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Sample records for visual cortex evidence

  1. Evidence for unlimited capacity processing of simple features in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Alex L; Runeson, Erik; Palmer, John; Ernst, Zachary R; Boynton, Geoffrey M

    2017-06-01

    Performance in many visual tasks is impaired when observers attempt to divide spatial attention across multiple visual field locations. Correspondingly, neuronal response magnitudes in visual cortex are often reduced during divided compared with focused spatial attention. This suggests that early visual cortex is the site of capacity limits, where finite processing resources must be divided among attended stimuli. However, behavioral research demonstrates that not all visual tasks suffer such capacity limits: The costs of divided attention are minimal when the task and stimulus are simple, such as when searching for a target defined by orientation or contrast. To date, however, every neuroimaging study of divided attention has used more complex tasks and found large reductions in response magnitude. We bridged that gap by using functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure responses in the human visual cortex during simple feature detection. The first experiment used a visual search task: Observers detected a low-contrast Gabor patch within one or four potentially relevant locations. The second experiment used a dual-task design, in which observers made independent judgments of Gabor presence in patches of dynamic noise at two locations. In both experiments, blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signals in the retinotopic cortex were significantly lower for ignored than attended stimuli. However, when observers divided attention between multiple stimuli, BOLD signals were not reliably reduced and behavioral performance was unimpaired. These results suggest that processing of simple features in early visual cortex has unlimited capacity.

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

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    van de Ven, Vincent; Sack, Alexander T

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Morphological dissociation between visual pathways and cortex: MRI of visually-deprived patients with congenital peripheral blindness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Breitenseher, M.; Prayer Wimberger, D.; Trattnig, S.; Kramer, J.; Uhl, F.; Deecke, L.

    1998-01-01

    MRI was used to study possible morphological changes in the visual system in 12 patients suffering from congenital blindness of peripheral (ocular) origin. While their optical pathways showed degeneration, hypoplasia or atrophy in 7 out of 12 cases, the occipital cortex appeared normal in all cases. This dissociation between afferent pathways and the cortex is contrary to the assumption that visually deprived cortex may undergo degeneration. The finding is congruent with evidence that the occipital cortex is used for other, nonvisual functions. (orig.)

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

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    Lotfi B Merabet

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available The loss of vision has been associated with enhanced performance in non-visual tasks such as tactile discrimination and sound localization. Current evidence suggests that these functional gains are linked to the recruitment of the occipital visual cortex for non-visual processing, but the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying these crossmodal changes remain uncertain. One possible explanation is that visual deprivation is associated with an unmasking of non-visual input into visual cortex.We investigated the effect of sudden, complete and prolonged visual deprivation (five days in normally sighted adult individuals while they were immersed in an intensive tactile training program. Following the five-day period, blindfolded subjects performed better on a Braille character discrimination task. In the blindfold group, serial fMRI scans revealed an increase in BOLD signal within the occipital cortex in response to tactile stimulation after five days of complete visual deprivation. This increase in signal was no longer present 24 hours after blindfold removal. Finally, reversible disruption of occipital cortex function on the fifth day (by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; rTMS impaired Braille character recognition ability in the blindfold group but not in non-blindfolded controls. This disruptive effect was no longer evident once the blindfold had been removed for 24 hours.Overall, our findings suggest that sudden and complete visual deprivation in normally sighted individuals can lead to profound, but rapidly reversible, neuroplastic changes by which the occipital cortex becomes engaged in processing of non-visual information. The speed and dynamic nature of the observed changes suggests that normally inhibited or masked functions in the sighted are revealed by visual loss. The unmasking of pre-existing connections and shifts in connectivity represent rapid, early plastic changes, which presumably can lead, if sustained and

  6. Morphological dissociation between visual pathways and cortex: MRI of visually-deprived patients with congenital peripheral blindness

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breitenseher, M.; Prayer Wimberger, D.; Trattnig, S.; Kramer, J. [MR-Institute of the Medical Faculty and Clinic for Diagnostic Radiology, University of Vienna (Austria); Uhl, F.; Deecke, L. [Department of Neurology, University of Vienna (Austria)

    1998-07-01

    MRI was used to study possible morphological changes in the visual system in 12 patients suffering from congenital blindness of peripheral (ocular) origin. While their optical pathways showed degeneration, hypoplasia or atrophy in 7 out of 12 cases, the occipital cortex appeared normal in all cases. This dissociation between afferent pathways and the cortex is contrary to the assumption that visually deprived cortex may undergo degeneration. The finding is congruent with evidence that the occipital cortex is used for other, nonvisual functions. (orig.) With 3 figs., 1 tab., 23 refs.

  7. 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...... of visual deprivation has a substantial impact on experience-dependent plasticity of the human visual cortex.......The adult visual cortex maintains a substantial potential for plasticity in response to a change in visual input. For instance, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies have shown that binocular deprivation (BD) increases the cortical excitability for inducing phosphenes with TMS. Here, we...... employed TMS to trace plastic changes in adult visual cortex before, during, and after 48 h of monocular deprivation (MD) of the right dominant eye. In healthy adult volunteers, MD-induced changes in visual cortex excitability were probed with paired-pulse TMS applied to the left and right occipital cortex...

  8. Visual Categorization and the Parietal Cortex

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    Jamie K Fitzgerald

    2012-05-01

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

  9. Auditory attention activates peripheral visual cortex.

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    Anthony D Cate

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent neuroimaging studies have revealed that putatively unimodal regions of visual cortex can be activated during auditory tasks in sighted as well as in blind subjects. However, the task determinants and functional significance of auditory occipital activations (AOAs remains unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined AOAs in an intermodal selective attention task to distinguish whether they were stimulus-bound or recruited by higher-level cognitive operations associated with auditory attention. Cortical surface mapping showed that auditory occipital activations were localized to retinotopic visual cortex subserving the far peripheral visual field. AOAs depended strictly on the sustained engagement of auditory attention and were enhanced in more difficult listening conditions. In contrast, unattended sounds produced no AOAs regardless of their intensity, spatial location, or frequency. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Auditory attention, but not passive exposure to sounds, routinely activated peripheral regions of visual cortex when subjects attended to sound sources outside the visual field. Functional connections between auditory cortex and visual cortex subserving the peripheral visual field appear to underlie the generation of AOAs, which may reflect the priming of visual regions to process soon-to-appear objects associated with unseen sound sources.

  10. Serial functional imaging poststroke reveals visual cortex reorganization.

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

    2009-02-01

    Visual cortical reorganization following injury remains poorly understood. The authors performed serial functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on patients with visual cortex infarction to evaluate early and late striate, ventral, and dorsal extrastriate cortical activation. Patients were studied with fMRI within 10 days and at 6 months. The authors used a high-level visual activation task designed to activate the ventral extrastriate cortex. These data were compared to those of age-appropriate healthy control participants. The results from 24 healthy control individuals (mean age 65.7 +/- SE 3.6 years, range 32-89) were compared to those from 5 stroke patients (mean age 73.8 +/- SE 7 years, range 49-86). Patients had infarcts involving the striate and ventral extrastriate cortex. Patient activation patterns were markedly different to controls. Bilateral striate and ventral extrastriate activation was reduced at both sessions, but dorsal extrastriate activated voxel counts remained comparable to controls. Conversely, mean percent magnetic resonance signal change increased in dorsal sites. These data provide strong evidence of bilateral poststroke functional depression of striate and ventral extrastriate cortices. Possible utilization or surrogacy of the dorsal visual system was demonstrated following stroke. This activity could provide a target for novel visual rehabilitation therapies.

  11. Auditory and visual connectivity gradients in frontoparietal cortex.

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  14. Connectivity changes underlying neurofeedback training of visual cortex activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Scharnowski

    Full Text Available Neurofeedback based on real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI is a new approach that allows training of voluntary control over regionally specific brain activity. However, the neural basis of successful neurofeedback learning remains poorly understood. Here, we assessed changes in effective brain connectivity associated with neurofeedback training of visual cortex activity. Using dynamic causal modeling (DCM, we found that training participants to increase visual cortex activity was associated with increased effective connectivity between the visual cortex and the superior parietal lobe. Specifically, participants who learned to control activity in their visual cortex showed increased top-down control of the superior parietal lobe over the visual cortex, and at the same time reduced bottom-up processing. These results are consistent with efficient employment of top-down visual attention and imagery, which were the cognitive strategies used by participants to increase their visual cortex activity.

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

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    Angelucci, Alessandra; Rosa, Marcello G P

    2015-01-01

    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.

  16. The influence of spontaneous activity on stimulus processing in primary visual cortex.

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    Schölvinck, M L; Friston, K J; Rees, G

    2012-02-01

    Spontaneous activity in the resting human brain has been studied extensively; however, how such activity affects the local processing of a sensory stimulus is relatively unknown. Here, we examined the impact of spontaneous activity in primary visual cortex on neuronal and behavioural responses to a simple visual stimulus, using functional MRI. Stimulus-evoked responses remained essentially unchanged by spontaneous fluctuations, combining with them in a largely linear fashion (i.e., with little evidence for an interaction). However, interactions between spontaneous fluctuations and stimulus-evoked responses were evident behaviourally; high levels of spontaneous activity tended to be associated with increased stimulus detection at perceptual threshold. Our results extend those found in studies of spontaneous fluctuations in motor cortex and higher order visual areas, and suggest a fundamental role for spontaneous activity in stimulus processing. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

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    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.

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

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

    2018-02-07

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

  20. Enhanced alpha-oscillations in visual cortex during anticipation of self-generated visual stimulation.

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    Stenner, Max-Philipp; Bauer, Markus; Haggard, Patrick; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Dolan, Ray

    2014-11-01

    The perceived intensity of sensory stimuli is reduced when these stimuli are caused by the observer's actions. This phenomenon is traditionally explained by forward models of sensory action-outcome, which arise from motor processing. Although these forward models critically predict anticipatory modulation of sensory neural processing, neurophysiological evidence for anticipatory modulation is sparse and has not been linked to perceptual data showing sensory attenuation. By combining a psychophysical task involving contrast discrimination with source-level time-frequency analysis of MEG data, we demonstrate that the amplitude of alpha-oscillations in visual cortex is enhanced before the onset of a visual stimulus when the identity and onset of the stimulus are controlled by participants' motor actions. Critically, this prestimulus enhancement of alpha-amplitude is paralleled by psychophysical judgments of a reduced contrast for this stimulus. We suggest that alpha-oscillations in visual cortex preceding self-generated visual stimulation are a likely neurophysiological signature of motor-induced sensory anticipation and mediate sensory attenuation. We discuss our results in relation to proposals that attribute generic inhibitory functions to alpha-oscillations in prioritizing and gating sensory information via top-down control.

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

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

    2017-02-19

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

  2. Three-dimensional visual feature representation in the primary visual cortex.

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    Tanaka, Shigeru; Moon, Chan-Hong; Fukuda, Mitsuhiro; Kim, Seong-Gi

    2011-12-01

    In the cat primary visual cortex, it is accepted that neurons optimally responding to similar stimulus orientations are clustered in a column extending from the superficial to deep layers. The cerebral cortex is, however, folded inside a skull, which makes gyri and fundi. The primary visual area of cats, area 17, is located on the fold of the cortex called the lateral gyrus. These facts raise the question of how to reconcile the tangential arrangement of the orientation columns with the curvature of the gyrus. In the present study, we show a possible configuration of feature representation in the visual cortex using a three-dimensional (3D) self-organization model. We took into account preferred orientation, preferred direction, ocular dominance and retinotopy, assuming isotropic interaction. We performed computer simulation only in the middle layer at the beginning and expanded the range of simulation gradually to other layers, which was found to be a unique method in the present model for obtaining orientation columns spanning all the layers in the flat cortex. Vertical columns of preferred orientations were found in the flat parts of the model cortex. On the other hand, in the curved parts, preferred orientations were represented in wedge-like columns rather than straight columns, and preferred directions were frequently reversed in the deeper layers. Singularities associated with orientation representation appeared as warped lines in the 3D model cortex. Direction reversal appeared on the sheets that were delimited by orientation-singularity lines. These structures emerged from the balance between periodic arrangements of preferred orientations and vertical alignment of the same orientations. Our theoretical predictions about orientation representation were confirmed by multi-slice, high-resolution functional MRI in the cat visual cortex. We obtained a close agreement between theoretical predictions and experimental observations. The present study throws a

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

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

    2012-10-15

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

  4. Synaptogenesis in visual cortex of normal and preterm monkeys: evidence for intrinsic regulation of synaptic overproduction.

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    Bourgeois, J P; Jastreboff, P J; Rakic, P

    1989-01-01

    We used quantitative electron microscopy to determine the effect of precocious visual experience on the time course, magnitude, and pattern of perinatal synaptic overproduction in the primary visual cortex of the rhesus monkey. Fetuses were delivered by caesarean section 3 weeks before term, exposed to normal light intensity and day/night cycles, and killed within the first postnatal month, together with age-matched controls that were delivered at term. We found that premature visual stimulation does not affect the rate of synaptic accretion and overproduction. Both of these processes proceed in relation to the time of conception rather than to the time of delivery. In contrast, the size, type, and laminar distribution of synapses were significantly different between preterm and control infants. The changes and differences in these parameters correlate with the duration of visual stimulation and become less pronounced with age. If visual experience in infancy influences the maturation of the visual cortex, it must do so predominantly by strengthening, modifying, and/or eliminating synapses that have already been formed, rather than by regulating the rate of synapse production. Images PMID:2726773

  5. Learning a New Selection Rule in Visual and Frontal Cortex.

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    van der Togt, Chris; Stănişor, Liviu; Pooresmaeili, Arezoo; Albantakis, Larissa; Deco, Gustavo; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2016-08-01

    How do you make a decision if you do not know the rules of the game? Models of sensory decision-making suggest that choices are slow if evidence is weak, but they may only apply if the subject knows the task rules. Here, we asked how the learning of a new rule influences neuronal activity in the visual (area V1) and frontal cortex (area FEF) of monkeys. We devised a new icon-selection task. On each day, the monkeys saw 2 new icons (small pictures) and learned which one was relevant. We rewarded eye movements to a saccade target connected to the relevant icon with a curve. Neurons in visual and frontal cortex coded the monkey's choice, because the representation of the selected curve was enhanced. Learning delayed the neuronal selection signals and we uncovered the cause of this delay in V1, where learning to select the relevant icon caused an early suppression of surrounding image elements. These results demonstrate that the learning of a new rule causes a transition from fast and random decisions to a more considerate strategy that takes additional time and they reveal the contribution of visual and frontal cortex to the learning process. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

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

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    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. PMID:25729353

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrill, Ryan J; Hasenstaub, Andrea R

    2018-03-14

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

  8. 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

  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; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; Holstege, Gert

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Purpose:  The developing visual cortex has a strong potential to undergo plastic changes. Little is known about the potential of the ageing visual cortex to express plasticity. A pertinent question is whether therapeutic interventions can trigger plastic changes in the ageing visual cortex by res...... of visual input from both eyes. We conclude that activity-dependent cortical plasticity is preserved in the ageing visual cortex and may be triggered by restoring impaired vision.......Purpose:  The developing visual cortex has a strong potential to undergo plastic changes. Little is known about the potential of the ageing visual cortex to express plasticity. A pertinent question is whether therapeutic interventions can trigger plastic changes in the ageing visual cortex...... surgery induces a regional increase in grey matter in areas V1 and V2 of the visual cortex. Results:  In all patients, cataract surgery immediately improved visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and mean sensitivity in the visual field of the operated eye. The improvement in vision was stable throughout...

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra Vetter

    2011-10-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Synaptogenesis in visual cortex of normal and preterm monkeys: evidence for intrinsic regulation of synaptic overproduction.

    OpenAIRE

    Bourgeois, J P; Jastreboff, P J; Rakic, P

    1989-01-01

    We used quantitative electron microscopy to determine the effect of precocious visual experience on the time course, magnitude, and pattern of perinatal synaptic overproduction in the primary visual cortex of the rhesus monkey. Fetuses were delivered by caesarean section 3 weeks before term, exposed to normal light intensity and day/night cycles, and killed within the first postnatal month, together with age-matched controls that were delivered at term. We found that premature visual stimulat...

  15. 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.

  16. 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. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, J R; Maunsell, J H

    1997-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-23

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

  19. Is orbital volume associated with eyeball and visual cortex volume in humans?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, Eiluned; Bridge, Holly

    2013-01-01

    In humans orbital volume increases linearly with absolute latitude. Scaling across mammals between visual system components suggests that these larger orbits should translate into larger eyes and visual cortices in high latitude humans. Larger eyes at high latitudes may be required to maintain adequate visual acuity and enhance visual sensitivity under lower light levels. To test the assumption that orbital volume can accurately index eyeball and visual cortex volumes specifically in humans. Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) techniques are employed to measure eye and orbit (n = 88) and brain and visual cortex (n = 99) volumes in living humans. Facial dimensions and foramen magnum area (a proxy for body mass) were also measured. A significant positive linear relationship was found between (i) orbital and eyeball volumes, (ii) eyeball and visual cortex grey matter volumes and (iii) different visual cortical areas, independently of overall brain volume. In humans the components of the visual system scale from orbit to eye to visual cortex volume independently of overall brain size. These findings indicate that orbit volume can index eye and visual cortex volume in humans, suggesting that larger high latitude orbits do translate into larger visual cortices.

  20. Visual cortex entrains to sign language.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossman, Emily D.; Srinivasan, Ramesh

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Human primary visual cortex topography imaged via positron tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  3. 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. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Perception reflects an integration of “bottom-up” (sensory-driven) and “top-down” (internally generated) signals. Although models of visual processing often emphasize the central role of feed-forward hierarchical processing, less is known about the impact of top-down signals on complex visual representations. Here, we investigated whether and how the observer’s goals modulate object processing across the cortex. We examined responses elicited by a diverse set of objects under six distinct tasks, focusing on either physical (e.g., color) or conceptual properties (e.g., man-made). Critically, the same stimuli were presented in all tasks, allowing us to investigate how task impacts the neural representations of identical visual input. We found that task has an extensive and differential impact on object processing across the cortex. First, we found task-dependent representations in the ventral temporal and prefrontal cortex. In particular, although object identity could be decoded from the multivoxel response within task, there was a significant reduction in decoding across tasks. In contrast, the early visual cortex evidenced equivalent decoding within and across tasks, indicating task-independent representations. Second, task information was pervasive and present from the earliest stages of object processing. However, although the responses of the ventral temporal, prefrontal, and parietal cortex enabled decoding of both the type of task (physical/conceptual) and the specific task (e.g., color), the early visual cortex was not sensitive to type of task and could only be used to decode individual physical tasks. Thus, object processing is highly influenced by the behavioral goal of the observer, highlighting how top-down signals constrain and inform the formation of visual representations. PMID:24567402

  6. Coding the presence of visual objects in a recurrent neural network of visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwickel, Timm; Wachtler, Thomas; Eckhorn, Reinhard

    2007-01-01

    Before we can recognize a visual object, our visual system has to segregate it from its background. This requires a fast mechanism for establishing the presence and location of objects independently of their identity. Recently, border-ownership neurons were recorded in monkey visual cortex which might be involved in this task [Zhou, H., Friedmann, H., von der Heydt, R., 2000. Coding of border ownership in monkey visual cortex. J. Neurosci. 20 (17), 6594-6611]. In order to explain the basic mechanisms required for fast coding of object presence, we have developed a neural network model of visual cortex consisting of three stages. Feed-forward and lateral connections support coding of Gestalt properties, including similarity, good continuation, and convexity. Neurons of the highest area respond to the presence of an object and encode its position, invariant of its form. Feedback connections to the lowest area facilitate orientation detectors activated by contours belonging to potential objects, and thus generate the experimentally observed border-ownership property. This feedback control acts fast and significantly improves the figure-ground segregation required for the consecutive task of object recognition.

  7. 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. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua G.A Pinto

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and about alignment of synaptic age between animals and humans, has limited translation of neuroplasticity therapies. In this study, we quantified expression of a set of highly conserved pre- and post-synaptic proteins (Synapsin, Synaptophysin, PSD-95, Gephyrin and found that synaptic development in human primary visual cortex continues into late childhood. Indeed, this is many years longer than suggested by neuroanatomical studies and points to a prolonged sensitive period for plasticity in human sensory cortex. In addition, during childhood we found waves of inter-individual variability that are different for the 4 proteins and include a stage during early development (<1 year when only Gephyrin has high inter-individual variability. We also found that pre- and post-synaptic protein balances develop quickly, suggesting that maturation of certain synaptic functions happens within the first year or two of life. A multidimensional analysis (principle component analysis showed that most of the variance was captured by the sum of the 4 synaptic proteins. We used that sum to compare development of human and rat visual cortex and identified a simple linear equation that provides robust alignment of synaptic age between humans and rats. Alignment of synaptic ages is important for age-appropriate targeting and effective translation of neuroplasticity therapies from the lab to the clinic.

  9. Alpha and gamma oscillations characterize feedback and feedforward processing in monkey visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Kerkoerle, Timo; Self, Matthew W; Dagnino, Bruno; Gariel-Mathis, Marie-Alice; Poort, Jasper; van der Togt, Chris; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2014-10-07

    Cognitive functions rely on the coordinated activity of neurons in many brain regions, but the interactions between cortical areas are not yet well understood. Here we investigated whether low-frequency (α) and high-frequency (γ) oscillations characterize different directions of information flow in monkey visual cortex. We recorded from all layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) and found that γ-waves are initiated in input layer 4 and propagate to the deep and superficial layers of cortex, whereas α-waves propagate in the opposite direction. Simultaneous recordings from V1 and downstream area V4 confirmed that γ- and α-waves propagate in the feedforward and feedback direction, respectively. Microstimulation in V1 elicited γ-oscillations in V4, whereas microstimulation in V4 elicited α-oscillations in V1, thus providing causal evidence for the opposite propagation of these rhythms. Furthermore, blocking NMDA receptors, thought to be involved in feedback processing, suppressed α while boosting γ. These results provide new insights into the relation between brain rhythms and cognition.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiley, John F.; Schroeder, Charles E.

    2017-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Perceptual learning increases the strength of the earliest signals in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Min; Yang, Lin; Rios, Cristina; He, Bin; Engel, Stephen A

    2010-11-10

    Training improves performance on most visual tasks. Such perceptual learning can modify how information is read out from, and represented in, later visual areas, but effects on early visual cortex are controversial. In particular, it remains unknown whether learning can reshape neural response properties in early visual areas independent from feedback arising in later cortical areas. Here, we tested whether learning can modify feedforward signals in early visual cortex as measured by the human electroencephalogram. Fourteen subjects were trained for >24 d to detect a diagonal grating pattern in one quadrant of the visual field. Training improved performance, reducing the contrast needed for reliable detection, and also reliably increased the amplitude of the earliest component of the visual evoked potential, the C1. Control orientations and locations showed smaller effects of training. Because the C1 arises rapidly and has a source in early visual cortex, our results suggest that learning can increase early visual area response through local receptive field changes without feedback from later areas.

  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. Structural reorganization of the early visual cortex following Braille training in sighted adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bola, Łukasz; Siuda-Krzywicka, Katarzyna; Paplińska, Małgorzata; Sumera, Ewa; Zimmermann, Maria; Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Marchewka, Artur; Szwed, Marcin

    2017-12-12

    Training can induce cross-modal plasticity in the human cortex. A well-known example of this phenomenon is the recruitment of visual areas for tactile and auditory processing. It remains unclear to what extent such plasticity is associated with changes in anatomy. Here we enrolled 29 sighted adults into a nine-month tactile Braille-reading training, and used voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging to describe the resulting anatomical changes. In addition, we collected resting-state fMRI data to relate these changes to functional connectivity between visual and somatosensory-motor cortices. Following Braille-training, we observed substantial grey and white matter reorganization in the anterior part of early visual cortex (peripheral visual field). Moreover, relative to its posterior, foveal part, the peripheral representation of early visual cortex had stronger functional connections to somatosensory and motor cortices even before the onset of training. Previous studies show that the early visual cortex can be functionally recruited for tactile discrimination, including recognition of Braille characters. Our results demonstrate that reorganization in this region induced by tactile training can also be anatomical. This change most likely reflects a strengthening of existing connectivity between the peripheral visual cortex and somatosensory cortices, which suggests a putative mechanism for cross-modal recruitment of visual areas.

  19. Dynamic relationship between neurostimulation and N-acetylaspartate metabolism in the human visual cortex: evidence that NAA functions as a molecular water pump during visual stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baslow, Morris H; Hrabe, Jan; Guilfoyle, David N

    2007-01-01

    N-acetyl-l-aspartic acid (NAA), an amino acid synthesized and stored primarily in neurons in the brain, has been proposed to be a molecular water pump (MWP) whose function is to rapidly remove water from neurons against a water gradient. In this communication, we describe the results of a functional (1)H proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (fMRS) study, and provide evidence that in the human visual cortex, over a 10-min period of visual stimulation, there are stimulation-induced graded changes in the NAA MRS signal from that of a preceding 10-min baseline period with a decline in the NAA signal of 13.1% by the end of the 10-min stimulation period. Upon cessation of visual stimulation, the NAA signal gradually increases during a 10-min recovery period and once again approaches the baseline level. Because the NAA MRS signal reflects the NAA concentration, these changes indicate rapid focal changes in its concentration, and transient changes in its intercompartmental metabolism. These include its rates of synthesis and efflux from neurons and its hydrolysis by oligodendrocytes. During stimulation, the apparent rate of NAA efflux and hydrolysis increased 14.2 times, from 0.55 to 7.8 micromol g(-1) h(-1). During recovery, the apparent rate of synthesis increased 13.3 times, from 0.55 to 7.3 micromol g(-1) h(-1). The decline in the NAA signal during stimulation suggests that a rapid increase in the rate of NAA-obligated water release to extracellular fluid (ECF) is the initial and seminal event in response to neurostimulation. It is concluded that the NAA metabolic cycle in the visual cortex is intimately linked to rates of neuronal signaling, and that the functional cycle of NAA is associated with its release to ECF, thus supporting the hypothesis that an important function of the NAA metabolic cycle is that of an efflux MWP.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Sensory experience modifies feature map relationships in visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloherty, Shaun L; Hughes, Nicholas J; Hietanen, Markus A; Bhagavatula, Partha S

    2016-01-01

    The extent to which brain structure is influenced by sensory input during development is a critical but controversial question. A paradigmatic system for studying this is the mammalian visual cortex. Maps of orientation preference (OP) and ocular dominance (OD) in the primary visual cortex of ferrets, cats and monkeys can be individually changed by altered visual input. However, the spatial relationship between OP and OD maps has appeared immutable. Using a computational model we predicted that biasing the visual input to orthogonal orientation in the two eyes should cause a shift of OP pinwheels towards the border of OD columns. We then confirmed this prediction by rearing cats wearing orthogonally oriented cylindrical lenses over each eye. Thus, the spatial relationship between OP and OD maps can be modified by visual experience, revealing a previously unknown degree of brain plasticity in response to sensory input. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13911.001 PMID:27310531

  4. Spatial integration in mouse primary visual cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Vaiceliunaite, Agne; Erisken, Sinem; Franzen, Florian; Katzner, Steffen; Busse, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Responses of many neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) are suppressed by stimuli exceeding the classical receptive field (RF), an important property that might underlie the computation of visual saliency. Traditionally, it has proven difficult to disentangle the underlying neural circuits, including feedforward, horizontal intracortical, and feedback connectivity. Since circuit-level analysis is particularly feasible in the mouse, we asked whether neural signatures of spatial integration in ...

  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. Brightness and transparency in the early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmela, Viljami R; Vanni, Simo

    2013-06-24

    Several psychophysical studies have shown that transparency can have drastic effects on brightness and lightness. However, the neural processes generating these effects have remained unresolved. Several lines of evidence suggest that the early visual cortex is important for brightness perception. While single cell recordings suggest that surface brightness is represented in the primary visual cortex, the results of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have been discrepant. In addition, the location of the neural representation of transparency is not yet known. We investigated whether the fMRI responses in areas V1, V2, and V3 correlate with brightness and transparency. To dissociate the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response to brightness from the response to local border contrast and mean luminance, we used variants of White's brightness illusion, both opaque and transparent, in which luminance increments and decrements cancel each other out. The stimuli consisted of a target surface and a surround. The surround luminance was always sinusoidally modulated at 0.5 Hz to induce brightness modulation to the target. The target luminance was constant or modulated in counterphase to null brightness modulation. The mean signal changes were calculated from the voxels in V1, V2, and V3 corresponding to the retinotopic location of the target surface. The BOLD responses were significantly stronger for modulating brightness than for stimuli with constant brightness. In addition, the responses were stronger for transparent than for opaque stimuli, but there was more individual variation. No interaction between brightness and transparency was found. The results show that the early visual areas V1-V3 are sensitive to surface brightness and transparency and suggest that brightness and transparency are represented separately.

  7. 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

  8. Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation transiently improves contrast sensitivity and normalizes visual cortex activation in individuals with amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiegel, Daniel P; Byblow, Winston D; Hess, Robert F; Thompson, Benjamin

    2013-10-01

    Amblyopia is a neurodevelopmental disorder of vision that is associated with abnormal patterns of neural inhibition within the visual cortex. This disorder is often considered to be untreatable in adulthood because of insufficient visual cortex plasticity. There is increasing evidence that interventions that target inhibitory interactions within the visual cortex, including certain types of noninvasive brain stimulation, can improve visual function in adults with amblyopia. We tested the hypothesis that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) would improve visual function in adults with amblyopia by enhancing the neural response to inputs from the amblyopic eye. Thirteen adults with amblyopia participated and contrast sensitivity in the amblyopic and fellow fixing eye was assessed before, during and after a-tDCS or cathodal tDCS (c-tDCS). Five participants also completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study designed to investigate the effect of a-tDCS on the blood oxygen level-dependent response within the visual cortex to inputs from the amblyopic versus the fellow fixing eye. A subgroup of 8/13 participants showed a transient improvement in amblyopic eye contrast sensitivity for at least 30 minutes after a-tDCS. fMRI measurements indicated that the characteristic cortical response asymmetry in amblyopes, which favors the fellow eye, was reduced by a-tDCS. These preliminary results suggest that a-tDCS deserves further investigation as a potential tool to enhance amblyopia treatment outcomes in adults.

  9. Dissociation of object and spatial visual processing pathways in human extrastriate cortex

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    Haxby, J.V.; Grady, C.L.; Horwitz, B.; Ungerleider, L.G.; Mishkin, M.; Carson, R.E.; Herscovitch, P.; Schapiro, M.B.; Rapoport, S.I. (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (USA))

    1991-03-01

    The existence and neuroanatomical locations of separate extrastriate visual pathways for object recognition and spatial localization were investigated in healthy young men. Regional cerebral blood flow was measured by positron emission tomography and bolus injections of H2(15)O, while subjects performed face matching, dot-location matching, or sensorimotor control tasks. Both visual matching tasks activated lateral occipital cortex. Face discrimination alone activated a region of occipitotemporal cortex that was anterior and inferior to the occipital area activated by both tasks. The spatial location task alone activated a region of lateral superior parietal cortex. Perisylvian and anterior temporal cortices were not activated by either task. These results demonstrate the existence of three functionally dissociable regions of human visual extrastriate cortex. The ventral and dorsal locations of the regions specialized for object recognition and spatial localization, respectively, suggest some homology between human and nonhuman primate extrastriate cortex, with displacement in human brain, possibly related to the evolution of phylogenetically newer cortical areas.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-15

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

  12. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-26

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

  14. 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

    2012-05-01

    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 auditory covert naming task in five bilaterally anophthalmic subjects, who have never received visual input. When listening to auditory definitions and covertly retrieving words, these subjects activated lateral occipital cortex bilaterally in addition to the language areas activated in sighted controls. This activity was significantly greater than that present in a control condition of listening to reversed speech. The lateral occipital cortex was also recruited into a left-lateralized resting-state network that usually comprises anterior and posterior language areas. Levels of activation to the auditory naming and reversed speech conditions did not differ in the calcarine (striate) cortex. This primary 'visual' cortex was not recruited to the left-lateralized resting-state network and showed high interhemispheric correlation of activity at rest, as is typically seen in unimodal cortical areas. In contrast, the interhemispheric correlation of resting activity in extrastriate areas was reduced in anophthalmia to the level of cortical areas that are heteromodal, such as the inferior frontal gyrus. Previous imaging studies in the congenitally blind show that primary visual cortex is activated in higher-order tasks, such as language and memory to a greater extent than during more basic sensory processing, resulting in a reversal of the normal hierarchy of functional organization across 'visual' areas. Our data do not support such a pattern of organization in anophthalmia. Instead, the patterns of activity during task and the functional connectivity at rest are consistent with the known hierarchy of processing in these areas

  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. Noninvasive studies of human visual cortex using neuromagnetic techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aine, C.J.; George, J.S.; Supek, S.; Maclin, E.L.

    1990-01-01

    The major goals of noninvasive studies of the human visual cortex are: to increase knowledge of the functional organization of cortical visual pathways; and to develop noninvasive clinical tests for the assessment of cortical function. Noninvasive techniques suitable for studies of the structure and function of human visual cortex include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission tomography (SPECT), scalp recorded event-related potentials (ERPs), and event-related magnetic fields (ERFs). The primary challenge faced by noninvasive functional measures is to optimize the spatial and temporal resolution of the measurement and analytic techniques in order to effectively characterize the spatial and temporal variations in patterns of neuronal activity. In this paper we review the use of neuromagnetic techniques for this purpose. 8 refs., 3 figs

  17. 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.

  18. Figure-ground organization and the emergence of proto-objects in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von der Heydt, Rüdiger

    2015-01-01

    A long history of studies of perception has shown that the visual system organizes the incoming information early on, interpreting the 2D image in terms of a 3D world and producing a structure that provides perceptual continuity and enables object-based attention. Recordings from monkey visual cortex show that many neurons, especially in area V2, are selective for border ownership. These neurons are edge selective and have ordinary classical receptive fields (CRF), but in addition their responses are modulated (enhanced or suppressed) depending on the location of a 'figure' relative to the edge in their receptive field. Each neuron has a fixed preference for location on one side or the other. This selectivity is derived from the image context far beyond the CRF. This paper reviews evidence indicating that border ownership selectivity reflects the formation of early object representations ('proto-objects'). The evidence includes experiments showing (1) reversal of border ownership signals with change of perceived object structure, (2) border ownership specific enhancement of responses in object-based selective attention, (3) persistence of border ownership signals in accordance with continuity of object perception, and (4) remapping of border ownership signals across saccades and object movements. Findings 1 and 2 can be explained by hypothetical grouping circuits that sum contour feature signals in search of objectness, and, via recurrent projections, enhance the corresponding low-level feature signals. Findings 3 and 4 might be explained by assuming that the activity of grouping circuits persists and can be remapped. Grouping, persistence, and remapping are fundamental operations of vision. Finding these operations manifest in low-level visual areas challenges traditional views of visual processing. New computational models need to be developed for a comprehensive understanding of the function of the visual cortex.

  19. Figure–ground organization and the emergence of proto-objects in the visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    von der Heydt, Rüdiger

    2015-01-01

    A long history of studies of perception has shown that the visual system organizes the incoming information early on, interpreting the 2D image in terms of a 3D world and producing a structure that provides perceptual continuity and enables object-based attention. Recordings from monkey visual cortex show that many neurons, especially in area V2, are selective for border ownership. These neurons are edge selective and have ordinary classical receptive fields (CRF), but in addition their responses are modulated (enhanced or suppressed) depending on the location of a ‘figure’ relative to the edge in their receptive field. Each neuron has a fixed preference for location on one side or the other. This selectivity is derived from the image context far beyond the CRF. This paper reviews evidence indicating that border ownership selectivity reflects the formation of early object representations (‘proto-objects’). The evidence includes experiments showing (1) reversal of border ownership signals with change of perceived object structure, (2) border ownership specific enhancement of responses in object-based selective attention, (3) persistence of border ownership signals in accordance with continuity of object perception, and (4) remapping of border ownership signals across saccades and object movements. Findings 1 and 2 can be explained by hypothetical grouping circuits that sum contour feature signals in search of objectness, and, via recurrent projections, enhance the corresponding low-level feature signals. Findings 3 and 4 might be explained by assuming that the activity of grouping circuits persists and can be remapped. Grouping, persistence, and remapping are fundamental operations of vision. Finding these operations manifest in low-level visual areas challenges traditional views of visual processing. New computational models need to be developed for a comprehensive understanding of the function of the visual cortex. PMID:26579062

  20. The effects of acute alcohol exposure on the response properties of neurons in visual cortex area 17 of cats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Bo; Xia Jing; Li Guangxing; Zhou Yifeng

    2010-01-01

    Physiological and behavioral studies have demonstrated that a number of visual functions such as visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and motion perception can be impaired by acute alcohol exposure. The orientation- and direction-selective responses of cells in primary visual cortex are thought to participate in the perception of form and motion. To investigate how orientation selectivity and direction selectivity of neurons are influenced by acute alcohol exposure in vivo, we used the extracellular single-unit recording technique to examine the response properties of neurons in primary visual cortex (A17) of adult cats. We found that alcohol reduces spontaneous activity, visual evoked unit responses, the signal-to-noise ratio, and orientation selectivity of A17 cells. In addition, small but detectable changes in both the preferred orientation/direction and the bandwidth of the orientation tuning curve of strongly orientation-biased A17 cells were observed after acute alcohol administration. Our findings may provide physiological evidence for some alcohol-related deficits in visual function observed in behavioral studies.

