by ON-dominated subfields. This distinct arrangement of ON and OFF inputs enables continuity in the mapping of both orientation and visual space and the generation of a columnar map of absolute spatial phase.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-29

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

  15. Planning Movements in Visual and Physical Space in Monkey Posterior Parietal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuang, Shenbing; Morel, Pierre; Gail, Alexander

    2016-02-01

    Neurons in the posterior parietal cortex respond selectively for spatial parameters of planned goal-directed movements. Yet, it is still unclear which aspects of the movement the neurons encode: the spatial parameters of the upcoming physical movement (physical goal), or the upcoming visual limb movement (visual goal). To test this, we recorded neuronal activity from the parietal reach region while monkeys planned reaches under either normal or prism-reversed viewing conditions. We found predominant encoding of physical goals while fewer neurons were selective for visual goals during planning. In contrast, local field potentials recorded in the same brain region exhibited predominant visual goal encoding, similar to previous imaging data from humans. The visual goal encoding in individual neurons was neither related to immediate visual input nor to visual memory, but to the future visual movement. Our finding suggests that action planning in parietal cortex is not exclusively a precursor of impending physical movements, as reflected by the predominant physical goal encoding, but also contains spatial kinematic parameters of upcoming visual movement, as reflected by co-existing visual goal encoding in neuronal spiking. The co-existence of visual and physical goals adds a complementary perspective to the current understanding of parietal spatial computations in primates.

  16. Cortico-fugal output from visual cortex promotes plasticity of innate motor behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bao-Hua; Huberman, Andrew D; Scanziani, Massimo

    2016-10-20

    The mammalian visual cortex massively innervates the brainstem, a phylogenetically older structure, via cortico-fugal axonal projections. Many cortico-fugal projections target brainstem nuclei that mediate innate motor behaviours, but the function of these projections remains poorly understood. A prime example of such behaviours is the optokinetic reflex (OKR), an innate eye movement mediated by the brainstem accessory optic system, that stabilizes images on the retina as the animal moves through the environment and is thus crucial for vision. The OKR is plastic, allowing the amplitude of this reflex to be adaptively adjusted relative to other oculomotor reflexes and thereby ensuring image stability throughout life. Although the plasticity of the OKR is thought to involve subcortical structures such as the cerebellum and vestibular nuclei, cortical lesions have suggested that the visual cortex might also be involved. Here we show that projections from the mouse visual cortex to the accessory optic system promote the adaptive plasticity of the OKR. OKR potentiation, a compensatory plastic increase in the amplitude of the OKR in response to vestibular impairment, is diminished by silencing visual cortex. Furthermore, targeted ablation of a sparse population of cortico-fugal neurons that specifically project to the accessory optic system severely impairs OKR potentiation. Finally, OKR potentiation results from an enhanced drive exerted by the visual cortex onto the accessory optic system. Thus, cortico-fugal projections to the brainstem enable the visual cortex, an area that has been principally studied for its sensory processing function, to plastically adapt the execution of innate motor behaviours.

  17. Experience-driven axon retraction in the pharmacologically inactivated visual cortex does not require synaptic transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kana Watanabe

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Experience during early postnatal development plays an important role in the refinement of specific neural connections in the brain. In the mammalian visual system, altered visual experiences induce plastic adaptation of visual cortical responses and guide rearrangements of afferent axons from the lateral geniculate nucleus. Previous studies using visual deprivation demonstrated that the afferents serving an open eye significantly retract when cortical neurons are pharmacologically inhibited by applying a gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor agonist, muscimol, whereas those serving a deprived eye are rescued from retraction, suggesting that presynaptic activity can lead to the retraction of geniculocortical axons in the absence of postsynaptic activity. Because muscimol application suppresses the spike activity of cortical neurons leaving transmitter release intact at geniculocortical synapses, local synaptic interaction may underlie the retraction of active axons in the inhibited cortex. METHOD AND FINDINGS: New studies reported here determined whether experience-driven axon retraction can occur in the visual cortex inactivated by blocking synaptic inputs. We inactivated the primary visual cortex of kittens by suppressing synaptic transmission with cortical injections of botulinum neurotoxin type E, which cleaves a synaptic protein, SNAP-25, and blocks transmitter release, and examined the geniculocortical axon morphology in the animals with normal vision and those deprived of vision binocularly. We found that afferent axons in the animals with normal vision showed a significant retraction in the inactivated cortex, as similarly observed in the muscimol-treated cortex, whereas the axons in the binocularly deprived animals were preserved. CONCLUSIONS: Therefore, the experience-driven axon retraction in the inactivated cortex can proceed in the absence of synaptic transmission. These results suggest that presynaptic mechanisms play

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

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

  19. Age-Related Changes in Perirhinal Cortex Sensitivity to Configuration and Part Familiarity and Connectivity to Visual Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Cacciamani

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The perirhinal cortex (PRC is a medial temporal lobe (MTL structure known to be involved in assessing whether an object is familiar (i.e., meaningful or novel. Recent evidence shows that the PRC is sensitive to the familiarity of both whole object configurations and their parts, and suggests the PRC may modulate part familiarity responses in V2. Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, we investigated age-related decline in the PRC’s sensitivity to part/configuration familiarity and assessed its functional connectivity to visual cortex in young and older adults. Participants categorized peripherally presented silhouettes as familiar (“real-world” or novel. Part/configuration familiarity was manipulated via three silhouette configurations: Familiar (parts/configurations familiar, Control Novel (parts/configurations novel, and Part-Rearranged Novel (parts familiar, configurations novel. “Real-world” judgments were less accurate than “novel” judgments, although accuracy did not differ between age groups. The fMRI data revealed differential neural activity, however: In young adults, a linear pattern of activation was observed in left hemisphere (LH PRC, with Familiar > Control Novel > Part-Rearranged Novel. Older adults did not show this pattern, indicating age-related decline in the PRC’s sensitivity to part/configuration familiarity. A functional connectivity analysis revealed a significant coupling between the PRC and V2 in the LH in young adults only. Older adults showed a linear pattern of activation in the temporopolar cortex (TPC, but no evidence of TPC-V2 connectivity. This is the first study to demonstrate age-related decline in the PRC’s representations of part/configuration familiarity and its covariance with visual cortex.

  20. How the visual cortex handles stimulus noise: insights from amblyopia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bankó, Éva M; Körtvélyes, Judit; Weiss, Béla; Vidnyánszky, Zoltán

    2013-01-01

    .... However, visual cortical processes directly involved in handling the stimulus noise have yet to be identified and dissociated from the modulation of the neural responses due to the deteriorated...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  2. What does neural plasticity tell us about role of primary visual cortex (V1 in visual awareness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juha eSilvanto

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The complete loss of visual awareness resulting from a lesion to the primary visual cortex (V1 suggests that this region is indispensable for conscious visual perception. There are however a number cases of conscious perception in the absence of V1 which appear to challenge this conclusion. These include reports of patients with bilateral V1 lesions sustained at an early age whose conscious vision has spontaneously recovered, as well as stroke patients who have recovered some conscious vision with the help of rehabilitation programs. In addition, the phenomenon of hemianopic completion and percepts induced by brain stimulation suggest that V1 may not be necessary for conscious perception in all circumstances. Furthermore, that the visual abilities in the cat are associated with the recovery of normal extrastriate tuning properties rather than emulation of V1 functions suggests that there is nothing unique about the functional properties of this region in visual awareness. Rather, the dramatic effect of a V1 lesion on visual awareness may be due to its role in providing the majority of extrastriate visual input, the loss of which abolishes normal neural responsiveness throughout the visual cortex.

  3. Aberrant parietal cortex developmental trajectories in girls with Turner syndrome and related visual-spatial cognitive development: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Tamar; Chromik, Lindsay C; Mazaika, Paul K; Fierro, Kyle; Raman, Mira M; Lazzeroni, Laura C; Hong, David S; Reiss, Allan L

    2014-09-01

    Turner syndrome (TS) arises from partial or complete absence of the X-chromosome in females. Girls with TS show deficits in visual-spatial skills as well as reduced brain volume and surface area in the parietal cortex which supports these cognitive functions. Thus, measuring the developmental trajectory of the parietal cortex and the associated visual-spatial cognition in TS may provide novel insights into critical brain-behavior associations. In this longitudinal study, we acquired structural MRI data and assessed visual-spatial skills in 16 (age: 8.23 ± 2.5) girls with TS and 13 age-matched controls over two time-points. Gray and white matter volume, surface area and cortical thickness were calculated from surfaced based segmentation of bilateral parietal cortices, and the NEPSY Arrows subtest was used to assess visual-spatial ability. Volumetric and cognitive scalars were modeled to obtain estimates of age-related change. The results show aberrant growth of white matter volume (P = 0.011, corrected) and surface area (P = 0.036, corrected) of the left superior parietal regions during childhood in girls with TS. Other parietal sub-regions were significantly smaller in girls with TS at both time-points but did not show different growth trajectories relative to controls. Furthermore, we found that visual-spatial skills showed a widening deficit for girls with TS relative to controls (P = 0.003). Young girls with TS demonstrate an aberrant trajectory of parietal cortical and cognitive development during childhood. Elucidating aberrant neurodevelopmental trajectories in this population is critical for determining specific stages of brain maturation that are particularly dependent on TS-related genetic and hormonal factors. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lamsweerde, Amanda E; Johnson, Jeffrey S

    2017-07-01

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

  5. Contributions of pitch and bandwidth to sound-induced enhancement of visual cortex excitability in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spierer, Lucas; Manuel, Aurelie L; Bueti, Domenica; Murray, Micah M

    2013-01-01

    Multisensory interactions have been documented within low-level, even primary, cortices and at early post-stimulus latencies. These effects are in turn linked to behavioral and perceptual modulations. In humans, visual cortex excitability, as measured by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) induced phosphenes, can be reliably enhanced by the co-presentation of sounds. This enhancement occurs at pre-perceptual stages and is selective for different types of complex sounds. However, the source(s) of auditory inputs effectuating these excitability changes in primary visual cortex remain disputed. The present study sought to determine if direct connections between low-level auditory cortices and primary visual cortex are mediating these kinds of effects by varying the pitch and bandwidth of the sounds co-presented with single-pulse TMS over the occipital pole. Our results from 10 healthy young adults indicate that both the central frequency and bandwidth of a sound independently affect the excitability of visual cortex during processing stages as early as 30 msec post-sound onset. Such findings are consistent with direct connections mediating early-latency, low-level multisensory interactions within visual cortices.

  6. Postnatal development of NADPH-diaphorase expression in the visual cortex of the golden hamster

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ying Xu; Yuemei Xiao; Yuncheng Diao; Kwok-Fai So

    2011-01-01

    Nitric oxide is an important neuromodulator in the brain and is involved in the development of visual system. But it is not clear how nitric oxide and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) are involved in the developing visual cortex of rodents. Thus we examined the expression of NOS activity in the postnatal developing visual cortex of the golden hamster by using histochemical technique for NADPH-diaphorase (NADPH-d). A heavily stained NADPH-d band was observed in the neuropil of the visual cortex. This NADPH-d band initially appeared in the cortical plate from the day of birth (P0) to postnatal day 4 (P4). From P7 to P21, this band was confined to area 17 and migrated to the deeper layers III-IV and V-VI before it eventually disappeared at P28. Such developmental trends of the band correlated well with the process of formation and establishment of the geniculo-cortical projection patterns. Thus, the areal specific development of the band suggests that NOS is closely related to the cortical differentiation and synaptic formation of the primary visual cortex. On the other hand, monocular eye enucleation on P1 could not alter the appearance of this NADPH-d positive band, indicating a non-activity dependant role of NOS. In addition, differences in the laminar distributions and developmental sequence between the heavily and lightly stained NADPH-d positive neurons during development suggest that they play different roles in the development.

  7. Phosphene Perception Relates to Visual Cortex Glutamate Levels and Covaries with Atypical Visuospatial Awareness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terhune, Devin B.; Murray, Elizabeth; Near, Jamie; Stagg, Charlotte J.; Cowey, Alan; Cohen Kadosh, Roi

    2015-01-01

    Phosphenes are illusory visual percepts produced by the application of transcranial magnetic stimulation to occipital cortex. Phosphene thresholds, the minimum stimulation intensity required to reliably produce phosphenes, are widely used as an index of cortical excitability. However, the neural basis of phosphene thresholds and their relationship to individual differences in visual cognition are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the neurochemical basis of phosphene perception by measuring basal GABA and glutamate levels in primary visual cortex using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. We further examined whether phosphene thresholds would relate to the visuospatial phenomenology of grapheme-color synesthesia, a condition characterized by atypical binding and involuntary color photisms. Phosphene thresholds negatively correlated with glutamate concentrations in visual cortex, with lower thresholds associated with elevated glutamate. This relationship was robust, present in both controls and synesthetes, and exhibited neurochemical, topographic, and threshold specificity. Projector synesthetes, who experience color photisms as spatially colocalized with inducing graphemes, displayed lower phosphene thresholds than associator synesthetes, who experience photisms as internal images, with both exhibiting lower thresholds than controls. These results suggest that phosphene perception is driven by interindividual variation in glutamatergic activity in primary visual cortex and relates to cortical processes underlying individual differences in visuospatial awareness. PMID:25725043

  8. Phosphene Perception Relates to Visual Cortex Glutamate Levels and Covaries with Atypical Visuospatial Awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terhune, Devin B; Murray, Elizabeth; Near, Jamie; Stagg, Charlotte J; Cowey, Alan; Cohen Kadosh, Roi

    2015-11-01

    Phosphenes are illusory visual percepts produced by the application of transcranial magnetic stimulation to occipital cortex. Phosphene thresholds, the minimum stimulation intensity required to reliably produce phosphenes, are widely used as an index of cortical excitability. However, the neural basis of phosphene thresholds and their relationship to individual differences in visual cognition are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the neurochemical basis of phosphene perception by measuring basal GABA and glutamate levels in primary visual cortex using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. We further examined whether phosphene thresholds would relate to the visuospatial phenomenology of grapheme-color synesthesia, a condition characterized by atypical binding and involuntary color photisms. Phosphene thresholds negatively correlated with glutamate concentrations in visual cortex, with lower thresholds associated with elevated glutamate. This relationship was robust, present in both controls and synesthetes, and exhibited neurochemical, topographic, and threshold specificity. Projector synesthetes, who experience color photisms as spatially colocalized with inducing graphemes, displayed lower phosphene thresholds than associator synesthetes, who experience photisms as internal images, with both exhibiting lower thresholds than controls. These results suggest that phosphene perception is driven by interindividual variation in glutamatergic activity in primary visual cortex and relates to cortical processes underlying individual differences in visuospatial awareness.

  9. Vestibular activation differentially modulates human early visual cortex and V5/MT excitability and response entropy.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-29

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

  11. Altered neuronal architecture and plasticity in the visual cortex of adult MMP-3-deficient mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aerts, Jeroen; Nys, Julie; Moons, Lieve; Hu, Tjing-Tjing; Arckens, Lutgarde

    2015-09-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are Zn(2+)-dependent endopeptidases considered to be essential for normal brain development and neuroplasticity by modulating extracellular matrix proteins, receptors, adhesion molecules, growth factors and cytoskeletal proteins. Specifically, MMP-3 has recently been implicated in synaptic plasticity, hippocampus-dependent learning and neuronal development and migration in the cerebellum. However, the function(s) of this enzyme in the neocortex is understudied. Therefore, we explored the phenotypical characteristics of the neuronal architecture and the capacity for experience-dependent cortical plasticity in the visual cortex of adult MMP-3-deficient (MMP-3(-/-)) mice. Golgi-Cox stainings revealed a significant reduction in apical dendritic length and an increased number of apical obliques for layer V pyramidal neurons in the visual cortex of adult MMP-3(-/-) mice compared to wild-type (WT) animals. In addition, a significant upregulation of both phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated neurofilament protein (NF)-high, phosphorylated NF-medium, NF-low and α-internexin was detected in the visual cortex of MMP-3(-/-) mice. To assess the effect of MMP-3 deficiency on cortical plasticity, we monocularly enucleated adult MMP-3(-/-) mice and analyzed the reactivation of the contralateral visual cortex 7 weeks post-enucleation. In contrast to previous results in C57Bl/6J adult mice, activity remained confined to the binocular zone and did not expand into the monocular regions indicative for an aberrant open-eye potentiation. Permanent hypoactivity in the monocular cortex lateral and medial to V1 also indicated a lack of cross-modal plasticity. These observations demonstrate that genetic inactivation of MMP-3 has profound effects on the structural integrity and plasticity response of the visual cortex of adult mice.

  12. The disorganized visual cortex in reelin-deficient mice is functional and allows for enhanced plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Wagener, Robin Jan; Martens, Ann-Kristin; Goetze, Bianka; Schmidt, Karl-Friedrich; Staiger, Jochen F; Löwel, Siegrid

    2015-11-01

    A hallmark of neocortical circuits is the segregation of processing streams into six distinct layers. The importance of this layered organization for cortical processing and plasticity is little understood. We investigated the structure, function and plasticity of primary visual cortex (V1) of adult mice deficient for the glycoprotein reelin and their wild-type littermates. In V1 of rl-/- mice, cells with different laminar fates are present at all cortical depths. Surprisingly, the (vertically) disorganized cortex maintains a precise retinotopic (horizontal) organization. Rl-/- mice have normal basic visual capabilities, but are compromised in more challenging perceptual tasks, such as orientation discrimination. Additionally, rl-/- animals learn and memorize a visual task as well as their wild-type littermates. Interestingly, reelin deficiency enhances visual cortical plasticity: juvenile-like ocular dominance plasticity is preserved into late adulthood. The present data offer an important insight into the capabilities of a disorganized cortical system to maintain basic functional properties.

  13. Preparatory activity in visual cortex indexes distractor suppression during covert spatial orienting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serences, John T; Yantis, Steven; Culberson, Andrew; Awh, Edward

    2004-12-01

    The deployment of spatial attention induces retinotopically specific increases in neural activity that occur even before a target stimulus is presented. Although this preparatory activity is thought to prime the attended regions, thereby improving perception and recognition, it is not yet clear whether this activity is a manifestation of signal enhancement at the attended locations or suppression of interference from distracting stimuli (or both). We investigated the functional role of these preparatory shifts by isolating a distractor suppression component of selection. Behavioral data have shown that manipulating the probability that visual distractors will appear modulates distractor suppression without concurrent changes in signal enhancement. In 2 experiments, functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed increased cue-evoked activity in retinotopically specific regions of visual cortex when increased distractor suppression was elicited by a high probability of distractors. This finding directly links cue-evoked preparatory activity in visual cortex with a distractor suppression component of visual selective attention.