  1. Figure-ground segregation at contours: a neural mechanism in the visual cortex of the alert monkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumann, R; van der Zwan, R; Peterhans, E

    1997-06-01

    An important task of vision is the segregation of figure and ground in situations of spatial occlusion. Psychophysical evidence suggests that the depth order at contours is defined early in visual processing. We have analysed this process in the visual cortex of the alert monkey. The animals were trained on a visual fixation task which reinforced foveal viewing. During periods of active visual fixation, we recorded the responses of single neurons in striate and prestriate cortex (areas V1, V2, and V3/V3A). The stimuli mimicked situations of spatial occlusion, usually a uniform light (or dark) rectangle overlaying a grating texture of opposite contrast. The direction of figure and ground at the borders of these rectangles was defined by the direction of the terminating grating lines (occlusion cues). Neuronal responses were analysed with respect to figure-ground direction and contrast polarity at such contours. Striate neurons often failed to respond to such stimuli, or were selective for contrast polarity; others were non-selective. Some neurons preferred a certain combination of figure-ground direction and contrast polarity. These neurons were rare both in striate and prestriate cortex. The majority of neurons signalled figure-ground direction independent of contrast polarity. These neurons were only found in prestriate cortex. We explain these responses in terms of a model which also explains neuronal signals of illusory contours. These results suggest that occlusion cues are used at an early level of processing to segregate figure and ground at contours.

  2. Right hemispheric dominance of visual phenomena evoked by intracerebral stimulation of the human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonas, Jacques; Frismand, Solène; Vignal, Jean-Pierre; Colnat-Coulbois, Sophie; Koessler, Laurent; Vespignani, Hervé; Rossion, Bruno; Maillard, Louis

    2014-07-01

    Electrical brain stimulation can provide important information about the functional organization of the human visual cortex. Here, we report the visual phenomena evoked by a large number (562) of intracerebral electrical stimulations performed at low-intensity with depth electrodes implanted in the occipito-parieto-temporal cortex of 22 epileptic patients. Focal electrical stimulation evoked primarily visual hallucinations with various complexities: simple (spot or blob), intermediary (geometric forms), or complex meaningful shapes (faces); visual illusions and impairments of visual recognition were more rarely observed. With the exception of the most posterior cortical sites, the probability of evoking a visual phenomenon was significantly higher in the right than the left hemisphere. Intermediary and complex hallucinations, illusions, and visual recognition impairments were almost exclusively evoked by stimulation in the right hemisphere. The probability of evoking a visual phenomenon decreased substantially from the occipital pole to the most anterior sites of the temporal lobe, and this decrease was more pronounced in the left hemisphere. The greater sensitivity of the right occipito-parieto-temporal regions to intracerebral electrical stimulation to evoke visual phenomena supports a predominant role of right hemispheric visual areas from perception to recognition of visual forms, regardless of visuospatial and attentional factors. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Sparse coding can predict primary visual cortex receptive field changes induced by abnormal visual input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Jonathan J; Dayan, Peter; Goodhill, Geoffrey J

    2013-01-01

    Receptive fields acquired through unsupervised learning of sparse representations of natural scenes have similar properties to primary visual cortex (V1) simple cell receptive fields. However, what drives in vivo development of receptive fields remains controversial. The strongest evidence for the importance of sensory experience in visual development comes from receptive field changes in animals reared with abnormal visual input. However, most sparse coding accounts have considered only normal visual input and the development of monocular receptive fields. Here, we applied three sparse coding models to binocular receptive field development across six abnormal rearing conditions. In every condition, the changes in receptive field properties previously observed experimentally were matched to a similar and highly faithful degree by all the models, suggesting that early sensory development can indeed be understood in terms of an impetus towards sparsity. As previously predicted in the literature, we found that asymmetries in inter-ocular correlation across orientations lead to orientation-specific binocular receptive fields. Finally we used our models to design a novel stimulus that, if present during rearing, is predicted by the sparsity principle to lead robustly to radically abnormal receptive fields.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-15

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

  7. 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

  8. Orientation-specific contextual modulation of the fMRI BOLD response to luminance and chromatic gratings in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, J Scott; Seymour, Kiley J; Schira, Mark M; Spehar, Branka; Clifford, Colin W G

    2009-05-01

    The responses of orientation-selective neurons in primate visual cortex can be profoundly affected by the presence and orientation of stimuli falling outside the classical receptive field. Our perception of the orientation of a line or grating also depends upon the context in which it is presented. For example, the perceived orientation of a grating embedded in a surround tends to be repelled from the predominant orientation of the surround. Here, we used fMRI to investigate the basis of orientation-specific surround effects in five functionally-defined regions of visual cortex: V1, V2, V3, V3A/LO1 and hV4. Test stimuli were luminance-modulated and isoluminant gratings that produced responses similar in magnitude. Less BOLD activation was evident in response to gratings with parallel versus orthogonal surrounds across all the regions of visual cortex investigated. When an isoluminant test grating was surrounded by a luminance-modulated inducer, the degree of orientation-specific contextual modulation was no larger for extrastriate areas than for V1, suggesting that the observed effects might originate entirely in V1. However, more orientation-specific modulation was evident in extrastriate cortex when both test and inducer were luminance-modulated gratings than when the test was isoluminant; this difference was significant in area V3. We suggest that the pattern of results in extrastriate cortex may reflect a refinement of the orientation-selectivity of surround suppression specific to the colour of the surround or, alternatively, processes underlying the segmentation of test and inducer by spatial phase or orientation when no colour cue is available.

  9. Robust selectivity to two-object images in human visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agam, Yigal; Liu, Hesheng; Papanastassiou, Alexander; Buia, Calin; Golby, Alexandra J.; Madsen, Joseph R.; Kreiman, Gabriel

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY We can recognize objects in a fraction of a second in spite of the presence of other objects [1–3]. The responses in macaque areas V4 and inferior temporal cortex [4–15] to a neuron’s preferred stimuli are typically suppressed by the addition of a second object within the receptive field (see however [16, 17]). How can this suppression be reconciled with rapid visual recognition in complex scenes? One option is that certain “special categories” are unaffected by other objects [18] but this leaves the problem unsolved for other categories. Another possibility is that serial attentional shifts help ameliorate the problem of distractor objects [19–21]. Yet, psychophysical studies [1–3], scalp recordings [1] and neurophysiological recordings [14, 16, 22–24], suggest that the initial sweep of visual processing contains a significant amount of information. We recorded intracranial field potentials in human visual cortex during presentation of flashes of two-object images. Visual selectivity from temporal cortex during the initial ~200 ms was largely robust to the presence of other objects. We could train linear decoders on the responses to isolated objects and decode information in two-object images. These observations are compatible with parallel, hierarchical and feed-forward theories of rapid visual recognition [25] and may provide a neural substrate to begin to unravel rapid recognition in natural scenes. PMID:20417105

  10. 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.

  11. Emotional facilitation of sensory processing in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schupp, Harald T; Junghöfer, Markus; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O

    2003-01-01

    A key function of emotion is the preparation for action. However, organization of successful behavioral strategies depends on efficient stimulus encoding. The present study tested the hypothesis that perceptual encoding in the visual cortex is modulated by the emotional significance of visual stimuli. Event-related brain potentials were measured while subjects viewed pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures. Early selective encoding of pleasant and unpleasant images was associated with a posterior negativity, indicating primary sources of activation in the visual cortex. The study also replicated previous findings in that affective cues also elicited enlarged late positive potentials, indexing increased stimulus relevance at higher-order stages of stimulus processing. These results support the hypothesis that sensory encoding of affective stimuli is facilitated implicitly by natural selective attention. Thus, the affect system not only modulates motor output (i.e., favoring approach or avoidance dispositions), but already operates at an early level of sensory encoding.

  12. Evidence for Non-Opponent Coding of Colour Information in Human Visual Cortex: Selective Loss of "Green" Sensitivity in a Subject with Damaged Ventral Occipito-Temporal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauscher, Franziska G; Plant, Gordon T; James-Galton, Merle; Barbur, John L

    2011-01-01

    Damage to ventral occipito-temporal extrastriate visual cortex leads to the syndrome of prosopagnosia often with coexisting cerebral achromatopsia. A patient with this syndrome resulting in a left upper homonymous quadrantanopia, prosopagnosia, and incomplete achromatopsia is described. Chromatic sensitivity was assessed at a number of locations in the intact visual field using a dynamic luminance contrast masking technique that isolates the use of colour signals. In normal subjects chromatic detection thresholds form an elliptical contour when plotted in the Commission Internationale d'Eclairage, (x-y), chromaticity diagram. Because the extraction of colour signals in early visual processing involves opponent mechanisms, subjects with Daltonism (congenital red/green loss of sensitivity) show symmetric increase in thresholds towards the long wavelength ("red") and middle wavelength ("green") regions of the spectrum locus. This is also the case with acquired loss of chromatic sensitivity as a result of retinal or optic nerve disease. Our patient's results were an exception to this rule. Whilst his chromatic sensitivity in the central region of the visual field was reduced symmetrically for both "red/green" and "yellow/blue" directions in colour space, the subject's lower left quadrant showed a marked asymmetry in "red/green" thresholds with the greatest loss of sensitivity towards the "green" region of the spectrum locus. This spatially localized asymmetric loss of "green" but not "red" sensitivity has not been reported previously in human vision. Such loss is consistent with selective damage of neural substrates in the visual cortex that process colour information, but are spectrally non-opponent.

  13. Research progress of functional magnetic resonance imaging in cross-modal activation of visual cortex during tactile perception

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhan Jie; Gong Honghan

    2013-01-01

    An increasing amount of neuroimaging studies recently demonstrated activation of visual cortex in both blind and sighted participants when performing a variety of tactile tasks such as Braille reading and tactile object recognition, which indicates that visual cortex not only receives visual information, but may participate in tactile perception. To address these cross-modal changes of visual cortex and the neurophysiological mechanisms, many researchers conducted explosive studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and have made some achievements. This review focuses on cross-modal activation of visual cortex and the underlying mechanisms during tactile perception in both blind and sighted individuals. (authors)

  14. The development of human visual cortex and clinical implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siu CR

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Caitlin R Siu,1 Kathryn M Murphy1,2 1McMaster Integrative Neuroscience Discovery and Study (MiNDS Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; 2Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada Abstract: The primary visual cortex (V1 is the first cortical area that processes visual information. Normal development of V1 depends on binocular vision during the critical period, and age-related losses of vision are linked with neurobiological changes in V1. Animal studies have provided important details about the neurobiological mechanisms in V1 that support normal vision or are changed by visual diseases. There is very little information, however, about those neurobiological mechanisms in human V1. That lack of information has hampered the translation of biologically inspired treatments from preclinical models to effective clinical treatments. We have studied human V1 to characterize the expression of neurobiological mechanisms that regulate visual perception and neuroplasticity. We have identified five stages of development for human V1 that start in infancy and continue across the life span. Here, we describe these stages, compare them with visual and anatomical milestones, and discuss implications for translating treatments for visual disorders that depend on neuroplasticity of V1 function. Keywords: development, human visual cortex, amblyopia, synaptic plasticity, glutamatergic, GABAergic, receptors

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Rune; Yonehara, Keisuke

    2017-01-01

    components represented by component direction-selective (CDS) cells. However, how PDS and CDS cells develop their distinct response properties is still unresolved. The visual cortex of the mouse is an attractive model for experimentally solving this issue due to the large molecular and genetic toolbox...... literature on global motion processing based on works in primates and mice. Lastly, we propose what types of experiments could illuminate what circuit mechanisms are governing cortical global visual motion processing. We propose that PDS cells in mouse visual cortex appear as the perfect arena...

  16. 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. Copyright © 2015 Herring et al.

  17. Effects of cholinergic deafferentation of the rhinal cortex on visual recognition memory in monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turchi, Janita; Saunders, Richard C; Mishkin, Mortimer

    2005-02-08

    Excitotoxic lesion studies have confirmed that the rhinal cortex is essential for visual recognition ability in monkeys. To evaluate the mnemonic role of cholinergic inputs to this cortical region, we compared the visual recognition performance of monkeys given rhinal cortex infusions of a selective cholinergic immunotoxin, ME20.4-SAP, with the performance of monkeys given control infusions into this same tissue. The immunotoxin, which leads to selective cholinergic deafferentation of the infused cortex, yielded recognition deficits of the same magnitude as those produced by excitotoxic lesions of this region, providing the most direct demonstration to date that cholinergic activation of the rhinal cortex is essential for storing the representations of new visual stimuli and thereby enabling their later recognition.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schliebs, R.; Walch, C.

    1989-01-01

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

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

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    Schliebs, R; Walch, C [Leipzig Univ. (German Democratic Republic). Bereich Medizin; Stewart, M G [Open Univ., Milton Keynes (UK)

    1989-01-01

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

  20. Dorso-Lateral Frontal Cortex of the Ferret Encodes Perceptual Difficulty during Visual Discrimination

    OpenAIRE

    Zhe Charles Zhou; Chunxiu Yu; Kristin K. Sellers; Flavio Fröhlich

    2016-01-01

    Visual discrimination requires sensory processing followed by a perceptual decision. Despite a growing understanding of visual areas in this behavior, it is unclear what role top-down signals from prefrontal cortex play, in particular as a function of perceptual difficulty. To address this gap, we investigated how neurons in dorso-lateral frontal cortex (dl-FC) of freely-moving ferrets encode task variables in a two-alternative forced choice visual discrimination task with high- and low-contr...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  2. Developmental changes in GABAergic mechanisms in human visual cortex across the lifespan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua G A Pinto

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Functional maturation of visual cortex is linked with dynamic changes in synaptic expression of GABAergic mechanisms. These include setting the excitation-inhibition balance required for experience-dependent plasticity, as well as, intracortical inhibition underlying development and aging of receptive field properties. Animal studies have shown developmental regulation of GABAergic mechanisms in visual cortex. In this study, we show for the first time how these mechanisms develop in the human visual cortex across the lifespan. We used Western blot analysis of postmortem tissue from human primary visual cortex (n=30, range: 20 days to 80 years to quantify expression of 8 pre- and post-synaptic GABAergic markers. We quantified the inhibitory modulating cannabinoid receptor (CB1, GABA vesicular transporter (VGAT, GABA synthesizing enzymes (GAD65/GAD67, GABAA receptor anchoring protein (Gephyrin, and GABAA receptor subunits (GABAA∝1, GABAA∝2, GABAA∝3. We found a complex pattern of changes, many of which were prolonged and continued well into into the teen, young adult, and even older adult years. These included a monotonic increase or decrease (GABAA∝1, GABAA∝2, a biphasic increase then decrease (GAD65, Gephyrin, or multiple increases and decreases (VGAT, CB1 across the lifespan. Comparing the balances between the pre- and post-synaptic markers we found 3 main transitions (early childhood, early teen years, aging when there were rapid switches in the composition of the GABAergic signaling system, indicating that functioning of the GABAergic system must change as the visual cortex develops and ages. Furthermore, these results provide key information for translating therapies developed in animal models into effective treatments for amblyopia in humans.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 abo...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Joshua G.A Pinto; David G Jones; Kate eWilliams; Kathryn M Murphy; Kathryn M Murphy

    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 a...

  5. 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.

  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. 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

    A number of studies that assessed the visual system in subjects with schizophrenia found impairments in early visual processing. Furthermore, functional imaging studies suggested changes in primary visual cortex activity in subjects with schizophrenia. Interestingly, postmortem studies of subject...

  8. Integration of auditory and visual communication information in the primate ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugihara, Tadashi; Diltz, Mark D; Averbeck, Bruno B; Romanski, Lizabeth M

    2006-10-25

    The integration of auditory and visual stimuli is crucial for recognizing objects, communicating effectively, and navigating through our complex world. Although the frontal lobes are involved in memory, communication, and language, there has been no evidence that the integration of communication information occurs at the single-cell level in the frontal lobes. Here, we show that neurons in the macaque ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) integrate audiovisual communication stimuli. The multisensory interactions included both enhancement and suppression of a predominantly auditory or a predominantly visual response, although multisensory suppression was the more common mode of response. The multisensory neurons were distributed across the VLPFC and within previously identified unimodal auditory and visual regions (O'Scalaidhe et al., 1997; Romanski and Goldman-Rakic, 2002). Thus, our study demonstrates, for the first time, that single prefrontal neurons integrate communication information from the auditory and visual domains, suggesting that these neurons are an important node in the cortical network responsible for communication.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damien J. Mannion

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Asymmetries in the response to visual patterns in the upper and lower visual fields (above and below the centre of gaze have been associated with ecological factors relating to the structure of typical visual environments. Here, we investigated whether the content of the upper and lower visual field representations in low-level regions of human visual cortex are specialised for visual patterns that arise from the upper and lower visual fields in natural images. We presented image patches, drawn from above or below the centre of gaze of an observer navigating a natural environment, to either the upper or lower visual fields of human participants (n = 7 while we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to measure the magnitude of evoked activity in the visual areas V1, V2, and V3. We found a significant interaction between the presentation location (upper or lower visual field and the image patch source location (above or below fixation; the responses to lower visual field presentation were significantly greater for image patches sourced from below than above fixation, while the responses in the upper visual field were not significantly different for image patches sourced from above and below fixation. This finding demonstrates an association between the representation of the lower visual field in human visual cortex and the structure of the visual input that is likely to be encountered below the centre of gaze.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Using fNIRS to Examine Occipital and Temporal Responses to Stimulus Repetition in Young Infants: Evidence of Selective Frontal Cortex Involvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emberson, Lauren L.; Cannon, Grace; Palmeri, Holly; Richards, John E.; Aslin, Richard N.

    2016-01-01

    How does the developing brain respond to recent experience? Repetition suppression (RS) is a robust and well-characterized response of to recent experience found, predominantly, in the perceptual cortices of the adult brain. We use functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to investigate how perceptual (temporal and occipital) and frontal cortices in the infant brain respond to auditory and visual stimulus repetitions (spoken words and faces). In Experiment 1, we find strong evidence of repetition suppression in the frontal cortex but only for auditory stimuli. In perceptual cortices, we find only suggestive evidence of auditory RS in the temporal cortex and no evidence of visual RS in any ROI. In Experiments 2 and 3, we replicate and extend these findings. Overall, we provide the first evidence that infant and adult brains respond differently to stimulus repetition. We suggest that the frontal lobe may support the development of RS in perceptual cortices. PMID:28012401

  14. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. Verbal memory retrieval engages visual cortex in musicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-16

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Early visual cortex reflects initiation and maintenance of task set

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elkhetali, Abdurahman S.; Vaden, Ryan J.; Pool, Sean M.

    2014-01-01

    The human brain is able to process information flexibly, depending on a person's task. The mechanisms underlying this ability to initiate and maintain a task set are not well understood, but they are important for understanding the flexibility of human behavior and developing therapies for disorders involving attention. Here we investigate the differential roles of early visual cortical areas in initiating and maintaining a task set. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), we characterized three different components of task set-related, but trial-independent activity in retinotopically mapped areas of early visual cortex, while human participants performed attention demanding visual or auditory tasks. These trial-independent effects reflected: (1) maintenance of attention over a long duration, (2) orienting to a cue, and (3) initiation of a task set. Participants performed tasks that differed in the modality of stimulus to be attended (auditory or visual) and in whether there was a simultaneous distractor (auditory only, visual only, or simultaneous auditory and visual). We found that patterns of trial-independent activity in early visual areas (V1, V2, V3, hV4) depend on attended modality, but not on stimuli. Further, different early visual areas play distinct roles in the initiation of a task set. In addition, activity associated with maintaining a task set tracks with a participant's behavior. These results show that trial-independent activity in early visual cortex reflects initiation and maintenance of a person's task set. PMID:25485712

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rune Rasmussen

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available A withstanding question in neuroscience is how neural circuits encode representations and perceptions of the external world. A particularly well-defined visual computation is the representation of global object motion by pattern direction-selective (PDS cells from convergence of motion of local components represented by component direction-selective (CDS cells. However, how PDS and CDS cells develop their distinct response properties is still unresolved. The visual cortex of the mouse is an attractive model for experimentally solving this issue due to the large molecular and genetic toolbox available. Although mouse visual cortex lacks the highly ordered orientation columns of primates, it is organized in functional sub-networks and contains striate- and extrastriate areas like its primate counterparts. In this Perspective article, we provide an overview of the experimental and theoretical literature on global motion processing based on works in primates and mice. Lastly, we propose what types of experiments could illuminate what circuit mechanisms are governing cortical global visual motion processing. We propose that PDS cells in mouse visual cortex appear as the perfect arena for delineating and solving how individual sensory features extracted by neural circuits in peripheral brain areas are integrated to build our rich cohesive sensory experiences.

  2. 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 learning effect. For cathodal tDCS, no significant effects on learning or on excitability could be seen. Our results showed that anodal tDCS over V1 resulted in improved visual perceptual learning and increased cortical excitability. tDCS is a promising tool to alter V1 excitability and, hence, perceptual visual learning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Evidence for Non-Opponent Coding of Colour Information in Human Visual Cortex: Selective Loss of “Green” Sensitivity in a Subject with Damaged Ventral Occipito-Temporal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauscher, Franziska G.; Plant, Gordon T.; James-Galton, Merle; Barbur, John L.

    2011-01-01

    Damage to ventral occipito-temporal extrastriate visual cortex leads to the syndrome of prosopagnosia often with coexisting cerebral achromatopsia. A patient with this syndrome resulting in a left upper homonymous quadrantanopia, prosopagnosia, and incomplete achromatopsia is described. Chromatic sensitivity was assessed at a number of locations in the intact visual field using a dynamic luminance contrast masking technique that isolates the use of colour signals. In normal subjects chromatic detection thresholds form an elliptical contour when plotted in the Commission Internationale d’Eclairage, (x-y), chromaticity diagram. Because the extraction of colour signals in early visual processing involves opponent mechanisms, subjects with Daltonism (congenital red/green loss of sensitivity) show symmetric increase in thresholds towards the long wavelength (“red”) and middle wavelength (“green”) regions of the spectrum locus. This is also the case with acquired loss of chromatic sensitivity as a result of retinal or optic nerve disease. Our patient’s results were an exception to this rule. Whilst his chromatic sensitivity in the central region of the visual field was reduced symmetrically for both “red/green” and “yellow/blue” directions in colour space, the subject’s lower left quadrant showed a marked asymmetry in “red/green” thresholds with the greatest loss of sensitivity towards the “green” region of the spectrum locus. This spatially localized asymmetric loss of “green” but not “red” sensitivity has not been reported previously in human vision. Such loss is consistent with selective damage of neural substrates in the visual cortex that process colour information, but are spectrally non-opponent. PMID:27956924

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Synchronous activity in cat visual cortex encodes collinear and cocircular contours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samonds, Jason M; Zhou, Zhiyi; Bernard, Melanie R; Bonds, A B

    2006-04-01

    We explored how contour information in primary visual cortex might be embedded in the simultaneous activity of multiple cells recorded with a 100-electrode array. Synchronous activity in cat visual cortex was more selective and predictable in discriminating between drifting grating and concentric ring stimuli than changes in firing rate. Synchrony was found even between cells with wholly different orientation preferences when their receptive fields were circularly aligned, and membership in synchronous groups was orientation and curvature dependent. The existence of synchrony between cocircular cells reinforces its role as a general mechanism for contour integration and shape detection as predicted by association field concepts. Our data suggest that cortical synchrony results from common and synchronous input from earlier visual areas and that it could serve to shape extrastriate response selectivity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Self, Matthew W; Peters, Judith C; Possel, Jessy K; Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2016-03-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew W Self

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar to those reported in the macaque. We also observed pronounced gamma oscillations in the local-field potential that could be used to estimate the underlying spiking response properties. Spiking responses were modulated by visual context and attention. We observed orientation-tuned surround suppression: responses were suppressed by image regions with a uniform orientation and enhanced by orientation contrast. Additionally, responses were enhanced on regions that perceptually segregated from the background, indicating that neurons in the human visual cortex are sensitive to figure-ground structure. Spiking responses were also modulated by object-based attention. When the patient mentally traced a curve through the neurons' receptive fields, the accompanying shift of attention enhanced neuronal activity. These results demonstrate that the tuning properties of cells in the human early visual cortex are similar to those in the macaque and that responses can be modulated by both contextual factors and behavioral relevance. Our results, therefore, imply that the macaque visual system is an excellent model for the human visual cortex.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. A morphological basis for orientation tuning in primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooser, François; Bosking, William H; Fitzpatrick, David

    2004-08-01

    Feedforward connections are thought to be important in the generation of orientation-selective responses in visual cortex by establishing a bias in the sampling of information from regions of visual space that lie along a neuron's axis of preferred orientation. It remains unclear, however, which structural elements-dendrites or axons-are ultimately responsible for conveying this sampling bias. To explore this question, we have examined the spatial arrangement of feedforward axonal connections that link non-oriented neurons in layer 4 and orientation-selective neurons in layer 2/3 of visual cortex in the tree shrew. Target sites of labeled boutons in layer 2/3 resulting from focal injections of biocytin in layer 4 show an orientation-specific axial bias that is sufficient to confer orientation tuning to layer 2/3 neurons. We conclude that the anisotropic arrangement of axon terminals is the principal source of the orientation bias contributed by feedforward connections.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanwisher, Nancy

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Integrative and distinctive coding of visual and conceptual object features in the ventral visual stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Chris B; Douglas, Danielle; Newsome, Rachel N; Man, Louisa Ly; Barense, Morgan D

    2018-02-02

    A significant body of research in cognitive neuroscience is aimed at understanding how object concepts are represented in the human brain. However, it remains unknown whether and where the visual and abstract conceptual features that define an object concept are integrated. We addressed this issue by comparing the neural pattern similarities among object-evoked fMRI responses with behavior-based models that independently captured the visual and conceptual similarities among these stimuli. Our results revealed evidence for distinctive coding of visual features in lateral occipital cortex, and conceptual features in the temporal pole and parahippocampal cortex. By contrast, we found evidence for integrative coding of visual and conceptual object features in perirhinal cortex. The neuroanatomical specificity of this effect was highlighted by results from a searchlight analysis. Taken together, our findings suggest that perirhinal cortex uniquely supports the representation of fully specified object concepts through the integration of their visual and conceptual features. © 2018, Martin et al.

  20. Integrative and distinctive coding of visual and conceptual object features in the ventral visual stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Danielle; Newsome, Rachel N; Man, Louisa LY

    2018-01-01

    A significant body of research in cognitive neuroscience is aimed at understanding how object concepts are represented in the human brain. However, it remains unknown whether and where the visual and abstract conceptual features that define an object concept are integrated. We addressed this issue by comparing the neural pattern similarities among object-evoked fMRI responses with behavior-based models that independently captured the visual and conceptual similarities among these stimuli. Our results revealed evidence for distinctive coding of visual features in lateral occipital cortex, and conceptual features in the temporal pole and parahippocampal cortex. By contrast, we found evidence for integrative coding of visual and conceptual object features in perirhinal cortex. The neuroanatomical specificity of this effect was highlighted by results from a searchlight analysis. Taken together, our findings suggest that perirhinal cortex uniquely supports the representation of fully specified object concepts through the integration of their visual and conceptual features. PMID:29393853

  1. Metabolic Changes in the Visual Cortex Are Linked to Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thinning in Multiple Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Florian; Bock, Markus; Walaszek, Bernadeta; Waiczies, Helmar; Schwenteck, Thomas; Dörr, Jan; Bellmann-Strobl, Judith; Mohr, Christian; Weinges-Evers, Nicholetta; Ittermann, Bernd; Wuerfel, Jens T.; Paul, Friedemann

    2011-01-01

    Objective To investigate the damage to the retinal nerve fiber layer as part of the anterior visual pathway as well as an impairment of the neuronal and axonal integrity in the visual cortex as part of the posterior visual pathway with complementary neuroimaging techniques, and to correlate our results to patients' clinical symptoms concerning the visual pathway. Design, Subjects and Methods Survey of 86 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis that were subjected to retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT) measurement by optical coherence tomography, to a routine MRI scan including the calculation of the brain parenchymal fraction (BPF), and to magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 3 tesla, quantifying N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) concentrations in the visual cortex and normal-appearing white matter. Results RNFLT correlated significantly with BPF and visual cortex NAA, but not with normal-appearing white matter NAA. This was connected with the patients' history of a previous optic neuritis. In a combined model, both BPF and visual cortex NAA were independently associated with RNFLT. Conclusions Our data suggest the existence of functional pathway-specific damage patterns exceeding global neurodegeneration. They suggest a strong interrelationship between damage to the anterior and the posterior visual pathway. PMID:21494672

  2. 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.

  3. MEG reveals a fast pathway from somatosensory cortex to occipital areas via posterior parietal cortex in a blind subject.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ioannides, Andreas A; Liu, Lichan; Poghosyan, Vahe; Saridis, George A; Gjedde, Albert; Ptito, Maurice; Kupers, Ron

    2013-01-01

    Cross-modal activity in visual cortex of blind subjects has been reported during performance of variety of non-visual tasks. A key unanswered question is through which pathways non-visual inputs are funneled to the visual cortex. Here we used tomographic analysis of single trial magnetoencephalography (MEG) data recorded from one congenitally blind and two sighted subjects after stimulation of the left and right median nerves at three intensities: below sensory threshold, above sensory threshold and above motor threshold; the last sufficient to produce thumb twitching. We identified reproducible brain responses in the primary somatosensory (S1) and motor (M1) cortices at around 20 ms post-stimulus, which were very similar in sighted and blind subjects. Time-frequency analysis revealed strong 45-70 Hz activity at latencies of 20-50 ms in S1 and M1, and posterior parietal cortex Brodmann areas (BA) 7 and 40, which compared to lower frequencies, were substantially more pronounced in the blind than the sighted subjects. Critically, at frequencies from α-band up to 100 Hz we found clear, strong, and widespread responses in the visual cortex of the blind subject, which increased with the intensity of the somatosensory stimuli. Time-delayed mutual information (MI) revealed that in blind subject the stimulus information is funneled from the early somatosensory to visual cortex through posterior parietal BA 7 and 40, projecting first to visual areas V5 and V3, and eventually V1. The flow of information through this pathway occurred in stages characterized by convergence of activations into specific cortical regions. In sighted subjects, no linked activity was found that led from the somatosensory to the visual cortex through any of the studied brain regions. These results provide the first evidence from MEG that in blind subjects, tactile information is routed from primary somatosensory to occipital cortex via the posterior parietal cortex.

  4. Early 'visual' cortex activation correlates with superior verbal memory performance in the blind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amedi, Amir; Raz, Noa; Pianka, Pazit; Malach, Rafael; Zohary, Ehud

    2003-07-01

    The visual cortex may be more modifiable than previously considered. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in ten congenitally blind human participants, we found robust occipital activation during a verbal-memory task (in the absence of any sensory input), as well as during verb generation and Braille reading. We also found evidence for reorganization and specialization of the occipital cortex, along the anterior-posterior axis. Whereas anterior regions showed preference for Braille, posterior regions (including V1) showed preference for verbal-memory and verb generation (which both require memory of verbal material). No such occipital activation was found in sighted subjects. This difference between the groups was mirrored by superior performance of the blind in various verbal-memory tasks. Moreover, the magnitude of V1 activation during the verbal-memory condition was highly correlated with the blind individual's abilities in a variety of verbal-memory tests, suggesting that the additional occipital activation may have a functional role.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Kerkoerle, Timo; Self, M.W.; Roelfsema, P.R.

    2017-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  10. Selectivity in Postencoding Connectivity with High-Level Visual Cortex Is Associated with Reward-Motivated Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murty, Vishnu P; Tompary, Alexa; Adcock, R Alison; Davachi, Lila

    2017-01-18

    anterior hippocampus and the VTA with high-level visual cortex selectively predicts memory for high-reward memoranda at a 24 h delay. These findings provide evidence for a novel mechanism guiding the consolidation of memories for valuable events, namely, postencoding interactions between neural systems supporting mesolimbic dopamine activation, episodic memory, and perception. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/370537-09$15.00/0.

  11. Audiovisual Blindsight: Audiovisual learning in the absence of primary visual cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Mehrdad eSeirafi; Peter eDe Weerd; Alan J Pegna; Beatrice ede Gelder

    2016-01-01

    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...

  12. 3D topology of orientation columns in visual cortex revealed by functional optical coherence tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamichi, Yu; Kalatsky, Valery A; Watanabe, Hideyuki; Sato, Takayuki; Rajagopalan, Uma Maheswari; Tanifuji, Manabu

    2018-04-01

    Orientation tuning is a canonical neuronal response property of six-layer visual cortex that is encoded in pinwheel structures with center orientation singularities. Optical imaging of intrinsic signals enables us to map these surface two-dimensional (2D) structures, whereas lack of appropriate techniques has not allowed us to visualize depth structures of orientation coding. In the present study, we performed functional optical coherence tomography (fOCT), a technique capable of acquiring a 3D map of the intrinsic signals, to study the topology of orientation coding inside the cat visual cortex. With this technique, for the first time, we visualized columnar assemblies in orientation coding that had been predicted from electrophysiological recordings. In addition, we found that the columnar structures were largely distorted around pinwheel centers: center singularities were not rigid straight lines running perpendicularly to the cortical surface but formed twisted string-like structures inside the cortex that turned and extended horizontally through the cortex. Looping singularities were observed with their respective termini accessing the same cortical surface via clockwise and counterclockwise orientation pinwheels. These results suggest that a 3D topology of orientation coding cannot be fully anticipated from 2D surface measurements. Moreover, the findings demonstrate the utility of fOCT as an in vivo mesoscale imaging method for mapping functional response properties of cortex in the depth axis. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We used functional optical coherence tomography (fOCT) to visualize three-dimensional structure of the orientation columns with millimeter range and micrometer spatial resolution. We validated vertically elongated columnar structure in iso-orientation domains. The columnar structure was distorted around pinwheel centers. An orientation singularity formed a string with tortuous trajectories inside the cortex and connected clockwise and counterclockwise

  13. Functional outcomes following lesions in visual cortex: Implications for plasticity of high-level vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tina T; Behrmann, Marlene

    2017-10-01

    Understanding the nature and extent of neural plasticity in humans remains a key challenge for neuroscience. Importantly, however, a precise characterization of plasticity and its underlying mechanism has the potential to enable new approaches for enhancing reorganization of cortical function. Investigations of the impairment and subsequent recovery of cognitive and perceptual functions following early-onset cortical lesions in humans provide a unique opportunity to elucidate how the brain changes, adapts, and reorganizes. Specifically, here, we focus on restitution of visual function, and we review the findings on plasticity and re-organization of the ventral occipital temporal cortex (VOTC) in published reports of 46 patients with a lesion to or resection of the visual cortex early in life. Findings reveal that a lesion to the VOTC results in a deficit that affects the visual recognition of more than one category of stimuli (faces, objects and words). In addition, the majority of pediatric patients show limited recovery over time, especially those in whom deficits in low-level vision also persist. Last, given that neither the equipotentiality nor the modularity view on plasticity was clearly supported, we suggest some intermediate possibilities in which some plasticity may be evident but that this might depend on the area that was affected, its maturational trajectory as well as its structural and functional connectivity constraints. Finally, we offer suggestions for future research that can elucidate plasticity further. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  15. No evidence for enhancements to visual working memory with transcranial direct current stimulation to prefrontal or posterior parietal cortices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robison, Matthew K; McGuirk, William P; Unsworth, Nash

    2017-08-01

    The present study examined the relative contributions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC) to visual working memory. Evidence from a number of different techniques has led to the theory that the PFC controls access to working memory (i.e., filtering), determining which information is encoded and maintained for later use whereas the parietal cortex determines how much information is held at 1 given time, regardless of relevance (i.e., capacity; McNab & Klingberg, 2008; Vogel, McCollough, & Machizawa, 2005). To test this theory, we delivered transcranial DC stimulation (tDCS) to the right PFC and right PPC and measured visual working memory capacity and filtering abilities both during and immediately following stimulation. We observed no evidence that tDCS to either the PFC or PPC significantly improved visual working memory. Although the present results did not allow us to make firm theoretical conclusions about the roles of the PFC and PPC in working memory, the results add to the growing body of literature surrounding tDCS and its associated behavioral and neurophysiological effects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Learning invariance from natural images inspired by observations in the primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teichmann, Michael; Wiltschut, Jan; Hamker, Fred

    2012-05-01

    The human visual system has the remarkable ability to largely recognize objects invariant of their position, rotation, and scale. A good interpretation of neurobiological findings involves a computational model that simulates signal processing of the visual cortex. In part, this is likely achieved step by step from early to late areas of visual perception. While several algorithms have been proposed for learning feature detectors, only few studies at hand cover the issue of biologically plausible learning of such invariance. In this study, a set of Hebbian learning rules based on calcium dynamics and homeostatic regulations of single neurons is proposed. Their performance is verified within a simple model of the primary visual cortex to learn so-called complex cells, based on a sequence of static images. As a result, the learned complex-cell responses are largely invariant to phase and position.

  17. The threshold for conscious report: Signal loss and response bias in visual and frontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Vugt, Bram; Dagnino, Bruno; Vartak, Devavrat; Safaai, Houman; Panzeri, Stefano; Dehaene, Stanislas; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2018-05-04

    Why are some visual stimuli consciously detected, whereas others remain subliminal? We investigated the fate of weak visual stimuli in the visual and frontal cortex of awake monkeys trained to report stimulus presence. Reported stimuli were associated with strong sustained activity in the frontal cortex, and frontal activity was weaker and quickly decayed for unreported stimuli. Information about weak stimuli could be lost at successive stages en route from the visual to the frontal cortex, and these propagation failures were confirmed through microstimulation of area V1. Fluctuations in response bias and sensitivity during perception of identical stimuli were traced back to prestimulus brain-state markers. A model in which stimuli become consciously reportable when they elicit a nonlinear ignition process in higher cortical areas explained our results. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  18. Brain atrophy in the visual cortex and thalamus induced by severe stress in animal model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshii, Takanobu; Oishi, Naoya; Ikoma, Kazuya; Nishimura, Isao; Sakai, Yuki; Matsuda, Kenichi; Yamada, Shunji; Tanaka, Masaki; Kawata, Mitsuhiro; Narumoto, Jin; Fukui, Kenji

    2017-10-06

    Psychological stress induces many diseases including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); however, the causal relationship between stress and brain atrophy has not been clarified. Applying single-prolonged stress (SPS) to explore the global effect of severe stress, we performed brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) acquisition and Voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Significant atrophy was detected in the bilateral thalamus and right visual cortex. Fluorescent immunohistochemistry for Iba-1 as the marker of activated microglia indicates regional microglial activation as stress-reaction in these atrophic areas. These data certify the impact of severe psychological stress on the atrophy of the visual cortex and the thalamus. Unexpectedly, these results are similar to chronic neuropathic pain rather than PTSD clinical research. We believe that some sensitisation mechanism from severe stress-induced atrophy in the visual cortex and thalamus, and the functional defect of the visual system may be a potential therapeutic target for stress-related diseases.

  19. Prefrontal cortex and somatosensory cortex in tactile crossmodal association: an independent component analysis of ERP recordings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yixuan Ku

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Our previous studies on scalp-recorded event-related potentials (ERPs showed that somatosensory N140 evoked by a tactile vibration in working memory tasks was enhanced when human subjects expected a coming visual stimulus that had been paired with the tactile stimulus. The results suggested that such enhancement represented the cortical activities involved in tactile-visual crossmodal association. In the present study, we further hypothesized that the enhancement represented the neural activities in somatosensory and frontal cortices in the crossmodal association. By applying independent component analysis (ICA to the ERP data, we found independent components (ICs located in the medial prefrontal cortex (around the anterior cingulate cortex, ACC and the primary somatosensory cortex (SI. The activity represented by the IC in SI cortex showed enhancement in expectation of the visual stimulus. Such differential activity thus suggested the participation of SI cortex in the task-related crossmodal association. Further, the coherence analysis and the Granger causality spectral analysis of the ICs showed that SI cortex appeared to cooperate with ACC in attention and perception of the tactile stimulus in crossmodal association. The results of our study support with new evidence an important idea in cortical neurophysiology: higher cognitive operations develop from the modality-specific sensory cortices (in the present study, SI cortex that are involved in sensation and perception of various stimuli.

  20. Encoding model of temporal processing in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stigliani, Anthony; Jeska, Brianna; Grill-Spector, Kalanit

    2017-12-19

    How is temporal information processed in human visual cortex? Visual input is relayed to V1 through segregated transient and sustained channels in the retina and lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). However, there is intense debate as to how sustained and transient temporal channels contribute to visual processing beyond V1. The prevailing view associates transient processing predominately with motion-sensitive regions and sustained processing with ventral stream regions, while the opposing view suggests that both temporal channels contribute to neural processing beyond V1. Using fMRI, we measured cortical responses to time-varying stimuli and then implemented a two temporal channel-encoding model to evaluate the contributions of each channel. Different from the general linear model of fMRI that predicts responses directly from the stimulus, the encoding approach first models neural responses to the stimulus from which fMRI responses are derived. This encoding approach not only predicts cortical responses to time-varying stimuli from milliseconds to seconds but also, reveals differential contributions of temporal channels across visual cortex. Consistent with the prevailing view, motion-sensitive regions and adjacent lateral occipitotemporal regions are dominated by transient responses. However, ventral occipitotemporal regions are driven by both sustained and transient channels, with transient responses exceeding the sustained. These findings propose a rethinking of temporal processing in the ventral stream and suggest that transient processing may contribute to rapid extraction of the content of the visual input. Importantly, our encoding approach has vast implications, because it can be applied with fMRI to decipher neural computations in millisecond resolution in any part of the brain. Copyright © 2017 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  1. Two critical periods in early visual cortex during figure–ground segregation

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    .The ability to distinguish a figure from its background is crucial for visual perception. To date, it remains unresolved where and how in the visual system different stages of figure-ground segregation emerge. Neural correlates of figure border detection have consistently been found in early visual cortex (V1/V2). However, areas V1/V2 have also been frequently associated with later stages of figure-ground segregation (such as border ownership or surface segregation). To causally link activit...

  2. Magnetic stimulation of visual cortex impairs perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldassarre, Antonello; Capotosto, Paolo; Committeri, Giorgia; Corbetta, Maurizio

    2016-12-01

    The ability to learn and process visual stimuli more efficiently is important for survival. Previous neuroimaging studies have shown that perceptual learning on a shape identification task differently modulates activity in both frontal-parietal cortical regions and visual cortex (Sigman et al., 2005;Lewis et al., 2009). Specifically, fronto-parietal regions (i.e. intra parietal sulcus, pIPS) became less activated for trained as compared to untrained stimuli, while visual regions (i.e. V2d/V3 and LO) exhibited higher activation for familiar shape. Here, after the intensive training, we employed transcranial magnetic stimulation over both visual occipital and parietal regions, previously shown to be modulated, to investigate their causal role in learning the shape identification task. We report that interference with V2d/V3 and LO increased reaction times to learned stimuli as compared to pIPS and Sham control condition. Moreover, the impairment observed after stimulation over the two visual regions was positive correlated. These results strongly support the causal role of the visual network in the control of the perceptual learning. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. HDAC2 expression in parvalbumin interneurons regulates synaptic plasticity in the mouse visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nott, Alexi; Cho, Sukhee; Seo, Jinsoo; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2015-01-01

    An experience-dependent postnatal increase in GABAergic inhibition in the visual cortex is important for the closure of a critical period of enhanced synaptic plasticity. Although maturation of the subclass of Parvalbumin (Pv)-expressing GABAergic interneurons is known to contribute to critical period closure, the role of epigenetics on cortical inhibition and synaptic plasticity has not been explored. The transcription regulator, histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2), has been shown to modulate synaptic plasticity and learning processes in hippocampal excitatory neurons. We found that genetic deletion of HDAC2 specifically from Pv-interneurons reduces inhibitory input in the visual cortex of adult mice, and coincides with enhanced long-term depression (LTD) that is more typical of young mice. These findings show that HDAC2 loss in Pv-interneurons leads to a delayed closure of the critical period in the visual cortex and supports the hypothesis that HDAC2 is a key negative regulator of synaptic plasticity in the adult brain.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Masataka; Song, Wen-Jie

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Developmental and visual input-dependent regulation of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in the mouse visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taisuke Yoneda

    Full Text Available The mammalian visual system exhibits significant experience-induced plasticity in the early postnatal period. While physiological studies have revealed the contribution of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1 to developmental plasticity in the primary visual cortex (V1, it remains unknown whether the expression and localization of CB1 is regulated during development or by visual experience. To explore a possible role of the endocannabinoid system in visual cortical plasticity, we examined the expression of CB1 in the visual cortex of mice. We found intense CB1 immunoreactivity in layers II/III and VI. CB1 mainly localized at vesicular GABA transporter-positive inhibitory nerve terminals. The amount of CB1 protein increased throughout development, and the specific laminar pattern of CB1 appeared at P20 and remained until adulthood. Dark rearing from birth to P30 decreased the amount of CB1 protein in V1 and altered the synaptic localization of CB1 in the deep layer. Dark rearing until P50, however, did not influence the expression of CB1. Brief monocular deprivation for 2 days upregulated the localization of CB1 at inhibitory nerve terminals in the deep layer. Taken together, the expression and the localization of CB1 are developmentally regulated, and both parameters are influenced by visual experience.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  10. Efficient visual object and word recognition relies on high spatial frequency coding in the left posterior fusiform gyrus: evidence from a case-series of patients with ventral occipito-temporal cortex damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Daniel J; Woollams, Anna M; Kim, Esther; Beeson, Pelagie M; Rapcsak, Steven Z; Lambon Ralph, Matthew A

    2013-11-01

    Recent visual neuroscience investigations suggest that ventral occipito-temporal cortex is retinotopically organized, with high acuity foveal input projecting primarily to the posterior fusiform gyrus (pFG), making this region crucial for coding high spatial frequency information. Because high spatial frequencies are critical for fine-grained visual discrimination, we hypothesized that damage to the left pFG should have an adverse effect not only on efficient reading, as observed in pure alexia, but also on the processing of complex non-orthographic visual stimuli. Consistent with this hypothesis, we obtained evidence that a large case series (n = 20) of patients with lesions centered on left pFG: 1) Exhibited reduced sensitivity to high spatial frequencies; 2) demonstrated prolonged response latencies both in reading (pure alexia) and object naming; and 3) were especially sensitive to visual complexity and similarity when discriminating between novel visual patterns. These results suggest that the patients' dual reading and non-orthographic recognition impairments have a common underlying mechanism and reflect the loss of high spatial frequency visual information normally coded in the left pFG.

  11. Regions of mid-level human visual cortex sensitive to the global coherence of local image patches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannion, Damien J; Kersten, Daniel J; Olman, Cheryl A

    2014-08-01

    The global structural arrangement and spatial layout of the visual environment must be derived from the integration of local signals represented in the lower tiers of the visual system. This interaction between the spatially local and global properties of visual stimulation underlies many of our visual capacities, and how this is achieved in the brain is a central question for visual and cognitive neuroscience. Here, we examine the sensitivity of regions of the posterior human brain to the global coordination of spatially displaced naturalistic image patches. We presented observers with image patches in two circular apertures to the left and right of central fixation, with the patches drawn from either the same (coherent condition) or different (noncoherent condition) extended image. Using fMRI at 7T (n = 5), we find that global coherence affected signal amplitude in regions of dorsal mid-level cortex. Furthermore, we find that extensive regions of mid-level visual cortex contained information in their local activity pattern that could discriminate coherent and noncoherent stimuli. These findings indicate that the global coordination of local naturalistic image information has important consequences for the processing in human mid-level visual cortex.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liang Ping; Shao Qing; Zhang Zhiqiang; Lu Guangming

    2004-01-01

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

  13. MEG reveals a fast pathway from somatosensory cortex to occipital areas via posterior parietal cortex in a blind subject

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas A Ioannides

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Cross-modal activity in visual cortex of blind subjects has been reported during performance of variety of non-visual tasks. A key unanswered question is through which pathways non-visual inputs are funneled to the visual cortex. Here we used tomographic analysis of single trial magnetoencephalography (MEG data recorded from one congenitally blind and two sighted subjects after stimulation of the left and right median nerves at three intensities: below sensory threshold, above sensory threshold and above motor threshold; the last sufficient to produce thumb twitching. We identified reproducible brain responses in the primary somatosensory (S1 and motor (M1 cortices at around 20 ms post-stimulus, which were very similar in sighted and blind subjects. Time-frequency analysis revealed strong 45 to 70 Hz activity at latencies of 20 to 50 ms in S1 and M1, and posterior parietal cortex Brodmann areas (BA 7 and 40, which compared to lower frequencies, were substantially more pronounced in the blind than the sighted subjects. Critically, at frequencies from α-band up to 100 Hz we found clear, strong and widespread responses in the visual cortex of the blind subject, which increased with the intensity of the somatosensory stimuli. Time-delayed mutual information (MI revealed that in blind subject the stimulus information is funneled from the early somatosensory to visual cortex through posterior parietal BA 7 and 40, projecting first to visual areas V5 and V3, and eventually V1. The flow of information through this pathway occured in stages characterized by convergence of activations into specific cortical regions. In sighted subjects, no linked activity was found that led from the somatosensory to the visual cortex through any of the studied brain regions. These results provide the first evidence from MEG that in blind subjects, tactile information is routed from primary somatosensory to occipital cortex via the posterior parietal cortex.

  14. Retinotopic maps and foveal suppression in the visual cortex of amblyopic adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conner, Ian P; Odom, J Vernon; Schwartz, Terry L; Mendola, Janine D

    2007-08-15

    Amblyopia is a developmental visual disorder associated with loss of monocular acuity and sensitivity as well as profound alterations in binocular integration. Abnormal connections in visual cortex are known to underlie this loss, but the extent to which these abnormalities are regionally or retinotopically specific has not been fully determined. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study compared the retinotopic maps in visual cortex produced by each individual eye in 19 adults (7 esotropic strabismics, 6 anisometropes and 6 controls). In our standard viewing condition, the non-tested eye viewed a dichoptic homogeneous mid-level grey stimulus, thereby permitting some degree of binocular interaction. Regions-of-interest analysis was performed for extrafoveal V1, extrafoveal V2 and the foveal representation at the occipital pole. In general, the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal was reduced for the amblyopic eye. At the occipital pole, population receptive fields were shifted to represent more parafoveal locations for the amblyopic eye, compared with the fellow eye, in some subjects. Interestingly, occluding the fellow eye caused an expanded foveal representation for the amblyopic eye in one early-onset strabismic subject with binocular suppression, indicating real-time cortical remapping. In addition, a few subjects actually showed increased activity in parietal and temporal cortex when viewing with the amblyopic eye. We conclude that, even in a heterogeneous population, abnormal early visual experience commonly leads to regionally specific cortical adaptations.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Large-scale remapping of visual cortex is absent in adult humans with macular degeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baseler, Heidi A.; Gouws, Andre; Haak, Koen V.; Racey, Christopher; Crossland, Michael D.; Tufail, Adnan; Rubin, Gary S.; Cornelissen, Frans W.; Morland, Antony B.

    The occipital lobe contains retinotopic representations of the visual field. The representation of the central retina in early visual areas (V1-3) is found at the occipital pole. When the central retina is lesioned in both eyes by macular degeneration, this region of visual cortex at the occipital

  18. The effect of first visual stimulation incorporation of labelled leucine into cerebral cortex of binocularly deprived kittens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitros, K.; Kossut, M.; Skangiel-Kramska, J.; Mueller, L.; Niemierko, S.; Zernicki, B.

    1978-01-01

    One-month old kittens, binocularly deprived with hoods from birth, were used. Before the experiments in which visual stimulation was applied the brainstem of kittens was transected at the pretrigeminal level. Cortical EEG activity and ocular behavior indicated that the isolated cerebrum of preparations was usually awake during experiment. Patterned visual stimulation was directed to one hemisphere, while the other was used as a control. Visual stimulation evoked in some cases (in 8 out of 17) an increase of incorporation of labelled leucine into the proteins of the striate cortex. Electrophoresis on polyacrylamide gel did not reveal any differences in the pattern of insoluble proteins between the stimulated and control visual cortex. It is suggested that first visual stimulation may enhance the protein metabolism of striate cortex in young kittens. Some unknown up to now physiological factors (motivation, attention) may be critical for these phenomena. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-04

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

  20. Interactions between attention, context and learning in primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, C; Ito, M; Kapadia, M; Westheimer, G

    2000-01-01

    Attention in early visual processing engages the higher order, context dependent properties of neurons. Even at the earliest stages of visual cortical processing neurons play a role in intermediate level vision - contour integration and surface segmentation. The contextual influences mediating this process may be derived from long range connections within primary visual cortex (V1). These influences are subject to perceptual learning, and are strongly modulated by visuospatial attention, which is itself a learning dependent process. The attentional influences may involve interactions between feedback and horizontal connections in V1. V1 is therefore a dynamic and active processor, subject to top-down influences.

  1. Electrophysiological evidence for phenomenal consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revonsuo, Antti; Koivisto, Mika

    2010-09-01

    Abstract Recent evidence from event-related brain potentials (ERPs) lends support to two central theses in Lamme's theory. The earliest ERP correlate of visual consciousness appears over posterior visual cortex around 100-200 ms after stimulus onset. Its scalp topography and time window are consistent with recurrent processing in the visual cortex. This electrophysiological correlate of visual consciousness is mostly independent of later ERPs reflecting selective attention and working memory functions. Overall, the ERP evidence supports the view that phenomenal consciousness of a visual stimulus emerges earlier than access consciousness, and that attention and awareness are served by distinct neural processes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea eAntal

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossberg, S

    1994-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisella, Laure

    2017-06-01

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

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

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    Xiaogang Wang

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Travis

    2018-01-01

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

  7. Representation of visual gravitational motion in the human vestibular cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indovina, Iole; Maffei, Vincenzo; Bosco, Gianfranco; Zago, Myrka; Macaluso, Emiliano; Lacquaniti, Francesco

    2005-04-15

    How do we perceive the visual motion of objects that are accelerated by gravity? We propose that, because vision is poorly sensitive to accelerations, an internal model that calculates the effects of gravity is derived from graviceptive information, is stored in the vestibular cortex, and is activated by visual motion that appears to be coherent with natural gravity. The acceleration of visual targets was manipulated while brain activity was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging. In agreement with the internal model hypothesis, we found that the vestibular network was selectively engaged when acceleration was consistent with natural gravity. These findings demonstrate that predictive mechanisms of physical laws of motion are represented in the human brain.

  8. Different processing phases for features, figures, and selective attention in the primary visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelfsema, P.R.; Tolboom, M.; Khayat, P.S.

    2007-01-01

    Our visual system imposes structure onto images that usually contain a diversity of surfaces, contours, and colors. Psychological theories propose that there are multiple steps in this process that occur in hierarchically organized regions of the cortex: early visual areas register basic features,

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda Heinemann

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    target when the right eye was rotated leftwards as compared with when it was rotated rightwards. This effect was larger after S1(EYE)-rTMS than after rTMS of a control area in the motor cortex. The neural response to retinally identical stimuli in this area could be predicted from the changes in visual......Whereas the links between eye movements and the shifts in visual attention are well established, less is known about how eye position affects the prioritization of visual space. It was recently observed that visual sensitivity varies with the direction of gaze and the level of excitability...... in the eye proprioceptive representation in human left somatosensory cortex (S1(EYE)), so that after 1Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over S1(EYE), targets presented nearer the center of the orbit are detected more accurately. Here we used whole-brain functional magnetic resonance...

  12. 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......Regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) was studied tomographically with 133Xe administered by inhalation over a 1-min period at a concentration of 10 mCi/l. A fast rotating ("dynamic') single-photon emission computed tomograph with four detector heads was used, an instrument that has been found......% respectively. Looking at different pictures displayed on a screen raised regional CBF by 26%. The most complex task, reading and copying a text, increased blood flow by 45%. Averaging the different tasks resulted in a mean regional CBF increase in the visual cortex of 35%. The result is comparable...

  13. Individual variation in the propensity for prospective thought is associated with functional integration between visual and retrosplenial cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villena-Gonzalez, Mario; Wang, Hao-Ting; Sormaz, Mladen; Mollo, Giovanna; Margulies, Daniel S; Jefferies, Elizabeth A; Smallwood, Jonathan

    2018-02-01

    It is well recognized that the default mode network (DMN) is involved in states of imagination, although the cognitive processes that this association reflects are not well understood. The DMN includes many regions that function as cortical "hubs", including the posterior cingulate/retrosplenial cortex, anterior temporal lobe and the hippocampus. This suggests that the role of the DMN in cognition may reflect a process of cortical integration. In the current study we tested whether functional connectivity from uni-modal regions of cortex into the DMN is linked to features of imaginative thought. We found that strong intrinsic communication between visual and retrosplenial cortex was correlated with the degree of social thoughts about the future. Using an independent dataset, we show that the same region of retrosplenial cortex is functionally coupled to regions of primary visual cortex as well as core regions that make up the DMN. Finally, we compared the functional connectivity of the retrosplenial cortex, with a region of medial prefrontal cortex implicated in the integration of information from regions of the temporal lobe associated with future thought in a prior study. This analysis shows that the retrosplenial cortex is preferentially coupled to medial occipital, temporal lobe regions and the angular gyrus, areas linked to episodic memory, scene construction and navigation. In contrast, the medial prefrontal cortex shows preferential connectivity with motor cortex and lateral temporal and prefrontal regions implicated in language, motor processes and working memory. Together these findings suggest that integrating neural information from visual cortex into retrosplenial cortex may be important for imagining the future and may do so by creating a mental scene in which prospective simulations play out. We speculate that the role of the DMN in imagination may emerge from its capacity to bind together distributed representations from across the cortex in a

  14. A preliminary study on visual cortex and optic radiation with diabetic retinopathy by 1H-MR spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Xiang; Li Baoqing; Hong Hai; Chen Ping; Chen Jukun

    2009-01-01

    Objective: To study the metabolic change of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ( 1 H-MRS) in the visual cortex and optic radiation region of patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR). Methods: 1 H-MRS was performed in 20 patients with DR and 20 healthy volunteers on GE 1.5 T MR system respectively. Metabolic peaks of N-acetylasparte (NAA), creatine (Cr, in 3.02 and 3.94 ppm), choline-containing compounds (Cho) and myo-inositol (mi) were observed, and the ratios were analyzed by each other. Independent-samples t test was performed between two sets of data. Results: In both visual cortex and optic radiation, the ratios of mI/Cr and mI/Cr sec in DR group (0.664±0.052 and 1.453± 0.068 in visual cortex, 0.717±0.074 and 1.484±0.114 in optic radiation) were significant higher than those in normal group (0.602±0.047 and 1.249±0.044 in visual cortex, 0.679±0.075 and 1.334± 0.089 in optic radiation, P sec /Cr, Cho/Cr and NAA/Cr in visual cortex and optic radiation were 0.458±0.043 and 0.488±0.052, 0.481±0.057 and 0.807±0.110, 1.633±0.105 and 1.709±0.140 respectively. In control group, the ratios of those were 0.484±0.041 and 0.502±0.056, 0.471±0.065 and 0.786±0.109, 1.625±0.098 and 1.716±0.135 respectively. The ratios of Cr sec /Cr, Cho/Cr and NAA/Cr had no statistic difference between two groups (P sec is a typical change in the visual cortex and optic radiation region, 1 H-MRS as a noninvasive examination could provide biochemical and metabolic informations for diabetic patients. (authors)

  15. 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.

  16. Theta coupling between V4 and prefrontal cortex predicts visual short-term memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebe, Stefanie; Hoerzer, Gregor M; Logothetis, Nikos K; Rainer, Gregor

    2012-01-29

    Short-term memory requires communication between multiple brain regions that collectively mediate the encoding and maintenance of sensory information. It has been suggested that oscillatory synchronization underlies intercortical communication. Yet, whether and how distant cortical areas cooperate during visual memory remains elusive. We examined neural interactions between visual area V4 and the lateral prefrontal cortex using simultaneous local field potential (LFP) recordings and single-unit activity (SUA) in monkeys performing a visual short-term memory task. During the memory period, we observed enhanced between-area phase synchronization in theta frequencies (3-9 Hz) of LFPs together with elevated phase locking of SUA to theta oscillations across regions. In addition, we found that the strength of intercortical locking was predictive of the animals' behavioral performance. This suggests that theta-band synchronization coordinates action potential communication between V4 and prefrontal cortex that may contribute to the maintenance of visual short-term memories.

  17. Top-Down Control of Visual Attention by the Prefrontal Cortex. Functional Specialization and Long-Range Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paneri, Sofia; Gregoriou, Georgia G.

    2017-01-01

    The ability to select information that is relevant to current behavioral goals is the hallmark of voluntary attention and an essential part of our cognition. Attention tasks are a prime example to study at the neuronal level, how task related information can be selectively processed in the brain while irrelevant information is filtered out. Whereas, numerous studies have focused on elucidating the mechanisms of visual attention at the single neuron and population level in the visual cortices, considerably less work has been devoted to deciphering the distinct contribution of higher-order brain areas, which are known to be critical for the employment of attention. Among these areas, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) has long been considered a source of top-down signals that bias selection in early visual areas in favor of the attended features. Here, we review recent experimental data that support the role of PFC in attention. We examine the existing evidence for functional specialization within PFC and we discuss how long-range interactions between PFC subregions and posterior visual areas may be implemented in the brain and contribute to the attentional modulation of different measures of neural activity in visual cortices. PMID:29033784

  18. Top-Down Control of Visual Attention by the Prefrontal Cortex. Functional Specialization and Long-Range Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia Paneri

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The ability to select information that is relevant to current behavioral goals is the hallmark of voluntary attention and an essential part of our cognition. Attention tasks are a prime example to study at the neuronal level, how task related information can be selectively processed in the brain while irrelevant information is filtered out. Whereas, numerous studies have focused on elucidating the mechanisms of visual attention at the single neuron and population level in the visual cortices, considerably less work has been devoted to deciphering the distinct contribution of higher-order brain areas, which are known to be critical for the employment of attention. Among these areas, the prefrontal cortex (PFC has long been considered a source of top-down signals that bias selection in early visual areas in favor of the attended features. Here, we review recent experimental data that support the role of PFC in attention. We examine the existing evidence for functional specialization within PFC and we discuss how long-range interactions between PFC subregions and posterior visual areas may be implemented in the brain and contribute to the attentional modulation of different measures of neural activity in visual cortices.

  19. Reference frames for spatial frequency in face representation differ in the temporal visual cortex and amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inagaki, Mikio; Fujita, Ichiro

    2011-07-13

    Social communication in nonhuman primates and humans is strongly affected by facial information from other individuals. Many cortical and subcortical brain areas are known to be involved in processing facial information. However, how the neural representation of faces differs across different brain areas remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the reference frame for spatial frequency (SF) tuning of face-responsive neurons differs in the temporal visual cortex and amygdala in monkeys. Consistent with psychophysical properties for face recognition, temporal cortex neurons were tuned to image-based SFs (cycles/image) and showed viewing distance-invariant representation of face patterns. On the other hand, many amygdala neurons were influenced by retina-based SFs (cycles/degree), a characteristic that is useful for social distance computation. The two brain areas also differed in the luminance contrast sensitivity of face-responsive neurons; amygdala neurons sharply reduced their responses to low luminance contrast images, while temporal cortex neurons maintained the level of their responses. From these results, we conclude that different types of visual processing in the temporal visual cortex and the amygdala contribute to the construction of the neural representations of faces.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  1. Enhanced attentional gain as a mechanism for generalized perceptual learning in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, Anna; Serences, John T

    2014-09-01

    Learning to better discriminate a specific visual feature (i.e., a specific orientation in a specific region of space) has been associated with plasticity in early visual areas (sensory modulation) and with improvements in the transmission of sensory information from early visual areas to downstream sensorimotor and decision regions (enhanced readout). However, in many real-world scenarios that require perceptual expertise, observers need to efficiently process numerous exemplars from a broad stimulus class as opposed to just a single stimulus feature. Some previous data suggest that perceptual learning leads to highly specific neural modulations that support the discrimination of specific trained features. However, the extent to which perceptual learning acts to improve the discriminability of a broad class of stimuli via the modulation of sensory responses in human visual cortex remains largely unknown. Here, we used functional MRI and a multivariate analysis method to reconstruct orientation-selective response profiles based on activation patterns in the early visual cortex before and after subjects learned to discriminate small offsets in a set of grating stimuli that were rendered in one of nine possible orientations. Behavioral performance improved across 10 training sessions, and there was a training-related increase in the amplitude of orientation-selective response profiles in V1, V2, and V3 when orientation was task relevant compared with when it was task irrelevant. These results suggest that generalized perceptual learning can lead to modified responses in the early visual cortex in a manner that is suitable for supporting improved discriminability of stimuli drawn from a large set of exemplars. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  2. 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...

  3. Visual deprivation alters dendritic bundle architecture in layer 4 of rat visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabbott, P L; Stewart, M G

    2012-04-05

    The effect of visual deprivation followed by light exposure on the tangential organisation of dendritic bundles passing through layer 4 of the rat visual cortex was studied quantitatively in the light microscope. Four groups of animals were investigated: (I) rats reared in an environment illuminated normally--group 52 dL; (II) rats reared in the dark until 21 days postnatum (DPN) and subsequently light exposed for 31 days-group 21/31; (III) rats dark reared until 52 DPN and then subsequently light exposed for 3 days--group 3 dL; and (IV) rats totally dark reared until 52 DPN--group 52 DPN. Each group contained five animals. Semithin 0.5-1-μm thick resin-embedded sections were collected from tangential sampling levels through the middle of layer 4 in area 17 and stained with Toluidine Blue. These sections were used to quantitatively analyse the composition and distribution of dendritic clusters in the tangential plane. The key result of this study indicates a significant reduction in the mean number of medium- and small-sized dendritic profiles (diameter less than 2 μm) contributing to clusters in layer 4 of groups 3 dL and 52 dD compared with group 21/31. No differences were detected in the mean number of large-sized dendritic profiles composing a bundle in these experimental groups. Moreover, the mean number of clusters and their tangential distribution in layer 4 did not vary significantly between all four groups. Finally, the clustering parameters were not significantly different between groups 21/31 and the normally reared group 52 dL. This study demonstrates, for the first time, that extended periods of dark rearing followed by light exposure can alter the morphological composition of dendritic bundles in thalamorecipient layer 4 of rat visual cortex. Because these changes occur in the primary region of thalamocortical input, they may underlie specific alterations in the processing of visual information both cortically and subcortically during periods of

  4. 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

    2017-08-01

    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.

  5. Migraine with visual aura associated with thicker visual cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gaist, David; Hougaard, Anders; Garde, Ellen

    2018-01-01

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

  6. 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. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3513419-11$15.00/0.

  7. Competitive interactions of attentional resources in early visual cortex during sustained visuospatial attention within or between visual hemifields: evidence for the different-hemifield advantage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Sabrina; Quigley, Cliodhna; Mueller, Matthias M

    2014-05-01

    Performing a task across the left and right visual hemifields results in better performance than in a within-hemifield version of the task, termed the different-hemifield advantage. Although recent studies used transient stimuli that were presented with long ISIs, here we used a continuous objective electrophysiological (EEG) measure of competitive interactions for attentional processing resources in early visual cortex, the steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP). We frequency-tagged locations in each visual quadrant and at central fixation by flickering light-emitting diodes (LEDs) at different frequencies to elicit distinguishable SSVEPs. Stimuli were presented for several seconds, and participants were cued to attend to two LEDs either in one (Within) or distributed across left and right visual hemifields (Across). In addition, we introduced two reference measures: one for suppressive interactions between the peripheral LEDs by using a task at fixation where attention was withdrawn from the periphery and another estimating the upper bound of SSVEP amplitude by cueing participants to attend to only one of the peripheral LEDs. We found significantly greater SSVEP amplitude modulations in Across compared with Within hemifield conditions. No differences were found between SSVEP amplitudes elicited by the peripheral LEDs when participants attended to the centrally located LEDs compared with when peripheral LEDs had to be ignored in Across and Within trials. Attending to only one LED elicited the same SSVEP amplitude as Across conditions. Although behavioral data displayed a more complex pattern, SSVEP amplitudes were well in line with the predictions of the different-hemifield advantage account during sustained visuospatial attention.

  8. Effect of the small-world structure on encoding performance in the primary visual cortex: an electrophysiological and modeling analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Li; Niu, Xiaoke; Wan, Hong

    2015-05-01

    The biological networks have been widely reported to present small-world properties. However, the effects of small-world network structure on population's encoding performance remain poorly understood. To address this issue, we applied a small world-based framework to quantify and analyze the response dynamics of cell assemblies recorded from rat primary visual cortex, and further established a population encoding model based on small world-based generalized linear model (SW-GLM). The electrophysiological experimental results show that the small world-based population responses to different topological shapes present significant variation (t test, p 0.8), while no significant variation was found for control networks without considering their spatial connectivity (t test, p > 0.05; effect size: Hedge's g < 0.5). Furthermore, the numerical experimental results show that the predicted response under SW-GLM is more accurate and reliable compared to the control model without small-world structure, and the decoding performance is also improved about 10 % by taking the small-world structure into account. The above results suggest the important role of the small-world neural structure in encoding visual information for the neural population by providing electrophysiological and theoretical evidence, respectively. The study helps greatly to well understand the population encoding mechanisms of visual cortex.

  9. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-15

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

  11. Timing, timing, timing: Fast decoding of object information from intracranial field potentials in human visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hesheng; Agam, Yigal; Madsen, Joseph R.; Kreiman, Gabriel

    2010-01-01

    Summary The difficulty of visual recognition stems from the need to achieve high selectivity while maintaining robustness to object transformations within hundreds of milliseconds. Theories of visual recognition differ in whether the neuronal circuits invoke recurrent feedback connections or not. The timing of neurophysiological responses in visual cortex plays a key role in distinguishing between bottom-up and top-down theories. Here we quantified at millisecond resolution the amount of visual information conveyed by intracranial field potentials from 912 electrodes in 11 human subjects. We could decode object category information from human visual cortex in single trials as early as 100 ms post-stimulus. Decoding performance was robust to depth rotation and scale changes. The results suggest that physiological activity in the temporal lobe can account for key properties of visual recognition. The fast decoding in single trials is compatible with feed-forward theories and provides strong constraints for computational models of human vision. PMID:19409272

  12. Two critical periods in early visual cortex during figure–ground segregation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    The ability to distinguish a figure from its background is crucial for visual perception. To date, it remains unresolved where and how in the visual system different stages of figure–ground segregation emerge. Neural correlates of figure border detection have consistently been found in early visual cortex (V1/V2). However, areas V1/V2 have also been frequently associated with later stages of figure–ground segregation (such as border ownership or surface segregation). To causally link activity in early visual cortex to different stages of figure–ground segregation, we briefly disrupted activity in areas V1/V2 at various moments in time using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Prior to stimulation we presented stimuli that made it possible to differentiate between figure border detection and surface segregation. We concurrently recorded electroencephalographic (EEG) signals to examine how neural correlates of figure–ground segregation were affected by TMS. Results show that disruption of V1/V2 in an early time window (96–119 msec) affected detection of figure stimuli and affected neural correlates of figure border detection, border ownership, and surface segregation. TMS applied in a relatively late time window (236–259 msec) selectively deteriorated performance associated with surface segregation. We conclude that areas V1/V2 are not only essential in an early stage of figure–ground segregation when figure borders are detected, but subsequently causally contribute to more sophisticated stages of figure–ground segregation such as surface segregation. PMID:23170239

  13. Two critical periods in early visual cortex during figure-ground segregation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

    The ability to distinguish a figure from its background is crucial for visual perception. To date, it remains unresolved where and how in the visual system different stages of figure-ground segregation emerge. Neural correlates of figure border detection have consistently been found in early visual cortex (V1/V2). However, areas V1/V2 have also been frequently associated with later stages of figure-ground segregation (such as border ownership or surface segregation). To causally link activity in early visual cortex to different stages of figure-ground segregation, we briefly disrupted activity in areas V1/V2 at various moments in time using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Prior to stimulation we presented stimuli that made it possible to differentiate between figure border detection and surface segregation. We concurrently recorded electroencephalographic (EEG) signals to examine how neural correlates of figure-ground segregation were affected by TMS. Results show that disruption of V1/V2 in an early time window (96-119 msec) affected detection of figure stimuli and affected neural correlates of figure border detection, border ownership, and surface segregation. TMS applied in a relatively late time window (236-259 msec) selectively deteriorated performance associated with surface segregation. We conclude that areas V1/V2 are not only essential in an early stage of figure-ground segregation when figure borders are detected, but subsequently causally contribute to more sophisticated stages of figure-ground segregation such as surface segregation.