  14. Ignition's glow: Ultra-fast spread of global cortical activity accompanying local "ignitions" in visual cortex during conscious visual perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noy, N; Bickel, S; Zion-Golumbic, E; Harel, M; Golan, T; Davidesco, I; Schevon, C A; McKhann, G M; Goodman, R R; Schroeder, C E; Mehta, A D; Malach, R

    2015-09-01

    Despite extensive research, the spatiotemporal span of neuronal activations associated with the emergence of a conscious percept is still debated. The debate can be formulated in the context of local vs. global models, emphasizing local activity in visual cortex vs. a global fronto-parietal "workspace" as the key mechanisms of conscious visual perception. These alternative models lead to differential predictions with regard to the precise magnitude, timing and anatomical spread of neuronal activity during conscious perception. Here we aimed to test a specific aspect of these predictions in which local and global models appear to differ - namely the extent to which fronto-parietal regions modulate their activity during task performance under similar perceptual states. So far the main experimental results relevant to this debate have been obtained from non-invasive methods and led to conflicting interpretations. Here we examined these alternative predictions through large-scale intracranial measurements (Electrocorticogram - ECoG) in 43 patients and 4445 recording sites. Both ERP and broadband high frequency (50-150 Hz - BHF) responses were examined through the entire cortex during a simple 1-back visual recognition memory task. Our results reveal short latency intense visual responses, localized first in early visual cortex followed (at ∼200 ms) by higher order visual areas, but failed to show significant delayed (300 ms) visual activations. By contrast, oddball image repeat events, linked to overt motor responses, were associated with a significant increase in a delayed (300 ms) peak of BHF power in fronto-parietal cortex. Comparing BHF responses with ERP revealed an additional peak in the ERP response - having a similar latency to the well-studied P3 scalp EEG response. Posterior and temporal regions demonstrated robust visual category selectivity. An unexpected observation was that high-order visual cortex responses were essentially concurrent (at ∼200 ms

  15. Fine-grained temporal coding of visually-similar categories in the ventral visual pathway and prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang eXu

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Humans are remarkably proficient at categorizing visually-similar objects. To better understand the cortical basis of this categorization process, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG to record neural activity while participants learned--with feedback--to discriminate two highly-similar, novel visual categories. We hypothesized that although prefrontal regions would mediate early category learning, this role would diminish with increasing category familiarity and that regions within the ventral visual pathway would come to play a more prominent role in encoding category-relevant information as learning progressed. Early in learning we observed some degree of categorical discriminability and predictability in both the prefrontal cortex and the ventral visual pathway. Predictability improved significantly above chance in the ventral visual pathway over the course of learning with the left inferiortemporal and fusiform gyri showing the greatest improvement in predictability between 150-250msec (M200 during category learning. In contrast, there was no comparable increase in discriminability in prefrontal cortex with the only significant post-learning effect being a decrease in predictability in inferior frontal gyrus between 250-350msec (M300. Thus, the ventral visual pathway appears to encode learned visual categories over the long term. At the same time these results add to our understanding of the cortical origins of previously-reported signature temporal components associated with perceptual learning.

  16. Thalamus provides layer 4 of primary visual cortex with orientation- and direction-tuned inputs

    OpenAIRE

    Sun, Wenzhi; Tan, Zhongchao; Brett D Mensh; Ji, Na

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the functions of a brain region requires knowing the neural representations of its myriad inputs, local neurons, and outputs. Primary visual cortex (V1) has long been thought to compute visual orientation from untuned thalamic inputs, but very few thalamic inputs have been measured in any mammal. We determined the response properties of ~28,000 thalamic boutons and ~4,000 cortical neurons in layers 1–5 of awake mouse V1. With adaptive optics allowing accurate measurement of bout...

  17. Presumed "prefrontal cortex" lesions in pigeons : effects on visual discrimination performance

    OpenAIRE

    Aldavert-Vera, Laura; Costa-Miserachs, David; Divac, Ivan; Delius, Juan

    1999-01-01

    The posterodorsolateral neostriatum (PDLNS) in pigeons may be an equivalent of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in mammals. Here we report that lesions of this brain region in pigeons have a detrimental effect on various learned visual discriminations. Pigeons with lesions of the overlying area corticoidea dorsolateralis (CDL) served as controls. Both the postoperative re-learning to criterion of a preoperatively learned simultaneous double visual mirror pattern discrimination and the learning of ...

  18. Resolving the organization of the third tier visual cortex in primates: A hypothesis-based approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    ANGELUCCI, ALESSANDRA; ROSA, MARCELLO G.P.

    2017-01-01

    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

  19. Synaptotagmin-2 is a reliable marker for parvalbumin positive inhibitory boutons in the mouse visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Pierre Sommeijer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Inhibitory innervation by parvalbumin (PV expressing interneurons has been implicated in the onset of the sensitive period of visual plasticity. Immunohistochemical analysis of the development and plasticity of these inhibitory inputs is difficult because PV expression is low in young animals and strongly influenced by neuronal activity. Moreover, the synaptic boutons that PV neurons form onto each other cannot be distinguished from the innervated cell bodies by immunostaining for this protein because it is present throughout the cells. These problems call for the availability of a synaptic, activity-independent marker for PV+ inhibitory boutons that is expressed before sensitive period onset. We investigated whether synaptotagmin-2 (Syt2 fulfills these properties in the visual cortex. Syt2 is a synaptic vesicle protein involved in fast Ca(2+ dependent neurotransmitter release. Its mRNA expression follows a pattern similar to that of PV throughout the brain and is present in 30-40% of hippocampal PV expressing basket cells. Up to now, no quantitative analyses of Syt2 expression in the visual cortex have been carried out. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used immunohistochemistry to analyze colocalization of Syt2 with multiple interneuron markers including vesicular GABA transporter VGAT, calbindin, calretinin, somatostatin and PV in the primary visual cortex of mice during development and after dark-rearing. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We show that in the adult visual cortex Syt2 is only found in inhibitory, VGAT positive boutons. Practically all Syt2 positive boutons also contain PV and vice versa. During development, Syt2 expression can be detected in synaptic boutons prior to PV and in contrast to PV expression, Syt2 is not down-regulated by dark-rearing. These properties of Syt2 make it an excellent marker for analyzing the development and plasticity of perisomatic inhibitory innervations onto both excitatory and inhibitory

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-29

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

  1. Organization of contour from motion processing in primate visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1994-01-01

    Investigated where contour from motion processing occurs by recording visual evoked potential (VEP) to a stimulus designed to signal the presence of relative motion-sensitive mechanisms. Two human Ss and 3 monkeys participated in the study and had VEP measured on the scalp and intracortically, respe

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David F Nichols

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Fernando Hernández-Zimbrón

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavornik, Jeffrey P.; Bear, Mark F.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Language Networks in Anophthalmia: Maintained Hierarchy of Processing in "Visual" Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Kate E.; Cowey, Alan; Alexander, Iona; Filippini, Nicola; Kennedy, James M.; Smith, Stephen M.; Ragge, Nicola; Bridge, Holly

    2012-01-01

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavornik, Jeffrey P.; Bear, Mark F.

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Inhibitory interneuron classes express complementary AMPA-receptor patterns in macaque primary visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooijmans, Roxana N; Self, Matthew W; Wouterlood, Floris G; Beliën, Jeroen A M; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2014-01-01

    Glutamate receptors mediate excitatory neurotransmission. A very prevalent type of glutamate receptor in the neocortex is the AMPA receptor (AMPAR). AMPARs mediate fast synaptic transmission and their functionality depends on the subunit composition. In primary visual cortex (area V1), the density a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Inah; Shin, Ji Yun

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Multivoxel fMRI analysis of color tuning in human primary visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Parkes, Laura M.; Marsman, Jan-Bernard C.; Oxley, David C.; Goulermas, John Y.; Wuerger, Sophie M.

    2009-01-01

    We use multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA) to study the spatial clustering of color-selective neurons in the human brain. Our main objective was to investigate whether MVPA reveals the spatial arrangements of color-selective neurons in human primary visual cortex (V1). We measured the distributed fMR

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. The neurophysiology of figure^ground segregation in primary visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamme, V.A.F.

    1995-01-01

    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 re

  14. Functional connectivity of visual cortex in the blind follows retinotopic organization principles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Striem-Amit, Ella; Ovadia-Caro, Smadar; Caramazza, Alfonso; Margulies, Daniel S; Villringer, Arno; Amedi, Amir

    2015-06-01

    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

  15. Temporal Processing Capacity in High-Level Visual Cortex Is Domain Specific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stigliani, Anthony; Weiner, Kevin S; Grill-Spector, Kalanit

    2015-09-09

    Prevailing hierarchical models propose that temporal processing capacity--the amount of information that a brain region processes in a unit time--decreases at higher stages in the ventral stream regardless of domain. However, it is unknown if temporal processing capacities are domain general or domain specific in human high-level visual cortex. Using a novel fMRI paradigm, we measured temporal capacities of functional regions in high-level visual cortex. Contrary to hierarchical models, our data reveal domain-specific processing capacities as follows: (1) regions processing information from different domains have differential temporal capacities within each stage of the visual hierarchy and (2) domain-specific regions display the same temporal capacity regardless of their position in the processing hierarchy. In general, character-selective regions have the lowest capacity, face- and place-selective regions have an intermediate capacity, and body-selective regions have the highest capacity. Notably, domain-specific temporal processing capacities are not apparent in V1 and have perceptual implications. Behavioral testing revealed that the encoding capacity of body images is higher than that of characters, faces, and places, and there is a correspondence between peak encoding rates and cortical capacities for characters and bodies. The present evidence supports a model in which the natural statistics of temporal information in the visual world may affect domain-specific temporal processing and encoding capacities. These findings suggest that the functional organization of high-level visual cortex may be constrained by temporal characteristics of stimuli in the natural world, and this temporal capacity is a characteristic of domain-specific networks in high-level visual cortex. Significance statement: Visual stimuli bombard us at different rates every day. For example, words and scenes are typically stationary and vary at slow rates. In contrast, bodies are dynamic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, Andreas; Bartels, Andreas

    2016-05-24

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

  17. Development from childhood to adulthood increases morphological and functional inter-individual variability in the right superior temporal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonte, Milene; Frost, Martin A; Rutten, Sanne; Ley, Anke; Formisano, Elia; Goebel, Rainer

    2013-12-01

    We study the developmental trajectory of morphology and function of the superior temporal cortex (STC) in children (8-9 years), adolescents (14-15 years) and young adults. We analyze cortical surface landmarks and functional MRI (fMRI) responses to voices, other natural categories and tones and examine how hemispheric asymmetry and inter-subject variability change across age. Our results show stable morphological asymmetries across age groups, including a larger left planum temporale and a deeper right superior temporal sulcus. fMRI analyses show that a rightward lateralization for voice-selective responses is present in all groups but decreases with age. Furthermore, STC responses to voices change from being less selective and more spatially diffuse in children to highly selective and focal in adults. Interestingly, the analysis of morphological landmarks reveals that inter-subject variability increases during development in the right--but not in the left--STC. Similarly, inter-subject variability of cortically-realigned functional responses to voices, other categories and tones increases with age in the right STC. Our findings reveal asymmetric developmental changes in brain regions crucial for auditory and voice perception. The age-related increase of inter-subject variability in right STC suggests that anatomy and function of this region are shaped by unique individual developmental experiences.

  18. Abnormal visual field maps in human cortex: a mini-review and a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haak, Koen V; Langers, Dave R M; Renken, Remco; van Dijk, Pim; Borgstein, Johannes; Cornelissen, Frans W

    2014-07-01

    Human visual cortex contains maps of the visual field. Much research has been dedicated to answering whether and when these visual field maps change if critical components of the visual circuitry are damaged. Here, we first provide a focused mini-review of the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies that have evaluated the human cortical visual field maps in the face of retinal lesions, brain injury, and atypical retinocortical projections. We find that there is a fair body of research that has found abnormal fMRI activity, but also that this abnormal activity does not necessarily stem from cortical remapping. The abnormal fMRI activity can often be explained in terms of task effects and/or the uncovering of normally hidden system dynamics. We then present the case of a 16-year-old patient who lost the entire left cerebral hemisphere at age three for treatment of chronic focal encephalitis (Rasmussen syndrome) and intractable epilepsy. Using an fMRI retinotopic mapping procedure and population receptive field (pRF) modeling, we found that (1) despite the long period since the hemispherectomy, the retinotopic organization of early visual cortex remained unaffected by the removal of an entire cerebral hemisphere, and (2) the intact lateral occipital cortex contained an exceptionally large representation of the center of the visual field. The same method also indicates that the neuronal receptive fields in these lateral occipital brain regions are extraordinarily small. These features are clearly abnormal, but again they do not necessarily stem from cortical remapping. For example, the abnormal features can also be explained by the notion that the hemispherectomy took place during a critical period in the development of the lateral occipital cortex and therefore arrested its normal development. Thus, caution should be exercised when interpreting abnormal fMRI activity as a marker of cortical remapping; there are often other explanations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimada, Koji; Takiguchi, Shinichiro; Mizushima, Sakae; Fujisawa, Takashi X; Saito, Daisuke N; Kosaka, Hirotaka; Okazawa, Hidehiko; Tomoda, Akemi

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koji Shimada

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Figure-ground interaction in the human visual cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Appelbaum, Lawrence G.; Wade, Alex R.; Pettet, Mark W.; Vildavski, Vladimir Y.; Anthony M Norcia

    2008-01-01

    Discontinuities in feature maps serve as important cues for the location of object boundaries. Here we used multi-input nonlinear analysis methods and EEG source imaging to assess the role of several different boundary cues in visual scene segmentation. Synthetic figure/ground displays portraying a circular figure region were defined solely by differences in the temporal frequency of the figure and background regions in the limiting case and by the addition of orientation or relative alignmen...

  2. Subregional structural and connectivity damage in the visual cortex in neuromyelitis optica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Huanhuan; Zhu, Jiajia; Zhang, Ningnannan; Wang, Qiuhui; Zhang, Chao; Yang, Chunsheng; Sun, Jie; Sun, Xianting; Yang, Li; Yu, Chunshui

    2017-01-01

    Patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) have shown structural and functional impairments in the visual cortex. We aimed to characterize subregional grey matter volume (GMV) and resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) changes in the visual cortex in NMO. Thirty-seven NMO patients and forty-two controls underwent structural and functional MRI scans. The GMV and rsFC of each visual subregion were compared between the groups. Compared with controls, NMO patients had GMV reductions in the bilateral V1, V2, V3d, VP, and LO and in the left V3A. In canonical visual pathways, the relatively low-level subregions showed more significant GMV reductions than did the high-level ones. Regardless of GMV correction, NMO patients showed reduced rsFC in the bilateral LO and V4v and in the left V2. The GMVs of the bilateral V1 and LO and of the left V2 and V3d were negatively correlated with clinical disability in NMO patients; these correlation coefficients were associated with hierarchical positions in the visual pathways. These findings suggest that in NMO, the low-level visual subregions have more severe structural damage; structural damage is not the only factor affecting rsFC alterations of visual subregions; GMV reduction in the low-level visual subregions has the highest predictive value for clinical disability. PMID:28157198

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-15

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

  4. Partial dissociation in the neural bases of VSTM and imagery in the early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saad, Elyana; Wojciechowska, Maria; Silvanto, Juha

    2015-08-01

    Visual short-term memory (VSTM) and visual imagery are believed to involve overlapping neuronal representations in the early visual cortex. While a number of studies have provided evidence for this overlap, at the behavioral level VSTM and imagery are dissociable processes; this begs the question of how their neuronal mechanisms differ. Here we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to examine whether the neural bases of imagery and VSTM maintenance are dissociable in the early visual cortex (EVC). We intentionally used a similar task for VSTM and imagery in order to equate their assessment. We hypothesized that any differential effect of TMS on VSTM and imagery would indicate that their neuronal bases differ at the level of EVC. In the "alone" condition, participants were asked to engage either in VSTM or imagery, whereas in the "concurrent" condition, each trial required both VSTM maintenance and imagery simultaneously. A dissociation between VSTM and imagery was observed for reaction times: TMS slowed down responses for VSTM but not for imagery. The impact of TMS on sensitivity did not differ between VSTM and imagery, but did depend on whether the tasks were carried concurrently or alone. This study shows that neural processes associated with VSTM and imagery in the early visual cortex can be partially dissociated.

  5. Reinstatement of associative memories in early visual cortex is signaled by the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, Sander E; Jehee, Janneke F M; Fernández, Guillén; Doeller, Christian F

    2014-05-28

    The cortical reinstatement hypothesis of memory retrieval posits that content-specific cortical activity at encoding is reinstated at retrieval. Evidence for cortical reinstatement was found in higher-order sensory regions, reflecting reactivation of complex object-based information. However, it remains unclear whether the same detailed sensory, feature-based information perceived during encoding is subsequently reinstated in early sensory cortex and what the role of the hippocampus is in this process. In this study, we used a combination of visual psychophysics, functional neuroimaging, multivoxel pattern analysis, and a well controlled cued recall paradigm to address this issue. We found that the visual information human participants were retrieving could be predicted by the activation patterns in early visual cortex. Importantly, this reinstatement resembled the neural pattern elicited when participants viewed the visual stimuli passively, indicating shared representations between stimulus-driven activity and memory. Furthermore, hippocampal activity covaried with the strength of stimulus-specific cortical reinstatement on a trial-by-trial level during cued recall. These findings provide evidence for reinstatement of unique associative memories in early visual cortex and suggest that the hippocampus modulates the mnemonic strength of this reinstatement.

  6. Partial dissociation in the neural bases of VSTM and imagery in the early visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saad, Elyana; Wojciechowska, Maria; Silvanto, Juha

    2015-01-01

    Visual short-term memory (VSTM) and visual imagery are believed to involve overlapping neuronal representations in the early visual cortex. While a number of studies have provided evidence for this overlap, at the behavioral level VSTM and imagery are dissociable processes; this begs the question of how their neuronal mechanisms differ. Here we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to examine whether the neural bases of imagery and VSTM maintenance are dissociable in the early visual cortex (EVC). We intentionally used a similar task for VSTM and imagery in order to equate their assessment. We hypothesized that any differential effect of TMS on VSTM and imagery would indicate that their neuronal bases differ at the level of EVC. In the “alone” condition, participants were asked to engage either in VSTM or imagery, whereas in the “concurrent” condition, each trial required both VSTM maintenance and imagery simultaneously. A dissociation between VSTM and imagery was observed for reaction times: TMS slowed down responses for VSTM but not for imagery. The impact of TMS on sensitivity did not differ between VSTM and imagery, but did depend on whether the tasks were carried concurrently or alone. This study shows that neural processes associated with VSTM and imagery in the early visual cortex can be partially dissociated. PMID:26026256

  7. The impact of distractor congruency on stimulus processing in retinotopic visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, Todd A; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli

    2013-11-01

    The brain is frequently confronted with sensory information that elicits conflicting response choices. While much research has addressed the top down control mechanisms associated with detection and resolution of response competition, the effects of response competition on sensory processing in the primary visual cortex remain unclear. To address this question we modified a typical 'flanker task' (Eriksen and Eriksen, 1974) so that the effects of response competition on human early retinotopic visual cortex could be assessed. Healthy human participants were scanned using fMRI while making a speeded choice response that classified a target object image into one of two categories (e.g. fruits, animals). An irrelevant distractor image that was either congruent (same image as target), incongruent (image from opposite category as target), or neutral (image from task-irrelevant category, e.g. household items) was also present on each trial, but in a different quadrant of the visual field relative to the target. Retinotopic V1 areas responding to the target stimuli showed increased response to targets in the presence of response-incongruent (compared to response-neutral) distractors. A negative correlation with behavioral response competition effects indicated that an increased primary visual cortical response to targets in the incongruent (vs. neutral) trials is associated with a reduced response competition effect on behavior. These results suggest a novel conflict resolution mechanism in the primary visual cortex.

  8. Influence of body temperature on the evoked activity in mouse visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Bin; Kalatsky, Valery A

    2013-06-01

    Optical imaging of intrinsic signals and conventional electrophysiological methods were used to investigate the correlation between the evoked activity in mouse visual cortex and core body temperature. The results show that hypothermia (25-36 °C) decreases the intensity of optical imaging in the visual cortex and the imaging signal reversibly disappears at 25 °C. Hyperthermia (39-41 °C) increases the intensity but decreases the quality of cortical imaging when body temperature is above 40 °C. The change of optical imaging was in line with that of neuronal activities and local field potentials (LFPs) directly recorded from the visual cortex at 25-39 °C. Hypothermia decreases neuron firing rate and LFPs amplitude. Most of the recorded neurons ceased firing to visual stimulation at 25 °C. Hyperthermia increases neuronal firing rate and LFPs amplitude. Both are reduced when body temperature is above 40 °C, though neither change was statistically significant. These results suggest: (1) Body temperature has an important impact on the visual cortical evoked activities and optical imaging generally reflects these effects when body temperature is between 25 and 39 °C; (2) Optical imaging may not properly reflect the neuronal activity when body temperature is over 40 °C. It is important to maintain core body temperature within 3 °C of the normal body temperature to obtain verifiable results.