  14. Attention Determines Contextual Enhancement versus Suppression in Human Primary Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flevaris, Anastasia V; Murray, Scott O

    2015-09-02

    Neural responses in primary visual cortex (V1) depend on stimulus context in seemingly complex ways. For example, responses to an oriented stimulus can be suppressed when it is flanked by iso-oriented versus orthogonally oriented stimuli but can also be enhanced when attention is directed to iso-oriented versus orthogonal flanking stimuli. Thus the exact same contextual stimulus arrangement can have completely opposite effects on neural responses-in some cases leading to orientation-tuned suppression and in other cases leading to orientation-tuned enhancement. Here we show that stimulus-based suppression and enhancement of fMRI responses in humans depends on small changes in the focus of attention and can be explained by a model that combines feature-based attention with response normalization. Neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) respond to stimuli within a restricted portion of the visual field, termed their "receptive field." However, neuronal responses can also be influenced by stimuli that surround a receptive field, although the nature of these contextual interactions and underlying neural mechanisms are debated. Here we show that the response in V1 to a stimulus in the same context can either be suppressed or enhanced depending on the focus of attention. We are able to explain the results using a simple computational model that combines two well established properties of visual cortical responses: response normalization and feature-based enhancement. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3512273-08$15.00/0.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Plasticity of orientation preference maps in the visual cortex of adult cats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godde, Ben; Leonhardt, Ralph; Cords, Sven M.; Dinse, Hubert R.

    2002-01-01

    In contrast to the high degree of experience-dependent plasticity usually exhibited by cortical representational maps, a number of experiments performed in visual cortex suggest that the basic layout of orientation preference maps is only barely susceptible to activity-dependent modifications. In fact, most of what we know about activity-dependent plasticity in adults comes from experiments in somatosensory, auditory, or motor cortex. Applying a stimulation protocol that has been proven highly effective in other cortical areas, we demonstrate here that enforced synchronous cortical activity induces major changes of orientation preference maps (OPMs) in adult cats. Combining optical imaging of intrinsic signals and electrophysiological single-cell recordings, we show that a few hours of intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) lead to an enlargement of the cortical representational zone at the ICMS site and an extensive restructuring of the entire OPM layout up to several millimeters away, paralleled by dramatic changes of pinwheel numbers and locations. At the single-cell level, we found that the preferred orientation was shifted toward the orientation of the ICMS site over a region of up to 4 mm. Our results show that manipulating the synchronicity of cortical activity locally without invoking training, attention, or reinforcement, OPMs undergo large-scale reorganization reminiscent of plastic changes observed for nonvisual cortical maps. However, changes were much more widespread and enduring. Such large-scale restructuring of the visual cortical networks indicates a substantial capability for activity-dependent plasticity of adult visual cortex and may provide the basis for cognitive learning processes. PMID:11959906

  18. Alterations of the visual pathways in congenital blindness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ptito, Maurice; Schneider, Fabien C G; Paulson, Olaf B

    2008-01-01

    /19 and the middle temporal cortex (MT) showing volume reductions of up to 20%. Additional significant white matter alterations were observed in the inferior longitudinal tract and in the posterior part of the corpus callosum, which links the visual areas of both hemispheres. Our data indicate that the afferent...... projections to the visual cortex in CB are largely atrophied. Despite the massive volume reductions in the occipital lobes, there is compelling evidence from the literature (reviewed in Noppeney 2007; Ptito and Kupers 2005) that blind subjects activate their visual cortex when performing tasks that involve...

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Strength of figure-ground activity in monkey primary visual cortex predicts saccadic reaction time in a delayed detection task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Supèr, Hans; Lamme, Victor A F

    2007-06-01

    When and where are decisions made? In the visual system a saccade, which is a fast shift of gaze toward a target in the visual scene, is the behavioral outcome of a decision. Current neurophysiological data and reaction time models show that saccadic reaction times are determined by a build-up of activity in motor-related structures, such as the frontal eye fields. These structures depend on the sensory evidence of the stimulus. Here we use a delayed figure-ground detection task to show that late modulated activity in the visual cortex (V1) predicts saccadic reaction time. This predictive activity is part of the process of figure-ground segregation and is specific for the saccade target location. These observations indicate that sensory signals are directly involved in the decision of when and where to look.

  3. Evidence for an early innate immune response in the motor cortex of ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jara, Javier H; Genç, Barış; Stanford, Macdonell J; Pytel, Peter; Roos, Raymond P; Weintraub, Sandra; Mesulam, M Marsel; Bigio, Eileen H; Miller, Richard J; Özdinler, P Hande

    2017-06-26

    Recent evidence indicates the importance of innate immunity and neuroinflammation with microgliosis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathology. The MCP1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) and CCR2 (CC chemokine receptor 2) signaling system has been strongly associated with the innate immune responses observed in ALS patients, but the motor cortex has not been studied in detail. After revealing the presence of MCP1 and CCR2 in the motor cortex of ALS patients, to elucidate, visualize, and define the timing, location and the extent of immune response in relation to upper motor neuron vulnerability and progressive degeneration in ALS, we developed MCP1-CCR2-hSOD1 G93A mice, an ALS reporter line, in which cells expressing MCP1 and CCR2 are genetically labeled by monomeric red fluorescent protein-1 and enhanced green fluorescent protein, respectively. In the motor cortex of MCP1-CCR2-hSOD1 G93A mice, unlike in the spinal cord, there was an early increase in the numbers of MCP1+ cells, which displayed microglial morphology and selectively expressed microglia markers. Even though fewer CCR2+ cells were present throughout the motor cortex, they were mainly infiltrating monocytes. Interestingly, MCP1+ cells were found in close proximity to the apical dendrites and cell bodies of corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN), further implicating the importance of their cellular interaction to neuronal pathology. Similar findings were observed in the motor cortex of ALS patients, where MCP1+ microglia were especially in close proximity to the degenerating apical dendrites of Betz cells. Our findings reveal that the intricate cellular interplay between immune cells and upper motor neurons observed in the motor cortex of ALS mice is indeed recapitulated in ALS patients. We generated and characterized a novel model system, to study the cellular and molecular basis of this close cellular interaction and how that relates to motor neuron vulnerability and progressive degeneration in

  4. 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.

  5. Deficient plasticity in the primary visual cortex of alpha-calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II mutant mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, J A; Cioffi, D; Silva, A J; Stryker, M P

    1996-09-01

    The recent characterization of plasticity in the mouse visual cortex permits the use of mutant mice to investigate the cellular mechanisms underlying activity-dependent development. As calcium-dependent signaling pathways have been implicated in neuronal plasticity, we examined visual cortical plasticity in mice lacking the alpha-isoform of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (alpha CaMKII). In wild-type mice, brief occlusion of vision in one eye during a critical period reduces responses in the visual cortex. In half of the alpha CaMKII-deficient mice, visual cortical responses developed normally, but visual cortical plasticity was greatly diminished. After intensive training, spatial learning in the Morris water maze was severely impaired in a similar fraction of mutant animals. These data indicate that loss of alpha CaMKII results in a severe but variable defect in neuronal plasticity.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Andreia Martins Rosa; Maria Fátima Silva; Sónia Ferreira; Joaquim Murta; Miguel Castelo-Branco

    2013-01-01

    Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the brain to reorganize the function and structure of its connections in response to changes in the environment. Adult human visual cortex shows several manifestations of plasticity, such as perceptual learning and adaptation, working under the top-down influence of attention. Plasticity results from the interplay of several mechanisms, including the GABAergic system, epigenetic factors, mitochondrial activity, and structural remodeling of synaptic con...

  7. Task-specific reorganization of the auditory cortex in deaf humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bola, Łukasz; Zimmermann, Maria; Mostowski, Piotr; Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Marchewka, Artur; Rutkowski, Paweł; Szwed, Marcin

    2017-01-24

    The principles that guide large-scale cortical reorganization remain unclear. In the blind, several visual regions preserve their task specificity; ventral visual areas, for example, become engaged in auditory and tactile object-recognition tasks. It remains open whether task-specific reorganization is unique to the visual cortex or, alternatively, whether this kind of plasticity is a general principle applying to other cortical areas. Auditory areas can become recruited for visual and tactile input in the deaf. Although nonhuman data suggest that this reorganization might be task specific, human evidence has been lacking. Here we enrolled 15 deaf and 15 hearing adults into an functional MRI experiment during which they discriminated between temporally complex sequences of stimuli (rhythms). Both deaf and hearing subjects performed the task visually, in the central visual field. In addition, hearing subjects performed the same task in the auditory modality. We found that the visual task robustly activated the auditory cortex in deaf subjects, peaking in the posterior-lateral part of high-level auditory areas. This activation pattern was strikingly similar to the pattern found in hearing subjects performing the auditory version of the task. Although performing the visual task in deaf subjects induced an increase in functional connectivity between the auditory cortex and the dorsal visual cortex, no such effect was found in hearing subjects. We conclude that in deaf humans the high-level auditory cortex switches its input modality from sound to vision but preserves its task-specific activation pattern independent of input modality. Task-specific reorganization thus might be a general principle that guides cortical plasticity in the brain.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  9. Dorso-Lateral Frontal Cortex of the Ferret Encodes Perceptual Difficulty during Visual Discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhe Charles; Yu, Chunxiu; Sellers, Kristin K; Fröhlich, Flavio

    2016-03-30

    Visual discrimination requires sensory processing followed by a perceptual decision. Despite a growing understanding of visual areas in this behavior, it is unclear what role top-down signals from prefrontal cortex play, in particular as a function of perceptual difficulty. To address this gap, we investigated how neurons in dorso-lateral frontal cortex (dl-FC) of freely-moving ferrets encode task variables in a two-alternative forced choice visual discrimination task with high- and low-contrast visual input. About two-thirds of all recorded neurons in dl-FC were modulated by at least one of the two task variables, task difficulty and target location. More neurons in dl-FC preferred the hard trials; no such preference bias was found for target location. In individual neurons, this preference for specific task types was limited to brief epochs. Finally, optogenetic stimulation confirmed the functional role of the activity in dl-FC before target touch; suppression of activity in pyramidal neurons with the ArchT silencing opsin resulted in a decrease in reaction time to touch the target but not to retrieve reward. In conclusion, dl-FC activity is differentially recruited for high perceptual difficulty in the freely-moving ferret and the resulting signal may provide top-down behavioral inhibition.

  10. Endogenously generated gamma-band oscillations in early visual cortex: A neurofeedback study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merkel, Nina; Wibral, Michael; Bland, Gareth; Singer, Wolf

    2018-04-26

    Human subjects were trained with neurofeedback (NFB) to enhance the power of narrow-band gamma oscillations in circumscribed regions of early visual cortex. To select the region and the oscillation frequency for NFB training, gamma oscillations were induced with locally presented drifting gratings. The source and frequency of these induced oscillations were determined using beamforming methods. During NFB training the power of narrow band gamma oscillations was continuously extracted from this source with online beamforming and converted into the pitch of a tone signal. We found that seven out of ten subjects were able to selectively increase the amplitude of gamma oscillations in the absence of visual stimulation. One subject however failed completely and two subjects succeeded to manipulate the feedback signal by contraction of muscles. In all subjects the attempts to enhance visual gamma oscillations were associated with an increase of beta oscillations over precentral/frontal regions. Only successful subjects exhibited an additional marked increase of theta oscillations over precentral/prefrontal and temporal regions whereas unsuccessful subjects showed an increase of alpha band oscillations over occipital regions. We argue that spatially confined networks in early visual cortex can be entrained to engage in narrow band gamma oscillations not only by visual stimuli but also by top down signals. We interpret the concomitant increase in beta oscillations as indication for an engagement of the fronto-parietal attention network and the increase of theta oscillations as a correlate of imagery. Our finding support the application of NFB in disease conditions associated with impaired gamma synchronization. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. 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.

  12. The neurophysiology of figure-ground segregation in primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamme, V A

    1995-02-01

    The activity of neurons in the primary visual cortex of the awake macaque monkey was recorded while the animals were viewing full screen arrays of either oriented line segments or moving random dots. A square patch of the screen was made to perceptually pop out as a circumscribed figure by virtue of differences between the orientation or the direction of motion of the texture elements within that patch and the surround. The animals were trained to identify the figure patches by making saccadic eye movements towards their positions. Almost every cell gave a significantly larger response to elements belonging to the figure than to similar elements belonging to the background. The figure-ground response enhancement was present along the entire extent of the patch and was absent as soon as the receptive field was outside the patch. The strength of the effect had no relation with classical receptive field properties like orientation or direction selectivity or receptive field size. The response enhancement had a latency of 30-40 msec relative to the onset of the neuronal response itself. The results show that context modulation within primary visual cortex has a highly sophisticated nature, putting the image features the cells are responding to into their fully evaluated perceptual context.

  13. Effect of Low Level Laser Irradiation at Wavelengths 488 and 515 nm on Glutamate Neurotransmitter in Mitochondria of Visual Brain Cortex in Albino Rat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Omran, M.F.; El-Ahdal, M.A.; El-Kady, M.H.; Yousri, R.M.

    2004-01-01

    The presence of glutamate in the visual cortex and mitochondria could be used as a measure for the argon laser effect having wavelengths 488 and 515 nm, on the mitochondria. A comparative response for the bound and free glutamate was found. Irradiation with different energies 0.2, 0.5 and 1.0 J for both wavelengths were accomplished. This study makes us to recommend the advantage of using argon laser having wavelength 515 nm to enhance the blocking of glutamate and hence the reduction of brain toxicity. Most of the energy required for cellular functions comes from mitochondria (Shepherd, 1994). Glutamate, which is present in central nervous system at very high level is essential for brain intermediary metabolism (Frazer et al., 1994; Meldrum et al., 2000 and Blumcke et al., 2000). Glutamate is enriched in synaptic vesicles, the subcellular organelles, which are associated with the storage and release of neurotransmitters. Also, biochemical evidence for glutamate as neurotransmitter in fibers from the visual cortex to the subcortical visual relay nuclei has been indicated (Fose and Fonnum, 1987 and George, 1998)

  14. Localization of Nitric Oxide Synthase-containing Neurons in the Bat Visual Cortex and Co-localization with Calcium-binding Proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gu, Ya-Nan; Kim, Hang-Gu; Jeon, Chang-Jin

    2015-01-01

    Microchiroptera (microbats) is a suborder of bats thought to have degenerated vision. However, many recent studies have shown that they have visual ability. In this study, we labeled neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)—the synthesizing enzyme of the gaseous non-synaptic neurotransmitter nitric oxide—and co-localized it with calbindin D28K (CB), calretinin (CR), and parvalbumin (PV) in the visual cortex of the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, a species of microbats). nNOS-immunoreactive (IR) neurons were found in all layers of the visual cortex. Intensely labeled neurons were most common in layer IV, and weakly labeled neurons were most common in layer VI. Majority of the nNOS-IR neurons were round- or oval-type neurons; no pyramidal-type neurons were found. None of these neurons co-localized with CB, CR, or PV. However, the synthesis of nitric oxide in the bat visual cortex by nNOS does not depend on CB, CR, or PV

  15. Visual Stimuli Induce Waves of Electrical Activity in Turtle Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prechtl, J. C.; Cohen, L. B.; Pesaran, B.; Mitra, P. P.; Kleinfeld, D.

    1997-07-01

    The computations involved in the processing of a visual scene invariably involve the interactions among neurons throughout all of visual cortex. One hypothesis is that the timing of neuronal activity, as well as the amplitude of activity, provides a means to encode features of objects. The experimental data from studies on cat [Gray, C. M., Konig, P., Engel, A. K. & Singer, W. (1989) Nature (London) 338, 334-337] support a view in which only synchronous (no phase lags) activity carries information about the visual scene. In contrast, theoretical studies suggest, on the one hand, the utility of multiple phases within a population of neurons as a means to encode independent visual features and, on the other hand, the likely existence of timing differences solely on the basis of network dynamics. Here we use widefield imaging in conjunction with voltage-sensitive dyes to record electrical activity from the virtually intact, unanesthetized turtle brain. Our data consist of single-trial measurements. We analyze our data in the frequency domain to isolate coherent events that lie in different frequency bands. Low frequency oscillations (scale differences in neuronal timing are present and persistent during visual processing.

  16. TMS of the occipital cortex induces tactile sensations in the fingers of blind Braille readers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ptito, M; Fumal, A; de Noordhout, A Martens; Schoenen, J; Gjedde, A; Kupers, R

    2008-01-01

    Various non-visual inputs produce cross-modal responses in the visual cortex of early blind subjects. In order to determine the qualitative experience associated with these occipital activations, we systematically stimulated the entire occipital cortex using single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in early blind subjects and in blindfolded seeing controls. Whereas blindfolded seeing controls reported only phosphenes following occipital cortex stimulation, some of the blind subjects reported tactile sensations in the fingers that were somatotopically organized onto the visual cortex. The number of cortical sites inducing tactile sensations appeared to be related to the number of hours of Braille reading per day, Braille reading speed and dexterity. These data, taken in conjunction with previous anatomical, behavioural and functional imaging results, suggest the presence of a polysynaptic cortical pathway between the somatosensory cortex and the visual cortex in early blind subjects. These results also add new evidence that the activity of the occipital lobe in the blind takes its qualitative expression from the character of its new input source, therefore supporting the cortical deference hypothesis.

  17. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-25

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-25

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

  3. Aversive learning shapes neuronal orientation tuning in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McTeague, Lisa M; Gruss, L Forest; Keil, Andreas

    2015-07-28

    The responses of sensory cortical neurons are shaped by experience. As a result perceptual biases evolve, selectively facilitating the detection and identification of sensory events that are relevant for adaptive behaviour. Here we examine the involvement of human visual cortex in the formation of learned perceptual biases. We use classical aversive conditioning to associate one out of a series of oriented gratings with a noxious sound stimulus. After as few as two grating-sound pairings, visual cortical responses to the sound-paired grating show selective amplification. Furthermore, as learning progresses, responses to the orientations with greatest similarity to the sound-paired grating are increasingly suppressed, suggesting inhibitory interactions between orientation-selective neuronal populations. Changes in cortical connectivity between occipital and fronto-temporal regions mirror the changes in visuo-cortical response amplitudes. These findings suggest that short-term behaviourally driven retuning of human visual cortical neurons involves distal top-down projections as well as local inhibitory interactions.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Figure–ground organization and the emergence of proto-objects in the visual cortex

    OpenAIRE

    von der Heydt, Rüdiger

    2015-01-01

    A long history of studies of perception has shown that the visual system organizes the incoming information early on, interpreting the 2D image in terms of a 3D world and producing a structure that provides perceptual continuity and enables object-based attention. Recordings from monkey visual cortex show that many neurons, especially in area V2, are selective for border ownership. These neurons are edge selective and have ordinary classical receptive fields, but in addition their responses a...

  7. Transcranial magnetic stimulation changes response selectivity of neurons in the visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Taekjun; Allen, Elena A.; Pasley, Brian N.; Freeman, Ralph D.

    2015-01-01

    Background Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is used to selectively alter neuronal activity of specific regions in the cerebral cortex. TMS is reported to induce either transient disruption or enhancement of different neural functions. However, its effects on tuning properties of sensory neurons have not been studied quantitatively. Objective/Hypothesis Here, we use specific TMS application parameters to determine how they may alter tuning characteristics (orientation, spatial frequency, and contrast sensitivity) of single neurons in the cat’s visual cortex. Methods Single unit spikes were recorded with tungsten microelectrodes from the visual cortex of anesthetized and paralyzed cats (12 males). Repetitive TMS (4Hz, 4sec) was delivered with a 70mm figure-8 coil. We quantified basic tuning parameters of individual neurons for each pre- and post-TMS condition. The statistical significance of changes for each tuning parameter between the two conditions was evaluated with a Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results We generally find long-lasting suppression which persists well beyond the stimulation period. Pre- and post-TMS orientation tuning curves show constant peak values. However, strong suppression at non-preferred orientations tends to narrow the widths of tuning curves. Spatial frequency tuning exhibits an asymmetric change in overall shape, which results in an emphasis on higher frequencies. Contrast tuning curves show nonlinear changes consistent with a gain control mechanism. Conclusions These findings suggest that TMS causes extended interruption of the balance between sub-cortical and intra-cortical inputs. PMID:25862599

  8. 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.

  9. Disinhibition outside receptive fields in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Gary A; Ohzawa, Izumi; Freeman, Ralph D

    2002-07-01

    By definition, the region outside the classical receptive field (CRF) of a neuron in the visual cortex does not directly activate the cell. However, the response of a neuron can be influenced by stimulation of the surrounding area. In previous work, we showed that this influence is mainly suppressive and that it is generally limited to a local region outside the CRF. In the experiments reported here, we investigate the mechanisms of the suppressive effect. Our approach is to find the position of a grating patch that is most effective in suppressing the response of a cell. We then use a masking stimulus at different contrasts over the grating patch in an attempt to disinhibit the response. We find that suppressive effects may be partially or completely reversed by use of the masking stimulus. This disinhibition suggests that effects from outside the CRF may be local. Although they do not necessarily underlie the perceptual analysis of a figure-ground visual scene, they may provide a substrate for this process.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Muckli

    2005-08-01

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

  11. Characterization of visual percepts evoked by noninvasive stimulation of the human posterior parietal cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Fried

    Full Text Available Phosphenes are commonly evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS to study the functional organization, connectivity, and excitability of the human visual brain. For years, phosphenes have been documented only from stimulating early visual areas (V1-V3 and a handful of specialized visual regions (V4, V5/MT+ in occipital cortex. Recently, phosphenes were reported after applying TMS to a region of posterior parietal cortex involved in the top-down modulation of visuo-spatial processing. In the present study, we systematically characterized parietal phosphenes to determine if they are generated directly by local mechanisms or emerge through indirect activation of other visual areas. Using technology developed in-house to record the subjective features of phosphenes, we found no systematic differences in the size, shape, location, or frame-of-reference of parietal phosphenes when compared to their occipital counterparts. In a second experiment, discrete deactivation by 1 Hz repetitive TMS yielded a double dissociation: phosphene thresholds increased at the deactivated site without producing a corresponding change at the non-deactivated location. Overall, the commonalities of parietal and occipital phosphenes, and our ability to independently modulate their excitability thresholds, lead us to conclude that they share a common neural basis that is separate from either of the stimulated regions.

  12. Maps of the Auditory Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, Alyssa A; Barton, Brian

    2016-07-08

    One of the fundamental properties of the mammalian brain is that sensory regions of cortex are formed of multiple, functionally specialized cortical field maps (CFMs). Each CFM comprises two orthogonal topographical representations, reflecting two essential aspects of sensory space. In auditory cortex, auditory field maps (AFMs) are defined by the combination of tonotopic gradients, representing the spectral aspects of sound (i.e., tones), with orthogonal periodotopic gradients, representing the temporal aspects of sound (i.e., period or temporal envelope). Converging evidence from cytoarchitectural and neuroimaging measurements underlies the definition of 11 AFMs across core and belt regions of human auditory cortex, with likely homology to those of macaque. On a macrostructural level, AFMs are grouped into cloverleaf clusters, an organizational structure also seen in visual cortex. Future research can now use these AFMs to investigate specific stages of auditory processing, key for understanding behaviors such as speech perception and multimodal sensory integration.

  13. Altered Balance of Receptive Field Excitation and Suppression in Visual Cortex of Amblyopic Macaque Monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallum, Luke E; Shooner, Christopher; Kumbhani, Romesh D; Kelly, Jenna G; García-Marín, Virginia; Majaj, Najib J; Movshon, J Anthony; Kiorpes, Lynne

    2017-08-23

    In amblyopia, a visual disorder caused by abnormal visual experience during development, the amblyopic eye (AE) loses visual sensitivity whereas the fellow eye (FE) is largely unaffected. Binocular vision in amblyopes is often disrupted by interocular suppression. We used 96-electrode arrays to record neurons and neuronal groups in areas V1 and V2 of six female macaque monkeys ( Macaca nemestrina ) made amblyopic by artificial strabismus or anisometropia in early life, as well as two visually normal female controls. To measure suppressive binocular interactions directly, we recorded neuronal responses to dichoptic stimulation. We stimulated both eyes simultaneously with large sinusoidal gratings, controlling their contrast independently with raised-cosine modulators of different orientations and spatial frequencies. We modeled each eye's receptive field at each cortical site using a difference of Gaussian envelopes and derived estimates of the strength of central excitation and surround suppression. We used these estimates to calculate ocular dominance separately for excitation and suppression. Excitatory drive from the FE dominated amblyopic visual cortex, especially in more severe amblyopes, but suppression from both the FE and AEs was prevalent in all animals. This imbalance created strong interocular suppression in deep amblyopes: increasing contrast in the AE decreased responses at binocular cortical sites. These response patterns reveal mechanisms that likely contribute to the interocular suppression that disrupts vision in amblyopes. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Amblyopia is a developmental visual disorder that alters both monocular vision and binocular interaction. Using microelectrode arrays, we examined binocular interaction in primary visual cortex and V2 of six amblyopic macaque monkeys ( Macaca nemestrina ) and two visually normal controls. By stimulating the eyes dichoptically, we showed that, in amblyopic cortex, the binocular combination of signals is

  14. 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.

  15. Encoding and retrieval of artificial visuoauditory memory traces in the auditory cortex requires the entorhinal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xi; Guo, Yiping; Feng, Jingyu; Liao, Zhengli; Li, Xinjian; Wang, Haitao; Li, Xiao; He, Jufang

    2013-06-12

    Damage to the medial temporal lobe impairs the encoding of new memories and the retrieval of memories acquired immediately before the damage in human. In this study, we demonstrated that artificial visuoauditory memory traces can be established in the rat auditory cortex and that their encoding and retrieval depend on the entorhinal cortex of the medial temporal lobe in the rat. We trained rats to associate a visual stimulus with electrical stimulation of the auditory cortex using a classical conditioning protocol. After conditioning, we examined the associative memory traces electrophysiologically (i.e., visual stimulus-evoked responses of auditory cortical neurons) and behaviorally (i.e., visual stimulus-induced freezing and visual stimulus-guided reward retrieval). The establishment of a visuoauditory memory trace in the auditory cortex, which was detectable by electrophysiological recordings, was achieved over 20-30 conditioning trials and was blocked by unilateral, temporary inactivation of the entorhinal cortex. Retrieval of a previously established visuoauditory memory was also affected by unilateral entorhinal cortex inactivation. These findings suggest that the entorhinal cortex is necessary for the encoding and involved in the retrieval of artificial visuoauditory memory in the auditory cortex, at least during the early stages of memory consolidation.

  16. Adaptive Pulvinar Circuitry Supports Visual Cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridge, Holly; Leopold, David A; Bourne, James A

    2016-02-01

    The pulvinar is the largest thalamic nucleus in primates and one of the most mysterious. Endeavors to understand its role in vision have focused on its abundant connections with the visual cortex. While its connectivity mapping in the cortex displays a broad topographic organization, its projections are also marked by considerable convergence and divergence. As a result, the pulvinar is often regarded as a central forebrain hub. Moreover, new evidence suggests that its comparatively modest input from structures such as the retina and superior colliculus may critically shape the functional organization of the visual cortex, particularly during early development. Here we review recent studies that cast fresh light on how the many convergent pathways through the pulvinar contribute to visual cognition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schlumbohm Christina

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Suppression of metabolic activity caused by infantile strabismus and strabismic amblyopia in striate visual cortex of macaque monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Agnes M F; Burkhalter, Andreas; Tychsen, Lawrence

    2005-02-01

    Suppression is a major sensorial abnormality in humans and monkeys with infantile strabismus. We previously reported evidence of metabolic suppression in the visual cortex of strabismic macaques, using the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase as an anatomic label. The purpose of this study was to further elucidate alterations in cortical metabolic activity, with or without amblyopia. Six macaque monkeys were used in the experiments (four strabismic and two control). Three of the strabismic monkeys had naturally occurring, infantile strabismus (two esotropic, one exotropic). The fourth strabismic monkey had infantile microesotropia induced by alternating monocular occlusion in the first months of life. Ocular motor behaviors and visual acuity were tested after infancy in each animal, and development of stereopsis was recorded during infancy in one strabismic and one control monkey. Ocular dominance columns (ODCs) of the striate visual cortex (area V1) were labeled using cytochrome oxidase (CO) histochemistry alone, or CO in conjunction with an anterograde tracer ([H 3 ]proline or WGA-HRP) injected into one eye. Each of the strabismic monkeys showed inequalities of metabolic activity in ODCs of opposite ocularity, visible as rows of lighter CO staining, corresponding to ODCs of lower metabolic activity, alternating with rows of darker CO staining, corresponding to ODCs of higher metabolic activity. In monkeys who had infantile strabismus and unilateral amblyopia, lower metabolic activity was found in (suppressed) ODCs driven by the nondominant eye in each hemisphere. In monkeys who had infantile esotropia and alternating fixation (no amblyopia), metabolic activity was lower in ODCs driven by the ipsilateral eye in each hemisphere. The suppression included a monocular core zone at the center of ODCs and binocular border zones at the boundaries of ODCs. This suppression was not evident in the monocular lamina of the LGN, indicating an intracortical rather than

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  20. The Parahippocampal Cortex Mediates Contextual Associative Memory: Evidence from an fMRI Study

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Mi; Lu, Shengfu; Zhong, Ning

    2016-01-01

    The parahippocampal cortex (PHC) plays a key role in episodic memory, spatial processing, and the encoding of novel stimuli. Recent studies proposed that the PHC is largely involved in contextual associative processing. Consequently, the function of this region has been a hot debate in cognitive neuroscience. To test this assumption, we used two types of experimental materials to form the contextual associative memory: visual objects in reality and meaningless visual shapes. New associations ...

  1. Asymmetric Temporal Integration of Layer 4 and Layer 2/3 Inputs in Visual Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Hang, Giao B.; Dan, Yang

    2010-01-01

    Neocortical neurons in vivo receive concurrent synaptic inputs from multiple sources, including feedforward, horizontal, and feedback pathways. Layer 2/3 of the visual cortex receives feedforward input from layer 4 and horizontal input from layer 2/3. Firing of the pyramidal neurons, which carries the output to higher cortical areas, depends critically on the interaction of these pathways. Here we examined synaptic integration of inputs from layer 4 and layer 2/3 in rat visual cortical slices...

  2. False memory for context and true memory for context similarly activate the parahippocampal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanian, Jessica M; Slotnick, Scott D

    2017-06-01

    evidence suggests that the parahippocampal cortex is associated with general contextual processing rather than only being associated with visual-spatial processing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Many Neighbors are not Silent. fMRI Evidence for Global Lexical Activity in Visual Word Recognition.

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    Mario eBraun

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Many neurocognitive studies investigated the neural correlates of visual word recognition, some of which manipulated the orthographic neighborhood density of words and nonwords believed to influence the activation of orthographically similar representations in a hypothetical mental lexicon. Previous neuroimaging research failed to find evidence for such global lexical activity associated with neighborhood density. Rather, effects were interpreted to reflect semantic or domain general processing. The present fMRI study revealed effects of lexicality, orthographic neighborhood density and a lexicality by orthographic neighborhood density interaction in a silent reading task. For the first time we found greater activity for words and nonwords with a high number of neighbors. We propose that this activity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex reflects activation of orthographically similar codes in verbal working memory thus providing evidence for global lexical activity as the basis of the neighborhood density effect. The interaction of lexicality by neighborhood density in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex showed lower activity in response to words with a high number compared to nonwords with a high number of neighbors. In the light of these results the facilitatory effect for words and inhibitory effect for nonwords with many neighbors observed in previous studies can be understood as being due to the operation of a fast-guess mechanism for words and a temporal deadline mechanism for nonwords as predicted by models of visual word recognition. Furthermore, we propose that the lexicality effect with higher activity for words compared to nonwords in inferior parietal and middle temporal cortex reflects the operation of an identification mechanism and based on local lexico-semantic activity.

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

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    Delong Zhang

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

  5. Deconstruction of spatial integrity in visual stimulus detected by modulation of synchronized activity in cat visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhiyi; Bernard, Melanie R; Bonds, A B

    2008-04-02

    Spatiotemporal relationships among contour segments can influence synchronization of neural responses in the primary visual cortex. We performed a systematic study to dissociate the impact of spatial and temporal factors in the signaling of contour integration via synchrony. In addition, we characterized the temporal evolution of this process to clarify potential underlying mechanisms. With a 10 x 10 microelectrode array, we recorded the simultaneous activity of multiple cells in the cat primary visual cortex while stimulating with drifting sine-wave gratings. We preserved temporal integrity and systematically degraded spatial integrity of the sine-wave gratings by adding spatial noise. Neural synchronization was analyzed in the time and frequency domains by conducting cross-correlation and coherence analyses. The general association between neural spike trains depends strongly on spatial integrity, with coherence in the gamma band (35-70 Hz) showing greater sensitivity to the change of spatial structure than other frequency bands. Analysis of the temporal dynamics of synchronization in both time and frequency domains suggests that spike timing synchronization is triggered nearly instantaneously by coherent structure in the stimuli, whereas frequency-specific oscillatory components develop more slowly, presumably through network interactions. Our results suggest that, whereas temporal integrity is required for the generation of synchrony, spatial integrity is critical in triggering subsequent gamma band synchronization.

  6. Visual perception and memory systems: from cortex to medial temporal lobe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Zafar U; Martín-Montañez, Elisa; Baxter, Mark G

    2011-05-01

    Visual perception and memory are the most important components of vision processing in the brain. It was thought that the perceptual aspect of a visual stimulus occurs in visual cortical areas and that this serves as the substrate for the formation of visual memory in a distinct part of the brain called the medial temporal lobe. However, current evidence indicates that there is no functional separation of areas. Entire visual cortical pathways and connecting medial temporal lobe are important for both perception and visual memory. Though some aspects of this view are debated, evidence from both sides will be explored here. In this review, we will discuss the anatomical and functional architecture of the entire system and the implications of these structures in visual perception and memory.