  9. The stimulus-evoked population response in visual cortex of awake monkey is a propagating wave.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Lyle; Reynaud, Alexandre; Chavane, Frédéric; Destexhe, Alain

    2014-04-28

    Propagating waves occur in many excitable media and were recently found in neural systems from retina to neocortex. While propagating waves are clearly present under anaesthesia, whether they also appear during awake and conscious states remains unclear. One possibility is that these waves are systematically missed in trial-averaged data, due to variability. Here we present a method for detecting propagating waves in noisy multichannel recordings. Applying this method to single-trial voltage-sensitive dye imaging data, we show that the stimulus-evoked population response in primary visual cortex of the awake monkey propagates as a travelling wave, with consistent dynamics across trials. A network model suggests that this reliability is the hallmark of the horizontal fibre network of superficial cortical layers. Propagating waves with similar properties occur independently in secondary visual cortex, but maintain precise phase relations with the waves in primary visual cortex. These results show that, in response to a visual stimulus, propagating waves are systematically evoked in several visual areas, generating a consistent spatiotemporal frame for further neuronal interactions.

  10. Auditory, Visual and Audiovisual Speech Processing Streams in Superior Temporal Sulcus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venezia, Jonathan H; Vaden, Kenneth I; Rong, Feng; Maddox, Dale; Saberi, Kourosh; Hickok, Gregory

    2017-01-01

    The human superior temporal sulcus (STS) is responsive to visual and auditory information, including sounds and facial cues during speech recognition. We investigated the functional organization of STS with respect to modality-specific and multimodal speech representations. Twenty younger adult participants were instructed to perform an oddball detection task and were presented with auditory, visual, and audiovisual speech stimuli, as well as auditory and visual nonspeech control stimuli in a block fMRI design. Consistent with a hypothesized anterior-posterior processing gradient in STS, auditory, visual and audiovisual stimuli produced the largest BOLD effects in anterior, posterior and middle STS (mSTS), respectively, based on whole-brain, linear mixed effects and principal component analyses. Notably, the mSTS exhibited preferential responses to multisensory stimulation, as well as speech compared to nonspeech. Within the mid-posterior and mSTS regions, response preferences changed gradually from visual, to multisensory, to auditory moving posterior to anterior. Post hoc analysis of visual regions in the posterior STS revealed that a single subregion bordering the mSTS was insensitive to differences in low-level motion kinematics yet distinguished between visual speech and nonspeech based on multi-voxel activation patterns. These results suggest that auditory and visual speech representations are elaborated gradually within anterior and posterior processing streams, respectively, and may be integrated within the mSTS, which is sensitive to more abstract speech information within and across presentation modalities. The spatial organization of STS is consistent with processing streams that are hypothesized to synthesize perceptual speech representations from sensory signals that provide convergent information from visual and auditory modalities.

  11. Visual Field Map Clusters in High-Order Visual Processing: Organization of V3A/V3B and a New Cloverleaf Cluster in the Posterior Superior Temporal Sulcus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Brian; Brewer, Alyssa A

    2017-01-01

    The cortical hierarchy of the human visual system has been shown to be organized around retinal spatial coordinates throughout much of low- and mid-level visual processing. These regions contain visual field maps (VFMs) that each follows the organization of the retina, with neighboring aspects of the visual field processed in neighboring cortical locations. On a larger, macrostructural scale, groups of such sensory cortical field maps (CFMs) in both the visual and auditory systems are organized into roughly circular cloverleaf clusters. CFMs within clusters tend to share properties such as receptive field distribution, cortical magnification, and processing specialization. Here we use fMRI and population receptive field (pRF) modeling to investigate the extent of VFM and cluster organization with an examination of higher-level visual processing in temporal cortex and compare these measurements to mid-level visual processing in dorsal occipital cortex. In human temporal cortex, the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) has been implicated in various neuroimaging studies as subserving higher-order vision, including face processing, biological motion perception, and multimodal audiovisual integration. In human dorsal occipital cortex, the transverse occipital sulcus (TOS) contains the V3A/B cluster, which comprises two VFMs subserving mid-level motion perception and visuospatial attention. For the first time, we present the organization of VFMs in pSTS in a cloverleaf cluster. This pSTS cluster contains four VFMs bilaterally: pSTS-1:4. We characterize these pSTS VFMs as relatively small at ∼125 mm(2) with relatively large pRF sizes of ∼2-8° of visual angle across the central 10° of the visual field. V3A and V3B are ∼230 mm(2) in surface area, with pRF sizes here similarly ∼1-8° of visual angle across the same region. In addition, cortical magnification measurements show that a larger extent of the pSTS VFM surface areas are devoted to the peripheral

  12. Neurochemical correlates of. gamma. -aminobutyrate (GABA) inhibition in cat visual cortex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Balcar, V.J.; Dreher, B. (Univ. of Sydney (Australia))

    1990-01-01

    High affinity binding of ({sup 3}H){gamma}-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to neuronal membranes from different parts of cat visual cortex was tested for sensitivity to GABA{sub A} agonists isoguvacine and THIP, GABA{sub A} antagonist SR95531 and GABA{sub B} agonist baclofen. Some of the GABA{sub A}-binding sites were found to have a very low affinity for THIP, suggesting the presence and, possibly, uneven distribution of non-synaptic GABA{sub A} receptors in cat visual cortex. There were no differences in K{sub m} and V{sub max} values of high affinity uptake of GABA and in the potency of K{sup +}-stimulated release of GABA, between primary and association cortices. Consequently, the present results indicate that despite the anatomical and physiological differences between the primary and association feline visual cortices the neurochemical characteristics of GABAergic inhibition are very similar in the two regions.

  13. Time-compressed preplay of anticipated events in human primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekman, Matthias; Kok, Peter; de Lange, Floris P

    2017-05-23

    Perception is guided by the anticipation of future events. It has been hypothesized that this process may be implemented by pattern completion in early visual cortex, in which a stimulus sequence is recreated after only a subset of the visual input is provided. Here we test this hypothesis using ultra-fast functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure BOLD activity at precisely defined receptive field locations in visual cortex (V1) of human volunteers. We find that after familiarizing subjects with a spatial sequence, flashing only the starting point of the sequence triggers an activity wave in V1 that resembles the full stimulus sequence. This preplay activity is temporally compressed compared to the actual stimulus sequence and remains present even when attention is diverted from the stimulus sequence. Preplay might therefore constitute an automatic prediction mechanism for temporal sequences in V1.

  14. A Small Motor Cortex Lesion Abolished Ocular Dominance Plasticity in the Adult Mouse Primary Visual Cortex and Impaired Experience-Dependent Visual Improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Greifzu, Franziska; Löwel, Siegrid

    2015-01-01

    It was previously shown that a small lesion in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) prevented both cortical plasticity and sensory learning in the adult mouse visual system: While 3-month-old control mice continued to show ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in their primary visual cortex (V1) after monocular deprivation (MD), age-matched mice with a small photothrombotically induced (PT) stroke lesion in S1, positioned at least 1 mm anterior to the anterior border of V1, no longer expressed OD-plasticity. In addition, in the S1-lesioned mice, neither the experience-dependent increase of the spatial frequency threshold ("visual acuity") nor of the contrast threshold ("contrast sensitivity") of the optomotor reflex through the open eye was present. To assess whether these plasticity impairments can also occur if a lesion is placed more distant from V1, we tested the effect of a PT-lesion in the secondary motor cortex (M2). We observed that mice with a small M2-lesion restricted to the superficial cortical layers no longer expressed an OD-shift towards the open eye after 7 days of MD in V1 of the lesioned hemisphere. Consistent with previous findings about the consequences of an S1-lesion, OD-plasticity in V1 of the nonlesioned hemisphere of the M2-lesioned mice was still present. In addition, the experience-dependent improvements of both visual acuity and contrast sensitivity of the open eye were severely reduced. In contrast, sham-lesioned mice displayed both an OD-shift and improvements of visual capabilities of their open eye. To summarize, our data indicate that even a very small lesion restricted to the superficial cortical layers and more than 3mm anterior to the anterior border of V1 compromised V1-plasticity and impaired learning-induced visual improvements in adult mice. Thus both plasticity phenomena cannot only depend on modality-specific and local nerve cell networks but are clearly influenced by long-range interactions even from distant brain regions.

  15. A Small Motor Cortex Lesion Abolished Ocular Dominance Plasticity in the Adult Mouse Primary Visual Cortex and Impaired Experience-Dependent Visual Improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Greifzu, Franziska; Löwel, Siegrid

    2015-01-01

    It was previously shown that a small lesion in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) prevented both cortical plasticity and sensory learning in the adult mouse visual system: While 3-month-old control mice continued to show ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in their primary visual cortex (V1) after monocular deprivation (MD), age-matched mice with a small photothrombotically induced (PT) stroke lesion in S1, positioned at least 1 mm anterior to the anterior border of V1, no longer expressed OD-plasticity. In addition, in the S1-lesioned mice, neither the experience-dependent increase of the spatial frequency threshold (“visual acuity”) nor of the contrast threshold (“contrast sensitivity”) of the optomotor reflex through the open eye was present. To assess whether these plasticity impairments can also occur if a lesion is placed more distant from V1, we tested the effect of a PT-lesion in the secondary motor cortex (M2). We observed that mice with a small M2-lesion restricted to the superficial cortical layers no longer expressed an OD-shift towards the open eye after 7 days of MD in V1 of the lesioned hemisphere. Consistent with previous findings about the consequences of an S1-lesion, OD-plasticity in V1 of the nonlesioned hemisphere of the M2-lesioned mice was still present. In addition, the experience-dependent improvements of both visual acuity and contrast sensitivity of the open eye were severely reduced. In contrast, sham-lesioned mice displayed both an OD-shift and improvements of visual capabilities of their open eye. To summarize, our data indicate that even a very small lesion restricted to the superficial cortical layers and more than 3mm anterior to the anterior border of V1 compromised V1-plasticity and impaired learning-induced visual improvements in adult mice. Thus both plasticity phenomena cannot only depend on modality-specific and local nerve cell networks but are clearly influenced by long-range interactions even from distant brain

  16. Category-Selectivity in Human Visual Cortex Follows Cortical Topology: A Grouped icEEG Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cihan Mehmet Kadipasaoglu

    Full Text Available Neuroimaging studies suggest that category-selective regions in higher-order visual cortex are topologically organized around specific anatomical landmarks: the mid-fusiform sulcus (MFS in the ventral temporal cortex (VTC and lateral occipital sulcus (LOS in the lateral occipital cortex (LOC. To derive precise structure-function maps from direct neural signals, we collected intracranial EEG (icEEG recordings in a large human cohort (n = 26 undergoing implantation of subdural electrodes. A surface-based approach to grouped icEEG analysis was used to overcome challenges from sparse electrode coverage within subjects and variable cortical anatomy across subjects. The topology of category-selectivity in bilateral VTC and LOC was assessed for five classes of visual stimuli-faces, animate non-face (animals/body-parts, places, tools, and words-using correlational and linear mixed effects analyses. In the LOC, selectivity for living (faces and animate non-face and non-living (places and tools classes was arranged in a ventral-to-dorsal axis along the LOS. In the VTC, selectivity for living and non-living stimuli was arranged in a latero-medial axis along the MFS. Written word-selectivity was reliably localized to the intersection of the left MFS and the occipito-temporal sulcus. These findings provide direct electrophysiological evidence for topological information structuring of functional representations within higher-order visual cortex.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christianne Jacobs

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. A computational model as neurodecoder based on synchronous oscillation in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Songnian, Zhao; Xiaoyun, Xiong; Guozheng, Yao; Zhi, Fu

    2003-10-01

    Based on synchronized responses of neuronal populations in the visual cortex to external stimuli, we proposed a computational model consisting primarily of a neuronal phase-locked loop (NPLL) and multiscaled operator. The former reveals the function of synchronous oscillations in the visual cortex. Regardless of which of these patterns of the spike trains may be an average firing-rate code, a spike-timing code, or a rate-time code, the NPLL can decode original visual information from neuronal spike trains modulated with patterns of external stimuli, because a voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO), which is included in the NPLL, can precisely track neuronal spike trains and instantaneous variations, that is, VCO can make a copy of an external stimulus pattern. The latter, however, describes multi-scaled properties of visual information processing, but not merely edge and contour detection. In this study, in which we combined NPLL with a multiscaled operator and maximum likelihood estimation, we proved that the model, as a neurodecoder, implements optimum algorithm decoding visual information from neuronal spike trains at the system level. At the same time, the model also obtains increasingly important supports, which come from a series of experimental results of neurobiology on stimulus-specific neuronal oscillations or synchronized responses of the neuronal population in the visual cortex. In addition, the problem of how to describe visual acuity and multiresolution of vision by wavelet transform is also discussed. The results indicate that the model provides a deeper understanding of the role of synchronized responses in decoding visual information.

  1. Effects of Visual Experience on Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Expression during the Postnatal Development of the Rat Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argandoña, Enrike G.; Lafuente, José V.

    2008-01-01

    The development of the cortical vascular network depends on functional maturation. External inputs are an essential requirement in the modeling of the visual cortex, mainly during the critical period, when the functional and structural properties of visual cortical neurons are particularly susceptible to alterations. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is the major angiogenic factor, a key signal in the induction of vessel growth. Our study focused on the role of visual stimuli on the development of the vascular pattern correlated with VEGF levels. Vascular density and the expression of VEGF were examined in the primary visual cortex of rats reared under different visual environments (dark rearing, dark-rearing in conditions of enriched environment, enriched environment, and laboratory standard conditions) during postnatal development (before, during, and after the critical period). Our results show a restricted VEGF cellular expression to astroglial cells. Quantitative differences appeared during the critical period: higher vascular density and VEGF protein levels were found in the enriched environment group; both dark-reared groups showed lower vascular density and VEGF levels, which means that enriched environment without the physical exercise component does not exert effects in dark-reared rats. PMID:17986606

  2. Consolidation of visual associative long-term memory in the temporal cortex of primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyashita, Y; Kameyama, M; Hasegawa, I; Fukushima, T

    1998-01-01

    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.

  3. Postnatal development of corticocortical efferents from area 17 in the cat's visual cortex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Price, D.J.; Zumbroich, T.J.

    1989-02-01

    We are interested in the postnatal development of corticocortical connections in the cat's visual cortex. In this study, we injected the anterograde tracer 3H-proline into visual cortical area 17 of kittens, aged 4-70 d, and adult cats to visualize the distribution of terminals of the association projections to areas 18, 19, 21a, and the lateral suprasylvian visual cortex. The density of anterograde label was quantified using computerized image analysis. There was dense labeling at topographically appropriate locations in area 18 in animals of all ages. In 4- and 8-d-old kittens, other extrastriate areas (19, 21a and the lateral suprasylvian cortex) contained only sparse label, localized in a few solitary axons; these areas were densely labeled in animals aged 12 d or more. In kittens aged 4-20 d there was considerable, widespread label within fibers located in the white matter, and many of these axons lay underneath regions of extrastriate, and also striate, cortex that were almost certainly not destined to be persistently innervated by cells at the injection site. This pattern of extensive white matter label was not seen in animals older than 20 d. In each extrastriate region, from the earliest age at which we identified dense cortical innervation from area 17, the terminals were distributed in clusters. At first these patches were mainly in infragranular layers, but later, during the second and third postnatal weeks, they began to appear in more superficial laminae. By 70 d, an adult-like distribution of terminals was found in each extrastriate area: most fibers appeared to end in layers II and III in areas 18, 19, and 21a and centered on layer IV in the medial bank of the middle suprasylvian sulcus in adult cats. We suggest that the development of ipsilateral association projections from area 17 to extrastriate cortex is a 2-stage process.

  4. Fast coding of orientation in primary visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oren Shriki

    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.

  5. Top-Down-Mediated Facilitation in the Visual Cortex Is Gated by Subcortical Neuromodulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pafundo, Diego E; Nicholas, Mark A; Zhang, Ruilin; Kuhlman, Sandra J

    2016-03-09

    Response properties in primary sensory cortices are highly dependent on behavioral state. For example, the nucleus basalis of the forebrain plays a critical role in enhancing response properties of excitatory neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) during active exploration and learning. Given the strong reciprocal connections between hierarchically arranged cortical regions, how are increases in sensory response gain constrained to prevent runaway excitation? To explore this, we used in vivo two-photon guided cell-attached recording in conjunction with spatially restricted optogenetic photo-inhibition of higher-order visual cortex in mice. We found that the principle feedback projection to V1 originating from the lateral medial area (LM) facilitated visual responses in layer 2/3 excitatory neurons by ∼20%. This facilitation was reduced by half during basal forebrain activation due to differential response properties between LM and V1. Our results demonstrate that basal-forebrain-mediated increases in response gain are localized to V1 and are not propagated to LM and establish that subcortical modulation of visual cortex is regionally distinct.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  7. Direct evidence for local oscillatory current sources and intracortical phase gradients in turtle visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prechtl, J C; Bullock, T H; Kleinfeld, D

    2000-01-18

    Visual stimuli induce oscillations in the membrane potential of neurons in cortices of several species. In turtle, these oscillations take the form of linear and circular traveling waves. Such waves may be a consequence of a pacemaker that emits periodic pulses of excitation that propagate across a network of excitable neuronal tissue or may result from continuous and possibly reconfigurable phase shifts along a network with multiple weakly coupled neuronal oscillators. As a means to resolve the origin of wave propagation in turtle visual cortex, we performed simultaneous measurements of the local field potential at a series of depths throughout this cortex. Measurements along a single radial penetration revealed the presence of broadband current sources, with a center frequency near 20 Hz (gamma band), that were activated by visual stimulation. The spectral coherence between sources at two well-separated loci along a rostral-caudal axis revealed the presence of systematic timing differences between localized cortical oscillators. These multiple oscillating current sources and their timing differences in a tangential plane are interpreted as the neuronal activity that underlies the wave motion revealed in previous imaging studies. The present data provide direct evidence for the inference from imaging of bidirectional wave motion that the stimulus-induced electrical waves in turtle visual cortex correspond to phase shifts in a network of coupled neuronal oscillators.

  8. Synaptic proteins and choline acetyltransferase loss in visual cortex in dementia with Lewy bodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukaetova-Ladinska, Elizabeta B; Andras, Alina; Milne, Joan; Abdel-All, Zeinab; Borr, Iwo; Jaros, Evelyn; Perry, Robert H; Honer, William G; Cleghorn, Andrea; Doherty, Jeanette; McIntosh, Gary; Perry, Elaine K; Kalaria, Raj N; McKeith, Ian G

    2013-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging studies have consistently reported abnormalities in the visual cortex in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), but their neuropathologic substrates are poorly understood. We analyzed synaptic proteins and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) in the primary (BA17) and association (BAs18/19) visual cortex in DLB and similar aged control and Alzheimer disease (AD) subjects. We found lower levels of synaptophysin, syntaxin, SNAP-25, and γ-synuclein in DLB subjects versus both aged control (68%-78% and 27%-72% for BA17 and BAs18/19, respectively) and AD cases (54%-67% and 10%-56% for BA17 and BAs18/19, respectively). The loss in ChAT activity in DLB cases was also greater in BA17 (72% and 87% vs AD and control values, respectively) than in BAs18/19 (52% and 65% vs AD and control groups, respectively). The observed synaptic and ChAT changes in the visual cortices were not associated with tau or β-amyloid pathology in the occipital or the frontal, temporal, and parietal neocortex. However, the neocortical densities of LBs, particular those in BA17 and BAs18/19, correlated with lower synaptic and ChAT levels in these brain areas. These findings draw attention to molecular changes within the primary visual cortex in DLB and correlate with the neuroimaging findings within the occipital lobe in patients with this disorder.