  7. Visually Evoked 3-5 Hz Membrane Potential Oscillations Reduce the Responsiveness of Visual Cortex Neurons in Awake Behaving Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Einstein, Michael C; Polack, Pierre-Olivier; Tran, Duy T; Golshani, Peyman

    2017-05-17

    Low-frequency membrane potential ( V m ) oscillations were once thought to only occur in sleeping and anesthetized states. Recently, low-frequency V m oscillations have been described in inactive awake animals, but it is unclear whether they shape sensory processing in neurons and whether they occur during active awake behavioral states. To answer these questions, we performed two-photon guided whole-cell V m recordings from primary visual cortex layer 2/3 excitatory and inhibitory neurons in awake mice during passive visual stimulation and performance of visual and auditory discrimination tasks. We recorded stereotyped 3-5 Hz V m oscillations where the V m baseline hyperpolarized as the V m underwent high amplitude rhythmic fluctuations lasting 1-2 s in duration. When 3-5 Hz V m oscillations coincided with visual cues, excitatory neuron responses to preferred cues were significantly reduced. Despite this disruption to sensory processing, visual cues were critical for evoking 3-5 Hz V m oscillations when animals performed discrimination tasks and passively viewed drifting grating stimuli. Using pupillometry and animal locomotive speed as indicators of arousal, we found that 3-5 Hz oscillations were not restricted to unaroused states and that they occurred equally in aroused and unaroused states. Therefore, low-frequency V m oscillations play a role in shaping sensory processing in visual cortical neurons, even during active wakefulness and decision making. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A neuron's membrane potential ( V m ) strongly shapes how information is processed in sensory cortices of awake animals. Yet, very little is known about how low-frequency V m oscillations influence sensory processing and whether they occur in aroused awake animals. By performing two-photon guided whole-cell recordings from layer 2/3 excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the visual cortex of awake behaving animals, we found visually evoked stereotyped 3-5 Hz V m oscillations that disrupt

  8. Integration of Visual and Proprioceptive Limb Position Information in Human Posterior Parietal, Premotor, and Extrastriate Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limanowski, Jakub; Blankenburg, Felix

    2016-03-02

    The brain constructs a flexible representation of the body from multisensory information. Previous work on monkeys suggests that the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and ventral premotor cortex (PMv) represent the position of the upper limbs based on visual and proprioceptive information. Human experiments on the rubber hand illusion implicate similar regions, but since such experiments rely on additional visuo-tactile interactions, they cannot isolate visuo-proprioceptive integration. Here, we independently manipulated the position (palm or back facing) of passive human participants' unseen arm and of a photorealistic virtual 3D arm. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) revealed that matching visual and proprioceptive information about arm position engaged the PPC, PMv, and the body-selective extrastriate body area (EBA); activity in the PMv moreover reflected interindividual differences in congruent arm ownership. Further, the PPC, PMv, and EBA increased their coupling with the primary visual cortex during congruent visuo-proprioceptive position information. These results suggest that human PPC, PMv, and EBA evaluate visual and proprioceptive position information and, under sufficient cross-modal congruence, integrate it into a multisensory representation of the upper limb in space. The position of our limbs in space constantly changes, yet the brain manages to represent limb position accurately by combining information from vision and proprioception. Electrophysiological recordings in monkeys have revealed neurons in the posterior parietal and premotor cortices that seem to implement and update such a multisensory limb representation, but this has been difficult to demonstrate in humans. Our fMRI experiment shows that human posterior parietal, premotor, and body-selective visual brain areas respond preferentially to a virtual arm seen in a position corresponding to one's unseen hidden arm, while increasing their communication with regions conveying visual

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teichert, Manuel; Bolz, Jürgen

    2017-10-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Drive for consumption, craving, and connectivity in the visual cortex during the imagery of desired food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bullins, Jessica; Laurienti, Paul J; Morgan, Ashley R; Norris, James; Paolini, Brielle M; Rejeski, W Jack

    2013-01-01

    There is considerable interest in understanding food cravings given the obesogenic environment of Western Society. In this paper we examine how the imagery of palatable foods affects cravings and functional connectivity in the visual cortex for people who differ on the power of food scale (PFS). Fourteen older, overweight/obese adults came to our laboratory on two different occasions. Both times they ate a controlled breakfast meal and then were restricted from eating for 2.5 h prior to scanning. On 1 day they consumed a BOOST(®) liquid meal after the period of food restriction, whereas on the other day they only consumed water (NO BOOST(®) condition). After these manipulations, they had an fMRI scan in which they were asked to image both neutral objects and their favorite snack foods; they also completed visual analog scales for craving, hunger, and the vividness of the imagery experiences. Irrespective of the BOOST(®) manipulation, we observed marked increases in food cravings when older, overweight/obese adults created images of favorite foods in their minds as opposed to creating an image of neutral objects; however, the increase in food craving following the imagery of desired food was more pronounced among those scoring high than low on the PFS. Furthermore, local efficiency within the visual cortex when imaging desired food was higher for those scoring high as compared to low on the PFS. The active imagery of desired foods seemed to have overpowered the BOOST(®) manipulation when evaluating connectivity in the visual cortex.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica eBullins

    2013-11-01

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

  13. Spontaneous and visually-driven high-frequency oscillations in the occipital cortex: Intracranial recording in epileptic patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagasawa, Tetsuro; Juhász, Csaba; Rothermel, Robert; Hoechstetter, Karsten; Sood, Sandeep; Asano, Eishi

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY High-frequency oscillations (HFOs) at ≧80 Hz of nonepileptic nature spontaneously emerge from human cerebral cortex. In 10 patients with extra-occipital lobe epilepsy, we compared the spectral-spatial characteristics of HFOs spontaneously arising from the nonepileptic occipital cortex with those of HFOs driven by a visual task as well as epileptogenic HFOs arising from the extra-occipital seizure focus. We identified spontaneous HFOs at ≧80 Hz with a mean duration of 330 msec intermittently emerging from the occipital cortex during interictal slow-wave sleep. The spectral frequency band of spontaneous occipital HFOs was similar to that of visually-driven HFOs. Spontaneous occipital HFOs were spatially sparse and confined to smaller areas, whereas visually-driven HFOs involved the larger areas including the more rostral sites. Neither spectral frequency band nor amplitude of spontaneous occipital HFOs significantly differed from those of epileptogenic HFOs. Spontaneous occipital HFOs were strongly locked to the phase of delta activity, but the strength of delta-phase coupling decayed from 1 to 3 Hz. Conversely, epileptogenic extra-occipital HFOs were locked to the phase of delta activity about equally in the range from 1 to 3 Hz. The occipital cortex spontaneously generates physiological HFOs which may stand out on electrocorticography traces as prominently as pathological HFOs arising from elsewhere; this observation should be taken into consideration during presurgical evaluation. Coupling of spontaneous delta and HFOs may increase the understanding of significance of delta-oscillations during slow-wave sleep. Further studies are warranted to determine whether delta-phase coupling distinguishes physiological from pathological HFOs or simply differs across anatomical locations. PMID:21432945

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-08

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

  16. A re-examination of Hebbian-covariance rules and spike timing-dependent plasticity in cat visual cortex in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yves Frégnac

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity (STDP is considered as an ubiquitous rule for associative plasticity in cortical networks in vitro. However, limited supporting evidence for its functional role has been provided in vivo. In particular, there are very few studies demonstrating the co-occurence of synaptic efficiency changes and alteration of sensory responses in adult cortex during Hebbian or STDP protocols. We addressed this issue by reviewing and comparing the functional effects of two types of cellular conditioning in cat visual cortex. The first one, referred to as the covariance protocol, obeys a generalized Hebbian framework, by imposing, for different stimuli, supervised positive and negative changes in covariance between postsynaptic and presynaptic activity rates. The second protocol, based on intracellular recordings, replicated in vivo variants of the theta-burst paradigm (TBS, proven successful in inducing long-term potentiation (LTP in vitro. Since it was shown to impose a precise correlation delay between the electrically activated thalamic input and the TBS-induced postsynaptic spike, this protocol can be seen as a probe of causal (pre-before-post STDP. By choosing a thalamic region where the visual field representation was in retinotopic overlap with the intracellularly recorded cortical receptive field as the afferent site for supervised electrical stimulation, this protocol allowed to look for possible correlates between STDP and functional reorganization of the conditioned cortical receptive field. The rate-based covariance protocol induced significant and large amplitude changes in receptive field properties, in both kitten and adult V1 cortex. The TBS STDP-like protocol produced in the adult significant changes in the synaptic gain of the electrically activated thalamic pathway, but the statistical significance of the functional correlates was detectable mostly at the population level. Comparison of our observations with the

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-12-01

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

  18. 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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miki, Atsushi

    2002-01-01

    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)

  19. Neural Representations of Natural and Scrambled Movies Progressively Change from Rat Striate to Temporal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinken, Kasper; Van den Bergh, Gert; Vermaercke, Ben; Op de Beeck, Hans P.

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, the rodent has come forward as a candidate model for investigating higher level visual abilities such as object vision. This view has been backed up substantially by evidence from behavioral studies that show rats can be trained to express visual object recognition and categorization capabilities. However, almost no studies have investigated the functional properties of rodent extrastriate visual cortex using stimuli that target object vision, leaving a gap compared with the primate literature. Therefore, we recorded single-neuron responses along a proposed ventral pathway in rat visual cortex to investigate hallmarks of primate neural object representations such as preference for intact versus scrambled stimuli and category-selectivity. We presented natural movies containing a rat or no rat as well as their phase-scrambled versions. Population analyses showed increased dissociation in representations of natural versus scrambled stimuli along the targeted stream, but without a clear preference for natural stimuli. Along the measured cortical hierarchy the neural response seemed to be driven increasingly by features that are not V1-like and destroyed by phase-scrambling. However, there was no evidence for category selectivity for the rat versus nonrat distinction. Together, these findings provide insights about differences and commonalities between rodent and primate visual cortex. PMID:27146315

  20. 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

    2012-02-08

    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.

  1. [Retinotopic mapping of the human visual cortex with functional magnetic resonance imaging - basic principles, current developments and ophthalmological perspectives].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, M B; Kaule, F; Grzeschik, R; Behrens-Baumann, W; Wolynski, B

    2011-07-01

    Since its initial introduction in the mid-1990 s, retinotopic mapping of the human visual cortex, based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), has contributed greatly to our understanding of the human visual system. Multiple cortical visual field representations have been demonstrated and thus numerous visual areas identified. The organisation of specific areas has been detailed and the impact of pathophysiologies of the visual system on the cortical organisation uncovered. These results are based on investigations at a magnetic field strength of 3 Tesla or less. In a field-strength comparison between 3 and 7 Tesla, it was demonstrated that retinotopic mapping benefits from a magnetic field strength of 7 Tesla. Specifically, the visual areas can be mapped with high spatial resolution for a detailed analysis of the visual field maps. Applications of fMRI-based retinotopic mapping in ophthalmological research hold promise to further our understanding of plasticity in the human visual cortex. This is highlighted by pioneering studies in patients with macular dysfunction or misrouted optic nerves. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Self, Matthew W.; Peters, Judith C.; Possel, Jessy K.; Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Self, Matthew W; Peters, Judith C; Possel, Jessy K; Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive

  4. Improving Image Segmentation with Adaptive, Recurrent, Spiking Neural Network Models of the Primary Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-19

    Vijay Singh, Martin Tchernookov, Rebecca Butterfield, Ilya Nemenman, Rongrong Ji. Director Field Model of the Primary Visual Cortex for Contour...FTE Equivalent: Total Number: DISCIPLINE Vijay Singh 40 Physics 0.40 1 PERCENT_SUPPORTEDNAME FTE Equivalent: Total Number: Martin Tchernookov 0.20

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Petrus

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Layer-specific excitation/inhibition balances during neuronal synchronization in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adesnik, Hillel

    2018-05-01

    Understanding the balance between synaptic excitation and inhibition in cortical circuits in the brain, and how this contributes to cortical rhythms, is fundamental to explaining information processing in the cortex. This study used cortical layer-specific optogenetic activation in mouse cortex to show that excitatory neurons in any cortical layer can drive powerful gamma rhythms, while inhibition balances excitation. The net impact of this is to keep activity within each layer in check, but simultaneously to promote the propagation of activity to downstream layers. The data show that rhythm-generating circuits exist in all principle layers of the cortex, and provide layer-specific balances of excitation and inhibition that affect the flow of information across the layers. Rhythmic activity can synchronize neural ensembles within and across cortical layers. While gamma band rhythmicity has been observed in all layers, the laminar sources and functional impacts of neuronal synchronization in the cortex remain incompletely understood. Here, layer-specific optogenetic stimulation demonstrates that populations of excitatory neurons in any cortical layer of the mouse's primary visual cortex are sufficient to powerfully entrain neuronal oscillations in the gamma band. Within each layer, inhibition balances excitation and keeps activity in check. Across layers, translaminar output overcomes inhibition and drives downstream firing. These data establish that rhythm-generating circuits exist in all principle layers of the cortex, but provide layer-specific balances of excitation and inhibition that may dynamically shape the flow of information through cortical circuits. These data might help explain how excitation/inhibition (E/I) balances across cortical layers shape information processing, and shed light on the diverse nature and functional impacts of cortical gamma rhythms. © 2018 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2018 The Physiological Society.

  7. On the role of visual experience in mathematical development: Evidence from blind mathematicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amalric, Marie; Denghien, Isabelle; Dehaene, Stanislas

    2018-04-01

    Advanced mathematical reasoning, regardless of domain or difficulty, activates a reproducible set of bilateral brain areas including intraparietal, inferior temporal and dorsal prefrontal cortex. The respective roles of genetics, experience and education in the development of this math-responsive network, however, remain unresolved. Here, we investigate the role of visual experience by studying the exceptional case of three professional mathematicians who were blind from birth (n=1) or became blind during childhood (n=2). Subjects were scanned with fMRI while they judged the truth value of spoken mathematical and nonmathematical statements. Blind mathematicians activated the classical network of math-related areas during mathematical reflection, similar to that found in a group of sighted professional mathematicians. Thus, brain networks for advanced mathematical reasoning can develop in the absence of visual experience. Additional activations were found in occipital cortex, even in individuals who became blind during childhood, suggesting that either mental imagery or a more radical repurposing of visual cortex may occur in blind mathematicians. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. On the role of visual experience in mathematical development: Evidence from blind mathematicians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Amalric

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Advanced mathematical reasoning, regardless of domain or difficulty, activates a reproducible set of bilateral brain areas including intraparietal, inferior temporal and dorsal prefrontal cortex. The respective roles of genetics, experience and education in the development of this math-responsive network, however, remain unresolved. Here, we investigate the role of visual experience by studying the exceptional case of three professional mathematicians who were blind from birth (n = 1 or became blind during childhood (n = 2. Subjects were scanned with fMRI while they judged the truth value of spoken mathematical and nonmathematical statements. Blind mathematicians activated the classical network of math-related areas during mathematical reflection, similar to that found in a group of sighted professional mathematicians. Thus, brain networks for advanced mathematical reasoning can develop in the absence of visual experience. Additional activations were found in occipital cortex, even in individuals who became blind during childhood, suggesting that either mental imagery or a more radical repurposing of visual cortex may occur in blind mathematicians. Keywords: Advanced mathematical development, Blindness, Functional MRI

  9. Attention improves encoding of task-relevant features in the human visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jehee, Janneke F.M.; Brady, Devin K.; Tong, Frank

    2011-01-01

    When spatial attention is directed towards a particular stimulus, increased activity is commonly observed in corresponding locations of the visual cortex. Does this attentional increase in activity indicate improved processing of all features contained within the attended stimulus, or might spatial attention selectively enhance the features relevant to the observer’s task? We used fMRI decoding methods to measure the strength of orientation-selective activity patterns in the human visual cortex while subjects performed either an orientation or contrast discrimination task, involving one of two laterally presented gratings. Greater overall BOLD activation with spatial attention was observed in areas V1-V4 for both tasks. However, multivariate pattern analysis revealed that orientation-selective responses were enhanced by attention only when orientation was the task-relevant feature, and not when the grating’s contrast had to be attended. In a second experiment, observers discriminated the orientation or color of a specific lateral grating. Here, orientation-selective responses were enhanced in both tasks but color-selective responses were enhanced only when color was task-relevant. In both experiments, task-specific enhancement of feature-selective activity was not confined to the attended stimulus location, but instead spread to other locations in the visual field, suggesting the concurrent involvement of a global feature-based attentional mechanism. These results suggest that attention can be remarkably selective in its ability to enhance particular task-relevant features, and further reveal that increases in overall BOLD amplitude are not necessarily accompanied by improved processing of stimulus information. PMID:21632942

  10. Toward unraveling reading-related modulations of tDCS-induced neuroplasticity in the human visual cortex.

    OpenAIRE

    Antal, Andrea; Ambrus, Géza Gergely; Chaieb, Leila

    2014-01-01

    Stimulation using weak electrical direct currents has shown to be capable of inducing polarity-dependent diminutions or elevations in motor and visual cortical excitability. The aim of the present study was to test if reading during transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is able to modify stimulation-induced plasticity in the visual cortex. Phosphene thresholds (PTs) in 12 healthy subjects were recorded before and after 10 min of anodal, cathodal, and sham tDCS in combination with rea...

  11. 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.

  12. A magnetization transfer imaging study of bilateral optic radiation and visual cortex in patients with primary glaucoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liang Wenwen; Zhang Xuelin; Jiang Xiaoyong; Xu Yongming; Yang Zhihui; Zhang Yan; Chang Renmin; Wang Jianping; Wu Guijun

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To analyse the changes in bilateral optic radiation and visual cortex in patients with primary glaucoma detected by magnetization transfer imaging (MTI), and try to explore the influence of the disease on posterior visual pathway. Methods: MTI was performed in 20 patients with primary glaucoma with normal signal on conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The same scanning was performed in 31 matched healthy controls. MTI was obtained using spoiled gradient recalled acquisition sequence (SPGR). Magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) of bilateral optic radiation and visual cortex was measured after post-processing. The MTR value differences of the same area between two groups were compared by independent-sample t test or Satterthwaite t test if variances were not equality. Result: The MTR value in the left and right optic radiation were (32.8 ± 2.2)% and (32.7 ± 2.0)% in the glaucoma group, (34.6 ± 1.4 )% and (34.8 ± 1.3)% in the control group. There was a statistically significant difference between the two groups (left t=3.284, right t=4.040; P<0.01). The MTR value of the left and right visual cortex were (30.1± 2.0)% and (30.8 ± 1.8)% in the glaucoma group, and (32.3 ± 1.2 )% and (32.4 ± 1.2)% in the control group. Statistically significant difference was found between the two groups (left t=4.319, right t=3.445; P<0.01). Conclusions: Potential neuropathology changes occurring in the posterior visual pathway of patients with glaucoma indicate that the whole visual pathway may be involved by glaucoma.The micro physiological changes can be detected by MTI which can not be found by conventional MRI. It is a useful method of studying trans-synaptic damage of visual pathway n vivo glaucoma which provides more information for guiding the clinic diagnosis, cure and prognosis of glaucoma. (authors)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  14. Evidence from Blindness for a Cognitively Pluripotent Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedny, Marina

    2017-09-01

    Cognitive neuroscience seeks to discover how cognitive functions are implemented in neural circuits. Studies of plasticity in blindness suggest that this mind-brain mapping is highly flexible during development. In blindness, 'visual' cortices take on higher-cognitive functions, including language and mathematics, becoming sensitive to the grammatical structure of spoken sentences and the difficulty of math equations. Visual cortex activity at rest becomes synchronized with higher-cognitive networks. Such repurposing is striking in light of the cognitive and evolutionary differences between vision, language, and mathematics. We propose that human cortices are cognitively pluripotent, that is, capable of assuming a wide range of cognitive functions. Specialization is driven by input during development, which is itself constrained by connectivity and experience. 'The child who methodically adds two numbers from right to left, carrying a digit when necessary, may be using the same algorithm that is implemented by the wires and transistors of the cash register in the neighborhood supermarket…' ▓▓Vision, 1982, David Marr. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Multi-Voxel Decoding and the Topography of Maintained Information During Visual Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sue-Hyun; Baker, Chris I

    2016-01-01

    The ability to maintain representations in the absence of external sensory stimulation, such as in working memory, is critical for guiding human behavior. Human functional brain imaging studies suggest that visual working memory can recruit a network of brain regions from visual to parietal to prefrontal cortex. In this review, we focus on the maintenance of representations during visual working memory and discuss factors determining the topography of those representations. In particular, we review recent studies employing multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) that demonstrate decoding of the maintained content in visual cortex, providing support for a "sensory recruitment" model of visual working memory. However, there is some evidence that maintained content can also be decoded in areas outside of visual cortex, including parietal and frontal cortex. We suggest that the ability to maintain representations during working memory is a general property of cortex, not restricted to specific areas, and argue that it is important to consider the nature of the information that must be maintained. Such information-content is critically determined by the task and the recruitment of specific regions during visual working memory will be both task- and stimulus-dependent. Thus, the common finding of maintained information in visual, but not parietal or prefrontal, cortex may be more of a reflection of the need to maintain specific types of visual information and not of a privileged role of visual cortex in maintenance.

  16. Multi-voxel decoding and the topography of maintained information during visual working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sue-Hyun eLee

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The ability to maintain representations in the absence of external sensory stimulation, such as in working memory, is critical for guiding human behavior. Human functional brain imaging studies suggest that visual working memory can recruit a network of brain regions from visual to parietal to prefrontal cortex. In this review, we focus on the maintenance of representations during visual working memory and discuss factors determining the topography of those representations. In particular, we review recent studies employing multi-voxel pattern analysis that demonstrate decoding of the maintained content in visual cortex, providing support for a ‘sensory recruitment’ model of visual working memory. However, there is some evidence that maintained content can also be decoded in areas outside of visual cortex, including parietal and frontal cortex. We suggest that the ability to maintain representations during working memory is a general property of cortex, not restricted to specific areas, and argue that it is important to consider the nature of the information that must be maintained. Such information-content is critically determined by the task and the recruitment of specific regions during visual working memory will be both task- and stimulus-dependent. Thus, the common finding of maintained information in visual, but not parietal or prefrontal, cortex may be more of a reflection of the need to maintain specific types of visual information and not of a privileged role of visual cortex in maintenance.

  17. Multi-Voxel Decoding and the Topography of Maintained Information During Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sue-Hyun; Baker, Chris I.

    2016-01-01

    The ability to maintain representations in the absence of external sensory stimulation, such as in working memory, is critical for guiding human behavior. Human functional brain imaging studies suggest that visual working memory can recruit a network of brain regions from visual to parietal to prefrontal cortex. In this review, we focus on the maintenance of representations during visual working memory and discuss factors determining the topography of those representations. In particular, we review recent studies employing multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) that demonstrate decoding of the maintained content in visual cortex, providing support for a “sensory recruitment” model of visual working memory. However, there is some evidence that maintained content can also be decoded in areas outside of visual cortex, including parietal and frontal cortex. We suggest that the ability to maintain representations during working memory is a general property of cortex, not restricted to specific areas, and argue that it is important to consider the nature of the information that must be maintained. Such information-content is critically determined by the task and the recruitment of specific regions during visual working memory will be both task- and stimulus-dependent. Thus, the common finding of maintained information in visual, but not parietal or prefrontal, cortex may be more of a reflection of the need to maintain specific types of visual information and not of a privileged role of visual cortex in maintenance. PMID:26912997

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arngrim, Nanna; Hougaard, Anders; Ahmadi, Khazar

    2017-01-01

    Objective: Migraine aura is sparsely studied due to the highly challenging task of capturing patients during aura. Cortical spreading depression (CSD) is likely the underlying phenomenon of aura. The possible correlation between the multifaceted phenomenology of aura symptoms and the effects of CSD...... on the brain has not been ascertained. Methods: Five migraine patients were studied during various forms of aura symptoms induced by hypoxia, sham hypoxia, or physical exercise with concurrent photostimulation. The blood oxygenation level–dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signal...... response to visual stimulation was measured in retinotopic mapping–defined visual cortex areas V1 to V4. Results: We found reduced BOLD response in patients reporting scotoma and increased response in patients who only experienced positive symptoms. Furthermore, patients with bilateral visual symptoms had...

  19. Hierarchical representation of shapes in visual cortex - from localized features to figural shape segregation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan eTschechne

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Visual structures in the environment are effortlessly segmented into image regions and those combined to a representation of surfaces and prototypical objects. Such a perceptual organization is performed by complex neural mechanisms in the visual cortex of primates. Multiple mutually connected areas in the ventral cortical pathway receive visual input and extract local form features that are subsequently grouped into increasingly complex, more meaningful image elements. At this stage, highly articulated changes in shape boundary as well as very subtle curvature changes contribute to the perception of an object.We propose a recurrent computational network architecture that utilizes a hierarchical distributed representation of shape features to encode boundary features over different scales of resolution. Our model makes use of neural mechanisms that model the processing capabilities of early and intermediate stages in visual cortex, namely areas V1-V4 and IT. We suggest that multiple specialized component representations interact by feedforward hierarchical processing that is combined with feedback from representations generated at higher stages. In so doing, global configurational as well as local information is available to distinguish changes in the object's contour. Once the outline of a shape has been established, contextual contour configurations are used to assign border ownership directions and thus achieve segregation of figure and ground. This combines separate findings about the generation of cortical shape representation using hierarchical representations with figure-ground segregation mechanisms.Our model is probed with a selection of artificial and real world images to illustrate processing results at different processing stages. We especially highlight how modulatory feedback connections contribute to the processing of visual input at various stages in the processing hierarchy.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 wer...

  1. Charles Bonnet syndrome: evidence for a generative model in the cortex?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David P Reichert

    Full Text Available Several theories propose that the cortex implements an internal model to explain, predict, and learn about sensory data, but the nature of this model is unclear. One condition that could be highly informative here is Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS, where loss of vision leads to complex, vivid visual hallucinations of objects, people, and whole scenes. CBS could be taken as indication that there is a generative model in the brain, specifically one that can synthesise rich, consistent visual representations even in the absence of actual visual input. The processes that lead to CBS are poorly understood. Here, we argue that a model recently introduced in machine learning, the deep Boltzmann machine (DBM, could capture the relevant aspects of (hypothetical generative processing in the cortex. The DBM carries both the semantics of a probabilistic generative model and of a neural network. The latter allows us to model a concrete neural mechanism that could underlie CBS, namely, homeostatic regulation of neuronal activity. We show that homeostatic plasticity could serve to make the learnt internal model robust against e.g. degradation of sensory input, but overcompensate in the case of CBS, leading to hallucinations. We demonstrate how a wide range of features of CBS can be explained in the model and suggest a potential role for the neuromodulator acetylcholine. This work constitutes the first concrete computational model of CBS and the first application of the DBM as a model in computational neuroscience. Our results lend further credence to the hypothesis of a generative model in the brain.

  2. Origin and Function of Tuning Diversity in Macaque Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goris, Robbe L T; Simoncelli, Eero P; Movshon, J Anthony

    2015-11-18

    Neurons in visual cortex vary in their orientation selectivity. We measured responses of V1 and V2 cells to orientation mixtures and fit them with a model whose stimulus selectivity arises from the combined effects of filtering, suppression, and response nonlinearity. The model explains the diversity of orientation selectivity with neuron-to-neuron variability in all three mechanisms, of which variability in the orientation bandwidth of linear filtering is the most important. The model also accounts for the cells' diversity of spatial frequency selectivity. Tuning diversity is matched to the needs of visual encoding. The orientation content found in natural scenes is diverse, and neurons with different selectivities are adapted to different stimulus configurations. Single orientations are better encoded by highly selective neurons, while orientation mixtures are better encoded by less selective neurons. A diverse population of neurons therefore provides better overall discrimination capabilities for natural images than any homogeneous population. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Visual Working Memory Is Independent of the Cortical Spacing Between Memoranda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, William J; Bays, Paul M

    2018-03-21

    The sensory recruitment hypothesis states that visual short-term memory is maintained in the same visual cortical areas that initially encode a stimulus' features. Although it is well established that the distance between features in visual cortex determines their visibility, a limitation known as crowding, it is unknown whether short-term memory is similarly constrained by the cortical spacing of memory items. Here, we investigated whether the cortical spacing between sequentially presented memoranda affects the fidelity of memory in humans (of both sexes). In a first experiment, we varied cortical spacing by taking advantage of the log-scaling of visual cortex with eccentricity, presenting memoranda in peripheral vision sequentially along either the radial or tangential visual axis with respect to the fovea. In a second experiment, we presented memoranda sequentially either within or beyond the critical spacing of visual crowding, a distance within which visual features cannot be perceptually distinguished due to their nearby cortical representations. In both experiments and across multiple measures, we found strong evidence that the ability to maintain visual features in memory is unaffected by cortical spacing. These results indicate that the neural architecture underpinning working memory has properties inconsistent with the known behavior of sensory neurons in visual cortex. Instead, the dissociation between perceptual and memory representations supports a role of higher cortical areas such as posterior parietal or prefrontal regions or may involve an as yet unspecified mechanism in visual cortex in which stimulus features are bound to their temporal order. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Although much is known about the resolution with which we can remember visual objects, the cortical representation of items held in short-term memory remains contentious. A popular hypothesis suggests that memory of visual features is maintained via the recruitment of the same neural

  4. Attention modulates the responses of simple cells in monkey primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAdams, Carrie J; Reid, R Clay

    2005-11-23

    Spatial attention has long been postulated to act as a spotlight that increases the salience of visual stimuli at the attended location. We examined the effects of attention on the receptive fields of simple cells in primary visual cortex (V1) by training macaque monkeys to perform a task with two modes. In the attended mode, the stimuli relevant to the animal's task overlay the receptive field of the neuron being recorded. In the unattended mode, the animal was cued to attend to stimuli outside the receptive field of that neuron. The relevant stimulus, a colored pixel, was briefly presented within a white-noise stimulus, a flickering grid of black and white pixels. The receptive fields of the neurons were mapped by correlating spikes with the white-noise stimulus in both attended and unattended modes. We found that attention could cause significant modulation of the visually evoked response despite an absence of significant effects on the overall firing rates. On further examination of the relationship between the strength of the visual stimulation and the firing rate, we found that attention appears to cause multiplicative scaling of the visually evoked responses of simple cells, demonstrating that attention reaches back to the initial stages of visual cortical processing.

  5. How learning might strengthen existing visual object representations in human object-selective cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brants, Marijke; Bulthé, Jessica; Daniels, Nicky; Wagemans, Johan; Op de Beeck, Hans P

    2016-02-15

    Visual object perception is an important function in primates which can be fine-tuned by experience, even in adults. Which factors determine the regions and the neurons that are modified by learning is still unclear. Recently, it was proposed that the exact cortical focus and distribution of learning effects might depend upon the pre-learning mapping of relevant functional properties and how this mapping determines the informativeness of neural units for the stimuli and the task to be learned. From this hypothesis we would expect that visual experience would strengthen the pre-learning distributed functional map of the relevant distinctive object properties. Here we present a first test of this prediction in twelve human subjects who were trained in object categorization and differentiation, preceded and followed by a functional magnetic resonance imaging session. Specifically, training increased the distributed multi-voxel pattern information for trained object distinctions in object-selective cortex, resulting in a generalization from pre-training multi-voxel activity patterns to after-training activity patterns. Simulations show that the increased selectivity combined with the inter-session generalization is consistent with a training-induced strengthening of a pre-existing selectivity map. No training-related neural changes were detected in other regions. In sum, training to categorize or individuate objects strengthened pre-existing representations in human object-selective cortex, providing a first indication that the neuroanatomical distribution of learning effects depends upon the pre-learning mapping of visual object properties. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Visual object agnosia is associated with a breakdown of object-selective responses in the lateral occipital cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ptak, Radek; Lazeyras, François; Di Pietro, Marie; Schnider, Armin; Simon, Stéphane R

    2014-07-01

    Patients with visual object agnosia fail to recognize the identity of visually presented objects despite preserved semantic knowledge. Object agnosia may result from damage to visual cortex lying close to or overlapping with the lateral occipital complex (LOC), a brain region that exhibits selectivity to the shape of visually presented objects. Despite this anatomical overlap the relationship between shape processing in the LOC and shape representations in object agnosia is unknown. We studied a patient with object agnosia following isolated damage to the left occipito-temporal cortex overlapping with the LOC. The patient showed intact processing of object structure, yet often made identification errors that were mainly based on the global visual similarity between objects. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) we found that the damaged as well as the contralateral, structurally intact right LOC failed to show any object-selective fMRI activity, though the latter retained selectivity for faces. Thus, unilateral damage to the left LOC led to a bilateral breakdown of neural responses to a specific stimulus class (objects and artefacts) while preserving the response to a different stimulus class (faces). These findings indicate that representations of structure necessary for the identification of objects crucially rely on bilateral, distributed coding of shape features. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Orosensory and Homeostatic Functions of the Insular Taste Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Araujo, Ivan E; Geha, Paul; Small, Dana M

    2012-03-01

    The gustatory aspect of the insular cortex is part of the brain circuit that controls ingestive behaviors based on chemosensory inputs. However, the sensory properties of foods are not restricted to taste and should also include salient features such as odor, texture, temperature, and appearance. Therefore, it is reasonable to hypothesize that specialized circuits within the central taste pathways must be involved in representing several other oral sensory modalities in addition to taste. In this review, we evaluate current evidence indicating that the insular gustatory cortex functions as an integrative circuit, with taste-responsive regions also showing heightened sensitivity to olfactory, somatosensory, and even visual stimulation. We also review evidence for modulation of taste-responsive insular areas by changes in physiological state, with taste-elicited neuronal responses varying according to the nutritional state of the organism. We then examine experimental support for a functional map within the insular cortex that might reflect the various sensory and homeostatic roles associated with this region. Finally, we evaluate the potential role of the taste insular cortex in weight-gain susceptibility. Taken together, the current experimental evidence favors the view that the insular gustatory cortex functions as an orosensory integrative system that not only enables the formation of complex flavor representations but also mediates their modulation by the internal state of the body, playing therefore a central role in food intake regulation.

  8. Neurophysiology of visual aura in migraine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shibata, Koichi

    2007-01-01

    Visual processing in migraine has been targeted because the visual symptoms that are commonly associated with attack, either in the form of aura or other more subtle symptoms, indicate that the visual pathways are involved in migrainous pathophysiology. The visual aura of the migraine attack has been explained by the cortical spreading depression (CSD) of Leao, neuroelectric event beginning in the occipital cortex and propagating into contiguous brain region. Clinical observations suggest that hyperexcitability occurs not only during the attack, typically in the form of photophobia, but also between attacks. Numerous human neuroimaging, neurophysiological and psychophysical studies have identified differences in cortical visual processing in migraine. The possibility of imaging the typical visual aura with BOLD functional MRI has revealed multiple neurovascular events in the occipital cortex within a single attack that closely resemble CSD. As transient synchronized neuronal excitation precedes CSD, changes in cortical excitability underlie the migraine attack. Independent evidence for altered neuronal excitability in migraineurs between attacks emerges from visual evoked potentials (VEPs) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), recordings of cortical potentials and psychophysics. Recently, both TMS and psychophysical studies measuring visual performance in migraineurs have used measures which presumably measure primary visual (V1) and visual association cortex. Our VEP and blink reflex study showed that migraine patients exhibiting allodynia might show central sensitization of braistem trigeminal neuron and had contrast modulation dysfunction during the cortical visual processing of V1 and visual association cortex in-between attacks. In pathophysiology of migraine, these neurophysiological and psychophysical studies indicate that abnormal visual and trigeminal hyperexcitability might persist between migraine attacks. The influence of migraine on cortical

  9. Spike synchrony reveals emergence of proto-objects in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Anne B; von der Heydt, Rüdiger

    2015-04-29

    Neurons at early stages of the visual cortex signal elemental features, such as pieces of contour, but how these signals are organized into perceptual objects is unclear. Theories have proposed that spiking synchrony between these neurons encodes how features are grouped (binding-by-synchrony), but recent studies did not find the predicted increase in synchrony with binding. Here we propose that features are grouped to "proto-objects" by intrinsic feedback circuits that enhance the responses of the participating feature neurons. This hypothesis predicts synchrony exclusively between feature neurons that receive feedback from the same grouping circuit. We recorded from neurons in macaque visual cortex and used border-ownership selectivity, an intrinsic property of the neurons, to infer whether or not two neurons are part of the same grouping circuit. We found that binding produced synchrony between same-circuit neurons, but not between other pairs of neurons, as predicted by the grouping hypothesis. In a selective attention task, synchrony emerged with ignored as well as attended objects, and higher synchrony was associated with faster behavioral responses, as would be expected from early grouping mechanisms that provide the structure for object-based processing. Thus, synchrony could be produced by automatic activation of intrinsic grouping circuits. However, the binding-related elevation of synchrony was weak compared with its random fluctuations, arguing against synchrony as a code for binding. In contrast, feedback grouping circuits encode binding by modulating the response strength of related feature neurons. Thus, our results suggest a novel coding mechanism that might underlie the proto-objects of perception. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/356860-11$15.00/0.