  9. Motor Cortex Plasticity during Unilateral Finger Movement with Mirror Visual Feedback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hatice Kumru

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Plasticity is one of the most important physiological mechanisms underlying motor recovery from brain lesions. Rehabilitation methods, such as mirror visual feedback therapy, which are based on multisensory integration of motor, cognitive, and perceptual processes, are considered effective methods to induce cortical reorganization. The present study investigated 3 different types of visual feedback (direct, mirrored, and blocked visual feedback: DVF, MVF, and BVF, resp. on M1 cortex excitability and intracortical inhibition/facilitation at rest and during phasic unimanual motor task in 11 healthy individuals. The excitability of the ipsilateral M1 cortex and the intracortical facilitation increased during motor task performance in the DVF and MVF but not in the BVF condition. In addition, MVF induced cortical disinhibition of the ipsilateral hemisphere to the index finger performing the motor task, which was greater when compared to the BVF and restricted to the homologue first dorsal interosseous muscle. The visual feedback is relevant to M1 cortex excitability modulation but the MVF plays a crucial role in promoting changes in intracortical inhibition in comparison to BVF. Altogether, it can be concluded that a combination of motor training with MVF therapy may induce more robust neuroplastic changes through multisensory integration that is relevant to motor rehabilitation.

  10. Attentional load modulates responses of human primary visual cortex to invisible stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint

    2007-03-20

    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 [3], 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 [4]. 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.

  11. Visual spatial attention has opposite effects on bidirectional plasticity in the human motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamke, Marc R; Ryan, Alexander E; Sale, Martin V; Campbell, Megan E J; Riek, Stephan; Carroll, Timothy J; Mattingley, Jason B

    2014-01-22

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) are key mechanisms of synaptic plasticity that are thought to act in concert to shape neural connections. Here we investigated the influence of visual spatial attention on LTP-like and LTD-like plasticity in the human motor cortex. Plasticity was induced using paired associative stimulation (PAS), which involves repeated pairing of peripheral nerve stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation to alter functional responses in the thumb area of the primary motor cortex. PAS-induced changes in cortical excitability were assessed using motor-evoked potentials. During plasticity induction, participants directed their attention to one of two visual stimulus streams located adjacent to each hand. When participants attended to visual stimuli located near the left thumb, which was targeted by PAS, LTP-like increases in excitability were significantly enhanced, and LTD-like decreases in excitability reduced, relative to when they attended instead to stimuli located near the right thumb. These differential effects on (bidirectional) LTP-like and LTD-like plasticity suggest that voluntary visual attention can exert an important influence on the functional organization of the motor cortex. Specifically, attention acts to both enhance the strengthening and suppress the weakening of neural connections representing events that fall within the focus of attention.

  12. Extrastriate cortical areas activated during visual discrimination in man

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roland, PE

    1981-01-01

    The regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured in 254 different regions of the human extrastriate cerebral cortex during rest and during visual shape discrimination. Visual shape discrimination increased the rCBF markedly in the frontal eye fields, the upper part of the prefrontal cortex......, the lateral occipital cortex and the superior parietal cortex. Moderate increases of rCBF appeared in the inferotemporal cortex, the parietotemporo-occipital region and scattered in the lateral part of the prefrontal cortex....

  13. Absolute Depth Sensitivity in Cat Primary Visual Cortex under Natural Viewing Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigarev, Ivan N; Levichkina, Ekaterina V

    2016-01-01

    Mechanisms of 3D perception, investigated in many laboratories, have defined depth either relative to the fixation plane or to other objects in the visual scene. It is obvious that for efficient perception of the 3D world, additional mechanisms of depth constancy could operate in the visual system to provide information about absolute distance. Neurons with properties reflecting some features of depth constancy have been described in the parietal and extrastriate occipital cortical areas. It has also been shown that, for some neurons in the visual area V1, responses to stimuli of constant angular size differ at close and remote distances. The present study was designed to investigate whether, in natural free gaze viewing conditions, neurons tuned to absolute depths can be found in the primary visual cortex (area V1). Single-unit extracellular activity was recorded from the visual cortex of waking cats sitting on a trolley in front of a large screen. The trolley was slowly approaching the visual scene, which consisted of stationary sinusoidal gratings of optimal orientation rear-projected over the whole surface of the screen. Each neuron was tested with two gratings, with spatial frequency of one grating being twice as high as that of the other. Assuming that a cell is tuned to a spatial frequency, its maximum response to the grating with a spatial frequency twice as high should be shifted to a distance half way closer to the screen in order to attain the same size of retinal projection. For hypothetical neurons selective to absolute depth, location of the maximum response should remain at the same distance irrespective of the type of stimulus. It was found that about 20% of neurons in our experimental paradigm demonstrated sensitivity to particular distances independently of the spatial frequencies of the gratings. We interpret these findings as an indication of the use of absolute depth information in the primary visual cortex.

  14. Constructing Visual Perception of Body Movement with the Motor Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgs, Guido; Dovern, Anna; Hagura, Nobuhiro; Haggard, Patrick; Fink, Gereon R; Weiss, Peter H

    2016-01-01

    The human brain readily perceives fluent movement from static input. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated brain mechanisms that mediate fluent apparent biological motion (ABM) perception from sequences of body postures. We presented body and nonbody stimuli varying in objective sequence duration and fluency of apparent movement. Three body postures were ordered to produce a fluent (ABC) or a nonfluent (ACB) apparent movement. This enabled us to identify brain areas involved in the perceptual reconstruction of body movement from identical lower-level static input. Participants judged the duration of a rectangle containing body/nonbody sequences, as an implicit measure of movement fluency. For body stimuli, fluent apparent motion sequences produced subjectively longer durations than nonfluent sequences of the same objective duration. This difference was reduced for nonbody stimuli. This body-specific bias in duration perception was associated with increased blood oxygen level-dependent responses in the primary (M1) and supplementary motor areas. Moreover, fluent ABM was associated with increased functional connectivity between M1/SMA and right fusiform body area. We show that perceptual reconstruction of fluent movement from static body postures does not merely enlist areas traditionally associated with visual body processing, but involves cooperative recruitment of motor areas, consistent with a "motor way of seeing".

  15. [The Contribution of the Orbitofrontal Cortex to the Preference for Visual Stimuli].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2015-06-01

    Both humans and animals like to watch neutral and biologically insignificant visual stimuli. Behavioral studies have revealed that animals more frequently select stimuli with symmetrical and regular patterns and short movies compared to stimuli with unsymmetrical and irregular patterns and photographs. Preferred visual stimuli can serve as rewards for animals performing behavioral tasks. Preferences for visual stimuli are determined by the magnitude of the pleasant feelings that are experienced when the stimuli are seen. The orbitofrontal cortex is known to participate in the detection and prediction of reward, the estimation of the value of the stimuli as a reward, and positive emotion. Human neuroimaging studies and animal neurophysiological studies have shown that the magnitude of orbitofrontal responses to the presentation of neutral visual stimuli correlates with the strength of the preference for the stimuli in the behavioral studies. These results suggest that the magnitude of orbitofrontal responses to the visual stimuli correlates with the strength of the pleasant feelings that are produced by the stimuli and that the orbitofrontal cortex plays an important role in the judgment of the preference for visual stimuli.

  16. Spatial transformations between superior colliculus visual and motor response fields during head-unrestrained gaze shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeh, Morteza; Sajad, Amirsaman; Wang, Hongying; Yan, Xiaogang; Crawford, John Douglas

    2015-12-01

    We previously reported that visuomotor activity in the superior colliculus (SC)--a key midbrain structure for the generation of rapid eye movements--preferentially encodes target position relative to the eye (Te) during low-latency head-unrestrained gaze shifts (DeSouza et al., 2011). Here, we trained two monkeys to perform head-unrestrained gaze shifts after a variable post-stimulus delay (400-700 ms), to test whether temporally separated SC visual and motor responses show different spatial codes. Target positions, final gaze positions and various frames of reference (eye, head, and space) were dissociated through natural (untrained) trial-to-trial variations in behaviour. 3D eye and head orientations were recorded, and 2D response field data were fitted against multiple models by use of a statistical method reported previously (Keith et al., 2009). Of 60 neurons, 17 showed a visual response, 12 showed a motor response, and 31 showed both visual and motor responses. The combined visual response field population (n = 48) showed a significant preference for Te, which was also preferred in each visual subpopulation. In contrast, the motor response field population (n = 43) showed a preference for final (relative to initial) gaze position models, and the Te model was statistically eliminated in the motor-only population. There was also a significant shift of coding from the visual to motor response within visuomotor neurons. These data confirm that SC response fields are gaze-centred, and show a target-to-gaze transformation between visual and motor responses. Thus, visuomotor transformations can occur between, and even within, neurons within a single frame of reference and brain structure.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaogang Wang

    2017-09-01

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

  18. Layer-specific diffusion weighted imaging in human primary visual cortex in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinnijenhuis, Michiel; Zerbi, Valerio; Küsters, Benno; Slump, Cornelis H; Barth, Markus; van Cappellen van Walsum, Anne-Marie

    2013-10-01

    One of the most prominent characteristics of the human neocortex is its laminated structure. The first person to observe this was Francesco Gennari in the second half the 18th century: in the middle of the depth of primary visual cortex, myelinated fibres are so abundant that he could observe them with bare eyes as a white line. Because of its saliency, the stria of Gennari has a rich history in cyto- and myeloarchitectural research as well as in magnetic resonance (MR) microscopy. In the present paper we show for the first time the layered structure of the human neocortex with ex vivo diffusion weighted imaging (DWI). To achieve the necessary spatial and angular resolution, primary visual cortex samples were scanned on an 11.7 T small-animal MR system to characterize the diffusion properties of the cortical laminae and the stria of Gennari in particular. The results demonstrated that fractional anisotropy varied over cortical depth, showing reduced anisotropy in the stria of Gennari, the inner band of Baillarger and the deepest layer of the cortex. Orientation density functions showed multiple components in the stria of Gennari and deeper layers of the cortex. Potential applications of layer-specific diffusion imaging include characterization of clinical abnormalities, cortical mapping and (intra)cortical tractography. We conclude that future high-resolution in vivo cortical DWI investigations should take into account the layer-specificity of the diffusion properties.

  19. Modulation of Neuronal Responses by Exogenous Attention in Macaque Primary Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Feng; Chen, Minggui; Yan, Yin; Zhaoping, Li; Li, Wu

    2015-09-30

    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.

  20. Neural representation of ambiguous visual objects in the inferior temporal cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nazli Emadi

    Full Text Available Inferior temporal (IT cortex as the final stage of the ventral visual pathway is involved in visual object recognition. In our everyday life we need to recognize visual objects that are degraded by noise. Psychophysical studies have shown that the accuracy and speed of the object recognition decreases as the amount of visual noise increases. However, the neural representation of ambiguous visual objects and the underlying neural mechanisms of such changes in the behavior are not known. Here, by recording the neuronal spiking activity of macaque monkeys' IT we explored the relationship between stimulus ambiguity and the IT neural activity. We found smaller amplitude, later onset, earlier offset and shorter duration of the response as visual ambiguity increased. All of these modulations were gradual and correlated with the level of stimulus ambiguity. We found that while category selectivity of IT neurons decreased with noise, it was preserved for a large extent of visual ambiguity. This noise tolerance for category selectivity in IT was lost at 60% noise level. Interestingly, while the response of the IT neurons to visual stimuli at 60% noise level was significantly larger than their baseline activity and full (100% noise, it was not category selective anymore. The latter finding shows a neural representation that signals the presence of visual stimulus without signaling what it is. In general these findings, in the context of a drift diffusion model, explain the neural mechanisms of perceptual accuracy and speed changes in the process of recognizing ambiguous objects.

  1. Neural representation of ambiguous visual objects in the inferior temporal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emadi, Nazli; Esteky, Hossein

    2013-01-01

    Inferior temporal (IT) cortex as the final stage of the ventral visual pathway is involved in visual object recognition. In our everyday life we need to recognize visual objects that are degraded by noise. Psychophysical studies have shown that the accuracy and speed of the object recognition decreases as the amount of visual noise increases. However, the neural representation of ambiguous visual objects and the underlying neural mechanisms of such changes in the behavior are not known. Here, by recording the neuronal spiking activity of macaque monkeys' IT we explored the relationship between stimulus ambiguity and the IT neural activity. We found smaller amplitude, later onset, earlier offset and shorter duration of the response as visual ambiguity increased. All of these modulations were gradual and correlated with the level of stimulus ambiguity. We found that while category selectivity of IT neurons decreased with noise, it was preserved for a large extent of visual ambiguity. This noise tolerance for category selectivity in IT was lost at 60% noise level. Interestingly, while the response of the IT neurons to visual stimuli at 60% noise level was significantly larger than their baseline activity and full (100%) noise, it was not category selective anymore. The latter finding shows a neural representation that signals the presence of visual stimulus without signaling what it is. In general these findings, in the context of a drift diffusion model, explain the neural mechanisms of perceptual accuracy and speed changes in the process of recognizing ambiguous objects.

  2. Stereoscopic depth perception using a model based on the primary visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda da C E C Faria

    Full Text Available This work describes an approach inspired by the primary visual cortex using the stimulus response of the receptive field profiles of binocular cells for disparity computation. Using the energy model based on the mechanism of log-Gabor filters for disparity encodings, we propose a suitable model to consistently represent the complex cells by computing the wide bandwidths of the cortical cells. This way, the model ensures the general neurophysiological findings in the visual cortex (V1, emphasizing the physical disparities and providing a simple selection method for the complex cell response. The results suggest that our proposed approach can achieve better results than a hybrid model with phase-shift and position-shift using position disparity alone.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bednar, J A; Miikkulainen, R

    2000-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-09-15

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

  5. Wireless data and power transfer of an optogenetic implantable visual cortex stimulator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fattah, Nabeel; Laha, Soumyasanta; Sokolov, Danil; Chester, Graeme; Degenaar, Patrick

    2015-08-01

    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.

  6. Adult Visual Experience Promotes Recovery of Primary Visual Cortex from Long-Term Monocular Deprivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Quentin S.; Aleem, Salman; Zhou, Hongyi; Pham, Tony A.

    2007-01-01

    Prolonged visual deprivation from early childhood to maturity is believed to cause permanent visual impairment. However, there have been case reports of substantial improvement of binocular vision in human adults following lifelong visual impairment or deprivation. These observations, together with recent findings of adult ocular dominance…

  7. Adult Visual Experience Promotes Recovery of Primary Visual Cortex from Long-Term Monocular Deprivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Quentin S.; Aleem, Salman; Zhou, Hongyi; Pham, Tony A.

    2007-01-01

    Prolonged visual deprivation from early childhood to maturity is believed to cause permanent visual impairment. However, there have been case reports of substantial improvement of binocular vision in human adults following lifelong visual impairment or deprivation. These observations, together with recent findings of adult ocular dominance…

  8. A brain-computer interface based on self-regulation of gamma-oscillations in the superior parietal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosse-Wentrup, Moritz; Schölkopf, Bernhard

    2014-10-01

    Objective. Brain-computer interface (BCI) systems are often based on motor- and/or sensory processes that are known to be impaired in late stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We propose a novel BCI designed for patients in late stages of ALS that only requires high-level cognitive processes to transmit information from the user to the BCI. Approach. We trained subjects via EEG-based neurofeedback to self-regulate the amplitude of gamma-oscillations in the superior parietal cortex (SPC). We argue that parietal gamma-oscillations are likely to be associated with high-level attentional processes, thereby providing a communication channel that does not rely on the integrity of sensory- and/or motor-pathways impaired in late stages of ALS. Main results. Healthy subjects quickly learned to self-regulate gamma-power in the SPC by alternating between states of focused attention and relaxed wakefulness, resulting in an average decoding accuracy of 70.2%. One locked-in ALS patient (ALS-FRS-R score of zero) achieved an average decoding accuracy significantly above chance-level though insufficient for communication (55.8%). Significance. Self-regulation of gamma-power in the SPC is a feasible paradigm for brain-computer interfacing and may be preserved in late stages of ALS. This provides a novel approach to testing whether completely locked-in ALS patients retain the capacity for goal-directed thinking.

  9. A Historical Review of the Representation of the Visual Field in Primary Visual Cortex with Special Reference to the Neural Mechanisms Underlying Macular Sparing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leff, Alexander

    2004-01-01

    This article comprises a historical review of the literature pertaining to the representation of the visual field in human primary visual cortex. A brief survey of the anatomy of the visual system is followed by a critical evaluation of the key studies that have informed both the issue of the disproportionate representation of central vision…

  10. Human arachnoid granulations Part I: a technique for quantifying area and distribution on the superior surface of the cerebral cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holman David W

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The arachnoid granulations (AGs are herniations of the arachnoid membrane into the dural venous sinuses on the surface of the brain. Previous morphological studies of AGs have been limited in scope and only one has mentioned surface area measurements. The purpose of this study was to investigate the topographic distribution of AGs on the superior surface of the cerebral cortex. Methods En face images were taken of the superior surface of 35 formalin-fixed human brains. AGs were manually identified using Adobe Photoshop, with a pixel location containing an AG defined as 'positive'. A set of 25 standard fiducial points was marked on each hemisphere for a total of 50 points on each image. The points were connected on each hemisphere to create a segmented image. A standard template was created for each hemisphere by calculating the average position of the 25 fiducial points from all brains. Each segmented image was mapped to the standard template using a linear transformation. A topographic distribution map was produced by calculating the proportion of AG positive images at each pixel in the standard template. The AG surface area was calculated for each hemisphere and for the total brain superior surface. To adjust for different brain sizes, the proportional involvement of AGs was calculated by dividing the AG area by the total area. Results The total brain average surface area of AGs was 78.53 ± 13.13 mm2 (n = 35 and average AG proportional involvement was 57.71 × 10-4 ± 7.65 × 10-4. Regression analysis confirmed the reproducibility of AG identification between independent researchers with r2 = 0.97. The surface AGs were localized in the parasagittal planes that coincide with the region of the lateral lacunae. Conclusion The data obtained on the spatial distribution and en face surface area of AGs will be used in an in vitro model of CSF outflow. With an increase in the number of samples, this analysis technique can be used

  11. Effects of Static Magnetic Fields on the Visual Cortex: reversible Visual Deficits and Reduction of Neuronal Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguila, Jordi; Cudeiro, Javier; Rivadulla, Casto

    2016-02-01

    Noninvasive brain stimulation techniques have been successfully used to modulate brain activity, have become a highly useful tool in basic and clinical research and, recently, have attracted increased attention due to their putative use as a method for neuro-enhancement. In this scenario, transcranial static magnetic stimulation (SMS) of moderate strength might represent an affordable, simple, and complementary method to other procedures, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or direct current stimulation, but its mechanisms and effects are not thoroughly understood. In this study, we show that static magnetic fields applied to visual cortex of awake primates cause reversible deficits in a visual detection task. Complementary experiments in anesthetized cats show that the visual deficits are a consequence of a strong reduction in neural activity. These results demonstrate that SMS is able to effectively modulate neuronal activity and could be considered to be a tool to be used for different purposes ranging from experimental studies to clinical applications.

  12. Millisecond Coupling of Local Field Potentials to Synaptic Currents in the Awake Visual Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Haider, Bilal; Schulz, David P.A.; Häusser, Michael; Carandini, Matteo

    2016-01-01

    Summary The cortical local field potential (LFP) is a common measure of population activity, but its relationship to synaptic activity in individual neurons is not fully established. This relationship has been typically studied during anesthesia and is obscured by shared slow fluctuations. Here, we used patch-clamp recordings in visual cortex of anesthetized and awake mice to measure intracellular activity; we then applied a simple method to reveal its coupling to the simultaneously recorded ...

  13. Millisecond Coupling of Local Field Potentials to Synaptic Currents in the Awake Visual Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Haider, B; Schulz, D. P.; Häusser, M.; Carandini, M.

    2016-01-01

    The cortical local field potential (LFP) is a common measure of population activity, but its relationship to synaptic activity in individual neurons is not fully established. This relationship has been typically studied during anesthesia and is obscured by shared slow fluctuations. Here, we used patch-clamp recordings in visual cortex of anesthetized and awake mice to measure intracellular activity; we then applied a simple method to reveal its coupling to the simultaneously recorded LFP. LFP...

  14. The Effect of 10 Hz Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of Posterior Parietal Cortex on Visual Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Isabel Dombrowe; Georgiana Juravle; Mohsen Alavash; Carsten Gießing; Claus C Hilgetag

    2015-01-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) at frequencies lower than 5 Hz transiently inhibits the stimulated area. In healthy participants, such a protocol can induce a transient attentional bias to the visual hemifield ipsilateral to the stimulated hemisphere. This bias might be due to a relatively less active stimulated hemisphere and a relatively more active unstimulated hemisphere. In a previous study, Jin and Hilgetag (2008) tried to switc...