  10. Experience-dependent plasticity from eye opening enables lasting, visual cortex-dependent enhancement of motion vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prusky, Glen T; Silver, Byron D; Tschetter, Wayne W; Alam, Nazia M; Douglas, Robert M

    2008-09-24

    Developmentally regulated plasticity of vision has generally been associated with "sensitive" or "critical" periods in juvenile life, wherein visual deprivation leads to loss of visual function. Here we report an enabling form of visual plasticity that commences in infant rats from eye opening, in which daily threshold testing of optokinetic tracking, amid otherwise normal visual experience, stimulates enduring, visual cortex-dependent enhancement (>60%) of the spatial frequency threshold for tracking. The perceptual ability to use spatial frequency in discriminating between moving visual stimuli is also improved by the testing experience. The capacity for inducing enhancement is transitory and effectively limited to infancy; however, enhanced responses are not consolidated and maintained unless in-kind testing experience continues uninterrupted into juvenile life. The data show that selective visual experience from infancy can alone enable visual function. They also indicate that plasticity associated with visual deprivation may not be the only cause of developmental visual dysfunction, because we found that experientially inducing enhancement in late infancy, without subsequent reinforcement of the experience in early juvenile life, can lead to enduring loss of function.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Anatomy of hierarchy: Feedforward and feedback pathways in macaque visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markov, Nikola T; Vezoli, Julien; Chameau, Pascal; Falchier, Arnaud; Quilodran, René; Huissoud, Cyril; Lamy, Camille; Misery, Pierre; Giroud, Pascale; Ullman, Shimon; Barone, Pascal; Dehay, Colette; Knoblauch, Kenneth; Kennedy, Henry

    2013-01-01

    The laminar location of the cell bodies and terminals of interareal connections determines the hierarchical structural organization of the cortex and has been intensively studied. However, we still have only a rudimentary understanding of the connectional principles of feedforward (FF) and feedback (FB) pathways. Quantitative analysis of retrograde tracers was used to extend the notion that the laminar distribution of neurons interconnecting visual areas provides an index of hierarchical distance (percentage of supragranular labeled neurons [SLN]). We show that: 1) SLN values constrain models of cortical hierarchy, revealing previously unsuspected areal relations; 2) SLN reflects the operation of a combinatorial distance rule acting differentially on sets of connections between areas; 3) Supragranular layers contain highly segregated bottom-up and top-down streams, both of which exhibit point-to-point connectivity. This contrasts with the infragranular layers, which contain diffuse bottom-up and top-down streams; 4) Cell filling of the parent neurons of FF and FB pathways provides further evidence of compartmentalization; 5) FF pathways have higher weights, cross fewer hierarchical levels, and are less numerous than FB pathways. Taken together, the present results suggest that cortical hierarchies are built from supra- and infragranular counterstreams. This compartmentalized dual counterstream organization allows point-to-point connectivity in both bottom-up and top-down directions. PMID:23983048

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

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

    2013-04-10

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

  14. Differential sensory cortical involvement in auditory and visual sensorimotor temporal recalibration: Evidence from transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aytemür, Ali; Almeida, Nathalia; Lee, Kwang-Hyuk

    2017-02-01

    Adaptation to delayed sensory feedback following an action produces a subjective time compression between the action and the feedback (temporal recalibration effect, TRE). TRE is important for sensory delay compensation to maintain a relationship between causally related events. It is unclear whether TRE is a sensory modality-specific phenomenon. In 3 experiments employing a sensorimotor synchronization task, we investigated this question using cathodal transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS). We found that cathodal tDCS over the visual cortex, and to a lesser extent over the auditory cortex, produced decreased visual TRE. However, both auditory and visual cortex tDCS did not produce any measurable effects on auditory TRE. Our study revealed different nature of TRE in auditory and visual domains. Visual-motor TRE, which is more variable than auditory TRE, is a sensory modality-specific phenomenon, modulated by the auditory cortex. The robustness of auditory-motor TRE, unaffected by tDCS, suggests the dominance of the auditory system in temporal processing, by providing a frame of reference in the realignment of sensorimotor timing signals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. The Second Spiking Threshold: Dynamics of Laminar Network Spiking in the Visual Cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsberg, Lars E.; Bonde, Lars H.; Harvey, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    and moving visual stimuli from the spontaneous ongoing spiking state, in all layers and zones of areas 17 and 18 indicating that the second threshold is a property of the network. Spontaneous and evoked spiking, thus can easily be distinguished. In addition, the trajectories of spontaneous ongoing states......Most neurons have a threshold separating the silent non-spiking state and the state of producing temporal sequences of spikes. But neurons in vivo also have a second threshold, found recently in granular layer neurons of the primary visual cortex, separating spontaneous ongoing spiking from...... visually evoked spiking driven by sharp transients. Here we examine whether this second threshold exists outside the granular layer and examine details of transitions between spiking states in ferrets exposed to moving objects. We found the second threshold, separating spiking states evoked by stationary...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    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. (paper)

  18. Short-term retention of visual information: Evidence in support of feature-based attention as an underlying mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sneve, Markus H; Sreenivasan, Kartik K; Alnæs, Dag; Endestad, Tor; Magnussen, Svein

    2015-01-01

    Retention of features in visual short-term memory (VSTM) involves maintenance of sensory traces in early visual cortex. However, the mechanism through which this is accomplished is not known. Here, we formulate specific hypotheses derived from studies on feature-based attention to test the prediction that visual cortex is recruited by attentional mechanisms during VSTM of low-level features. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of human visual areas revealed that neural populations coding for task-irrelevant feature information are suppressed during maintenance of detailed spatial frequency memory representations. The narrow spectral extent of this suppression agrees well with known effects of feature-based attention. Additionally, analyses of effective connectivity during maintenance between retinotopic areas in visual cortex show that the observed highlighting of task-relevant parts of the feature spectrum originates in V4, a visual area strongly connected with higher-level control regions and known to convey top-down influence to earlier visual areas during attentional tasks. In line with this property of V4 during attentional operations, we demonstrate that modulations of earlier visual areas during memory maintenance have behavioral consequences, and that these modulations are a result of influences from V4. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Hierarchical representation of shapes in visual cortex-from localized features to figural shape segregation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschechne, Stephan; Neumann, Heiko

    2014-01-01

    Visual structures in the environment are segmented into image regions and those combined to a representation of surfaces and prototypical objects. Such a perceptual organization is performed by complex neural mechanisms in the visual cortex of primates. Multiple mutually connected areas in the ventral cortical pathway receive visual input and extract local form features that are subsequently grouped into increasingly complex, more meaningful image elements. Such a distributed network of processing must be capable to make accessible highly articulated changes in shape boundary as well as very subtle curvature changes that contribute to the perception of an object. We propose a recurrent computational network architecture that utilizes hierarchical distributed representations of shape features to encode surface and object boundary over different scales of resolution. Our model makes use of neural mechanisms that model the processing capabilities of early and intermediate stages in visual cortex, namely areas V1-V4 and IT. We suggest that multiple specialized component representations interact by feedforward hierarchical processing that is combined with feedback signals driven by representations generated at higher stages. Based on this, global configurational as well as local information is made available to distinguish changes in the object's contour. Once the outline of a shape has been established, contextual contour configurations are used to assign border ownership directions and thus achieve segregation of figure and ground. The model, thus, proposes how separate mechanisms contribute to distributed hierarchical cortical shape representation and combine with processes of figure-ground segregation. Our model is probed with a selection of stimuli to illustrate processing results at different processing stages. We especially highlight how modulatory feedback connections contribute to the processing of visual input at various stages in the processing hierarchy.

  20. Visual Input Enhances Selective Speech Envelope Tracking in Auditory Cortex at a ‘Cocktail Party’

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golumbic, Elana Zion; Cogan, Gregory B.; Schroeder, Charles E.; Poeppel, David

    2013-01-01

    Our ability to selectively attend to one auditory signal amidst competing input streams, epitomized by the ‘Cocktail Party’ problem, continues to stimulate research from various approaches. How this demanding perceptual feat is achieved from a neural systems perspective remains unclear and controversial. It is well established that neural responses to attended stimuli are enhanced compared to responses to ignored ones, but responses to ignored stimuli are nonetheless highly significant, leading to interference in performance. We investigated whether congruent visual input of an attended speaker enhances cortical selectivity in auditory cortex, leading to diminished representation of ignored stimuli. We recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG) signals from human participants as they attended to segments of natural continuous speech. Using two complementary methods of quantifying the neural response to speech, we found that viewing a speaker’s face enhances the capacity of auditory cortex to track the temporal speech envelope of that speaker. This mechanism was most effective in a ‘Cocktail Party’ setting, promoting preferential tracking of the attended speaker, whereas without visual input no significant attentional modulation was observed. These neurophysiological results underscore the importance of visual input in resolving perceptual ambiguity in a noisy environment. Since visual cues in speech precede the associated auditory signals, they likely serve a predictive role in facilitating auditory processing of speech, perhaps by directing attentional resources to appropriate points in time when to-be-attended acoustic input is expected to arrive. PMID:23345218

  1. Investigation of the metabolic changes in visual cortex due to visual stimulation using high field magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7.0 T

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Yan; Peter, M.; Wu Renhua

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the metabolic changes in the visual cortex due to visual stimulation using high field functional proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7.0 T. A clear picture of brain metabolism and neurotransmitter activity during activation was expected to be established. Methods: Nine healthy subjects participated in this study. All MR measurements were acquired using a 7.0 T MR system and a 16-channel SENSE head coil. An initial fMRI scan was performed prior to spectroscopic acquisition in order to determine the activated region in the visual cortex. A cubic ROI of 2 cm× 2 cm × 2 cm was positioned inside the activated region for functional MRS acquisition. A short TE STEAM sequence was used for acquiring the MRS data. The functional paradigm comprised 6.6 min baseline followed by 13.2 min of visual stimulation and 19.8 min recovery. Summed averaged spectra for visual stimulus off and visual stimulus on were analyzed separately using LC Model and internal reference of water. A Wilcoxon signed rank test was conducted to compare the metabolite changes. Results During stimulation, concentration in Asp [(3.20 ± 0.28) μmol/g], Gln [(2.07 ± 0.10) μmol/g] and Gly [(1.65 ± 0.11)μmol/g] was found to be significantly decreased,compared with that of (3.52 ± 0.28), (2.25 ± 0.10) and (1.85 ± 0.11) μmol/g in rest (Z=-2.073, -2.073 and -2.429, respectively, P<0.05). The level in Glu [(11.50 ± 0.11) μmol/g], GSH [(2.45 ± 0.10) μmol/g] and Lac [(0.89 ± 0.05) μmol/g] due to neuronal activation was found to be significantly increased,versus resting concentration of (11.28 ± 0.11), (2.28 ± 0.10) and (0.79 ± 0.05) μmol/g,respectively (Z=2.521, 2.310, 2.016, respectively, P<0.05). Glc level [(1.54 ± 0.23)μmol/g] exhibited a tendency to decrease throughout the period of stimulation, compared with that of [(1.78 ± 0.28) μmol/g] in rest,but the decrease did not reach statistical significance (Z=-1.897, P>0.05). Conclusions: Using a novel visual

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratte, Michael S; Tong, Frank

    2014-03-19

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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. Life experience refines brain circuits throughout development during specified critical periods. Abnormal experience during these critical periods can yield enduring maladaptive changes in neural circuits that impair brain function. In the developing visual system, visual deprivation early in life can result in amblyopia (lazy-eye), a prevalent childhood disorder comprising permanent deficits in spatial vision. Here we identify that the nogo-66 receptor 1 gene restricts an early and essential step in OD plasticity to the critical period. These findings link the emerging circuit

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Honda Manabu

    2006-12-01

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

  6. Anisotropy of ongoing neural activity in the primate visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maier A

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Alexander Maier,1 Michele A Cox,1 Kacie Dougherty,1 Brandon Moore,1 David A Leopold2 1Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA; 2Section on Cognitive Neurophysiology and Imaging, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA Abstract: The mammalian neocortex features distinct anatomical variation in its tangential and radial extents. This review consolidates previously published findings from our group in order to compare and contrast the spatial profile of neural activity coherence across these distinct cortical dimensions. We focus on studies of ongoing local field potential (LFP data obtained simultaneously from multiple sites in the primary visual cortex in two types of experiments in which electrode contacts were spaced either along the cortical surface or at different laminar positions. These studies demonstrate that across both dimensions the coherence of ongoing LFP fluctuations diminishes as a function of interelectrode distance, although the nature and spatial scale of this falloff is very different. Along the cortical surface, the overall LFP coherence declines gradually and continuously away from a given position. In contrast, across the cortical layers, LFP coherence is discontinuous and compartmentalized as a function of depth. Specifically, regions of high LFP coherence fall into discrete superficial and deep laminar zones, with an abrupt discontinuity between the granular and infragranular layers. This spatial pattern of ongoing LFP coherence is similar when animals are at rest and when they are engaged in a behavioral task. These results point to the existence of partially segregated laminar zones of cortical processing that extend tangentially within the laminar compartments and are thus oriented orthogonal to the cortical columns. We interpret these electrophysiological observations in light of the known anatomical organization of

  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. Attention induced neural response trade-off in retinotopic cortex under load.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-14

    The effects of perceptual load on visual cortex response to distractors are well established and various phenomena of 'inattentional blindness' associated with elimination of visual cortex response to unattended distractors, have been documented in tasks of high load. Here we tested an account for these effects in terms of a load-induced trade-off between target and distractor processing in retinotopic visual cortex. Participants were scanned using fMRI while performing a visual-search task and ignoring distractor checkerboards in the periphery. Retinotopic responses to target and distractors were assessed as a function of search load (comparing search set-sizes two, three and five). We found that increased load not only increased activity in frontoparietal network, but also had opposite effects on retinotopic responses to target and distractors. Target-related signals in areas V2-V3 linearly increased, while distractor response linearly decreased, with increased load. Critically, the slopes were equivalent for both load functions, thus demonstrating resource trade-off. Load effects were also found in displays with the same item number in the distractor hemisphere across different set sizes, thus ruling out local intrahemispheric interactions as the cause. Our findings provide new evidence for load theory proposals of attention resource sharing between target and distractor leading to inattentional blindness.

  9. Interocular suppression in strabismic amblyopia results in an attenuated and delayed hemodynamic response function in early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farivar, Reza; Thompson, Benjamin; Mansouri, Behzad; Hess, Robert F

    2011-12-20

    Factors such as strabismus or anisometropia during infancy can disrupt normal visual development and result in amblyopia, characterized by reduced visual function in an otherwise healthy eye and often associated with persistent suppression of inputs from the amblyopic eye by those from the dominant eye. It has become evident from fMRI studies that the cortical response to stimulation of the amblyopic eye is also affected. We were interested to compare the hemodynamic response function (HRF) of early visual cortex to amblyopic vs. dominant eye stimulation. In the first experiment, we found that stimulation of the amblyopic eye resulted in a signal that was both attenuated and delayed in its time to peak. We postulated that this delay may be due to suppressive effects of the dominant eye and, in our second experiment, measured the cortical response of amblyopic eye stimulation under two conditions--where the dominant eye was open and seeing a static pattern (high suppression) or where the dominant eye was patched and closed (low suppression). We found that the HRF in response to amblyopic eye stimulation depended on whether the dominant eye was open. This effect was manifested as both a delayed HRF under the suppressed condition and an amplitude reduction.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-06

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

  12. 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.

  13. From motor cortex to visual cortex: the application of noninvasive brain stimulation to amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Benjamin; Mansouri, Behzad; Koski, Lisa; Hess, Robert F

    2012-04-01

    Noninvasive brain stimulation is a technique for inducing changes in the excitability of discrete neural populations in the human brain. A current model of the underlying pathological processes contributing to the loss of motor function after stroke has motivated a number of research groups to investigate the potential therapeutic application of brain stimulation to stroke rehabilitation. The loss of motor function is modeled as resulting from a combination of reduced excitability in the lesioned motor cortex and an increased inhibitory drive from the nonlesioned hemisphere over the lesioned hemisphere. This combination of impaired neural function and pathological suppression resonates with current views on the cause of the visual impairment in amblyopia. Here, we discuss how the rationale for using noninvasive brain stimulation in stroke rehabilitation can be applied to amblyopia, review a proof-of-principle study demonstrating that brain stimulation can temporarily improve amblyopic eye function, and propose future research avenues. Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-22

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

  15. Effects of chronic iTBS-rTMS and enriched environment on visual cortex early critical period and visual pattern discrimination in dark-reared rats.

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    Castillo-Padilla, Diana V; Funke, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    Early cortical critical period resembles a state of enhanced neuronal plasticity enabling the establishment of specific neuronal connections during first sensory experience. Visual performance with regard to pattern discrimination is impaired if the cortex is deprived from visual input during the critical period. We wondered how unspecific activation of the visual cortex before closure of the critical period using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) could affect the critical period and the visual performance of the experimental animals. Would it cause premature closure of the plastic state and thus worsen experience-dependent visual performance, or would it be able to preserve plasticity? Effects of intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) were compared with those of an enriched environment (EE) during dark-rearing (DR) from birth. Rats dark-reared in a standard cage showed poor improvement in a visual pattern discrimination task, while rats housed in EE or treated with iTBS showed a performance indistinguishable from rats reared in normal light/dark cycle. The behavioral effects were accompanied by correlated changes in the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and atypical PKC (PKCζ/PKMζ), two factors controlling stabilization of synaptic potentiation. It appears that not only nonvisual sensory activity and exercise but also cortical activation induced by rTMS has the potential to alleviate the effects of DR on cortical development, most likely due to stimulation of BDNF synthesis and release. As we showed previously, iTBS reduced the expression of parvalbumin in inhibitory cortical interneurons, indicating that modulation of the activity of fast-spiking interneurons contributes to the observed effects of iTBS. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Synchronisation hubs in the visual cortex may arise from strong rhythmic inhibition during gamma oscillations.

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    Folias, Stefanos E; Yu, Shan; Snyder, Abigail; Nikolić, Danko; Rubin, Jonathan E

    2013-09-01

    Neurons in the visual cortex exhibit heterogeneity in feature selectivity and the tendency to generate action potentials synchronously with other nearby neurons. By examining visual responses from cat area 17 we found that, during gamma oscillations, there was a positive correlation between each unit's sharpness of orientation tuning, strength of oscillations, and propensity towards synchronisation with other units. Using a computational model, we demonstrated that heterogeneity in the strength of rhythmic inhibitory inputs can account for the correlations between these three properties. Neurons subject to strong inhibition tend to oscillate strongly in response to both optimal and suboptimal stimuli and synchronise promiscuously with other neurons, even if they have different orientation preferences. Moreover, these strongly inhibited neurons can exhibit sharp orientation selectivity provided that the inhibition they receive is broadly tuned relative to their excitatory inputs. These results predict that the strength and orientation tuning of synaptic inhibition are heterogeneous across area 17 neurons, which could have important implications for these neurons' sensory processing capabilities. Furthermore, although our experimental recordings were conducted in the visual cortex, our model and simulation results can apply more generally to any brain region with analogous neuron types in which heterogeneity in the strength of rhythmic inhibition can arise during gamma oscillations. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Neural correlates of memory retrieval in the prefrontal cortex.

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    Nácher, Verónica; Ojeda, Sabiela; Cadarso-Suárez, Carmen; Roca-Pardiñas, Javier; Acuña, Carlos

    2006-08-01

    Working memory includes short-term representations of information that were recently experienced or retrieved from long-term representations of sensory stimuli. Evidence is presented here that working memory activates the same dorsolateral prefrontal cortex neurons that: (a) maintained recently perceived visual stimuli; and (b) retrieved visual stimuli from long-term memory (LTM). Single neuron activity was recorded in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex while trained monkeys discriminated between two orientated lines shown sequentially, separated by a fixed interstimulus interval. This visual task required the monkey to compare the orientation of the second line with the memory trace of the first and to decide the relative orientation of the second. When the behavioural task required the monkey to maintain in working memory a first stimulus that continually changed from trial to trial, the discharge in these cells was related to the parameters--the orientation--of the memorized item. Then, what the monkey had to recall from memory was manipulated by switching to another task in which the first stimulus was not shown, and had to be retrieved from LTM. The discharge rates of the same neurons also varied depending on the parameters of the memorized stimuli, and their response was progressively delayed as the monkey performed the task. These results suggest that working memory activates dorsolateral prefrontal cortex neurons that maintain parametrical visual information in short-term and LTM, and that the contents of working memory cannot be limited to what has recently happened in the sensory environment.

  18. Chemosensory Learning in the Cortex

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    Edmund eRolls

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Taste is a primary reinforcer. Olfactory-taste and visual-taste association learning takes place in the primate including human orbitofrontal cortex to build representations of flavour. Rapid reversal of this learning can occur using a rule-based learning system that can be reset when an expected taste or flavour reward is not obtained, that is by negative reward prediction error, to which a population of neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex responds. The representation in the orbitofrontal cortex but not the primary taste or olfactory cortex is of the reward value of the visual / olfactory / taste / input as shown by devaluation experiments in which food is fed to satiety, and by correlations with the activations with subjective pleasantness ratings in humans. Sensory-specific satiety for taste, olfactory, visual, and oral somatosensory inputs produced by feeding a particular food to satiety are implemented it is proposed by medium-term synaptic adaptation in the orbitofrontal cortex. Cognitive factors, including word-level descriptions, modulate the representation of the reward value of food in the orbitofrontal cortex, and this effect is learned it is proposed by associative modification of top-down synapses onto neurons activated by bottom-up taste and olfactory inputs when both are active in the orbitofrontal cortex. A similar associative synaptic learning process is proposed to be part of the mechanism for the top-down attentional control to the reward value vs the sensory properties such as intensity of taste and olfactory inputs in the orbitofrontal cortex, as part of a biased activation theory of selective attention.

  19. Can you hear me yet? An intracranial investigation of speech and non-speech audiovisual interactions in human cortex.

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    Rhone, Ariane E; Nourski, Kirill V; Oya, Hiroyuki; Kawasaki, Hiroto; Howard, Matthew A; McMurray, Bob

    In everyday conversation, viewing a talker's face can provide information about the timing and content of an upcoming speech signal, resulting in improved intelligibility. Using electrocorticography, we tested whether human auditory cortex in Heschl's gyrus (HG) and on superior temporal gyrus (STG) and motor cortex on precentral gyrus (PreC) were responsive to visual/gestural information prior to the onset of sound and whether early stages of auditory processing were sensitive to the visual content (speech syllable versus non-speech motion). Event-related band power (ERBP) in the high gamma band was content-specific prior to acoustic onset on STG and PreC, and ERBP in the beta band differed in all three areas. Following sound onset, we found with no evidence for content-specificity in HG, evidence for visual specificity in PreC, and specificity for both modalities in STG. These results support models of audio-visual processing in which sensory information is integrated in non-primary cortical areas.

  20. Shape perception simultaneously up- and downregulates neural activity in the primary visual cortex.

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    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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Stimulus-dependent modulation of spontaneous low-frequency oscillations in the rat visual cortex.

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    Huang, Liangming; Liu, Yadong; Gui, Jianjun; Li, Ming; Hu, Dewen

    2014-08-06

    Research on spontaneous low-frequency oscillations is important to reveal underlying regulatory mechanisms in the brain. The mechanism for the stimulus modulation of low-frequency oscillations is not known. Here, we used the intrinsic optical imaging technique to examine stimulus-modulated low-frequency oscillation signals in the rat visual cortex. The stimulation was presented monocularly as a flashing light with different frequencies and intensities. The phases of low-frequency oscillations in different regions tended to be synchronized and the rhythms typically accelerated within a 30-s period after stimulation. These phenomena were confined to visual stimuli with specific flashing frequencies (12.5-17.5 Hz) and intensities (5-10 mA). The acceleration and synchronization induced by the flashing frequency were more marked than those induced by the intensity. These results show that spontaneous low-frequency oscillations can be modulated by parameter-dependent flashing lights and indicate the potential utility of the visual stimulus paradigm in exploring the origin and function of low-frequency oscillations.

  2. Dense, shape-optimized posterior 32-channel coil for submillimeter functional imaging of visual cortex at 3T.

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    Farivar, Reza; Grigorov, Filip; van der Kouwe, Andre J; Wald, Lawrence L; Keil, Boris

    2016-07-01

    Functional neuroimaging of small cortical patches such as columns is essential for testing computational models of vision, but imaging from cortical columns at conventional 3T fields is exceedingly difficult. By targeting the visual cortex exclusively, we tested whether combined optimization of shape, coil placement, and electronics would yield the necessary gains in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for submillimeter visual cortex functional MRI (fMRI). We optimized the shape of the housing to a population-averaged atlas. The shape was comfortable without cushions and resulted in the maximally proximal placement of the coil elements. By using small wire loops with the least number of solder joints, we were able to maximize the Q factor of the individual elements. Finally, by planning the placement of the coils using the brain atlas, we were able to target the arrangement of the coil elements to the extent of the visual cortex. The combined optimizations led to as much as two-fold SNR gain compared with a whole-head 32-channel coil. This gain was reflected in temporal SNR as well and enabled fMRI mapping at 0.75 mm resolutions using a conventional GRAPPA-accelerated gradient echo echo planar imaging. Integrated optimization of shape, electronics, and element placement can lead to large gains in SNR and empower submillimeter fMRI at 3T. Magn Reson Med 76:321-328, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 The Authors. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

  3. Spatial integration in mouse primary visual cortex.

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    Vaiceliunaite, Agne; Erisken, Sinem; Franzen, Florian; Katzner, Steffen; Busse, Laura

    2013-08-01

    Responses of many neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) are suppressed by stimuli exceeding the classical receptive field (RF), an important property that might underlie the computation of visual saliency. Traditionally, it has proven difficult to disentangle the underlying neural circuits, including feedforward, horizontal intracortical, and feedback connectivity. Since circuit-level analysis is particularly feasible in the mouse, we asked whether neural signatures of spatial integration in mouse V1 are similar to those of higher-order mammals and investigated the role of parvalbumin-expressing (PV+) inhibitory interneurons. Analogous to what is known from primates and carnivores, we demonstrate that, in awake mice, surround suppression is present in the majority of V1 neurons and is strongest in superficial cortical layers. Anesthesia with isoflurane-urethane, however, profoundly affects spatial integration: it reduces the laminar dependency, decreases overall suppression strength, and alters the temporal dynamics of responses. We show that these effects of brain state can be parsimoniously explained by assuming that anesthesia affects contrast normalization. Hence, the full impact of suppressive influences in mouse V1 cannot be studied under anesthesia with isoflurane-urethane. To assess the neural circuits of spatial integration, we targeted PV+ interneurons using optogenetics. Optogenetic depolarization of PV+ interneurons was associated with increased RF size and decreased suppression in the recorded population, similar to effects of lowering stimulus contrast, suggesting that PV+ interneurons contribute to spatial integration by affecting overall stimulus drive. We conclude that the mouse is a promising model for circuit-level mechanisms of spatial integration, which relies on the combined activity of different types of inhibitory interneurons.

  4. High-alpha band synchronization across frontal, parietal and visual cortex mediates behavioral and neuronal effects of visuospatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobier, Muriel; Palva, J Matias; Palva, Satu

    2018-01-15

    Visuospatial attention prioritizes processing of attended visual stimuli. It is characterized by lateralized alpha-band (8-14 Hz) amplitude suppression in visual cortex and increased neuronal activity in a network of frontal and parietal areas. It has remained unknown what mechanisms coordinate neuronal processing among frontoparietal network and visual cortices and implement the attention-related modulations of alpha-band amplitudes and behavior. We investigated whether large-scale network synchronization could be such a mechanism. We recorded human cortical activity with magnetoencephalography (MEG) during a visuospatial attention task. We then identified the frequencies and anatomical networks of inter-areal phase synchronization from source localized MEG data. We found that visuospatial attention is associated with robust and sustained long-range synchronization of cortical oscillations exclusively in the high-alpha (10-14 Hz) frequency band. This synchronization connected frontal, parietal and visual regions and was observed concurrently with amplitude suppression of low-alpha (6-9 Hz) band oscillations in visual cortex. Furthermore, stronger high-alpha phase synchronization was associated with decreased reaction times to attended stimuli and larger suppression of alpha-band amplitudes. These results thus show that high-alpha band phase synchronization is functionally significant and could coordinate the neuronal communication underlying the implementation of visuospatial attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Development of the Visual Word Form Area Requires Visual Experience: Evidence from Blind Braille Readers.

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    Kim, Judy S; Kanjlia, Shipra; Merabet, Lotfi B; Bedny, Marina

    2017-11-22

    Learning to read causes the development of a letter- and word-selective region known as the visual word form area (VWFA) within the human ventral visual object stream. Why does a reading-selective region develop at this anatomical location? According to one hypothesis, the VWFA develops at the nexus of visual inputs from retinotopic cortices and linguistic input from the frontotemporal language network because reading involves extracting linguistic information from visual symbols. Surprisingly, the anatomical location of the VWFA is also active when blind individuals read Braille by touch, suggesting that vision is not required for the development of the VWFA. In this study, we tested the alternative prediction that VWFA development is in fact influenced by visual experience. We predicted that in the absence of vision, the "VWFA" is incorporated into the frontotemporal language network and participates in high-level language processing. Congenitally blind ( n = 10, 9 female, 1 male) and sighted control ( n = 15, 9 female, 6 male), male and female participants each took part in two functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments: (1) word reading (Braille for blind and print for sighted participants), and (2) listening to spoken sentences of different grammatical complexity (both groups). We find that in blind, but not sighted participants, the anatomical location of the VWFA responds both to written words and to the grammatical complexity of spoken sentences. This suggests that in blindness, this region takes on high-level linguistic functions, becoming less selective for reading. More generally, the current findings suggest that experience during development has a major effect on functional specialization in the human cortex. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The visual word form area (VWFA) is a region in the human cortex that becomes specialized for the recognition of written letters and words. Why does this particular brain region become specialized for reading? We

  6. Plasticity resembling spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity: the evidence in human cortex

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    Florian Müller-Dahlhaus

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP has been studied extensively in a variety of animal models during the past decade but whether it can be studied at the systems level of the human cortex has been a matter of debate. Only recently newly developed non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS have made it possible to induce and assess timing dependent plasticity in conscious human subjects. This review will present a critical synopsis of these experiments, which suggest that several of the principal characteristics and molecular mechanisms of TMS-induced plasticity correspond to those of STDP as studied at a cellular level. TMS combined with a second phasic stimulation modality can induce bidirectional long-lasting changes in the excitability of the stimulated cortex, whose polarity depends on the order of the associated stimulus-evoked events within a critical time window of tens of milliseconds. Pharmacological evidence suggests an NMDA receptor mediated form of synaptic plasticity. Studies in human motor cortex demonstrated that motor learning significantly modulates TMS-induced timing dependent plasticity, and, conversely, may be modulated bidirectionally by prior TMS-induced plasticity, providing circumstantial evidence that long-term potentiation-like mechanisms may be involved in motor learning. In summary, convergent evidence is being accumulated for the contention that it is now possible to induce STDP-like changes in the intact human central nervous system by means of TMS to study and interfere with synaptic plasticity in neural circuits in the context of behaviour such as learning and memory.

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

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    Rosanne L Rademaker

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

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

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    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.

  9. Feature selectivity of the gamma-band of the local field potential in primate primary visual cortex

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    Philipp Berens

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Extra-cellular voltage fluctuations (local field potentials; LFPs reflecting neural mass action are ubiquitous across species and brain regions. Numerous studies have characterized the properties of LFP signals in the cortex to study sensory and motor computations as well as cognitive processes like attention, perception and memory. In addition, its extracranial counterpart – the electroencelphalogram (EEG – is widely used in clinical applications. However, the link between LFP signals and the underlying activity of local populations of neurons remains largely elusive. Here, we review recent work elucidating the relationship between spiking activity of local neural populations and LFP signals. We focus on oscillations in the gamma-band (30-90Hz of the local field potential in the primary visual cortex (V1 of the macaque that dominate during visual stimulation. Given that in area V1 much is known about the properties of single neurons and the cortical architecture, it provides an excellent opportunity to study the mechanisms underlying the generation of the local field potential.

  10. Top-down inputs enhance orientation selectivity in neurons of the primary visual cortex during perceptual learning.

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    Samat Moldakarimov

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual learning has been used to probe the mechanisms of cortical plasticity in the adult brain. Feedback projections are ubiquitous in the cortex, but little is known about their role in cortical plasticity. Here we explore the hypothesis that learning visual orientation discrimination involves learning-dependent plasticity of top-down feedback inputs from higher cortical areas, serving a different function from plasticity due to changes in recurrent connections within a cortical area. In a Hodgkin-Huxley-based spiking neural network model of visual cortex, we show that modulation of feedback inputs to V1 from higher cortical areas results in shunting inhibition in V1 neurons, which changes the response properties of V1 neurons. The orientation selectivity of V1 neurons is enhanced without changing orientation preference, preserving the topographic organizations in V1. These results provide new insights to the mechanisms of plasticity in the adult brain, reconciling apparently inconsistent experiments and providing a new hypothesis for a functional role of the feedback connections.

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

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

    2004-01-31

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

  12. Diabetic brain or retina? Visual psychophysical performance in diabetic patients in relation to GABA levels in occipital cortex.

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    Sanches, Mafalda; Abuhaiba, Sulaiman I; d'Almeida, Otília C; Quendera, Bruno; Gomes, Leonor; Moreno, Carolina; Guelho, Daniela; Castelo-Branco, Miguel

    2017-06-01

    Visual impairment is one of the most feared complications of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Here, we aimed to investigate the role of occipital cortex γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as a predictor of visual performance in type 2 diabetes. 18 type 2 diabetes patients were included in a longitudinal prospective one-year study, as well as 22 healthy age-matched controls. We collected demographic data, HbA1C and used a novel set of visual psychophysical tests addressing color, achromatic luminance and speed discrimination in both groups. Psychophysical tests underwent dimension reduction with principle component analysis into three synthetic variables: speed, achromatic luminance and color discrimination. A MEGA-PRESS magnetic resonance brain spectroscopy sequence was used to measure occipital GABA levels in the type 2 diabetes group. Retinopathy grading and retinal microaneurysms counting were performed in the type 2 diabetes group for single-armed correlations. Speed discrimination thresholds were significantly higher in the type 2 diabetes group in both visits; mean difference (95% confidence interval), [0.86 (0.32-1.40) in the first visit, 0.74 (0.04-1.44) in the second visit]. GABA from the occipital cortex predicted speed and achromatic luminance discrimination thresholds within the same visit (r = 0.54 and 0.52; p = 0.02 and 0.03, respectively) in type 2 diabetes group. GABA from the occipital cortex also predicted speed discrimination thresholds one year later (r = 0.52; p = 0.03) in the type 2 diabetes group. Our results suggest that speed discrimination is impaired in type 2 diabetes and that occipital cortical GABA is a novel predictor of visual psychophysical performance independently from retinopathy grade, metabolic control or disease duration in the early stages of the disease.

  13. Cross-modal processing in auditory and visual working memory.

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    Suchan, Boris; Linnewerth, Britta; Köster, Odo; Daum, Irene; Schmid, Gebhard

    2006-02-01

    This study aimed to further explore processing of auditory and visual stimuli in working memory. Smith and Jonides (1997) [Smith, E.E., Jonides, J., 1997. Working memory: A view from neuroimaging. Cogn. Psychol. 33, 5-42] described a modified working memory model in which visual input is automatically transformed into a phonological code. To study this process, auditory and the corresponding visual stimuli were presented in a variant of the 2-back task which involved changes from the auditory to the visual modality and vice versa. Brain activation patterns underlying visual and auditory processing as well as transformation mechanisms were analyzed. Results yielded a significant activation in the left primary auditory cortex associated with transformation of visual into auditory information which reflects the matching and recoding of a stored item and its modality. This finding yields empirical evidence for a transformation of visual input into a phonological code, with the auditory cortex as the neural correlate of the recoding process in working memory.

  14. Dietary Restriction Affects Neuronal Response Property and GABA Synthesis in the Primary Visual Cortex.

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    Yang, Jinfang; Wang, Qian; He, Fenfen; Ding, Yanxia; Sun, Qingyan; Hua, Tianmiao; Xi, Minmin

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have reported inconsistent effects of dietary restriction (DR) on cortical inhibition. To clarify this issue, we examined the response properties of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) of DR and control groups of cats using in vivo extracellular single-unit recording techniques, and assessed the synthesis of inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the V1 of cats from both groups using immunohistochemical and Western blot techniques. Our results showed that the response of V1 neurons to visual stimuli was significantly modified by DR, as indicated by an enhanced selectivity for stimulus orientations and motion directions, decreased visually-evoked response, lowered spontaneous activity and increased signal-to-noise ratio in DR cats relative to control cats. Further, it was shown that, accompanied with these changes of neuronal responsiveness, GABA immunoreactivity and the expression of a key GABA-synthesizing enzyme GAD67 in the V1 were significantly increased by DR. These results demonstrate that DR may retard brain aging by increasing the intracortical inhibition effect and improve the function of visual cortical neurons in visual information processing. This DR-induced elevation of cortical inhibition may favor the brain in modulating energy expenditure based on food availability.

  15. Spatial organization of astrocytes in ferret visual cortex

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    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

  16. A neural measure of precision in visual working memory.

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    Ester, Edward F; Anderson, David E; Serences, John T; Awh, Edward

    2013-05-01

    Recent studies suggest that the temporary storage of visual detail in working memory is mediated by sensory recruitment or sustained patterns of stimulus-specific activation within feature-selective regions of visual cortex. According to a strong version of this hypothesis, the relative "quality" of these patterns should determine the clarity of an individual's memory. Here, we provide a direct test of this claim. We used fMRI and a forward encoding model to characterize population-level orientation-selective responses in visual cortex while human participants held an oriented grating in memory. This analysis, which enables a precise quantitative description of multivoxel, population-level activity measured during working memory storage, revealed graded response profiles whose amplitudes were greatest for the remembered orientation and fell monotonically as the angular distance from this orientation increased. Moreover, interparticipant differences in the dispersion-but not the amplitude-of these response profiles were strongly correlated with performance on a concurrent memory recall task. These findings provide important new evidence linking the precision of sustained population-level responses in visual cortex and memory acuity.

  17. Delayed discrimination of spatial frequency for gratings of different orientation: behavioral and fMRI evidence for low-level perceptual memory stores in early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumann, Oliver; Endestad, Tor; Magnussen, Svein; Greenlee, Mark W

    2008-07-01

    The concept of perceptual memory refers to the neural and cognitive processes underlying the storage of specific stimulus features such as spatial frequency, orientation, shape, contrast, and color. Psychophysical studies of perceptual memory indicate that observers can retain visual information about the spatial frequency of Gabor patterns independent of the orientation with which they are presented. Compared to discrimination of gratings with the same orientation, reaction times to orthogonally oriented gratings, however, increase suggesting additional processing. Using event-related fMRI we examined the pattern of neural activation evoked when subjects discriminated the spatial frequency of Gabors presented with the same or orthogonal orientation. Blood-oxygen level dependent BOLD fMRI revealed significantly elevated bilateral activity in visual areas (V1, V2) when the gratings to be compared had an orthogonal orientation, compared to when they had the same orientation. These findings suggest that a change in an irrelevant stimulus dimension requires additional processing in primary and secondary visual areas. The finding that the task-irrelevant stimulus property (orientation) had no significant effect on the prefrontal and intraparietal cortex supports a model of working memory in which discrimination and retention of basic stimulus dimensions is based on low-level perceptual memory stores that are located at an early stage in the visual process. Our findings suggest that accessing different stores requires time and has higher metabolic costs.

  18. Differential effects of m1 and m2 receptor antagonists in perirhinal cortex on visual recognition memory in monkeys.

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    Wu, Wei; Saunders, Richard C; Mishkin, Mortimer; Turchi, Janita

    2012-07-01

    Microinfusions of the nonselective muscarinic antagonist scopolamine into perirhinal cortex impairs performance on visual recognition tasks, indicating that muscarinic receptors in this region play a pivotal role in recognition memory. To assess the mnemonic effects of selective blockade in perirhinal cortex of muscarinic receptor subtypes, we locally infused either the m1-selective antagonist pirenzepine or the m2-selective antagonist methoctramine in animals performing one-trial visual recognition, and compared these scores with those following infusions of equivalent volumes of saline. Compared to these control infusions, injections of pirenzepine, but not of methoctramine, significantly impaired recognition accuracy. Further, similar doses of scopolamine and pirenzepine yielded similar deficits, suggesting that the deficits obtained earlier with scopolamine were due mainly, if not exclusively, to blockade of m1 receptors. The present findings indicate that m1 and m2 receptors have functionally dissociable roles, and that the formation of new visual memories is critically dependent on the cholinergic activation of m1 receptors located on perirhinal cells. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Enhanced Working Memory Binding by Direct Electrical Stimulation of the Parietal Cortex

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    Agustina Birba

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent works evince the critical role of visual short-term memory (STM binding deficits as a clinical and preclinical marker of Alzheimer’s disease (AD. These studies suggest a potential role of posterior brain regions in both the neurocognitive deficits of Alzheimer’s patients and STM binding in general. Thereupon, we surmised that stimulation of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC might be a successful approach to tackle working memory deficits in this condition, especially at early stages. To date, no causal evidence exists of the role of the parietal cortex in STM binding. A unique approach to assess this issue is afforded by single-subject direct intracranial electrical stimulation of specific brain regions during a relevant cognitive task. Electrical stimulation has been used both for clinical purposes and to causally probe brain mechanisms. Previous evidence of electrical currents spreading through white matter along well defined functional circuits indicates that visual working memory mechanisms are subserved by a specific widely distributed network. Here, we stimulated the parietal cortex of a subject with intracranial electrodes as he performed the visual STM task. We compared the ensuing results to those from a non-stimulated condition and to the performance of a matched control group. In brief, direct stimulation of the parietal cortex induced a selective improvement in STM. These results, together with previous studies, provide very preliminary but promising ground to examine behavioral changes upon parietal stimulation in AD. We discuss our results regarding: (a the usefulness of the task to target prodromal stages of AD; (b the role of a posterior network in STM binding and in AD; and (c the potential opportunity to improve STM binding through brain stimulation.

  20. Synaptic Mechanisms of Activity-Dependent Remodeling in Visual Cortex during Monocular Deprivation

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    Cynthia D. Rittenhouse

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available It has long been appreciated that in the visual cortex, particularly within a postnatal critical period for experience-dependent plasticity, the closure of one eye results in a shift in the responsiveness of cortical cells toward the experienced eye. While the functional aspects of this ocular dominance shift have been studied for many decades, their cortical substrates and synaptic mechanisms remain elusive. Nonetheless, it is becoming increasingly clear that ocular dominance plasticity is a complex phenomenon that appears to have an early and a late component. Early during monocular deprivation, deprived eye cortical synapses depress, while later during the deprivation open eye synapses potentiate. Here we review current literature on the cortical mechanisms of activity-dependent plasticity in the visual system during the critical period. These studies shed light on the role of activity in shaping neuronal structure and function in general and can lead to insights regarding how learning is acquired and maintained at the neuronal level during normal and pathological brain development.

  1. A Specialized Multi-Transmit Head Coil for High Resolution fMRI of the Human Visual Cortex at 7T.

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    Sengupta, Shubharthi; Roebroeck, Alard; Kemper, Valentin G; Poser, Benedikt A; Zimmermann, Jan; Goebel, Rainer; Adriany, Gregor

    2016-01-01

    To design, construct and validate radiofrequency (RF) transmit and receive phased array coils for high-resolution visual cortex imaging at 7 Tesla. A 4 channel transmit and 16 channel receive array was constructed on a conformal polycarbonate former. Transmit field efficiency and homogeneity were simulated and validated, along with the Specific Absorption Rate, using [Formula: see text] mapping techniques and electromagnetic simulations. Receiver signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), temporal SNR (tSNR) across EPI time series, g-factors for accelerated imaging and noise correlations were evaluated and compared with a commercial 32 channel whole head coil. The performance of the coil was further evaluated with human subjects through functional MRI (fMRI) studies at standard and submillimeter resolutions of upto 0.8mm isotropic. The transmit and receive sections were characterized using bench tests and showed good interelement decoupling, preamplifier decoupling and sample loading. SNR for the 16 channel coil was ∼ 1.5 times that of the commercial coil in the human occipital lobe, and showed better g-factor values for accelerated imaging. fMRI tests conducted showed better response to Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) activation, at resolutions of 1.2mm and 0.8mm isotropic. The 4 channel phased array transmit coil provides homogeneous excitation across the visual cortex, which, in combination with the dual row 16 channel receive array, makes for a valuable research tool for high resolution anatomical and functional imaging of the visual cortex at 7T.

  2. Asymmetric temporal integration of layer 4 and layer 2/3 inputs in visual cortex.

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    Hang, Giao B; Dan, Yang

    2011-01-01

    Neocortical neurons in vivo receive concurrent synaptic inputs from multiple sources, including feedforward, horizontal, and feedback pathways. Layer 2/3 of the visual cortex receives feedforward input from layer 4 and horizontal input from layer 2/3. Firing of the pyramidal neurons, which carries the output to higher cortical areas, depends critically on the interaction of these pathways. Here we examined synaptic integration of inputs from layer 4 and layer 2/3 in rat visual cortical slices. We found that the integration is sublinear and temporally asymmetric, with larger responses if layer 2/3 input preceded layer 4 input. The sublinearity depended on inhibition, and the asymmetry was largely attributable to the difference between the two inhibitory inputs. Interestingly, the asymmetric integration was specific to pyramidal neurons, and it strongly affected their spiking output. Thus via cortical inhibition, the temporal order of activation of layer 2/3 and layer 4 pathways can exert powerful control of cortical output during visual processing.

  3. Sexual motivation is reflected by stimulus-dependent motor cortex excitability.

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    Schecklmann, Martin; Engelhardt, Kristina; Konzok, Julian; Rupprecht, Rainer; Greenlee, Mark W; Mokros, Andreas; Langguth, Berthold; Poeppl, Timm B

    2015-08-01

    Sexual behavior involves motivational processes. Findings from both animal models and neuroimaging in humans suggest that the recruitment of neural motor networks is an integral part of the sexual response. However, no study so far has directly linked sexual motivation to physiologically measurable changes in cerebral motor systems in humans. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation in hetero- and homosexual men, we here show that sexual motivation modulates cortical excitability. More specifically, our results demonstrate that visual sexual stimuli corresponding with one's sexual orientation, compared with non-corresponding visual sexual stimuli, increase the excitability of the motor cortex. The reflection of sexual motivation in motor cortex excitability provides evidence for motor preparation processes in sexual behavior in humans. Moreover, such interrelationship links theoretical models and previous neuroimaging findings of sexual behavior. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Functional Organization of the Parahippocampal Cortex: Dissociable Roles for Context Representations and the Perception of Visual Scenes.

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    Baumann, Oliver; Mattingley, Jason B

    2016-02-24

    The human parahippocampal cortex has been ascribed central roles in both visuospatial and mnemonic processes. More specifically, evidence suggests that the parahippocampal cortex subserves both the perceptual analysis of scene layouts as well as the retrieval of associative contextual memories. It remains unclear, however, whether these two functional roles can be dissociated within the parahippocampal cortex anatomically. Here, we provide evidence for a dissociation between neural activation patterns associated with visuospatial analysis of scenes and contextual mnemonic processing along the parahippocampal longitudinal axis. We used fMRI to measure parahippocampal responses while participants engaged in a task that required them to judge the contextual relatedness of scene and object pairs, which were presented either as words or pictures. Results from combined factorial and conjunction analyses indicated that the posterior section of parahippocampal cortex is driven predominantly by judgments associated with pictorial scene analysis, whereas its anterior section is more active during contextual judgments regardless of stimulus category (scenes vs objects) or modality (word vs picture). Activation maxima associated with visuospatial and mnemonic processes were spatially segregated, providing support for the existence of functionally distinct subregions along the parahippocampal longitudinal axis and suggesting that, in humans, the parahippocampal cortex serves as a functional interface between perception and memory systems. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/362536-07$15.00/0.

  5. Feature diagnosticity and task context shape activity in human scene-selective cortex.

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    Lowe, Matthew X; Gallivan, Jason P; Ferber, Susanne; Cant, Jonathan S

    2016-01-15

    Scenes are constructed from multiple visual features, yet previous research investigating scene processing has often focused on the contributions of single features in isolation. In the real world, features rarely exist independently of one another and likely converge to inform scene identity in unique ways. Here, we utilize fMRI and pattern classification techniques to examine the interactions between task context (i.e., attend to diagnostic global scene features; texture or layout) and high-level scene attributes (content and spatial boundary) to test the novel hypothesis that scene-selective cortex represents multiple visual features, the importance of which varies according to their diagnostic relevance across scene categories and task demands. Our results show for the first time that scene representations are driven by interactions between multiple visual features and high-level scene attributes. Specifically, univariate analysis of scene-selective cortex revealed that task context and feature diagnosticity shape activity differentially across scene categories. Examination using multivariate decoding methods revealed results consistent with univariate findings, but also evidence for an interaction between high-level scene attributes and diagnostic visual features within scene categories. Critically, these findings suggest visual feature representations are not distributed uniformly across scene categories but are shaped by task context and feature diagnosticity. Thus, we propose that scene-selective cortex constructs a flexible representation of the environment by integrating multiple diagnostically relevant visual features, the nature of which varies according to the particular scene being perceived and the goals of the observer. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Orientation selectivity of synaptic input to neurons in mouse and cat primary visual cortex.

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    Tan, Andrew Y Y; Brown, Brandon D; Scholl, Benjamin; Mohanty, Deepankar; Priebe, Nicholas J

    2011-08-24

    Primary visual cortex (V1) is the site at which orientation selectivity emerges in mammals: visual thalamus afferents to V1 respond equally to all stimulus orientations, whereas their target V1 neurons respond selectively to stimulus orientation. The emergence of orientation selectivity in V1 has long served as a model for investigating cortical computation. Recent evidence for orientation selectivity in mouse V1 opens cortical computation to dissection by genetic and imaging tools, but also raises two essential questions: (1) How does orientation selectivity in mouse V1 neurons compare with that in previously described species? (2) What is the synaptic basis for orientation selectivity in mouse V1? A comparison of orientation selectivity in mouse and in cat, where such measures have traditionally been made, reveals that orientation selectivity in mouse V1 is weaker than in cat V1, but that spike threshold plays a similar role in narrowing selectivity between membrane potential and spike rate. To uncover the synaptic basis for orientation selectivity, we made whole-cell recordings in vivo from mouse V1 neurons, comparing neuronal input selectivity-based on membrane potential, synaptic excitation, and synaptic inhibition-to output selectivity based on spiking. We found that a neuron's excitatory and inhibitory inputs are selective for the same stimulus orientations as is its membrane potential response, and that inhibitory selectivity is not broader than excitatory selectivity. Inhibition has different dynamics than excitation, adapting more rapidly. In neurons with temporally modulated responses, the timing of excitation and inhibition was different in mice and cats.

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

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    Osaka, Naoyuki

    2009-03-02

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

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

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

    2018-04-05

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

  9. Category-specific responses to faces and objects in primate auditory cortex

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    Kari L Hoffman

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Auditory and visual signals often occur together, and the two sensory channels are known to infl uence each other to facilitate perception. The neural basis of this integration is not well understood, although other forms of multisensory infl uences have been shown to occur at surprisingly early stages of processing in cortex. Primary visual cortex neurons can show frequency-tuning to auditory stimuli, and auditory cortex responds selectively to certain somatosensory stimuli, supporting the possibility that complex visual signals may modulate early stages of auditory processing. To elucidate which auditory regions, if any, are responsive to complex visual stimuli, we recorded from auditory cortex and the superior temporal sulcus while presenting visual stimuli consisting of various objects, neutral faces, and facial expressions generated during vocalization. Both objects and conspecifi c faces elicited robust fi eld potential responses in auditory cortex sites, but the responses varied by category: both neutral and vocalizing faces had a highly consistent negative component (N100 followed by a broader positive component (P180 whereas object responses were more variable in time and shape, but could be discriminated consistently from the responses to faces. The face response did not vary within the face category, i.e., for expressive vs. neutral face stimuli. The presence of responses for both objects and neutral faces suggests that auditory cortex receives highly informative visual input that is not restricted to those stimuli associated with auditory components. These results reveal selectivity for complex visual stimuli in a brain region conventionally described as non-visual unisensory cortex.

  10. Dietary Restriction Affects Neuronal Response Property and GABA Synthesis in the Primary Visual Cortex.

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    Jinfang Yang

    Full Text Available Previous studies have reported inconsistent effects of dietary restriction (DR on cortical inhibition. To clarify this issue, we examined the response properties of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1 of DR and control groups of cats using in vivo extracellular single-unit recording techniques, and assessed the synthesis of inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the V1 of cats from both groups using immunohistochemical and Western blot techniques. Our results showed that the response of V1 neurons to visual stimuli was significantly modified by DR, as indicated by an enhanced selectivity for stimulus orientations and motion directions, decreased visually-evoked response, lowered spontaneous activity and increased signal-to-noise ratio in DR cats relative to control cats. Further, it was shown that, accompanied with these changes of neuronal responsiveness, GABA immunoreactivity and the expression of a key GABA-synthesizing enzyme GAD67 in the V1 were significantly increased by DR. These results demonstrate that DR may retard brain aging by increasing the intracortical inhibition effect and improve the function of visual cortical neurons in visual information processing. This DR-induced elevation of cortical inhibition may favor the brain in modulating energy expenditure based on food availability.

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

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    Daniel James Miller

    2014-05-01

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

  12. Structural and functional brain changes beyond visual system in patients with advanced glaucoma.

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    Paolo Frezzotti

    Full Text Available In order to test the hypothesis that in primary open angle glaucoma (POAG, an important cause of irreversible blindness, a spreading of neurodegeneration occurs through the brain, we performed multimodal MRI and subsequent whole-brain explorative voxelwise analyses in 13 advanced POAG patients and 12 age-matched normal controls (NC. Altered integrity (decreased fractional anisotropy or increased diffusivities of white matter (WM tracts was found not only along the visual pathway of POAG but also in nonvisual WM tracts (superior longitudinal fascicle, anterior thalamic radiation, corticospinal tract, middle cerebellar peduncle. POAG patients also showed brain atrophy in both visual cortex and other distant grey matter (GM regions (frontoparietal cortex, hippocampi and cerebellar cortex, decreased functional connectivity (FC in visual, working memory and dorsal attention networks and increased FC in visual and executive networks. In POAG, abnormalities in structure and FC within and outside visual system correlated with visual field parameters in the poorer performing eyes, thus emphasizing their clinical relevance. Altogether, this represents evidence that a vision disorder such as POAG can be considered a widespread neurodegenerative condition.

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

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    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.

  14. The basis of orientation decoding in human primary visual cortex: fine- or coarse-scale biases?

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    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.

  15. Visual cortex in dementia with Lewy bodies: magnetic resonance imaging study

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    Taylor, John-Paul; Firbank, Michael J.; He, Jiabao; Barnett, Nicola; Pearce, Sarah; Livingstone, Anthea; Vuong, Quoc; McKeith, Ian G.; O’Brien, John T.

    2012-01-01

    Background Visual hallucinations and visuoperceptual deficits are common in dementia with Lewy bodies, suggesting that cortical visual function may be abnormal. Aims To investigate: (1) cortical visual function using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); and (2) the nature and severity of perfusion deficits in visual areas using arterial spin labelling (ASL)-MRI. Method In total, 17 participants with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB group) and 19 similarly aged controls were presented with simple visual stimuli (checkerboard, moving dots, and objects) during fMRI and subsequently underwent ASL-MRI (DLB group n = 15, control group n = 19). Results Functional activations were evident in visual areas in both the DLB and control groups in response to checkerboard and objects stimuli but reduced visual area V5/MT (middle temporal) activation occurred in the DLB group in response to motion stimuli. Posterior cortical perfusion deficits occurred in the DLB group, particularly in higher visual areas. Conclusions Higher visual areas, particularly occipito-parietal, appear abnormal in dementia with Lewy bodies, while there is a preservation of function in lower visual areas (V1 and V2/3). PMID:22500014

  16. Classic and Golli Myelin Basic Protein have distinct developmental trajectories in human visual cortex.

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    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.

  17. Patchy distributions of myelin and vesicular glutamate transporter 2 align with cytochrome oxidase blobs and interblobs in the superficial layers of the primary visual cortex

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    Rockoff EC

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Emily C Rockoff,1 Pooja Balaram,1 Jon H Kaas1,2 1Department of Psychology, 2Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA Abstract: Blobs are a modular component of the primary visual cortex (area 17 of all primates, but not of other mammals closely related to primates. They are characterized as an even distribution of patches, puffs, or blobs of dense cytochrome oxidase (CO expression in layer III of area 17, and are now known to differ from surrounding, nonblob cortex in thalamic, intrinsic, and extrastriate connections. Previous studies have also recognized a blob-like pattern of myelin-dense patches in layer III of area 17 of primates, and more recently the vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT-2 isoform of the VGLUT family has been found to selectively distribute to layer III patches in a similar blob-like pattern. Here, we sought to determine if the blob-like patterns all identify the same modular structures in area 17 of primates by staining alternate brain sections cut parallel to the surface of area 17 of a prosimian primate (Otolemur garnettii for CO, myelin, and VGLUT2. By aligning the sections from the three preparations, we provide clear evidence that the three preparations all identify the same modular blob structures. The results provide a further understanding of the functional nature of the blobs by demonstrating that their higher level of CO activity is related to thalamic inputs from the lateral geniculate nucleus that use VGLUT2 as their main glutamate transporter, and via myelinated axons. Keywords: columns, modules, visual cortex, primates, prosimians

  18. A reaction-diffusion model to capture disparity selectivity in primary visual cortex.

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    Mohammed Sultan Mohiuddin Siddiqui

    Full Text Available Decades of experimental studies are available on disparity selective cells in visual cortex of macaque and cat. Recently, local disparity map for iso-orientation sites for near-vertical edge preference is reported in area 18 of cat visual cortex. No experiment is yet reported on complete disparity map in V1. Disparity map for layer IV in V1 can provide insight into how disparity selective complex cell receptive field is organized from simple cell subunits. Though substantial amounts of experimental data on disparity selective cells is available, no model on receptive field development of such cells or disparity map development exists in literature. We model disparity selectivity in layer IV of cat V1 using a reaction-diffusion two-eye paradigm. In this model, the wiring between LGN and cortical layer IV is determined by resource an LGN cell has for supporting connections to cortical cells and competition for target space in layer IV. While competing for target space, the same type of LGN cells, irrespective of whether it belongs to left-eye-specific or right-eye-specific LGN layer, cooperate with each other while trying to push off the other type. Our model captures realistic 2D disparity selective simple cell receptive fields, their response properties and disparity map along with orientation and ocular dominance maps. There is lack of correlation between ocular dominance and disparity selectivity at the cell population level. At the map level, disparity selectivity topography is not random but weakly clustered for similar preferred disparities. This is similar to the experimental result reported for macaque. The details of weakly clustered disparity selectivity map in V1 indicate two types of complex cell receptive field organization.

  19. Dyslexic children lack word selectivity gradients in occipito-temporal and inferior frontal cortex

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    O.A. Olulade

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available fMRI studies using a region-of-interest approach have revealed that the ventral portion of the left occipito-temporal cortex, which is specialized for orthographic processing of visually presented words (and includes the so-called “visual word form area”, VWFA, is characterized by a posterior-to-anterior gradient of increasing selectivity for words in typically reading adults, adolescents, and children (e.g. Brem et al., 2006, 2009. Similarly, the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC has been shown to exhibit a medial-to-lateral gradient of print selectivity in typically reading adults (Vinckier et al., 2007. Functional brain imaging studies of dyslexia have reported relative underactivity in left hemisphere occipito-temporal and inferior frontal regions using whole-brain analyses during word processing tasks. Hence, the question arises whether gradient sensitivities in these regions are altered in dyslexia. Indeed, a region-of-interest analysis revealed the gradient-specific functional specialization in the occipito-temporal cortex to be disrupted in dyslexic children (van der Mark et al., 2009. Building on these studies, we here (1 investigate if a word-selective gradient exists in the inferior frontal cortex in addition to the occipito-temporal cortex in normally reading children, (2 compare typically reading with dyslexic children, and (3 examine functional connections between these regions in both groups. We replicated the previously reported anterior-to-posterior gradient of increasing selectivity for words in the left occipito-temporal cortex in typically reading children, and its absence in the dyslexic children. Our novel finding is the detection of a pattern of increasing selectivity for words along the medial-to-lateral axis of the left inferior frontal cortex in typically reading children and evidence of functional connectivity between the most lateral aspect of this area and the anterior aspects of the occipito-temporal cortex. We

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

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    Malmir, Mohsen; Shiry Ghidary, S.

    2010-12-01

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

  1. Visual Aversive Learning Compromises Sensory Discrimination.

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    Shalev, Lee; Paz, Rony; Avidan, Galia

    2018-03-14

    activations in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, and amygdala during aversive learning, compared with neutral learning. Importantly, similar findings were also evident in the early visual cortex during trials with aversive/neutral context, but with identical visual information. The demonstration of this phenomenon in the visual modality is important, as it provides support to the notion that aversive learning can influence perception via a central mechanism, independent of input modality. Given the dominance of the visual system in human perception, our findings hold relevance to daily life, as well as imply a potential etiology for anxiety disorders. Copyright © 2018 the authors 0270-6474/18/382766-14$15.00/0.

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreia Martins Rosa

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Recruitment of local inhibitory networks by horizontal connections in layer 2/3 of ferret visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Thomas R; Katz, Lawrence C

    2003-01-01

    To investigate how neurons in cortical layer 2/3 integrate horizontal inputs arising from widely distributed sites, we combined intracellular recording and voltage-sensitive dye imaging to visualize the spatiotemporal dynamics of neuronal activity evoked by electrical stimulation of multiple sites in visual cortex. Individual stimuli evoked characteristic patterns of optical activity, while delivering stimuli at multiple sites generated interacting patterns in the regions of overlap. We observed that neurons in overlapping regions received convergent horizontal activation that generated nonlinear responses due to the emergence of large inhibitory potentials. The results indicate that co-activation of multiple sets of horizontal connections recruit strong inhibition from local inhibitory networks, causing marked deviations from simple linear integration.

  5. 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.

  6. Layer 2/3 synapses in monocular and binocular regions of tree shrew visual cortex express mAChR-dependent long-term depression and long-term potentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Portia; Norton, Thomas T; McMahon, Lori L

    2008-07-01

    Acetylcholine is an important modulator of synaptic efficacy and is required for learning and memory tasks involving the visual cortex. In rodent visual cortex, activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) induces a persistent long-term depression (LTD) of transmission at synapses recorded in layer 2/3 of acute slices. Although the rodent studies expand our knowledge of how the cholinergic system modulates synaptic function underlying learning and memory, they are not easily extrapolated to more complex visual systems. Here we used tree shrews for their similarities to primates, including a visual cortex with separate, defined regions of monocular and binocular innervation, to determine whether mAChR activation induces long-term plasticity. We find that the cholinergic agonist carbachol (CCh) not only induces long-term plasticity, but the direction of the plasticity depends on the subregion. In the monocular region, CCh application induces LTD of the postsynaptic potential recorded in layer 2/3 that requires activation of m3 mAChRs and a signaling cascade that includes activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2. In contrast, layer 2/3 postsynaptic potentials recorded in the binocular region express long-term potentiation (LTP) following CCh application that requires activation of m1 mAChRs and phospholipase C. Our results show that activation of mAChRs induces long-term plasticity at excitatory synapses in tree shrew visual cortex. However, depending on the ocular inputs to that region, variation exists as to the direction of plasticity, as well as to the specific mAChR and signaling mechanisms that are required.

  7. 3D visualization of movements can amplify motor cortex activation during subsequent motor imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa eSollfrank

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A repetitive movement practice by motor imagery (MI can influence motor cortical excitability in the electroencephalogram (EEG. The feedback and the feedback environment should be inherently motivating and relevant for the learner and should have an appeal of novelty, real-world relevance or aesthetic value (Ryan and Deci, 2000; Merrill, 2007. This study investigated if a realistic visualization in 3D of upper and lower limb movements can amplify motor related potentials during motor imagery. We hypothesized that a richer sensory visualization might be more effective during instrumental conditioning, resulting in a more pronounced event related desynchronisation (ERD of the upper alpha band (10-12 Hz over the sensorimotor cortices thereby potentially improving MI based BCI protocols for motor rehabilitation. The results show a strong increase of the characteristic patterns of ERD of the upper alpha band components for left and right limb motor imagery present over the sensorimotor areas in both visualization conditions. Overall, significant differences were observed as a function of visualization modality (2D vs. 3D. The largest upper alpha band power decrease was obtained during motor imagery after a 3-dimensional visualization. In total in 12 out of 20 tasks the end-user of the 3D visualization group showed an enhanced upper alpha ERD relative to 2D visualization modality group, with statistical significance in nine tasks.With a realistic visualization of the limb movements, we tried to increase motor cortex activation during MI. Realistic visual feedback, consistent with the participant’s motor imagery, might be helpful for accomplishing successful motor imagery and the use of such feedback may assist in making BCI a more natural interface for motor imagery based BCI rehabilitation.

  8. Neural mechanisms of information storage in visual short-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serences, John T

    2016-11-01

    The capacity to briefly memorize fleeting sensory information supports visual search and behavioral interactions with relevant stimuli in the environment. Traditionally, studies investigating the neural basis of visual short term memory (STM) have focused on the role of prefrontal cortex (PFC) in exerting executive control over what information is stored and how it is adaptively used to guide behavior. However, the neural substrates that support the actual storage of content-specific information in STM are more controversial, with some attributing this function to PFC and others to the specialized areas of early visual cortex that initially encode incoming sensory stimuli. In contrast to these traditional views, I will review evidence suggesting that content-specific information can be flexibly maintained in areas across the cortical hierarchy ranging from early visual cortex to PFC. While the factors that determine exactly where content-specific information is represented are not yet entirely clear, recognizing the importance of task-demands and better understanding the operation of non-spiking neural codes may help to constrain new theories about how memories are maintained at different resolutions, across different timescales, and in the presence of distracting information. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Neural Mechanisms of Information Storage in Visual Short-Term Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serences, John T.

    2016-01-01

    The capacity to briefly memorize fleeting sensory information supports visual search and behavioral interactions with relevant stimuli in the environment. Traditionally, studies investigating the neural basis of visual short term memory (STM) have focused on the role of prefrontal cortex (PFC) in exerting executive control over what information is stored and how it is adaptively used to guide behavior. However, the neural substrates that support the actual storage of content-specific information in STM are more controversial, with some attributing this function to PFC and others to the specialized areas of early visual cortex that initially encode incoming sensory stimuli. In contrast to these traditional views, I will review evidence suggesting that content-specific information can be flexibly maintained in areas across the cortical hierarchy ranging from early visual cortex to PFC. While the factors that determine exactly where content-specific information is represented are not yet entirely clear, recognizing the importance of task-demands and better understanding the operation of non-spiking neural codes may help to constrain new theories about how memories are maintained at different resolutions, across different timescales, and in the presence of distracting information. PMID:27668990

  10. Long-term effects of serial anodal tDCS on motion perception in subjects with occipital stroke measured in the unaffected visual hemifield

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel C Olma

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS is a novel neuromodulatory tool that has seen early transition to clinical trials, although the high variability of these findings necessitates further studies in clincally-relevant populations. The majority of evidence into effects of repeated tDCS is based on research in the human motor system, but it is unclear whether the long-term effects of serial tDCS are motor-specific or transferable to other brain areas. This study aimed to examine whether serial anodal tDCS over the visual cortex can exogenously induce long-term neuroplastic changes in the visual cortex. However, when the visual cortex is affected by a cortical lesion, up-regulated endogenous neuroplastic adaptation processes may alter the susceptibility to tDCS. To this end, motion perception was investigated in the unaffected hemifield of subjects with unilateral visual cortex lesions. Twelve subjects with occipital ischaemic lesions participated in a within-subject, sham-controlled, double-blind study. MRI-registered sham or anodal tDCS (1.5 mA, 20 minutes was applied on five consecutive days over the visual cortex. Motion perception was tested before and after stimulation sessions and at 14- and 28-day follow-up. After a 16-day interval an identical study block with the other stimulation condition (anodal or sham tDCS followed. Serial anodal tDCS over the visual cortex resulted in an improvement in motion perception, a function attributed to MT/V5. This effect was still measurable at 14- and 28-day follow-up measurements. Thus, this may represent evidence for long-term tDCS-induced plasticity and has implications for the design of studies examining the time course of tDCS effects in both the visual and motor systems.

  11. The role of inferior parietal and inferior frontal cortex in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldo, Juliana V; Dronkers, Nina F

    2006-09-01

    Verbal working memory involves two major components: a phonological store that holds auditory-verbal information very briefly and an articulatory rehearsal process that allows that information to be refreshed and thus held longer in short-term memory (A. Baddeley, 1996, 2000; A. Baddeley & G. Hitch, 1974). In the current study, the authors tested two groups of patients who were chosen on the basis of their relatively focal lesions in the inferior parietal (IP) cortex or inferior frontal (IF) cortex. Patients were tested on a series of tasks that have been previously shown to tap phonological storage (span, auditory rhyming, and repetition) and articulatory rehearsal (visual rhyming and a 2-back task). As predicted, IP patients were disproportionately impaired on the span, rhyming, and repetition tasks and thus demonstrated a phonological storage deficit. IF patients, however, did not show impairment on these storage tasks but did exhibit impairment on the visual rhyming task, which requires articulatory rehearsal. These findings lend further support to the working memory model and provide evidence of the roles of IP and IF cortex in separable working memory processes. ((c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

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

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    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.

  13. A Mouse Model of Visual Perceptual Learning Reveals Alterations in Neuronal Coding and Dendritic Spine Density in the Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yan; Wu, Wei; Zhang, Xian; Hu, Xu; Li, Yue; Lou, Shihao; Ma, Xiao; An, Xu; Liu, Hui; Peng, Jing; Ma, Danyi; Zhou, Yifeng; Yang, Yupeng

    2016-01-01

    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.

  14. Edge Detection Based On the Characteristic of Primary Visual Cortex Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, M. M.; Xu, Y. L.; Ma, H. Q.

    2018-01-01

    Aiming at the problem that it is difficult to balance the accuracy of edge detection and anti-noise performance, and referring to the dynamic and static perceptions of the primary visual cortex (V1) cells, a V1 cell model is established to perform edge detection. A spatiotemporal filter is adopted to simulate the receptive field of V1 simple cells, the model V1 cell is obtained after integrating the responses of simple cells by half-wave rectification and normalization, Then the natural image edge is detected by using static perception of V1 cells. The simulation results show that, the V1 model can basically fit the biological data and has the universality of biology. What’s more, compared with other edge detection operators, the proposed model is more effective and has better robustness

  15. The visual attention network untangled

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nieuwenhuis, S.; Donner, T.H.

    2011-01-01

    Goals are represented in prefrontal cortex and modulate sensory processing in visual cortex. A new study combines TMS, fMRI and EEG to understand how feedback improves retention of behaviorally relevant visual information.

  16. Auditory Association Cortex Lesions Impair Auditory Short-Term Memory in Monkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombo, Michael; D'Amato, Michael R.; Rodman, Hillary R.; Gross, Charles G.

    1990-01-01

    Monkeys that were trained to perform auditory and visual short-term memory tasks (delayed matching-to-sample) received lesions of the auditory association cortex in the superior temporal gyrus. Although visual memory was completely unaffected by the lesions, auditory memory was severely impaired. Despite this impairment, all monkeys could discriminate sounds closer in frequency than those used in the auditory memory task. This result suggests that the superior temporal cortex plays a role in auditory processing and retention similar to the role the inferior temporal cortex plays in visual processing and retention.

  17. The Second Spiking Threshold: Dynamics of Laminar Network Spiking in the Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsberg, Lars E.; Bonde, Lars H.; Harvey, Michael A.; Roland, Per E.

    2016-01-01

    Most neurons have a threshold separating the silent non-spiking state and the state of producing temporal sequences of spikes. But neurons in vivo also have a second threshold, found recently in granular layer neurons of the primary visual cortex, separating spontaneous ongoing spiking from visually evoked spiking driven by sharp transients. Here we examine whether this second threshold exists outside the granular layer and examine details of transitions between spiking states in ferrets exposed to moving objects. We found the second threshold, separating spiking states evoked by stationary and moving visual stimuli from the spontaneous ongoing spiking state, in all layers and zones of areas 17 and 18 indicating that the second threshold is a property of the network. Spontaneous and evoked spiking, thus can easily be distinguished. In addition, the trajectories of spontaneous ongoing states were slow, frequently changing direction. In single trials, sharp as well as smooth and slow transients transform the trajectories to be outward directed, fast and crossing the threshold to become evoked. Although the speeds of the evolution of the evoked states differ, the same domain of the state space is explored indicating uniformity of the evoked states. All evoked states return to the spontaneous evoked spiking state as in a typical mono-stable dynamical system. In single trials, neither the original spiking rates, nor the temporal evolution in state space could distinguish simple visual scenes. PMID:27582693

  18. Cortical activation during Braille reading is influenced by early visual experience in subjects with severe visual disability: a correlational fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melzer, P; Morgan, V L; Pickens, D R; Price, R R; Wall, R S; Ebner, F F

    2001-11-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed on blind adults resting and reading Braille. The strongest activation was found in primary somatic sensory/motor cortex on both cortical hemispheres. Additional foci of activation were situated in the parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes where visual information is processed in sighted persons. The regions were differentiated most in the correlation of their time courses of activation with resting and reading. Differences in magnitude and expanse of activation were substantially less significant. Among the traditionally visual areas, the strength of correlation was greatest in posterior parietal cortex and moderate in occipitotemporal, lateral occipital, and primary visual cortex. It was low in secondary visual cortex as well as in dorsal and ventral inferior temporal cortex and posterior middle temporal cortex. Visual experience increased the strength of correlation in all regions except dorsal inferior temporal and posterior parietal cortex. The greatest statistically significant increase, i.e., approximately 30%, was in ventral inferior temporal and posterior middle temporal cortex. In these regions, words are analyzed semantically, which may be facilitated by visual experience. In contrast, visual experience resulted in a slight, insignificant diminution of the strength of correlation in dorsal inferior temporal cortex where language is analyzed phonetically. These findings affirm that posterior temporal regions are engaged in the processing of written language. Moreover, they suggest that this function is modified by early visual experience. Furthermore, visual experience significantly strengthened the correlation of activation and Braille reading in occipital regions traditionally involved in the processing of visual features and object recognition suggesting a role for visual imagery. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Expansion of the ipsilateral visual corticotectal projection in hamsters subjected to partial lesions of the visual cortex during infancy: anatomical experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rhoades, R.W.