  15. Directional tunings independent of orientation in the primary visual cortex of the cat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈垚; 李兵; 李宝旺; 刁云程

    2001-01-01

    A family of moving ‘random-line' patterns was developed and used to study the directional tuning of 91 single units in cat primary visual cortex (V1). The results suggest that, in addition to the well-known orientation-dependent mechanism, there is also some kind of orientation-independent mechanism underlying the direction selectivity. The directional tuning of the neurons varies in accordance with the increase of orientation or non-orientation element in the stimulus.

  16. The Role of the Human Extrastriate Visual Cortex in Mirror Symmetry Discrimination: A TMS-Adaptation Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattaneo, Zaira; Mattavelli, Giulia; Papagno, Costanza; Herbert, Andrew; Silvanto, Juha

    2011-01-01

    The human visual system is able to efficiently extract symmetry information from the visual environment. Prior neuroimaging evidence has revealed symmetry-preferring neuronal representations in the dorsolateral extrastriate visual cortex; the objective of the present study was to investigate the necessity of these representations in symmetry…

  17. Absent activation in medial prefrontal cortex and temporoparietal junction but not superior temporal sulcus during the perception of biological motion in schizophrenia: a functional MRI study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hashimoto N

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Naoki Hashimoto,1,2 Atsuhito Toyomaki,1 Masahiro Hirai,3 Tamaki Miyamoto,1 Hisashi Narita,1 Ryo Okubo,1 Ichiro Kusumi1 1Department of Psychiatry, Graduate School of Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan; 2Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA; 3Center for Development of Advanced Medical Technology, Jichi Medical University, Yakushiji, Shimotsuke, Tochigi, Japan Background: Patients with schizophrenia show disturbances in both visual perception and social cognition. Perception of biological motion (BM is a higher-level visual process, and is known to be associated with social cognition. BM induces activation in the “social brain network”, including the superior temporal sulcus (STS. Although deficits in the detection of BM and atypical activation in the STS have been reported in patients with schizophrenia, it remains unclear whether other nodes of the “social brain network” are also atypical in patients with schizophrenia.Purpose: We aimed to explore whether brain regions other than STS were involved during BM perception in patients with schizophrenia, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI.Methods and patients: Seventeen patients with schizophrenia, and 17 age- and sex- matched healthy controls, underwent fMRI scanning during a one-back visual task, containing three experimental conditions: (1 BM, (2 scrambled motion (SM, and (3 static condition. We used one-sample t-tests to examine neural responses selective to BM versus SM within each group, and two-sample t-tests to directly compare neural patterns to BM versus SM in schizophrenics versus controls.Results: We found significant activation in the STS region when BM was contrasted with SM in both groups, with no significant difference between groups. On the contrary, significant activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC and bilateral temporoparietal junction (TPJ was found only in the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. HDAC2 expression in parvalbumin interneurons regulates synaptic plasticity in the mouse visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexi Nott

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael T Lippert

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-28

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

  2. Basic level category structure emerges gradually across human ventral visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iordan, Marius Cătălin; Greene, Michelle R; Beck, Diane M; Fei-Fei, Li

    2015-07-01

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-17

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

  5. Orbitofrontal Cortex and the Early Processing of Visual Novelty in Healthy Aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, David A S; Keith, Cierra M; Perlstein, William M

    2016-01-01

    Event-related potential (ERP) studies have previously found that scalp topographies of attention-related ERP components show frontal shifts with age, suggesting an increased need for compensatory frontal activity to assist with top-down facilitation of attention. However, the precise neural time course of top-down attentional control in aging is not clear. In this study, 20 young (mean: 22 years) and 14 older (mean: 64 years) adults completed a three-stimulus visual oddball task while high-density ERPs were acquired. Colorful, novel distracters were presented to engage early visual processing. Relative to young controls, older participants exhibited elevations in occipital early posterior positivity (EPP), approximately 100 ms after viewing colorful distracters. Neural source models for older adults implicated unique patterns of orbitofrontal cortex (OFC; BA 11) activity during early visual novelty processing (100 ms), which was positively correlated with subsequent activations in primary visual cortex (BA 17). Older adult EPP amplitudes and OFC activity were associated with performance on tests of complex attention and executive function. These findings are suggestive of age-related, compensatory neural changes that may driven by a combination of weaker cortical efficiency and increased need for top-down control over attention. Accordingly, enhanced early OFC activity during visual attention may serve as an important indicator of frontal lobe integrity in healthy aging.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kendrick N Kay

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

  7. Spatially global representations in human primary visual cortex during working memory maintenance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ester, Edward F; Serences, John T; Awh, Edward

    2009-12-02

    Recent studies suggest that visual features are stored in working memory (WM) via sensory recruitment or sustained stimulus-specific patterns of activity in cortical regions that encode memoranda. One important question concerns the spatial extent of sensory recruitment. One possibility is that sensory recruitment is restricted to neurons that are retinotopically mapped to the positions occupied by the remembered items. Alternatively, specific feature values could be represented via a spatially global recruitment of neurons that encode the remembered feature, regardless of the retinotopic position of the remembered stimulus. Here, we evaluated these alternatives by requiring subjects to remember the orientation of a grating presented in the left or right visual field. Functional magnetic resonance imaging and multivoxel pattern analysis were then used to examine feature-specific activations in early visual regions during memory maintenance. Activation patterns that discriminated the remembered feature were found in regions of contralateral visual cortex that corresponded to the retinotopic position of the remembered item, as well as in ipsilateral regions that were not retinotopically mapped to the position of the stored stimulus. These results suggest that visual details are held in WM through a spatially global recruitment of early sensory cortex. This spatially global recruitment may enhance memory precision by facilitating robust population coding of the stored information.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jihane eHomman-Ludiye

    2014-07-01

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

  9. Attention to color sharpens neural population tuning via feedback processing in the human visual cortex hierarchy.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-25

    Attention can facilitate the selection of elementary object features like color, orientation, or motion. This is referred to as feature-based attention and commonly attributed to a modulation of the gain and tuning of feature-selective units in visual cortex. While 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 (VO-1/hV4). 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 STATEMENTWhether 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

  10. Widespread correlation patterns of fMRI signal across visual cortex reflect eccentricity organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcaro, Michael J; Honey, Christopher J; Mruczek, Ryan EB; Kastner, Sabine; Hasson, Uri

    2015-01-01

    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

  11. Overlapping activity periods in early visual cortex and posterior intraparietal area in conscious visual shape perception: a TMS study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koivisto, Mika; Lähteenmäki, Mikko; Kaasinen, Valtteri; Parkkola, Riitta; Railo, Henry

    2014-01-01

    Parietal cortex is often activated in brain imaging studies on conscious visual processing, but its causal role and timing in conscious and nonconscious perception are poorly understood. We studied the role of posterior intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and early visual areas (V1/V2) in conscious and nonconscious vision by interfering with their functioning with MRI-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The observers made binary forced-choice decisions concerning the shape or color of the metacontrast masked targets and rated the quality of their conscious perception. TMS was applied 30, 60, 90, or 120ms after stimulus-onset. In the shape discrimination task, TMS of V1/V2 impaired conscious perception at 60, 90, and 120ms and nonconscious perception at 90ms. TMS of IPS impaired only conscious shape perception, also around 90ms. Conscious color perception was facilitated or suppressed depending on the strength of the TMS-induced electric field in V1/V2 at 90ms. The results suggest that simultaneous activity in V1/V2 and IPS around 90ms is necessary for visual awareness of shape but not for nonconscious perception. The overlapping activity periods of IPS and V1/V2 may reflect recurrent interaction between parietal cortex and V1 in conscious shape perception.

  12. Infragranular sources of sustained LFP responses in macaque primary visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maier, Alexander; Aura, Christopher J.; Leopold, David A.

    2011-01-01

    A local field potential (LFP) response can be measured throughout the visual cortex in response to the abrupt appearance of a visual stimulus. Averaging LFP responses to many stimulus presentations isolates transient, phase-locked components of the response that are consistent from trial to trial. However, stimulus responses are also composed of sustained components, which differ in their phase from trial to trial and therefore must be evaluated using other methods, such as computing the power of each trial’s response prior to averaging. Here we investigate the basis of phase-locked and non-phase-locked LFP responses in the primary visual cortex of the macaque monkey using a novel variant of current source density (CSD) analysis. We applied a linear array of electrode contacts spanning the thickness of the cortex to measure the LFP and compute band-limited CSD power in order to identify the laminar sites of persistent current exchange that may be the basis of sustained visual LFP responses. In agreement with previous studies, we found a short-latency phase-locked current sink, thought to correspond to thalamocortical input to layer 4C. In addition, we found a prominent non-phase-locked component of the CSD that persisted as long as the stimulus was physically present. The latter was relatively broadband, lasted throughout the stimulus presentation, and was centered approximately 500 µm deeper than the initial current sink. These findings demonstrate a fundamental difference in the neural mechanisms underlying the initial and sustained processing of simple visual stimuli in the V1 microcircuit. PMID:21307235

  13. Iso-orientation domains in cat visual cortex are arranged in pinwheel-like patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonhoeffer, Tobias; Grinvald, Amiram

    1991-10-01

    THE mammalian cortex is organized in a columnar fashion: neurons lying below each other from the pia to the white matter usually share many functional properties. Across the cortical surface, cells with similar response properties are also clustered together, forming elongated bands or patches. Some response properties, such as orientation preference in the visual cortex, change gradually across the cortical surface forming 'orientation maps'. To determine the precise layout of iso-orientation domains, knowledge of responses not only to one but to many stimulus orientations is essential. Therefore, the exact depiction of orientation maps has been hampered by technical difficulties and remained controversial for almost thirty years. Here we use in vivo optical imaging based on intrinsic signals to gather information on the responses of a piece of cortex to gratings in many different orientations. This complete set of responses then provides detailed information on the structure of the orientation map in a large patch of cortex from area 18 of the cat. We find that cortical regions that respond best to one orientation form highly ordered patches rather than elongated bands. These iso-orientation patches are organized around 'orientation centres', producing pinwheel-like patterns in which the orientation preference of cells is changing continuously across the cortex. We have also analysed our data for fast changes in orientation preference and find that these 'fractures' are limited to the orientation centres. The pinwheels and orientation centres are such a prominent organizational feature that it should be important to understand their development as well as their function in the processing of visual information.

  14. The Development of Dominance Stripes and Orientation Maps in a Self-Organising Visual Cortex Network (VICON)

    CERN Document Server

    Luttrell, Stephen

    2010-01-01

    A self-organising neural network is presented that is based on a rigorous Bayesian analysis of the information contained in individual neural firing events. This leads to a visual cortex network (VICON) that has many of the properties emerge when a mammalian visual cortex is exposed to data arriving from two imaging sensors (i.e. the two retinae), such as dominance stripes and orientation maps.

  15. Metabolic changes in the visual cortex of binocular blindness macaque monkeys: a proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lingjie Wu

    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.

  16. Imaging the awake visual cortex with a genetically encoded voltage indicator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carandini, Matteo; Shimaoka, Daisuke; Rossi, L Federico; Sato, Tatsuo K; Benucci, Andrea; Knöpfel, Thomas

    2015-01-07

    Genetically encoded voltage indicators (GEVIs) promise to reveal the membrane potential of genetically targeted neuronal populations through noninvasive, chronic imaging of large portions of cortical space. Here we test a promising GEVI in mouse cortex during wakefulness, a challenging condition due to large hemodynamic activity, and we introduce a straightforward projection method to separate a signal dominated by membrane voltage from a signal dominated by hemodynamic activity. We expressed VSFP-Butterfly 1.2 plasmid in layer 2/3 pyramidal cells of visual cortex through electroporation in utero. We then used wide-field imaging with two cameras to measure both fluorophores of the indicator in response to visual stimuli. By taking weighted sums and differences of the two measurements, we obtained clear separation of hemodynamic and voltage signals. The hemodynamic signal showed strong heartbeat oscillations, superimposed on slow dynamics similar to blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) or "intrinsic" signals. The voltage signal had fast dynamics similar to neural responses measured electrically, and showed an orderly retinotopic mapping. We compared this voltage signal with calcium signals imaged in transgenic mice that express a calcium indicator (GCaMP3) throughout cortex. The voltage signal from VSFP had similar signal-to-noise ratios as the calcium signal, it was more immune to vascular artifacts, and it integrated over larger regions of visual space, which was consistent with its reporting mostly subthreshold activity rather than the spiking activity revealed by calcium signals. These results demonstrate that GEVIs provide a powerful tool to study the dynamics of neural populations at mesoscopic spatial scales in the awake cortex. Copyright © 2015 Carandini et al.

  17. A Model of the Superior Colliculus Predicts Fixation Locations during Scene Viewing and Visual Search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adeli, Hossein; Vitu, Françoise; Zelinsky, Gregory J

    2017-02-08

    Modern computational models of attention predict fixations using saliency maps and target maps, which prioritize locations for fixation based on feature contrast and target goals, respectively. But whereas many such models are biologically plausible, none have looked to the oculomotor system for design constraints or parameter specification. Conversely, although most models of saccade programming are tightly coupled to underlying neurophysiology, none have been tested using real-world stimuli and tasks. We combined the strengths of these two approaches in MASC, a model of attention in the superior colliculus (SC) that captures known neurophysiological constraints on saccade programming. We show that MASC predicted the fixation locations of humans freely viewing naturalistic scenes and performing exemplar and categorical search tasks, a breadth achieved by no other existing model. Moreover, it did this as well or better than its more specialized state-of-the-art competitors. MASC's predictive success stems from its inclusion of high-level but core principles of SC organization: an over-representation of foveal information, size-invariant population codes, cascaded population averaging over distorted visual and motor maps, and competition between motor point images for saccade programming, all of which cause further modulation of priority (attention) after projection of saliency and target maps to the SC. Only by incorporating these organizing brain principles into our models can we fully understand the transformation of complex visual information into the saccade programs underlying movements of overt attention. With MASC, a theoretical footing now exists to generate and test computationally explicit predictions of behavioral and neural responses in visually complex real-world contexts.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The superior colliculus (SC) performs a visual-to-motor transformation vital to overt attention, but existing SC models cannot predict saccades to visually

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    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...

  19. Visual input enhances selective speech envelope tracking in auditory cortex at a "cocktail party".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zion Golumbic, Elana; Cogan, Gregory B; Schroeder, Charles E; Poeppel, David

    2013-01-23

    Our ability to selectively attend to one auditory signal amid 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 with 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 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.

  20. Nogo Receptor 1 Confines a Disinhibitory Microcircuit to the Critical Period in Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephany, Céleste-Élise; Ikrar, Taruna; Nguyen, Collins; Xu, Xiangmin; McGee, Aaron W

    2016-10-26

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-06

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Nguyen Duc Thang; Vo Van Toi; Le Giang Tran; Nguyen Huynh Minh Tam; Lan Anh Trinh

    2014-01-01

    The human visual sensitivity to the flickering light has been under investigation for decades. The finding of research in this area can contribute to the understanding of human visual system mechanism and visual disorders, and establishing diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of the flickering light to the visual cortex by monitoring the hemodynamic responses of the brain with the functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) method. Since t...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    .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......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...

  6. Control of response reliability by parvalbumin-expressing interneurons in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yingjie; Qiao, Wenhui; Liu, Kefei; Zhong, Huiyuan; Yao, Haishan

    2015-04-14

    The responses of visual cortical neurons to natural stimuli are both reliable and sparse. These properties require inhibition, yet the contribution of specific types of inhibitory neurons is not well understood. Here we demonstrate that optogenetic suppression of parvalbumin (PV)- but not somatostatin (SOM)-expressing interneurons reduces response reliability in the primary visual cortex of anaesthetized and awake mice. PV suppression leads to increases in the low firing rates and decreases in the high firing rates of cortical neurons, resulting in an overall reduction of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In contrast, SOM suppression generally increases the overall firing rate for most neurons, without affecting the SNR. Further analysis reveals that PV, but not SOM, suppression impairs neural discrimination of natural stimuli. Together, these results reveal a critical role for PV interneurons in the formation of reliable visual cortical representations of natural stimuli.

  7. Neuronal population coding of perceived and memorized visual features in the lateral prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza-Halliday, Diego; Martinez-Trujillo, Julio C.

    2017-01-01

    The primate lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) encodes visual stimulus features while they are perceived and while they are maintained in working memory. However, it remains unclear whether perceived and memorized features are encoded by the same or different neurons and population activity patterns. Here we record LPFC neuronal activity while monkeys perceive the motion direction of a stimulus that remains visually available, or memorize the direction if the stimulus disappears. We find neurons with a wide variety of combinations of coding strength for perceived and memorized directions: some neurons encode both to similar degrees while others preferentially or exclusively encode either one. Reading out the combined activity of all neurons, a machine-learning algorithm reliably decode the motion direction and determine whether it is perceived or memorized. Our results indicate that a functionally diverse population of LPFC neurons provides a substrate for discriminating between perceptual and mnemonic representations of visual features. PMID:28569756

  8. Simulating receptive fields of human visual cortex for 3D image quality prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Feng; Chen, Wanting; Lin, Wenchong; Jiang, Qiuping; Jiang, Gangyi

    2016-07-20

    Quality assessment of 3D images presents many challenges when attempting to gain better understanding of the human visual system. In this paper, we propose a new 3D image quality prediction approach by simulating receptive fields (RFs) of human visual cortex. To be more specific, we extract the RFs from a complete visual pathway, and calculate their similarity indices between the reference and distorted 3D images. The final quality score is obtained by determining their connections via support vector regression. Experimental results on three 3D image quality assessment databases demonstrate that in comparison with the most relevant existing methods, the devised algorithm achieves high consistency alignment with subjective assessment, especially for asymmetrically distorted stereoscopic images.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicmil, Nela; Krug, Kristine

    2015-09-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicmil, Nela; Krug, Kristine

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan eWang

    2016-03-01

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

  12. The basis of orientation decoding in human primary visual cortex: fine- or coarse-scale biases?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maloney, Ryan T

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiangying Meng

    2015-08-01

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

  14. Decreasing predictability of visual motion enhances feed-forward processing in visual cortex when stimuli are behaviorally relevant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellermann, Thilo; Scholle, Ruben; Schneider, Frank; Habel, Ute

    2017-03-01

    Recent views of information processing in the (human) brain emphasize the hierarchical structure of the central nervous system, which is assumed to form the basis of a functional hierarchy. Hierarchical predictive processing refers to the notion that higher levels try to predict activity in lower areas, while lower levels transmit a prediction error up the hierarchy whenever the predictions fail. The present study aims at testing hypothetical modulatory effects of unpredictable visual motion on forward connectivities within the visual cortex. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was acquired from 35 healthy volunteers while viewing a moving ball under three different levels of predictability. In two different runs subjects were asked to attend to direction changes in the ball's motion, where a button-press was required in one of these runs only. Dynamic causal modeling was applied to a network comprising V1, V5 and posterior parietal cortex in the right hemisphere. The winning model of a Bayesian model selection indicated an enhanced strength in the forward connection from V1 to V5 with decreasing predictability for the run requiring motor response. These results support the notion of hierarchical predictive processing in the sense of an augmented bottom-up transmission of prediction error with increasing uncertainty about motion direction. This finding may be of importance for promoting our understanding of trait characteristics in psychiatric disorders, as an increased forward propagation of prediction error is assumed to underlie schizophrenia and may be observable at early stages of the disease.

  15. Decoding the future from past experience: learning shapes predictions in early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luft, Caroline D B; Meeson, Alan; Welchman, Andrew E; Kourtzi, Zoe

    2015-05-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Muckli

    2005-08-01

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

  17. Neuronal correlate of visual associative long-term memory in the primate temporal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyashita, Yasushi

    1988-10-01

    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.

  18. Functional double dissociation within the entorhinal cortex for visual scene-dependent choice behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Seung-Woo; Lee, Inah

    2017-01-01

    How visual scene memory is processed differentially by the upstream structures of the hippocampus is largely unknown. We sought to dissociate functionally the lateral and medial subdivisions of the entorhinal cortex (LEC and MEC, respectively) in visual scene-dependent tasks by temporarily inactivating the LEC and MEC in the same rat. When the rat made spatial choices in a T-maze using visual scenes displayed on LCD screens, the inactivation of the MEC but not the LEC produced severe deficits in performance. However, when the task required the animal to push a jar or to dig in the sand in the jar using the same scene stimuli, the LEC but not the MEC became important. Our findings suggest that the entorhinal cortex is critical for scene-dependent mnemonic behavior, and the response modality may interact with a sensory modality to determine the involvement of the LEC and MEC in scene-based memory tasks. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.21543.001 PMID:28169828

  19. Summation of connectivity strengths in the visual cortex reveals stability of neuronal microcircuits after plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachatene, Lyes; Bharmauria, Vishal; Cattan, Sarah; Chanauria, Nayan; Rouat, Jean; Molotchnikoff, Stéphane

    2015-10-09

    Within sensory systems, neurons are continuously affected by environmental stimulation. Recently, we showed that, on cell-pair basis, visual adaptation modulates the connectivity strength between similarly tuned neurons to orientation and we suggested that, on a larger scale, the connectivity strength between neurons forming sub-networks could be maintained after adaptation-induced-plasticity. In the present paper, based on the summation of the connectivity strengths, we sought to examine how, within cell-assemblies, functional connectivity is regulated during an exposure-based adaptation. Using intrinsic optical imaging combined with electrophysiological recordings following the reconfiguration of the maps of the primary visual cortex by long stimulus exposure, we found that within functionally connected cells, the summed connectivity strengths remain almost equal although connections among individual pairs are modified. Neuronal selectivity appears to be strongly associated with neuronal connectivity in a "homeodynamic" manner which maintains the stability of cortical functional relationships after experience-dependent plasticity. Our results support the "homeostatic plasticity concept" giving new perspectives on how the summation in visual cortex leads to the stability within labile neuronal ensembles, depending on the newly acquired properties by neurons.

  20. Input and output gain modulation by the lateral interhemispheric network in early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wunderle, Thomas; Eriksson, David; Peiker, Christiane; Schmidt, Kerstin E

    2015-05-20

    Neurons in the cerebral cortex are constantly integrating different types of inputs. Dependent on their origin, these inputs can be modulatory in many ways and, for example, change the neuron's responsiveness, sensitivity, or selectivity. To investigate the modulatory role of lateral input from the same level of cortical hierarchy, we recorded in the primary visual cortex of cats while controlling synaptic input from the corresponding contralateral hemisphere by reversible deactivation. Most neurons showed a pronounced decrease in their response to a visual stimulus of different contrasts and orientations. This indicates that the lateral network acts via an unspecific gain-setting mechanism, scaling the output of a neuron. However, the interhemispheric input also changed the contrast sensitivity of many neurons, thereby acting on the input. Such a contrast gain mechanism has important implications because it extends the role of the lateral network from pure response amplification to the modulation of a specific feature. Interestingly, for many neurons, we found a mixture of input and output gain modulation. Based on these findings and the known physiology of callosal connections in the visual system, we developed a simple model of lateral interhemispheric interactions. We conclude that the lateral network can act directly on its target, leading to a sensitivity change of a specific feature, while at the same time it also can act indirectly, leading to an unspecific gain setting. The relative contribution of these direct and indirect network effects determines the outcome for a particular neuron.

  1. A small-world-based population encoding model of the primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Li; Niu, Xiaoke; Wan, Hong; Shang, Zhigang; Wang, Zhizhong

    2015-06-01

    A wide range of evidence has shown that information encoding performed by the visual cortex involves complex activities of neuronal populations. However, the effects of the neuronal connectivity structure on the population's encoding performance remain poorly understood. In this paper, a small-world-based population encoding model of the primary visual cortex (V1) is established on the basis of the generalized linear model (GLM) to describe the computation of the neuronal population. The model mainly consists of three sets of filters, including a spatiotemporal stimulus filter, a post-spike history filter, and a set of coupled filters with the coupling neurons organizing as a small-world network. The parameters of the model were fitted with neuronal data of the rat V1 recorded with a micro-electrode array. Compared to the traditional GLM, without considering the small-world structure of the neuronal population, the proposed model was proved to produce more accurate spiking response to grating stimuli and enhance the capability of the neuronal population to carry information. The comparison results proved the validity of the proposed model and further suggest the role of small-world structure in the encoding performance of local populations in V1, which provides new insights for understanding encoding mechanisms of a small scale population in visual system.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-12-01

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

  3. [Development of primary visual cortex connections with the motion processing center: the role of visual environment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merkul'eva, N S; Mikhalkin, A A; Nikitina, N I; Makarov, F N

    2011-01-01

    Development of axonal connections between cat primary visual area 17 and visual motion processing center was studied to investigate cortico-cortical connection plasticity in ontogenesis as affected by an experimental modification of visual environment (flickering light stimulation). By using a retrograde axonal labeling by horseradish peroxidase, a distribution of initial neurons in area 17 that send afferent projections to PMLS (posterior medial part of lateral suprasylvian sulcus) was analyzed. Sixteen 5-week-old and 12-14-week-old kittens, than were reared in normal visual environment or were subjected to a flickering light of 15 Hz frequency, were examined. It was shown that session stimulation by flickering light led to an impairment of normal development of regular organization of the connections between these visual areas including the decrease of labeled surface area and labeled initial neuron density in area 17. The data obtained elucidate the structural bases of cortical mechanisms that underlie motion processing disturbances in kittens stimulated by a flickering light.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Baowang; Freeman, Ralph D

    2015-11-01

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

  5. Posttraining transcranial magnetic stimulation of striate cortex disrupts consolidation early in visual skill learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Weerd, Peter; Reithler, Joel; van de Ven, Vincent; Been, Marin; Jacobs, Christianne; Sack, Alexander T

    2012-02-01

    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.

  6. Imaging studies in congenital anophthalmia reveal preservation of brain architecture in 'visual' cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridge, Holly; Cowey, Alan; Ragge, Nicola; Watkins, Kate

    2009-12-01

    The functional specialization of the human brain means that many regions are dedicated to processing a single sensory modality. When a modality is absent, as in congenital total blindness, 'visual' regions can be reliably activated by non-visual stimuli. The connections underlying this functional adaptation, however, remain elusive. In this study, using structural and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated the structural differences in the brains of six bilaterally anophthalmic subjects compared with sighted subjects. Surprisingly, the gross structural differences in the brains were small, even in the occipital lobe where only a small region of the primary visual cortex showed a bilateral reduction in grey matter volume in the anophthalmic subjects compared with controls. Regions of increased cortical thickness were apparent on the banks of the Calcarine sulcus, but not in the fundus. Subcortically, the white matter volume around the optic tract and internal capsule in anophthalmic subjects showed a large decrease, yet the optic radiation volume did not differ significantly. However, the white matter integrity, as measured with fractional anisotropy showed an extensive reduction throughout the brain in the anophthalmic subjects, with the greatest difference in the optic radiations. In apparent contradiction to the latter finding, the connectivity between the lateral geniculate nucleus and primary visual cortex measured with diffusion tractography did not differ between the two populations. However, these findings can be reconciled by a demonstration that at least some of the reduction in fractional anisotropy in the optic radiation is due to an increase in the strength of fibres crossing the radiations. In summary, the major changes in the 'visual' brain in anophthalmic subjects may be subcortical, although the evidence of decreased fractional anisotropy and increased crossing fibres could indicate considerable re-organization.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles F Cadieu

    2014-12-01

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

  8. Figure-ground organization and the emergence of proto-objects in the visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rüdiger evon der Heydt

    2015-11-01

    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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Experience-dependent expression of Nogo-A and Nogo receptor in the developing rat visual cortex

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaoying Wu; Yulin Luo; Shuangzhen Liu; Kuanshu Li

    2012-01-01

    Nogo-A and Nogo receptor (NgR) expression in the visual cortex following a critical developmental period (postnatal days 20-60) has been previously shown. However, little is known regarding Nogo-A and NgR expression between postnatal day 0 and initiation of the critical period. The present study analyzed Nogo-A and NgR expression at four different time points: postnatal day 0 (P0), before critical period (P14), during critical period (P28), and after critical period (P60). Results showed significantly increased Nogo-A mRNA and protein expression levels in the visual cortex following birth, and expression levels remained steady between P28 and P60. NgR mRNA or protein expression was dramatically upregulated with age and peaked at P14 or P28, respectively, and maintained high expression to P60. In addition, Nogo-A and NgR expression was analyzed in each visual cortex layer in normal developing rats and rats with monocular deprivation. Monocular deprivation decreased Nogo-A and NgR mRNA and protein expression in the rat visual cortex, in particular in layers II-III and IV in the visual cortex contralateral to the deprived eye. These findings suggested that Nogo-A and NgR regulated termination of the critical period in experience- dependent visual cortical plasticity.

  11. Coherent states of the Euclidean group and activation regions of primary visual cortex

    CERN Document Server

    Barbieri, Davide; Sanguinetti, Gonzalo; Sarti, Alessandro

    2011-01-01

    The uncertainty principle of SE(2) allows to construct a coherent states transform that is strictly related to the Bargmann transform for the second Heisenberg group H2. The corresponding target space is characterized constructively and related to the almost complex structure of SE(2) as a contact manifold. Such a coherent state transform provides a model for neural activity maps in the primary visual cortex, that are then described in terms of minimal uncertainty states. The results of the model are compared with the experimental measurements.

  12. [Noradrenaline and plasticity of the visual cortex of the kitten: a reexamination].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adrien, J; Buisseret, P; Fregnac, Y; Gary-Bobo, E; Imbert, M; Tassin, J P; Trotter, Y

    1982-12-06

    We have undertaken a study of the role of the noradrenergic system in the functional modifications, observed in the primary visual cortex of the Kitten, following monocular deprivation. The lids of one eye were sutured in 5 week old Kittens for a period of 1 or 2 weeks. Noradrenergic depletion was obtained by 6-OHDA injection, either intraventricular or localized in the coeruleus complex. Our results indicate that disappearance of noradrenaline in area 17 does not prevent the loss of binocularity of cortical cells, but appears to limit ocular dominance shifts at a stage equivalent to that observed in the intact Kitten after 6 days of monocular deprivation.

  13. 3D visualization of movements can amplify motor cortex activation during subsequent motor imagery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sollfrank, Teresa; Hart, Daniel; Goodsell, Rachel; Foster, Jonathan; Tan, Tele

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jolij, J.; Lamme, V.A.F.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jolij, J.; Lamme, V.A.F.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  17. The human visual cortex responds to gene therapy-mediated recovery of retinal function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delong Zhang

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri Gonchar

    2008-03-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    with schizophrenia reported an increased density of neurons in the primary visual cortex (Brodmann's area 17, BA17). The observed changes in visual processing may thus be reflected in structural changes in the circuitry of BA17. To characterize the structural changes further we used stereological methods based...... on unbiased principles of sampling (Cavalieri's principle and the optical fractionator) to estimate the total volume and neuron number of BA17 in postmortem brains from 10 subjects with schizophrenia and 10 matched normal comparison subjects. In addition, we assessed cortical thickness. We found a marked...... and significant reduction in total neuron number (25%) and volume (22%) of BA17 in the schizophrenia group relative to the normal comparison subjects. In contrast, we found no changes in neuronal density or cortical thickness between the two groups. Subjects with schizophrenia therefore have a smaller cortical...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Federau

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

  2. Epileptiform activity in the mouse visual cortex interferes with cortical processing in connected areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrucco, L.; Pracucci, E.; Brondi, M.; Ratto, G. M.; Landi, S.

    2017-01-01

    Epileptiform activity is associated with impairment of brain function even in absence of seizures, as demonstrated by failures in various testing paradigm in presence of hypersynchronous interictal spikes (ISs). Clinical evidence suggests that cognitive deficits might be directly caused by the anomalous activity rather than by its underlying etiology. Indeed, we seek to understand whether ISs interfere with neuronal processing in connected areas not directly participating in the hypersynchronous activity in an acute model of epilepsy. Here we cause focal ISs in the visual cortex of anesthetized mice and we determine that, even if ISs do not invade the opposite hemisphere, the local field potential is subtly disrupted with a modulation of firing probability imposed by the contralateral IS activity. Finally, we find that visual processing is altered depending on the temporal relationship between ISs and stimulus presentation. We conclude that focal ISs interact with normal cortical dynamics far from the epileptic focus, disrupting endogenous oscillatory rhythms and affecting information processing. PMID:28071688

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-25

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

  5. Cortical projections to the superior colliculus in tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Mary K L; Wei, Haiyang; Reed, Jamie L; Bickford, Martha E; Petry, Heywood M; Kaas, Jon H

    2013-05-01

    The visuomotor functions of the superior colliculus depend not only on direct inputs from the retina, but also on inputs from neocortex. As mammals vary in the areal organization of neocortex, and in the organization of the number of visual and visuomotor areas, patterns of corticotectal projections vary. Primates in particular have a large number of visual areas projecting to the superior colliculus. As tree shrews are close relatives of primates, and they are also highly visual, we studied the distribution of cortical neurons projecting to the superior colliculus by injecting anatomical tracers into the colliculus. Since projections from visuotopically organized visual areas are expected to match the visuotopy of the superior colliculus, injections at different retinotopic locations in the superior colliculus provide information about the locations and organization of topographic areas in extrastriate cortex. Small injections in the superior colliculus labeled neurons in locations within areas 17 (V1) and 18 (V2) that are consistent with the known topography of these areas and the superior colliculus. In addition, the separate locations of clusters of labeled cells in temporal visual cortex provide evidence for five or more topographically organized areas. Injections that included deeper layers of the superior colliculus also labeled neurons in medial frontal cortex, likely in premotor cortex. Only occasional labeled neurons were observed in somatosensory or auditory cortex. Regardless of tracer injection location, we found that, unlike primates, a substantial projection to the superior colliculus from posterior parietal cortex is not a characteristic of tree shrews.

  6. GABA and GABA receptors alterations in the primary visual cortex of concave lens-induced myopic model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Wen; Bi, Ai-Ling; Xu, Chao-Li; Ye, Xiang; Chen, Mei-Qing; Wang, Xin-Ting; Zhang, Xiao-Yan; Guo, Jun-Guo; Jiang, Wen-Jun; Zhang, Jin; Bi, Hong-Sheng

    2017-02-02

    Until recently most researches on myopia mechanisms have mainly been focused on the eye ball and few investigations were explored on the upper visual pathway, such as the visual cortex. The roles of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the retinal and in the upper visual pathway are inter-correlated. As the retinal glutamate decarboxylase (GAD), GABA, and the mRNA levels of GABA receptors increased during the concave lens induced myopia formation, however, whether GABA alterations also occurred in the visual cortex during the concave lens induction is still unknown. In the present study, using HPLC, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and Real-Time Quantitative-PCR (RT-PCR) methods, we observed the changing trends of GABA, glutamate decarboxylase (GAD), and GABA receptors in the visual cortex of concave lens-induced myopic guinea pigs. Similar to the changing patterns of retinal GABA, the concentrations of GAD, GABA and the mRNA levels of GABA receptors in the visual cortex also increased. These results indicate that the exploration on myopia mechanisms should possibly be investigated on the whole visual pathway and the detailed significance of cortical GABA alterations needs further investigation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-06-01

    RPE65 is an essential molecule in the retinoid-visual cycle, and RPE65 gene mutations cause the congenital human blindness known as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). Somatic gene therapy delivered to the retina of blind dogs with an RPE65 mutation dramatically restores retinal physiology and has sparked international interest in human treatment trials for this incurable disease. An unanswered question is how the visual cortex responds after prolonged sensory deprivation from retinal dysfunction. We therefore studied the cortex of RPE65-mutant dogs before and after retinal gene therapy. Then, we inquired whether there is visual pathway integrity and responsivity in adult humans with LCA due to RPE65 mutations (RPE65-LCA). RPE65-mutant dogs were studied with fMRI. Prior to therapy, retinal and subcortical responses to light were markedly diminished, and there were minimal cortical responses within the primary visual areas of the lateral gyrus (activation amplitude mean +/- standard deviation [SD] = 0.07% +/- 0.06% and volume = 1.3 +/- 0.6 cm(3)). Following therapy, retinal and subcortical response restoration was accompanied by increased amplitude (0.18% +/- 0.06%) and volume (8.2 +/- 0.8 cm(3)) of activation within the lateral gyrus (p 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 (29.7 +/- 8.3 cm(3), p gene therapy in the canine model of RPE65-LCA. Human RPE65-LCA patients have preserved visual pathway anatomy and detectable cortical activation despite limited visual experience. Taken together, the results

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-21

    Circuits in the cerebral cortex consist of thousands of neurons connected by millions of synapses. A precise understanding of these local networks requires relating circuit activity with the underlying network structure. For pyramidal cells in superficial mouse visual cortex (V1), a consensus is emerging that neurons with similar visual response properties excite each other, but the anatomical basis of this recurrent synaptic network is unknown. Here we combined physiological imaging and large-scale electron microscopy to study an excitatory network in V1. We found that layer 2/3 neurons organized into subnetworks defined by anatomical connectivity, with more connections within than between groups. More specifically, we found that pyramidal neurons with similar orientation selectivity preferentially formed synapses with each other, despite the fact that axons and dendrites of all orientation selectivities pass near (<5 μm) each other with roughly equal probability. Therefore, we predict that mechanisms of functionally specific connectivity take place at the length scale of spines. Neurons with similar orientation tuning formed larger synapses, potentially enhancing the net effect of synaptic specificity. With the ability to study thousands of connections in a single circuit, functional connectomics is proving a powerful method to uncover the organizational logic of cortical networks.

  10. Griffiths phase and long-range correlations in a biologically motivated visual cortex model

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    Activity in the brain propagates as waves of firing neurons, namely avalanches. These waves’ size and duration distributions have been experimentally shown to display a stable power-law profile, long-range correlations and 1/f b power spectrum in vivo and in vitro. We study an avalanching biologically motivated model of mammals visual cortex and find an extended critical-like region – a Griffiths phase – characterized by divergent susceptibility and zero order parameter. This phase lies close to the expected experimental value of the excitatory postsynaptic potential in the cortex suggesting that critical be-havior may be found in the visual system. Avalanches are not perfectly power-law distributed, but it is possible to collapse the distributions and define a cutoff avalanche size that diverges as the network size is increased inside the critical region. The avalanches present long-range correlations and 1/f b power spectrum, matching experiments. The phase transition is analytically determined by a mean-field approximation.

  11. Subgroups of parvalbumin-expressing interneurons in layers 2/3 of the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helm, Jessica; Akgul, Gulcan; Wollmuth, Lonnie P

    2013-03-01

    The input, processing, and output characteristics of inhibitory interneurons help shape information flow through layers 2/3 of the visual cortex. Parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons modulate and synchronize the gain and dynamic responsiveness of pyramidal neurons. To define the diversity of PV interneurons in layers 2/3 of the developing visual cortex, we characterized their passive and active membrane properties. Using Ward's and k-means multidimensional clustering, we identified four PV interneuron subgroups. The most notable difference between the subgroups was their firing patterns in response to moderate stimuli just above rheobase. Two subgroups showed regular and continuous firing at all stimulus intensities above rheobase. The difference between these two continuously firing subgroups was that one fired at much higher frequencies and transitioned into this high-frequency firing rate at or near rheobase. The two other subgroups showed irregular, stuttering firing patterns just above rheobase. Both of these subgroups typically transitioned to regular and continuous firing at intense stimulations, but one of these subgroups, the strongly stuttering subgroup, showed irregular firing across a wider range of stimulus intensities and firing frequencies. The four subgroups also differed in excitatory synaptic input, providing independent support for the classification of subgroups. The subgroups of PV interneurons identified here would respond differently to inputs of varying intensity and frequency, generating diverse patterns of PV inhibition in the developing neural circuit.

  12. Visual Cortex Inspired CNN Model for Feature Construction in Text Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Hongping; Niu, Zhendong; Zhang, Chunxia; Ma, Jing; Chen, Jie

    2016-01-01

    Recently, biologically inspired models are gradually proposed to solve the problem in text analysis. Convolutional neural networks (CNN) are hierarchical artificial neural networks, which include a various of multilayer perceptrons. According to biological research, CNN can be improved by bringing in the attention modulation and memory processing of primate visual cortex. In this paper, we employ the above properties of primate visual cortex to improve CNN and propose a biological-mechanism-driven-feature-construction based answer recommendation method (BMFC-ARM), which is used to recommend the best answer for the corresponding given questions in community question answering. BMFC-ARM is an improved CNN with four channels respectively representing questions, answers, asker information and answerer information, and mainly contains two stages: biological mechanism driven feature construction (BMFC) and answer ranking. BMFC imitates the attention modulation property by introducing the asker information and answerer information of given questions and the similarity between them, and imitates the memory processing property through bringing in the user reputation information for answerers. Then the feature vector for answer ranking is constructed by fusing the asker-answerer similarities, answerer's reputation and the corresponding vectors of question, answer, asker, and answerer. Finally, the Softmax is used at the stage of answer ranking to get best answers by the feature vector. The experimental results of answer recommendation on the Stackexchange dataset show that BMFC-ARM exhibits better performance. PMID:27471460

  13. Turtle Dorsal Cortex Pyramidal Neurons Comprise Two Distinct Cell Types with Indistinguishable Visual Responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Crockett

    Full Text Available A detailed inventory of the constituent pieces in cerebral cortex is considered essential to understand the principles underlying cortical signal processing. Specifically, the search for pyramidal neuron subtypes is partly motivated by the hypothesis that a subtype-specific division of labor could create a rich substrate for computation. On the other hand, the extreme integration of individual neurons into the collective cortical circuit promotes the hypothesis that cellular individuality represents a smaller computational role within the context of the larger network. These competing hypotheses raise the important question to what extent the computational function of a neuron is determined by its individual type or by its circuit connections. We created electrophysiological profiles from pyramidal neurons within the sole cellular layer of turtle visual cortex by measuring responses to current injection using whole-cell recordings. A blind clustering algorithm applied to these data revealed the presence of two principle types of pyramidal neurons. Brief diffuse light flashes triggered membrane potential fluctuations in those same cortical neurons. The apparently network driven variability of the visual responses concealed the existence of subtypes. In conclusion, our results support the notion that the importance of diverse intrinsic physiological properties is minimized when neurons are embedded in a synaptic recurrent network.

  14. Thalamus provides layer 4 of primary visual cortex with orientation- and direction-tuned inputs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Wenzhi; Tan, Zhongchao; Mensh, Brett D.; Ji, Na

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the functions of a brain region requires knowing the neural representations of its myriad inputs, local neurons, and outputs. Primary visual cortex (V1) has long been thought to compute visual orientation from untuned thalamic inputs, but very few thalamic inputs have been measured in any mammal. We determined the response properties of ~28,000 thalamic boutons and ~4,000 cortical neurons in layers 1–5 of awake mouse V1. With adaptive optics allowing accurate measurement of bouton activity deep in cortex, we found that around half of the boutons in the main thalamorecipient L4 carry orientation-tuned information, and their orientation/direction biases are also dominant in the L4 neuron population, suggesting that these neurons may inherit their selectivity from tuned thalamic inputs. Cortical neurons in all layers exhibited sharper tuning than thalamic boutons and a greater diversity of preferred orientations. Our results provide data-rich constraints for refining mechanistic models of cortical computation. PMID:26691829

  15. Visual cortex inspired CNN model for feature construction in text analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongping Fu

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Recently, biologically inspired models are gradually proposed to solve the problem in text analysis. Convolutional neural networks (CNN are hierarchical artificial neural networks, which include a various of multilayer perceptrons. According to biological research, CNN can be improved by bringing in the attention modulation and memory processing of primate visual cortex. In this paper, we employ the above properties of primate visual cortex to improve CNN and propose a biological-mechanism-driven-feature-construction based answer recommendation method (BMFC-ARM, which is used to recommend the best answer for the corresponding given questions in community question answering. BMFC-ARM is an improved CNN with four channels respectively representing questions, answers, asker information and answerer information, and mainly contains two stages: biological mechanism driven feature construction (BMFC and answer ranking. BMFC imitates the attention modulation property by introducing the asker information and answerer information of given questions and the similarity between them, and imitates the memory processing property through bringing in the user reputation information for answerers. Then the feature vector for answer ranking is constructed by fusing the asker-answerer similarities, answerer's reputation and the corresponding vectors of question, answer, asker and answerer. Finally, the Softmax is used at the stage of answer ranking to get best answers by the feature vector. The experimental results of answer recommendation on the Stackexchange dataset show that BMFC-ARM exhibits better performance.

  16. Parietal and Frontal Cortex Encode Stimulus-Specific Mnemonic Representations during Visual Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ester, Edward F; Sprague, Thomas C; Serences, John T

    2015-08-19

    Working memory (WM) enables the storage and manipulation of information in an active state. WM storage has long been associated with sustained increases in activation across a network of frontal and parietal cortical regions. However, recent evidence suggests that these regions primarily encode information related to general task goals rather than feature-selective representations of specific memoranda. These goal-related representations are thought to provide top-down feedback that coordinates the representation of fine-grained details in early sensory areas. Here, we test this model using fMRI-based reconstructions of remembered visual details from region-level activation patterns. We could reconstruct high-fidelity representations of a remembered orientation based on activation patterns in occipital visual cortex and in several sub-regions of frontal and parietal cortex, independent of sustained increases in mean activation. These results challenge models of WM that postulate disjoint frontoparietal "top-down control" and posterior sensory "feature storage" networks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Cortical thickness development of human primary visual cortex related to the age of blindness onset.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiaojun; Song, Ming; Xu, Jiayuan; Qin, Wen; Yu, Chunshui; Jiang, Tianzi

    2016-07-28

    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.

  18. Postnatal expression and distribution of Refsum disease gene associated protein in the rat retina and visual cortex: effect of binocular visual deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Kyu Youn; Nam, Kwang Il; Kim, Baik Yoon; Cho, Chul Woong; Jeong, Sang Ki; Yang, Kun Jin; Kim, Kyung Keun

    2002-04-01

    Previously, phytanoyl-CoA alpha-hydroxylase-associated protein 1 (PAHX-AP1) was isolated as a novel neuron-specific protein to interact with Refsum disease (RfD) gene PAHX. Its expression in the brain increased after eyelid opening, and the elevated level was maintained through adulthood. In this report, to verify the hypothesis that light could trigger this increase, we have examined the developmental distribution pattern of PAHX-AP1 in rat retina and visual cortex, and changes of its expression by binocular deprivation. Northern blot analyses demonstrated PAHX-AP1 expression reached its highest level in the visual cortex and eyeball at 4 weeks after birth, and these levels were maintained through adult life. Two weeks after visual deprivation, its expression in the eyeball and visual cortex decreased compared with the control. In situ hybridization analyses of the retina showed that PAHX-AP1 expression was limited to the ganglionic cell layer at 10 days after birth, but expressed in the inner nuclear cell layer and extended to the outer nuclear cell layer at 2 and 3 weeks after birth, respectively. Two weeks after visual deprivation, however, it decreased in the ganglionic and inner nuclear cell layer, and disappeared in the rod and cone cell layers. In the visual cortex, strong signals of PAHX-AP1 were detected in layers IV and VI, and II-VI at 10 days and 2 weeks after birth, respectively. Its expression decreased after 2 weeks of visual deprivation. These results indicate that visual stimulation is essential for the maintenance of PAHX-AP1 expressions in the retina, especially in the rod and cone cell layers, and visual cortex, and suggest that PAHX-AP1 may be involved in the developmental regulation of the photoreceptor's function.

  19. Target sites for transcallosal fibers in human visual cortex - A combined diffusion and polarized light imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caspers, Svenja; Axer, Markus; Caspers, Julian; Jockwitz, Christiane; Jütten, Kerstin; Reckfort, Julia; Grässel, David; Amunts, Katrin; Zilles, Karl

    2015-11-01

    Transcallosal fibers of the visual system have preferential target sites within the occipital cortex of monkeys. These target sites coincide with vertical meridian representations of the visual field at borders of retinotopically defined visual areas. The existence of preferential target sites of transcallosal fibers in the human brain at the borders of early visual areas was claimed, but controversially discussed. Hence, we studied the distribution of transcallosal fibers in human visual cortex, searching for an organizational principle across early and higher visual areas. In-vivo high angular resolution diffusion imaging data of 28 subjects were used for probabilistic fiber tracking using a constrained spherical deconvolution approach. The fiber architecture within the target sites was analyzed at microscopic resolution using 3D polarized light imaging in a post-mortem human hemisphere. Fibers through a seed in the splenium of the corpus callosum reached the occipital cortex via the forceps major and the tapetum. We found target sites of these transcallosal fibers at borders of cytoarchitectonically defined occipital areas not only between early visual areas V1 and V2, V3d and V3A, and V3v and V4, but also between higher extrastriate areas, namely V4 (ventral) and posterior fusiform area FG1 as well as posterior fusiform area FG2 and lateral occipital cortex. In early visual areas, the target sites coincided with the vertical meridian representations of retinotopic maps. The spatial arrangement of the fibers in the 'border tuft' region at the V1/V2 border was found to be more complex than previously observed in myeloarchitectonic studies. In higher visual areas, our results provided additional evidence for a hemi-field representation in human area V4. The fiber topography in posterior fusiform gyrus indicated that additional retinotopic areas might exist, located between the recently identified retinotopic representations phPITv/phPITd and PHC-1/PHC-2 in lateral

  20. Visual processing of multiple elements in the dyslexic brain: evidence for a superior parietal dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muriel Anne Lobier

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The visual attention (VA span deficit hypothesis of developmental dyslexia posits that impaired multiple element processing can be responsible for poor reading outcomes. In VA span impaired dyslexic children, poor performance on letter report tasks is associated with reduced parietal activations for multiple letter processing. While this hints towards a non-specific, attention-based dysfunction, it is still unclear whether reduced parietal activity generalizes to other types of stimuli. Furthermore, putative links between reduced parietal activity and reduced ventral occipito-temporal (vOT in dyslexia have yet to be explored. Using fMRI, we measured brain activity in 12 VA span impaired dyslexic adults and 12 adult skilled readers while they carried out a categorization task on single or multiple alphanumeric or non-alphanumeric characters. While healthy readers activated parietal areas more strongly for multiple than single element processing (right-sided for alphanumeric and bilateral for non-alphanumeric, similar stronger multiple element right parietal activations were absent for dyslexic participants. Contrasts between skilled and dyslexic readers revealed significantly reduced right superior parietal lobule (SPL activity for dyslexic readers regardless of stimuli type. Using a priori anatomically defined ROI, we showed that neural activity was reduced for dyslexic participants in both SPL and vOT bilaterally. Finally, we used multiple regressions to test whether SPL activity could predict vOT activity in each group. In the left hemisphere, SPL activity modulated vOT activity for both normal and dyslexic readers. In contrast, in the right hemisphere, SPL activity modulated vOT activity only for dyslexic readers. These results bring critical support to the visual attention interpretation of the VA Span deficit. In addition, they offer a new insight on how deficits in automatic vOT based word recognition could arise in developmental dyslexia.

  1. A Comparison of Visual Response Properties in the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus and Primary Visual Cortex of Awake and Anesthetized Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durand, Séverine; Iyer, Ramakrishnan; Mizuseki, Kenji; de Vries, Saskia; Mihalas, Stefan; Reid, R Clay

    2016-11-30

    The cerebral cortex of the mouse has become one of the most important systems for studying information processing and the neural correlates of behavior. Multiple studies have examined the first stages of visual cortical processing: primary visual cortex (V1) and its thalamic inputs from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN), but more rarely in the lateral posterior nucleus (LP) in mice. Multiple single-unit surveys of dLGN and V1, both with electrophysiology and two-photon calcium imaging, have described receptive fields in anesthetized animals. Increasingly, awake animals are being used in physiological studies, so it is important to compare neuronal responses between awake and anesthetized state. We have performed a comprehensive survey of spatial and temporal response properties in V1, dLGN, and lateral posterior nucleus of both anesthetized and awake animals, using a common set of stimuli: drifting sine-wave gratings spanning a broad range of spatial and temporal parameters, and sparse noise stimuli consisting of flashed light and dark squares. Most qualitative receptive field parameters were found to be unchanged between the two states, such as most aspects of spatial processing, but there were significant differences in several parameters, most notably in temporal processing. Compared with anesthetized animals, the temporal frequency that evoked the peak response was shifted toward higher values in the dLGN of awake mice and responses were more sustained. Further, the peak response to a flashed stimulus was earlier in all three areas. Overall, however, receptive field properties in the anesthetized animal remain a good model for those in the awake animal.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgartner, Elisabeth; Gegenfurtner, Karl R

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Disentangling Representations of Object Shape and Object Category in Human Visual Cortex: The Animate-Inanimate Distinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proklova, Daria; Kaiser, Daniel; Peelen, Marius V

    2016-05-01

    Objects belonging to different categories evoke reliably different fMRI activity patterns in human occipitotemporal cortex, with the most prominent distinction being that between animate and inanimate objects. An unresolved question is whether these categorical distinctions reflect category-associated visual properties of objects or whether they genuinely reflect object category. Here, we addressed this question by measuring fMRI responses to animate and inanimate objects that were closely matched for shape and low-level visual features. Univariate contrasts revealed animate- and inanimate-preferring regions in ventral and lateral temporal cortex even for individually matched object pairs (e.g., snake-rope). Using representational similarity analysis, we mapped out brain regions in which the pairwise dissimilarity of multivoxel activity patterns (neural dissimilarity) was predicted by the objects' pairwise visual dissimilarity and/or their categorical dissimilarity. Visual dissimilarity was measured as the time it took participants to find a unique target among identical distractors in three visual search experiments, where we separately quantified overall dissimilarity, outline dissimilarity, and texture dissimilarity. All three visual dissimilarity structures predicted neural dissimilarity in regions of visual cortex. Interestingly, these analyses revealed several clusters in which categorical dissimilarity predicted neural dissimilarity after regressing out visual dissimilarity. Together, these results suggest that the animate-inanimate organization of human visual cortex is not fully explained by differences in the characteristic shape or texture properties of animals and inanimate objects. Instead, representations of visual object properties and object category may coexist in more anterior parts of the visual system.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lian Zheng

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

  5. A hexagonal orthogonal-oriented pyramid as a model of image representation in visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Andrew B.; Ahumada, Albert J., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    Retinal ganglion cells represent the visual image with a spatial code, in which each cell conveys information about a small region in the image. In contrast, cells of the primary visual cortex use a hybrid space-frequency code in which each cell conveys information about a region that is local in space, spatial frequency, and orientation. A mathematical model for this transformation is described. The hexagonal orthogonal-oriented quadrature pyramid (HOP) transform, which operates on a hexagonal input lattice, uses basis functions that are orthogonal, self-similar, and localized in space, spatial frequency, orientation, and phase. The basis functions, which are generated from seven basic types through a recursive process, form an image code of the pyramid type. The seven basis functions, six bandpass and one low-pass, occupy a point and a hexagon of six nearest neighbors on a hexagonal lattice. The six bandpass basis functions consist of three with even symmetry, and three with odd symmetry. At the lowest level, the inputs are image samples. At each higher level, the input lattice is provided by the low-pass coefficients computed at the previous level. At each level, the output is subsampled in such a way as to yield a new hexagonal lattice with a spacing square root of 7 larger than the previous level, so that the number of coefficients is reduced by a factor of seven at each level. In the biological model, the input lattice is the retinal ganglion cell array. The resulting scheme provides a compact, efficient code of the image and generates receptive fields that resemble those of the primary visual cortex.

  6. Local diversity and fine-scale organization of receptive fields in mouse visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonin, Vincent; Histed, Mark H; Yurgenson, Sergey; Reid, R Clay

    2011-12-14

    Many thousands of cortical neurons are activated by any single sensory stimulus, but the organization of these populations is poorly understood. For example, are neurons in mouse visual cortex--whose preferred orientations are arranged randomly--organized with respect to other response properties? Using high-speed in vivo two-photon calcium imaging, we characterized the receptive fields of up to 100 excitatory and inhibitory neurons in a 200 μm imaged plane. Inhibitory neurons had nonlinearly summating, complex-like receptive fields and were weakly tuned for orientation. Excitatory neurons had linear, simple receptive fields that can be studied with noise stimuli and system identification methods. We developed a wavelet stimulus that evoked rich population responses and yielded the detailed spatial receptive fields of most excitatory neurons in a plane. Receptive fields and visual responses were locally highly diverse, with nearby neurons having largely dissimilar receptive fields and response time courses. Receptive-field diversity was consistent with a nearly random sampling of orientation, spatial phase, and retinotopic position. Retinotopic positions varied locally on average by approximately half the receptive-field size. Nonetheless, the retinotopic progression across the cortex could be demonstrated at the scale of 100 μm, with a magnification of ≈ 10 μm/°. Receptive-field and response similarity were in register, decreasing by 50% over a distance of 200 μm. Together, the results indicate considerable randomness in local populations of mouse visual cortical neurons, with retinotopy as the principal source of organization at the scale of hundreds of micrometers.

  7. Classic and Golli Myelin Basic Protein have distinct developmental trajectories in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siu, Caitlin R; Balsor, Justin L; Jones, David G; Murphy, Kathryn M

    2015-01-01

    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.

  8. Environmental enrichment potentiates thalamocortical transmission and plasticity in the adult rat visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainardi, Marco; Landi, Silvia; Gianfranceschi, Laura; Baldini, Sara; De Pasquale, Roberto; Berardi, Nicoletta; Maffei, Lamberto; Caleo, Matteo

    2010-11-01

    It has been demonstrated that the complex sensorimotor and social stimulation achieved by rearing animals in an enriched environment (EE) can reinstate juvenile-like plasticity in the adult cortex. However, it is not known whether EE can affect thalamocortical transmission. Here, we recorded in vivo field potentials from the visual cortex evoked by electrical stimulation of the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) in anesthetized rats. We found that a period of EE during adulthood shifted the input-output curves and increased paired-pulse depression, suggesting an enhanced synaptic strength at thalamocortical terminals. Accordingly, EE animals showed an increased expression of the vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (vGluT-2) in geniculocortical afferents to layer IV. Rats reared in EE also showed an enhancement of thalamocortical long-term potentiation (LTP) triggered by theta-burst stimulation (TBS) of the dLGN. To monitor the functional consequences of increased LTP in EE rats, we recorded visual evoked potentials (VEPs) before and after application of TBS to the geniculocortical pathway. We found that responses to visual stimulation were enhanced across a range of contrasts in EE animals. This was accompanied by an up-regulation of the intracortical excitatory synaptic marker vGluT-1 and a decrease in the expression of the vesicular GABA transporter (vGAT), indicating a shift in the excitation/inhibition ratio. Thus, in the adult rat, EE enhances synaptic strength and plasticity of the thalamocortical pathway associated with specific changes in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission. These data provide novel insights into the mechanisms by which EE shapes the adult brain.

  9. Shape perception simultaneously up- and downregulates neural activity in the primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kok, Peter; de Lange, Floris P

    2014-07-07

    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.

  10. Classic and Golli Myelin Basic Protein have distinct developmental trajectories in human visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caitlin R Siu

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Traditionally myelin is viewed as insulation around axons however more recent studies have shown it plays an important role in plasticity, axonal metabolism and neuroimmune signalling. 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, and has been called a 'molecular link' between the nervous and immune systems. In visual cortex 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 changes that are coincident with milestones in visual system sensitive period, before gradually increasing into aging. There are 3 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel eBui Quoc

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Visual face-movement sensitive cortex is relevant for auditory-only speech recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedel, Philipp; Ragert, Patrick; Schelinski, Stefanie; Kiebel, Stefan J; von Kriegstein, Katharina

    2015-07-01

    It is commonly assumed that the recruitment of visual areas during audition is not relevant for performing auditory tasks ('auditory-only view'). According to an alternative view, however, the recruitment of visual cortices is thought to optimize auditory-only task performance ('auditory-visual view'). This alternative view is based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. These studies have shown, for example, that even if there is only auditory input available, face-movement sensitive areas within the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) are involved in understanding what is said (auditory-only speech recognition). This is particularly the case when speakers are known audio-visually, that is, after brief voice-face learning. Here we tested whether the left pSTS involvement is causally related to performance in auditory-only speech recognition when speakers are known by face. To test this hypothesis, we applied cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the pSTS during (i) visual-only speech recognition of a speaker known only visually to participants and (ii) auditory-only speech recognition of speakers they learned by voice and face. We defined the cathode as active electrode to down-regulate cortical excitability by hyperpolarization of neurons. tDCS to the pSTS interfered with visual-only speech recognition performance compared to a control group without pSTS stimulation (tDCS to BA6/44 or sham). Critically, compared to controls, pSTS stimulation additionally decreased auditory-only speech recognition performance selectively for voice-face learned speakers. These results are important in two ways. First, they provide direct evidence that the pSTS is causally involved in visual-only speech recognition; this confirms a long-standing prediction of current face-processing models. Secondly, they show that visual face-sensitive pSTS is causally involved in optimizing auditory-only speech recognition. These results are in line

  13. Sex differences in interactions between nucleus accumbens and visual cortex by explicit visual erotic stimuli: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, S W; Jeong, B S; Choi, J; Kim, J-W

    2015-01-01

    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.

  14. Evolutionary constraints on visual cortex architecture from the dynamics of hallucinations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Thomas Charles; Benayoun, Marc; Wallace, Edward; van Drongelen, Wim; Goldenfeld, Nigel; Cowan, Jack

    2012-01-10

    In the cat or primate primary visual cortex (V1), normal vision corresponds to a state where neural excitation patterns are driven by external visual stimuli. A spectacular failure mode of V1 occurs when such patterns are overwhelmed by spontaneously generated spatially self-organized patterns of neural excitation. These are experienced as geometric visual hallucinations. The problem of identifying the mechanisms by which V1 avoids this failure is made acute by recent advances in the statistical mechanics of pattern formation, which suggest that the hallucinatory state should be very robust. Here, we report how incorporating physiologically realistic long-range connections between inhibitory neurons changes the behavior of a model of V1. We find that the sparsity of long-range inhibition in V1 plays a previously unrecognized but key functional role in preserving the normal vision state. Surprisingly, it also contributes to the observed regularity of geometric visual hallucinations. Our results provide an explanation for the observed sparsity of long-range inhibition in V1--this generic architectural feature is an evolutionary adaptation that tunes V1 to the normal vision state. In addition, it has been shown that exactly the same long-range connections play a key role in the development of orientation preference maps. Thus V1's most striking long-range features--patchy excitatory connections and sparse inhibitory connections--are strongly constrained by two requirements: the need for the visual state to be robust and the developmental requirements of the orientational preference map.

  15. Attention Modulates TMS-Locked Alpha Oscillations in the Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herring, Jim D; Thut, Gregor; Jensen, Ole; Bergmann, Til O

    2015-10-28

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    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......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...

  17. Enhanced awareness followed reversible inhibition of human visual cortex: a combined TMS, MRS and MEG study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher P G Allen

    Full Text Available This series of experiments investigated the neural basis of conscious vision in humans using a form of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS known as continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS. Previous studies have shown that occipital TMS, when time-locked to the onset of visual stimuli, can induce a phenomenon analogous to blindsight in which conscious detection is impaired while the ability to discriminate 'unseen' stimuli is preserved above chance. Here we sought to reproduce this phenomenon using offline occipital cTBS, which has been shown to induce an inhibitory cortical aftereffect lasting 45-60 minutes. Contrary to expectations, our first experiment revealed the opposite effect: cTBS enhanced conscious vision relative to a sham control. We then sought to replicate this cTBS-induced potentiation of consciousness in conjunction with magnetoencephalography (MEG and undertook additional experiments to assess its relationship to visual cortical excitability and levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA; via magnetic resonance spectroscopy, MRS. Occipital cTBS decreased cortical excitability and increased regional GABA concentration. No significant effects of cTBS on MEG measures were observed, although the results provided weak evidence for potentiation of event related desynchronisation in the β band. Collectively these experiments suggest that, through the suppression of noise, cTBS can increase the signal-to-noise ratio of neural activity underlying conscious vision. We speculate that gating-by-inhibition in the visual cortex may provide a key foundation of consciousness.

  18. Developmental continuity and change in responses to social and nonsocial categories in human extrastriate visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin A Pelphrey

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available It is well known that adult human extrastriate visual cortex contains areas that respond in a selective fashion to specific categories of visual stimuli. Three regions have been identified with particular regularity: the fusiform face area (FFA, which responds to faces more than to other objects; the parahippocampal place area (PPA, which responds selectively to images of houses, places, and visual scenes; and the extrastriate body area (EBA, which responds specifically to images of bodies and body parts. While the presence of these regions in the mature human brain is well-established, the degree to which children possess these areas and the degree of functional specialization of these areas in children of various ages has thus far remained unclear. This fMRI study examined the development of the FFA, EBA, and PPA in healthy, typically developing 7- to 11-year-old children and adults. Our results revealed a right FFA and a bilateral EBA and PPA in the children that were localized in a way consistent with these same regions in adults. In addition, the response profiles of these regions were very similar in adults and children with comparable levels of functional specificity at all of the ages tested. We discuss the implications of this research for understanding abnormal regional specialization for social and nonsocial object categories in individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

  19. A postnatal critical period for orientation plasticity in the cat visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeru Tanaka

    Full Text Available Orientation selectivity of primary visual cortical neurons is an important requisite for shape perception. Although numerous studies have been previously devoted to a question of how orientation selectivity is established and elaborated in early life, how the susceptibility of orientation plasticity to visual experience changes in time remains unclear. In the present study, we showed a postnatal sensitive period profile for the modifiability of orientation selectivity in the visual cortex of kittens reared with head-mounted goggles for stable single-orientation exposure. When goggle rearing (GR started at P16-P30, 2 weeks of GR induced a marked over-representation of the exposed orientation, and 2 more weeks of GR consolidated the altered orientation maps. GR that started later than P50, in turn, induced the under-representation of the exposed orientation. Orientation plasticity in the most sensitive period was markedly suppressed by cortical infusion of NMDAR antagonist. The present study reveals that the plasticity and consolidation of orientation selectivity in an early life are dynamically regulated in an experience-dependent manner.

  20. Activation of the prefrontal cortex in the human visual aesthetic perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cela-Conde, Camilo J.; Marty, Gisèle; Maestú, Fernando; Ortiz, Tomás; Munar, Enric; Fernández, Alberto; Roca, Miquel; Rosselló, Jaume; Quesney, Felipe

    2004-01-01

    Visual aesthetic perception (“aesthetics”) or the capacity to visually perceive a particular attribute added to other features of objects, such as form, color, and movement, was fixed during human evolutionary lineage as a trait not shared with any great ape. Although prefrontal brain expansion is mentioned as responsible for the appearance of such human trait, no current knowledge exists on the role of prefrontal areas in the aesthetic perception. The visual brain consists of “several parallel multistage processing systems, each specialized in a given task such as, color or motion” [Bartels, A. & Zeki, S. (1999) Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 265, 2327–2332]. Here we report the results of an experiment carried out with magnetoencephalography which shows that the prefrontal area is selectively activated in humans during the perception of objects qualified as “beautiful” by the participants. Therefore, aesthetics can be hypothetically considered as an attribute perceived by means of a particular brain processing system, in which the prefrontal cortex seems to play a key role. PMID:15079079

  1. Short-term monocular patching boosts the patched eye’s response in visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jiawei; Baker, Daniel H.; Simard, Mathieu; Saint-Amour, Dave; Hess, Robert F.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Purpose: Several recent studies have demonstrated that following short-term monocular deprivation in normal adults, the patched eye, rather than the unpatched eye, becomes stronger in subsequent binocular viewing. However, little is known about the site and nature of the underlying processes. In this study, we examine the underlying mechanisms by measuring steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) as an index of the neural contrast response in early visual areas. Methods: The experiment consisted of three consecutive stages: a pre-patching EEG recording (14 minutes), a monocular patching stage (2.5 hours) and a post-patching EEG recording (14 minutes; started immediately after the removal of the patch). During the patching stage, a diffuser (transmits light but not pattern) was placed in front of one randomly selected eye. During the EEG recording stage, contrast response functions for each eye were measured. Results: The neural responses from the patched eye increased after the removal of the patch, whilst the responses from the unpatched eye remained the same. Such phenomena occurred under both monocular and dichoptic viewing conditions. Conclusions: We interpret this eye dominance plasticity in adult human visual cortex as homeostatic intrinsic plasticity regulated by an increase of contrast-gain in the patched eye. PMID:26410580

  2. Spontaneously Emerging Patterns in Human Visual Cortex Reflect Responses to Naturalistic Sensory Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilf, Meytal; Strappini, Francesca; Golan, Tal; Hahamy, Avital; Harel, Michal; Malach, Rafael

    2017-01-01

    In the absence of stimulus or task, the cortex spontaneously generates rich and consistent functional connectivity patterns (termed resting state networks) which are evident even within individual cortical areas. We and others have previously hypothesized that habitual cortical network activations during daily life contribute to the shaping of these connectivity patterns. Here we tested this hypothesis by comparing, using blood oxygen level-dependent-functional magnetic resonance imaging, the connectivity patterns that spontaneously emerge during rest in retinotopic visual areas to the patterns generated by naturalistic visual stimuli (repeated movie segments). These were then compared with connectivity patterns produced by more standard retinotopic mapping stimuli (polar and eccentricity mapping). Our results reveal that the movie-driven patterns were significantly more similar to the spontaneously emerging patterns, compared with the connectivity patterns of either eccentricity or polar mapping stimuli. Intentional visual imagery of naturalistic stimuli was unlikely to underlie these results, since they were duplicated when participants were engaged in an auditory task. Our results suggest that the connectivity patterns that appear during rest better reflect naturalistic activations rather than controlled, artificially designed stimuli. The results are compatible with the hypothesis that the spontaneous connectivity patterns in human retinotopic areas reflect the statistics of cortical coactivations during natural vision. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Fernando Maya-Vetencourt

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  5. Dissociable neural responses to hands and non-hand body parts in human left extrastriate visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracci, Stefania; Ietswaart, Magdalena; Peelen, Marius V; Cavina-Pratesi, Cristiana

    2010-06-01

    Accumulating evidence points to a map of visual regions encoding specific categories of objects. For example, a region in the human extrastriate visual cortex, the extrastriate body area (EBA), has been implicated in the visual processing of bodies and body parts. Although in the monkey, neurons selective for hands have been reported, in humans it is unclear whether areas selective for individual body parts such as the hand exist. Here, we conducted two functional MRI experiments to test for hand-preferring responses in the human extrastriate visual cortex. We found evidence for a hand-preferring region in left lateral occipitotemporal cortex in all 14 participants. This region, located in the lateral occipital sulcus, partially overlapped with left EBA, but could be functionally and anatomically dissociated from it. In experiment 2, we further investigated the functional profile of hand- and body-preferring regions by measuring responses to hands, fingers, feet, assorted body parts (arms, legs, torsos), and non-biological handlike stimuli such as robotic hands. The hand-preferring region responded most strongly to hands, followed by robotic hands, fingers, and feet, whereas its response to assorted body parts did not significantly differ from baseline. By contrast, EBA responded most strongly to body parts, followed by hands and feet, and did not significantly respond to robotic hands or fingers. Together, these results provide evidence for a representation of the hand in extrastriate visual cortex that is distinct from the representation of other body parts.

  6. Spatial phase sensitivity of complex cells in primary visual cortex depends on stimulus contrast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meffin, H; Hietanen, M A; Cloherty, S L; Ibbotson, M R

    2015-12-01

    Neurons in primary visual cortex are classified as simple, which are phase sensitive, or complex, which are significantly less phase sensitive. Previously, we have used drifting gratings to show that the phase sensitivity of complex cells increases at low contrast and after contrast adaptation while that of simple cells remains the same at all contrasts (Cloherty SL, Ibbotson MR. J Neurophysiol 113: 434-444, 2015; Crowder NA, van Kleef J, Dreher B, Ibbotson MR. J Neurophysiol 98: 1155-1166, 2007; van Kleef JP, Cloherty SL, Ibbotson MR. J Physiol 588: 3457-3470, 2010). However, drifting gratings confound the influence of spatial and temporal summation, so here we have stimulated complex cells with gratings that are spatially stationary but continuously reverse the polarity of the contrast over time (contrast-reversing gratings). By varying the spatial phase and contrast of the gratings we aimed to establish whether the contrast-dependent phase sensitivity of complex cells results from changes in spatial or temporal processing or both. We found that most of the increase in phase sensitivity at low contrasts could be attributed to changes in the spatial phase sensitivities of complex cells. However, at low contrasts the complex cells did not develop the spatiotemporal response characteristics of simple cells, in which paired response peaks occur 180° out of phase in time and space. Complex cells that increased their spatial phase sensitivity at low contrasts were significantly overrepresented in the supragranular layers of cortex. We conclude that complex cells in supragranular layers of cat cortex have dynamic spatial summation properties and that the mechanisms underlying complex cell receptive fields differ between cortical layers.

  7. [Short-term memory processes during delayed visual differentiation after bilateral removal of the 7th field of the parietal cortex in Rhesus macaca].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudkin, K N; Chueva, I V; Makarov, F N; Orlov, I V

    1998-01-01

    Extirpation of the parietal cortex area 7 aggravated delayed visual discrimination of all visual attributes including shape, colour and spatial relationship in adult rhesus monkeys. Oxymetacil improved the shape and colour discrimination alone.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gouki Okazawa

    2012-10-01

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

  9. Learning enhances the relative impact of top-down processing in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makino, Hiroshi; Komiyama, Takaki

    2015-08-01

    Theories have proposed that, in sensory cortices, learning can enhance top-down modulation by higher brain areas while reducing bottom-up sensory drives. To address circuit mechanisms underlying this process, we examined the activity of layer 2/3 (L2/3) excitatory neurons in the mouse primary visual cortex (V1) as well as L4 excitatory neurons, the main bottom-up source, and long-range top-down projections from the retrosplenial cortex (RSC) during associative learning over days using chronic two-photon calcium imaging. During learning, L4 responses gradually weakened, whereas RSC inputs became stronger. Furthermore, L2/3 acquired a ramp-up response temporal profile, potentially encoding the timing of the associated event, which coincided with a similar change in RSC inputs. Learning also reduced the activity of somatostatin-expressing inhibitory neurons (SOM-INs) in V1 that could potentially gate top-down inputs. Finally, RSC inactivation or SOM-IN activation was sufficient to partially reverse the learning-induced changes in L2/3. Together, these results reveal a learning-dependent dynamic shift in the balance between bottom-up and top-down information streams and uncover a role of SOM-INs in controlling this process.

  10. Temporal cortex direct current stimulation enhances performance on a visual recognition memory task in Alzheimer disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boggio, P S; Khoury, L P; Martins, D C S; Martins, O E M S; de Macedo, E C; Fregni, F

    2009-04-01

    Several studies have reported that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a non-invasive method of neuromodulation, enhances some aspects of working memory in healthy and Parkinson disease subjects. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of anodal tDCS on recognition memory, working memory and selective attention in Alzheimer disease (AD). Ten patients with diagnosis of AD received three sessions of anodal tDCS (left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, left temporal cortex and sham stimulation) with an intensity of 2 mA for 30 min. Sessions were performed in different days in a randomised order. The following tests were assessed during stimulation: Stroop, Digit Span and a Visual Recognition Memory task (VRM). The results showed a significant effect of stimulation condition on VRM (p = 0.0085), and post hoc analysis showed an improvement after temporal (p = 0.01) and prefrontal (p = 0.01) tDCS as compared with sham stimulation. There were no significant changes in attention as indexed by Stroop task performance. As far as is known, this is the first trial showing that tDCS can enhance a component of recognition memory. The potential mechanisms of action and the implications of these results are discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nazli eEmadi

    2014-11-01

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

  12. Mixed functional microarchitectures for orientation selectivity in the mouse primary visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondo, Satoru; Yoshida, Takashi; Ohki, Kenichi

    2016-01-01

    A minicolumn is the smallest anatomical module in the cortical architecture, but it is still in debate whether it serves as functional units for cortical processing. In the rodent primary visual cortex (V1), neurons with different preferred orientations are mixed horizontally in a salt and pepper manner, but vertical functional organization was not examined. In this study, we found that neurons with similar orientation preference are weakly but significantly clustered vertically in a short length and horizontally in the scale of a minicolumn. Interestingly, the vertical clustering is found only in a part of minicolumns, and others are composed of neurons with a variety of orientation preferences. Thus, the mouse V1 is a mixture of vertical clusters of neurons with various degrees of orientation similarity, which may be the compromise between the brain size and keeping the vertical clusters of similarly tuned neurons at least in a subset of clusters. PMID:27767032

  13. The universal fuzzy Logical framework of neural circuits and its application in modeling primary visual cortex

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HU Hong; LI Su; WANG YunJiu; QI XiangLin; SHI ZhongZhi

    2008-01-01

    Analytical study of large-scale nonlinear neural circuits is a difficult task. Here we analyze the function of neural systems by probing the fuzzy logical framework of the neural cells' dynamical equations. Al-though there is a close relation between the theories of fuzzy logical systems and neural systems and many papers investigate this subject, most investigations focus on finding new functions of neural systems by hybridizing fuzzy logical and neural system. In this paper, the fuzzy logical framework of neural cells is used to understand the nonlinear dynamic attributes of a common neural system by abstracting the fuzzy logical framework of a neural cell. Our analysis enables the educated design of network models for classes of computation. As an example, a recurrent network model of the primary visual cortex has been built and tested using this approach.

  14. The universal fuzzy logical framework of neural circuits and its application in modeling primary visual cortex

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Analytical study of large-scale nonlinear neural circuits is a difficult task. Here we analyze the function of neural systems by probing the fuzzy logical framework of the neural cells’ dynamical equations. Al- though there is a close relation between the theories of fuzzy logical systems and neural systems and many papers investigate this subject, most investigations focus on finding new functions of neural systems by hybridizing fuzzy logical and neural system. In this paper, the fuzzy logical framework of neural cells is used to understand the nonlinear dynamic attributes of a common neural system by abstracting the fuzzy logical framework of a neural cell. Our analysis enables the educated design of network models for classes of computation. As an example, a recurrent network model of the primary visual cortex has been built and tested using this approach.

  15. The universal fuzzy logical framework of neural circuits and its application in modeling primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Hong; Li, Su; Wang, YunJiu; Qi, XiangLin; Shi, ZhongZhi

    2008-10-01

    Analytical study of large-scale nonlinear neural circuits is a difficult task. Here we analyze the function of neural systems by probing the fuzzy logical framework of the neural cells' dynamical equations. Although there is a close relation between the theories of fuzzy logical systems and neural systems and many papers investigate this subject, most investigations focus on finding new functions of neural systems by hybridizing fuzzy logical and neural system. In this paper, the fuzzy logical framework of neural cells is used to understand the nonlinear dynamic attributes of a common neural system by abstracting the fuzzy logical framework of a neural cell. Our analysis enables the educated design of network models for classes of computation. As an example, a recurrent network model of the primary visual cortex has been built and tested using this approach.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Whereas the links between eye movements and the shifts in visual attention are well established, less is known about how eye position affects the prioritization of visual space. It was recently observed that visual sensitivity varies with the direction of gaze and the level of excitability...... 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...... 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-31

    Lactate and the other monocarboxylates are a major energy source for th