    1981-01-01

    Electrophysiological methods were employed to determine whether or not partial visual cortical lesions in neonatal (7--11-day) hamster produced large scotomas in the cortical visual representation. In cases where such scotomas were present electrophoretic deposits of radioactive amino acids in the visually responsive ''cortical remnant'' of the damaged hemisphere resulted in labelling throughout the lower portion of the stratum griseum superficiale and the stratum opticum of the ipsilateral superior colliculus. No differential labeling of the part of the colliculus which was topographically matched with the remaining visual representation in the cortical remnant was observed. In normal hamsters relatively localized, visual cortical deposits of radioactive amino acids resulted in superficial layer labeling only in portions of the colliculus which corresponded to the locus of the cortical deposit. In a similar fashion, small lesions at physiologically defined loci in the cortical remnant produced degeneration throughout most of the superficial tectal laminae, but a more restricted ''focus'' of denser degeneration was also visible in these cases. The position of this focus in the colliculus for a given cortical lesion varied with the nature of the visual map in the cortical remnant. In several additional neonatally brain-damaged hamsters large lesions of the visual cortex in the intact hemisphere were combined with radioactive amino acid deposits in the cortical remnant to determine whether or not axons from the crossed corticocollicular pathway previously demonstrated in such hamsters were intermingled with fibers from the ipsilateral corticotectal projection. In alternate sections processed for autoradiography or by the Fink-Heimer ('67) method autoradiographic label and degeneration argyrophilia were both observed in the medical part of the colliculus ipsilateral to the neonatal cortical lesion

  20. Spatial attention improves the quality of population codes in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saproo, Sameer; Serences, John T

    2010-08-01

    Selective attention enables sensory input from behaviorally relevant stimuli to be processed in greater detail, so that these stimuli can more accurately influence thoughts, actions, and future goals. Attention has been shown to modulate the spiking activity of single feature-selective neurons that encode basic stimulus properties (color, orientation, etc.). However, the combined output from many such neurons is required to form stable representations of relevant objects and little empirical work has formally investigated the relationship between attentional modulations on population responses and improvements in encoding precision. Here, we used functional MRI and voxel-based feature tuning functions to show that spatial attention induces a multiplicative scaling in orientation-selective population response profiles in early visual cortex. In turn, this multiplicative scaling correlates with an improvement in encoding precision, as evidenced by a concurrent increase in the mutual information between population responses and the orientation of attended stimuli. These data therefore demonstrate how multiplicative scaling of neural responses provides at least one mechanism by which spatial attention may improve the encoding precision of population codes. Increased encoding precision in early visual areas may then enhance the speed and accuracy of perceptual decisions computed by higher-order neural mechanisms.

  1. Relationship between BOLD amplitude and pattern classification of orientation-selective activity in the human visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Frank; Harrison, Stephenie A.; Dewey, John A.; Kamitani, Yukiyasu

    2012-01-01

    Orientation-selective responses can be decoded from fMRI activity patterns in the human visual cortex, using multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA). To what extent do these feature-selective activity patterns depend on the strength and quality of the sensory input, and might the reliability of these activity patterns be predicted by the gross amplitude of the stimulus-driven BOLD response? Observers viewed oriented gratings that varied in luminance contrast (4, 20 or 100%) or spatial frequency (0.25, 1.0 or 4.0 cpd). As predicted, activity patterns in early visual areas led to better discrimination of orientations presented at high than low contrast, with greater effects of contrast found in area V1 than in V3. A second experiment revealed generally better decoding of orientations at low or moderate as compared to high spatial frequencies. Interestingly however, V1 exhibited a relative advantage at discriminating high spatial frequency orientations, consistent with the finer scale of representation in the primary visual cortex. In both experiments, the reliability of these orientation-selective activity patterns was well predicted by the average BOLD amplitude in each region of interest, as indicated by correlation analyses, as well as decoding applied to a simple model of voxel responses to simulated orientation columns. Moreover, individual differences in decoding accuracy could be predicted by the signal-to-noise ratio of an individual's BOLD response. Our results indicate that decoding accuracy can be well predicted by incorporating the amplitude of the BOLD response into simple simulation models of cortical selectivity; such models could prove useful in future applications of fMRI pattern classification. PMID:22917989

  2. Separate processing of texture and form in the ventral stream: evidence from FMRI and visual agnosia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavina-Pratesi, C; Kentridge, R W; Heywood, C A; Milner, A D

    2010-02-01

    Real-life visual object recognition requires the processing of more than just geometric (shape, size, and orientation) properties. Surface properties such as color and texture are equally important, particularly for providing information about the material properties of objects. Recent neuroimaging research suggests that geometric and surface properties are dealt with separately within the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) and the collateral sulcus (CoS), respectively. Here we compared objects that differed either in aspect ratio or in surface texture only, keeping all other visual properties constant. Results on brain-intact participants confirmed that surface texture activates an area in the posterior CoS, quite distinct from the area activated by shape within LOC. We also tested 2 patients with visual object agnosia, one of whom (DF) performed well on the texture task but at chance on the shape task, whereas the other (MS) showed the converse pattern. This behavioral double dissociation was matched by a parallel neuroimaging dissociation, with activation in CoS but not LOC in patient DF and activation in LOC but not CoS in patient MS. These data provide presumptive evidence that the areas respectively activated by shape and texture play a causally necessary role in the perceptual discrimination of these features.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey K Aguirre

    2007-06-01

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

  4. Modification of visual function by early visual experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blakemore, C

    1976-07-01

    Physiological experiments, involving recording from the visual cortex in young kittens and monkeys, have given new insight into human developmental disorders. In the visual cortex of normal cats and monkeys most neurones are selectively sensitive to the orientation of moving edges and they receive very similar signals from both eyes. Even in very young kittens without visual experience, most neurones are binocularly driven and a small proportion of them are genuinely orientation selective. There is no passive maturation of the system in the absence of visual experience, but even very brief exposure to patterned images produces rapid emergence of the adult organization. These results are compared to observations on humans who have "recovered" from early blindness. Covering one eye in a kitten or a monkey, during a sensitive period early in life, produces a virtually complete loss of input from that eye in the cortex. These results can be correlated with the production of "stimulus deprivation amblyopia" in infants who have had one eye patched. Induction of a strabismus causes a loss of binocularity in the visual cortex, and in humans it leads to a loss of stereoscopic vision and binocular fusion. Exposing kittens to lines of one orientation modifies the preferred orientations of cortical cells and there is an analogous "meridional amblyopia" in astigmatic humans. The existence of a sensitive period in human vision is discussed, as well as the possibility of designing remedial and preventive treatments for human developmental disorders.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhengchun Wang

    2018-02-01

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

  6. Distinct GABAergic targets of feedforward and feedback connections between lower and higher areas of rat visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonchar, Yuri; Burkhalter, Andreas

    2003-11-26

    Processing of visual information is performed in different cortical areas that are interconnected by feedforward (FF) and feedback (FB) pathways. Although FF and FB inputs are excitatory, their influences on pyramidal neurons also depend on the outputs of GABAergic neurons, which receive FF and FB inputs. Rat visual cortex contains at least three different families of GABAergic neurons that express parvalbumin (PV), calretinin (CR), and somatostatin (SOM) (Gonchar and Burkhalter, 1997). To examine whether pathway-specific inhibition (Shao and Burkhalter, 1996) is attributable to distinct connections with GABAergic neurons, we traced FF and FB inputs to PV, CR, and SOM neurons in layers 1-2/3 of area 17 and the secondary lateromedial area in rat visual cortex. We found that in layer 2/3 maximally 2% of FF and FB inputs go to CR and SOM neurons. This contrasts with 12-13% of FF and FB inputs onto layer 2/3 PV neurons. Unlike inputs to layer 2/3, connections to layer 1, which contains CR but lacks SOM and PV somata, are pathway-specific: 21% of FB inputs go to CR neurons, whereas FF inputs to layer 1 and its CR neurons are absent. These findings suggest that FF and FB influences on layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons mainly involve disynaptic connections via PV neurons that control the spike outputs to axons and proximal dendrites. Unlike FF input, FB input in addition makes a disynaptic link via CR neurons, which may influence the excitability of distal pyramidal cell dendrites in layer 1.

  7. Disturbance of visual search by stimulating to posterior parietal cortex in the brain using transcranial magnetic stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iramina, Keiji; Ge, Sheng; Hyodo, Akira; Hayami, Takehito; Ueno, Shoogo

    2009-04-01

    In this study, we applied a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate the temporal aspect for the functional processing of visual attention. Although it has been known that right posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in the brain has a role in certain visual search tasks, there is little knowledge about the temporal aspect of this area. Three visual search tasks that have different difficulties of task execution individually were carried out. These three visual search tasks are the "easy feature task," the "hard feature task," and the "conjunction task." To investigate the temporal aspect of the PPC involved in the visual search, we applied various stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) and measured the reaction time of the visual search. The magnetic stimulation was applied on the right PPC or the left PPC by the figure-eight coil. The results show that the reaction times of the hard feature task are longer than those of the easy feature task. When SOA=150 ms, compared with no-TMS condition, there was a significant increase in target-present reaction time when TMS pulses were applied. We considered that the right PPC was involved in the visual search at about SOA=150 ms after visual stimulus presentation. The magnetic stimulation to the right PPC disturbed the processing of the visual search. However, the magnetic stimulation to the left PPC gives no effect on the processing of the visual search.

  8. Asymmetric Dichoptic Masking in Visual Cortex of Amblyopic Macaque Monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shooner, Christopher; Hallum, Luke E; Kumbhani, Romesh D; García-Marín, Virginia; Kelly, Jenna G; Majaj, Najib J; Movshon, J Anthony; Kiorpes, Lynne

    2017-09-06

    In amblyopia, abnormal visual experience leads to an extreme form of eye dominance, in which vision through the nondominant eye is degraded. A key aspect of this disorder is perceptual suppression: the image seen by the stronger eye often dominates during binocular viewing, blocking the image of the weaker eye from reaching awareness. Interocular suppression is the focus of ongoing work aimed at understanding and treating amblyopia, yet its physiological basis remains unknown. We measured binocular interactions in visual cortex of anesthetized amblyopic monkeys (female Macaca nemestrina ), using 96-channel "Utah" arrays to record from populations of neurons in V1 and V2. In an experiment reported recently (Hallum et al., 2017), we found that reduced excitatory input from the amblyopic eye (AE) revealed a form of balanced binocular suppression that is unaltered in amblyopia. Here, we report on the modulation of the gain of excitatory signals from the AE by signals from its dominant fellow eye (FE). Using a dichoptic masking technique, we found that AE responses to grating stimuli were attenuated by the presentation of a noise mask to the FE, as in a normal control animal. Responses to FE stimuli, by contrast, could not be masked from the AE. We conclude that a weakened ability of the amblyopic eye to modulate cortical response gain creates an imbalance of suppression that favors the dominant eye. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In amblyopia, vision in one eye is impaired as a result of abnormal early visual experience. Behavioral observations in humans with amblyopia suggest that much of their visual loss is due to active suppression of their amblyopic eye. Here we describe experiments in which we studied binocular interactions in macaques with experimentally induced amblyopia. In normal monkeys, the gain of neuronal response to stimulation of one eye is modulated by contrast in the other eye, but in monkeys with amblyopia the balance of gain modulation is altered so that

  9. Long-range synchronization and local desynchronization of alpha oscillations during visual short-term memory retention in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doesburg, Sam M; Herdman, Anthony T; Ribary, Urs; Cheung, Teresa; Moiseev, Alexander; Weinberg, Hal; Liotti, Mario; Weeks, Daniel; Grunau, Ruth E

    2010-04-01

    Local alpha-band synchronization has been associated with both cortical idling and active inhibition. Recent evidence, however, suggests that long-range alpha synchronization increases functional coupling between cortical regions. We demonstrate increased long-range alpha and beta band phase synchronization during short-term memory retention in children 6-10 years of age. Furthermore, whereas alpha-band synchronization between posterior cortex and other regions is increased during retention, local alpha-band synchronization over posterior cortex is reduced. This constitutes a functional dissociation for alpha synchronization across local and long-range cortical scales. We interpret long-range synchronization as reflecting functional integration within a network of frontal and visual cortical regions. Local desynchronization of alpha rhythms over posterior cortex, conversely, likely arises because of increased engagement of visual cortex during retention.

  10. Neural mechanisms of memory retrieval: role of the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasegawa, I

    2000-01-01

    In the primate brain, long-term memory is stored in the neocortical association area which is also engaged in sensory perception. The coded representation of memory is retrieved via interactions of hierarchically different cortical areas along bottom-up and top-down anatomical connections. The functional significance of the fronto-cortical top-down neuronal projections has been relevantly assessed in a new experimental paradigm using posterior-split-brain monkeys. When the splenium of the corpus callosum and the anterior commissure were selectively split, the bottom-up visual signal originating from the unilateral striate cortex could not reach the contralateral visual cortical areas. In this preparation, long-term memory acquired through visual stimulus-stimulus association learning was prevented from transferring across hemispheres. Nonetheless, following the presentation of a visual cue to one hemisphere, the prefrontal cortex could instruct the contralateral hemisphere to retrieve the correct stimulus specified by the cue. These results support the hypothesis that the prefrontal cortex can regulate memory recall in the absence of bottom-up sensory input. In humans, functional neuroimaging studies have revealed activation of a distributed neural network, including the prefrontal cortex, during memory retrieval tasks. Thus, the prefrontal cortex is consistently involved in retrieval of long-term memory in primates.

  11. Intrathalamic mechanisms of visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayo, J Patrick

    2009-03-01

    The classical model of visual processing emphasizes the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) as the major intermediary between the retina and visual cortex. Yet, anatomical findings inspired Francis Crick to suggest an alternative model in which the thalamic reticular nucleus, which envelops the LGN, acts as the "guardian" of visual cortex by modulating LGN activity. Recent work by McAlonan and colleagues supports Crick's hypothesis, thereby enhancing our understanding of the early stages of visual processing.

  12. Prefrontal contributions to visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squire, Ryan F; Noudoost, Behrad; Schafer, Robert J; Moore, Tirin

    2013-07-08

    The faculty of attention endows us with the capacity to process important sensory information selectively while disregarding information that is potentially distracting. Much of our understanding of the neural circuitry underlying this fundamental cognitive function comes from neurophysiological studies within the visual modality. Past evidence suggests that a principal function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is selective attention and that this function involves the modulation of sensory signals within posterior cortices. In this review, we discuss recent progress in identifying the specific prefrontal circuits controlling visual attention and its neural correlates within the primate visual system. In addition, we examine the persisting challenge of precisely defining how behavior should be affected when attentional function is lost.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. moviEEG: An animation toolbox for visualization of intracranial electroencephalography synchronization dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Simeon M; Ibrahim, George M; Ochi, Ayako; Otsubo, Hiroshi; Rutka, James T; Snead, O Carter; Doesburg, Sam M

    2016-06-01

    We introduce and describe the functions of moviEEG (Multiple Overlay Visualizations for Intracranial ElectroEncephaloGraphy), a novel MATLAB-based toolbox for spatiotemporal mapping of network synchronization dynamics in intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) data. The toolbox integrates visualizations of inter-electrode phase-locking relationships in peri-ictal epileptogenic networks with signal spectral properties and graph-theoretical network measures overlaid upon operating room images of the electrode grid. Functional connectivity between every electrode pair is evaluated over a sliding window indexed by phase synchrony. Two case studies are presented to provide preliminary evidence for the application of the toolbox to guide network-based mapping of epileptogenic cortex and to distinguish these regions from eloquent brain networks. In both cases, epileptogenic cortex was visually distinct. We introduce moviEEG, a novel toolbox for animation of oscillatory network dynamics in iEEG data, and provide two case studies showing preliminary evidence for utility of the toolbox in delineating the epileptogenic zone. Despite evidence that atypical network synchronization has shown to be altered in epileptogenic brain regions, network based techniques have yet to be incorporated into clinical pre-surgical mapping. moviEEG provides a set of functions to enable easy visualization with network based techniques. Copyright © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The Right Hemisphere Planum Temporale Supports Enhanced Visual Motion Detection Ability in Deaf People: Evidence from Cortical Thickness

    OpenAIRE

    Shiell, Martha M.; Champoux, Fran?ois; Zatorre, Robert J.

    2016-01-01

    After sensory loss, the deprived cortex can reorganize to process information from the remaining modalities, a phenomenon known as cross-modal reorganization. In blind people this cross-modal processing supports compensatory behavioural enhancements in the nondeprived modalities. Deaf people also show some compensatory visual enhancements, but a direct relationship between these abilities and cross-modally reorganized auditory cortex has only been established in an animal model, the congenita...

  17. Ionotropic Glutamate Receptor GluR1 in the Visual Cortex of Hamster: Distribution and Co-Localization with Calcium-Binding Proteins and GABA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ye, Eun-Ah; Kim, Tae-Jin; Choi, Jae-Sik; Jin, Mi-Joo; Jeon, Young-Ki; Kim, Moon-Sook; Jeon, Chang-Jin

    2006-01-01

    The subunit composition of the AMPA receptor is critical to its function. AMPA receptors that display very low calcium permeability include the GluR2 subunit, while AMPA receptors that contain other subunits, such as GluR1, display high calcium permeability. We have studied the distribution and morphology of neurons containing GluR1 in the hamster visual cortex with antibody immunocytochemistry. We compared this labeling to that for calbindin D28K, parvalbumin, and GABA. Anti-GluR1-immunoreactive (IR) neurons were located in all layers. The highest density of GluR1-IR neurons was found in layers II/III. The labeled neurons were non-pyramidal neurons, but were varied in morphology. The majority of the labeled neurons were round or oval cells. However, stellate, vertical fusiform, pyriform, and horizontal neurons were also labeled with the anti-GluR1 antibody. Two-color immunofluorescence revealed that many of the GluR1-IR neurons in the hamster visual cortex were double-labeled with either calbindin D28K (31.50%), or parvalbumin (22.91%), or GABA (63.89%). These results indicate that neurons in the hamster visual cortex express GluR1 differently according to different layers and selective cell types, and that many of the GluR1-IR neurons are limited to neurons that express calbindin D28K, parvalbumin, or GABA. The present study elucidates the neurochemical structure of GluR1, a useful clue in understanding the differential vulnerability of GluR1-containing neurons with regard to calcium-dependent excitotoxic mechanisms

  18. Explaining neural signals in human visual cortex with an associative learning model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Jiefeng; Schmajuk, Nestor; Egner, Tobias

    2012-08-01

    "Predictive coding" models posit a key role for associative learning in visual cognition, viewing perceptual inference as a process of matching (learned) top-down predictions (or expectations) against bottom-up sensory evidence. At the neural level, these models propose that each region along the visual processing hierarchy entails one set of processing units encoding predictions of bottom-up input, and another set computing mismatches (prediction error or surprise) between predictions and evidence. This contrasts with traditional views of visual neurons operating purely as bottom-up feature detectors. In support of the predictive coding hypothesis, a recent human neuroimaging study (Egner, Monti, & Summerfield, 2010) showed that neural population responses to expected and unexpected face and house stimuli in the "fusiform face area" (FFA) could be well-described as a summation of hypothetical face-expectation and -surprise signals, but not by feature detector responses. Here, we used computer simulations to test whether these imaging data could be formally explained within the broader framework of a mathematical neural network model of associative learning (Schmajuk, Gray, & Lam, 1996). Results show that FFA responses could be fit very closely by model variables coding for conditional predictions (and their violations) of stimuli that unconditionally activate the FFA. These data document that neural population signals in the ventral visual stream that deviate from classic feature detection responses can formally be explained by associative prediction and surprise signals.

  19. Three-dimensional visualization of functional brain tissue and functional magnetic resonance imaging-integrated neuronavigation in the resection of brain tumor adjacent to motor cortex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Han Tong; Cui Shimin; Tong Xiaoguang; Liu Li; Xue Kai; Liu Meili; Liang Siquan; Zhang Yunting; Zhi Dashi

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To assess the value of three -dimensional visualization of functional brain tissue and the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-integrated neuronavigation in the resection of brain tumor adjacent to motor cortex. Method: Sixty patients with tumor located in the central sulcus were enrolled. Thirty patients were randomly assigned to function group and 30 to control group. Patients in function group underwent fMRI to localize the functional brain tissues. Then the function information was transferred to the neurosurgical navigator. The patients in control group underwent surgery with navigation without function information. The therapeutic effect, excision rate. improvement of motor function, and survival quality during follow-up were analyzed. Result: All patients in function group were accomplished visualization of functional brain tissues and fMRI-integrated neuronavigation. The locations of tumors, central sulcus and motor cortex were marked during the operation. The fMRI -integrated information played a great role in both pre- and post-operation. Pre-operation: designing the location of the skin flap and window bone, determining the relationship between the tumor and motor cortex, and designing the pathway for the resection. Post- operation: real-time navigation of relationship between the tumor and motor cortex, assisting to localize the motor cortex using interoperation ultra-sound for correcting the displacement by the CSF outflow and collapsing tumor. The patients in the function group had better results than the patients in the control group in therapeutic effect (u=2.646, P=0.008), excision rate (χ = 7.200, P<0.01), improvement of motor function (u=2.231, P=0.026), and survival quality (KPS u c = 2.664, P=0.008; Zubrod -ECOG -WHO u c =2.135, P=0.033). Conclusions: Using preoperative three -dimensional visualization of cerebral function tissue and the fMRI-integrated neuronavigation technology, combining intraoperative accurate

  20. Mapping and characterization of positive and negative BOLD responses to visual stimulation in multiple brain regions at 7T.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorge, João; Figueiredo, Patrícia; Gruetter, Rolf; van der Zwaag, Wietske

    2018-02-20

    External stimuli and tasks often elicit negative BOLD responses in various brain regions, and growing experimental evidence supports that these phenomena are functionally meaningful. In this work, the high sensitivity available at 7T was explored to map and characterize both positive (PBRs) and negative BOLD responses (NBRs) to visual checkerboard stimulation, occurring in various brain regions within and beyond the visual cortex. Recently-proposed accelerated fMRI techniques were employed for data acquisition, and procedures for exclusion of large draining vein contributions, together with ICA-assisted denoising, were included in the analysis to improve response estimation. Besides the visual cortex, significant PBRs were found in the lateral geniculate nucleus and superior colliculus, as well as the pre-central sulcus; in these regions, response durations increased monotonically with stimulus duration, in tight covariation with the visual PBR duration. Significant NBRs were found in the visual cortex, auditory cortex, default-mode network (DMN) and superior parietal lobule; NBR durations also tended to increase with stimulus duration, but were significantly less sustained than the visual PBR, especially for the DMN and superior parietal lobule. Responses in visual and auditory cortex were further studied for checkerboard contrast dependence, and their amplitudes were found to increase monotonically with contrast, linearly correlated with the visual PBR amplitude. Overall, these findings suggest the presence of dynamic neuronal interactions across multiple brain regions, sensitive to stimulus intensity and duration, and demonstrate the richness of information obtainable when jointly mapping positive and negative BOLD responses at a whole-brain scale, with ultra-high field fMRI. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Visual dot interaction with short-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etindele Sosso, Faustin Armel

    2017-06-01

    Many neurodegenerative diseases have a memory component. Brain structures related to memory are affected by environmental stimuli, and it is difficult to dissociate effects of all behavior of neurons. Here, visual cortex of mice was stimulated with gratings and dot, and an observation of neuronal activity before and after was made. Bandwidth, firing rate and orientation selectivity index were evaluated. A primary communication between primary visual cortex and short-term memory appeared to show an interesting path to train cognitive circuitry and investigate the basics mechanisms of the neuronal learning. The findings also suggested the interplay between primary visual cortex and short-term plasticity. The properties inside a visual target shape the perception and affect the basic encoding. Using visual cortex, it may be possible to train the memory and improve the recovery of people with cognitive disabilities or memory deficit.

  2. The significance of memory in sensory cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Muckli, Lars; Petro, Lucy S.

    2017-01-01

    Early sensory cortex is typically investigated in response to sensory stimulation, masking the contribution of internal signals. Recently, van Kerkoerle and colleagues reported that attention and memory signals segregate from sensory signals within specific layers of primary visual cortex, providing insight into the role of internal signals in sensory processing.

  3. Crossmodal influences on visual perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shams, Ladan; Kim, Robyn

    2010-09-01

    Vision is generally considered the dominant sensory modality; self-contained and independent of other senses. In this article, we will present recent results that contradict this view, and show that visual perception can be strongly altered by sound and touch, and such alterations can occur even at early stages of processing, as early as primary visual cortex. We will first review the behavioral evidence demonstrating modulation of visual perception by other modalities. As extreme examples of such modulations, we will describe two visual illusions induced by sound, and a visual illusion induced by touch. Next, we will discuss studies demonstrating modulation of activity in visual areas by stimulation of other modalities, and discuss possible pathways that could underpin such interactions. This will be followed by a discussion of how crossmodal interactions can affect visual learning and adaptation. We will review several studies showing crossmodal effects on visual learning. We will conclude with a discussion of computational principles governing these crossmodal interactions, and review several recent studies that demonstrate that these interactions are statistically optimal.

  4. Opposing Effects of Maternal Hypo- and Hyperthyroidism on the Stability of Thalamocortical Synapses in the Visual Cortex of Adult Offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strobl, Marie-Therese J; Freeman, Daniel; Patel, Jenica; Poulsen, Ryan; Wendler, Christopher C; Rivkees, Scott A; Coleman, Jason E

    2017-05-01

    Insufficient or excessive thyroid hormone (TH) levels during fetal development can cause long-term neurological and cognitive problems. Studies in animal models of perinatal hypo- and hyperthyroidism suggest that these problems may be a consequence of the formation of maladaptive circuitry in the cerebral cortex, which can persist into adulthood. Here we used mouse models of maternal hypo- and hyperthyroidism to investigate the long-term effects of altering thyroxine (T4) levels during pregnancy (corresponding to embryonic days 6.5-18.5) on thalamocortical (TC) axon dynamics in adult offspring. Because perinatal hypothyroidism has been linked to visual processing deficits in humans, we performed chronic two-photon imaging of TC axons and boutons in primary visual cortex (V1). We found that a decrease or increase in maternal serum T4 levels was associated with atypical steady-state dynamics of TC axons and boutons in V1 of adult offspring. Hypothyroid offspring exhibited axonal branch and bouton dynamics indicative of an abnormal increase in TC connectivity, whereas changes in hyperthyroid offspring were indicative of an abnormal decrease in TC connectivity. Collectively, our data suggest that alterations to prenatal T4 levels can cause long-term synaptic instability in TC circuits, which could impair early stages of visual processing. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-16

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

  6. Visual stimulation, {sup 1}H MR spectroscopy and fMRI of the human visual pathways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boucard, Christine C.; Cornelissen, Frans W. [University of Groningen, Laboratory for Experimental Ophthalmology, Postbus 30001, Groningen (Netherlands); University of Groningen, BCN Neuro-imaging Center, Postbus 196, Groningen (Netherlands); Mostert, Jop P.; Keyser, Jacques De [University Hospital Groningen, Department of Neurology, Groningen (Netherlands); Oudkerk, Matthijs; Sijens, Paul E. [University Hospital Groningen, Department of Radiology, Groningen (Netherlands)

    2005-01-01

    The purpose was to assess changes in lactate content and other brain metabolites under visual stimulation in optical chiasm, optic radiations and occipital cortex using multiple voxel MR spectroscopy (MRS). {sup 1}H chemical shift imaging (CSI) examinations of transverse planes centered to include the above structures were performed in four subjects at an echo time of 135 ms. Functional MRI (fMRI) was used to confirm the presence of activity in the visual cortex during the visual stimulation. Spectral maps of optical chiasm were of poor quality due to field disturbances caused by nearby large blood vessels and/or eye movements. The optic radiations and the occipital lobe did not show any significant MR spectral change upon visual stimulation, i.e., the peak areas of inositol, choline, creatine, glutamate and N-acetylaspartate were not affected. Reproducible lactate signals were not observed. fMRI confirmed the presence of strong activations in stimulated visual cortex. Prolonged visual stimulation did not cause significant changes in MR spectra. Any signal observed near the 1.33 ppm resonance frequency of the lactate methyl-group was artifactual, originating from lipid signals from outside the volume of interest (VOI). Previous claims about changes in lactate levels in the visual cortex upon visual stimulation may have been based on such erroneous observations. (orig.)

  7. Rapidly acquired multisensory association in the olfactory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karunanayaka, Prasanna R; Wilson, Donald A; Vasavada, Megha; Wang, Jianli; Martinez, Brittany; Tobia, Michael J; Kong, Lan; Eslinger, Paul; Yang, Qing X

    2015-11-01

    The formation of an odor percept in humans is strongly associated with visual information. However, much less is known about the roles of learning and memory in shaping the multisensory nature of odor representations in the brain. The dynamics of odor and visual association in olfaction was investigated using three functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigms. In two paradigms, a visual cue was paired with an odor. In the third, the same visual cue was never paired with an odor. In this experimental design, if the visual cue was not influenced by odor-visual pairing, then the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal elicited by subsequent visual cues should be similar across all three paradigms. Additionally, intensity, a major dimension of odor perception, was used as a modulator of associative learning which was characterized in terms of the spatiotemporal behavior of the BOLD signal in olfactory structures. A single odor-visual pairing cue could subsequently induce primary olfactory cortex activity when only the visual cue was presented. This activity was intensity dependent and was also detected in secondary olfactory structures and hippocampus. This study provides evidence for a rapid learning response in the olfactory system by a visual cue following odor and visual cue pairing. The novel data and paradigms suggest new avenues to explore the dynamics of odor learning and multisensory representations that contribute to the construction of a unified odor percept in the human brain.

  8. GABA concentration is reduced in visual cortex in schizophrenia and correlates with orientation-specific surround suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Jong H; Maddock, Richard J; Rokem, Ariel; Silver, Michael A; Minzenberg, Michael J; Ragland, J Daniel; Carter, Cameron S

    2010-03-10

    The neural mechanisms underlying cognitive deficits in schizophrenia remain essentially unknown. The GABA hypothesis proposes that reduced neuronal GABA concentration and neurotransmission results in cognitive impairments in schizophrenia. However, few in vivo studies have directly examined this hypothesis. We used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) at high field to measure visual cortical GABA levels in 13 subjects with schizophrenia and 13 demographically matched healthy control subjects. We found that the schizophrenia group had an approximately 10% reduction in GABA concentration. We further tested the GABA hypothesis by examining the relationship between visual cortical GABA levels and orientation-specific surround suppression (OSSS), a behavioral measure of visual inhibition thought to be dependent on GABAergic synaptic transmission. Previous work has shown that subjects with schizophrenia exhibit reduced OSSS of contrast discrimination (Yoon et al., 2009). For subjects with both MRS and OSSS data (n = 16), we found a highly significant positive correlation (r = 0.76) between these variables. GABA concentration was not correlated with overall contrast discrimination performance for stimuli without a surround (r = -0.10). These results suggest that a neocortical GABA deficit in subjects with schizophrenia leads to impaired cortical inhibition and that GABAergic synaptic transmission in visual cortex plays a critical role in OSSS.

  9. Effective Connectivity from Early Visual Cortex to Posterior Occipitotemporal Face Areas Supports Face Selectivity and Predicts Developmental Prosopagnosia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohse, Michael; Garrido, Lucia; Driver, Jon; Dolan, Raymond J; Duchaine, Bradley C; Furl, Nicholas

    2016-03-30

    Face processing is mediated by interactions between functional areas in the occipital and temporal lobe, and the fusiform face area (FFA) and anterior temporal lobe play key roles in the recognition of facial identity. Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia (DP), a lifelong face recognition impairment, have been shown to have structural and functional neuronal alterations in these areas. The present study investigated how face selectivity is generated in participants with normal face processing, and how functional abnormalities associated with DP, arise as a function of network connectivity. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and dynamic causal modeling, we examined effective connectivity in normal participants by assessing network models that include early visual cortex (EVC) and face-selective areas and then investigated the integrity of this connectivity in participants with DP. Results showed that a feedforward architecture from EVC to the occipital face area, EVC to FFA, and EVC to posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) best explained how face selectivity arises in both controls and participants with DP. In this architecture, the DP group showed reduced connection strengths on feedforward connections carrying face information from EVC to FFA and EVC to pSTS. These altered network dynamics in DP contribute to the diminished face selectivity in the posterior occipitotemporal areas affected in DP. These findings suggest a novel view on the relevance of feedforward projection from EVC to posterior occipitotemporal face areas in generating cortical face selectivity and differences in face recognition ability. Areas of the human brain showing enhanced activation to faces compared to other objects or places have been extensively studied. However, the factors leading to this face selectively have remained mostly unknown. We show that effective connectivity from early visual cortex to posterior occipitotemporal face areas gives rise to face

  10. Improving visual perception through neurofeedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharnowski, Frank; Hutton, Chloe; Josephs, Oliver; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Rees, Geraint

    2012-01-01

    Perception depends on the interplay of ongoing spontaneous activity and stimulus-evoked activity in sensory cortices. This raises the possibility that training ongoing spontaneous activity alone might be sufficient for enhancing perceptual sensitivity. To test this, we trained human participants to control ongoing spontaneous activity in circumscribed regions of retinotopic visual cortex using real-time functional MRI based neurofeedback. After training, we tested participants using a new and previously untrained visual detection task that was presented at the visual field location corresponding to the trained region of visual cortex. Perceptual sensitivity was significantly enhanced only when participants who had previously learned control over ongoing activity were now exercising control, and only for that region of visual cortex. Our new approach allows us to non-invasively and non-pharmacologically manipulate regionally specific brain activity, and thus provide ‘brain training’ to deliver particular perceptual enhancements. PMID:23223302

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emadi, Nazli; Rajimehr, Reza; Esteky, Hossein

    2014-01-01

    Spontaneous firing is a ubiquitous property of neural activity in the brain. Recent literature suggests that this baseline activity plays a key role in perception. However, it is not known how the baseline activity contributes to neural coding and behavior. Here, by recording from the single neurons in the inferior temporal cortex of monkeys performing a visual categorization task, we thoroughly explored the relationship between baseline activity, the evoked response, and behavior. Specifically we found that a low-frequency (baseline activity. This enhancement of the baseline activity was then followed by an increase in the neural selectivity and the response reliability and eventually a higher behavioral performance. PMID:25404900

  12. Dissociable contributions of the orbitofrontal and infralimbic cortex to pavlovian autoshaping and discrimination reversal learning: further evidence for the functional heterogeneity of the rodent frontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chudasama, Y; Robbins, Trevor W

    2003-09-24

    To examine possible heterogeneity of function within the ventral regions of the rodent frontal cortex, the present study compared the effects of excitotoxic lesions of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and the infralimbic cortex (ILC) on pavlovian autoshaping and discrimination reversal learning. During the pavlovian autoshaping task, in which rats learn to approach a stimulus predictive of reward [conditional stimulus (CS+)], only the OFC group failed to acquire discriminated approach but was unimpaired when preoperatively trained. In the visual discrimination learning and reversal task, rats were initially required to discriminate a stimulus positively associated with reward. There was no effect of either OFC or ILC lesions on discrimination learning. When the stimulus-reward contingencies were reversed, both groups of animals committed more errors, but only the OFC-lesioned animals were unable to suppress the previously rewarded stimulus-reward association, committing more "stimulus perseverative" errors. In contrast, the ILC group showed a pattern of errors that was more attributable to "learning" than perseveration. These findings suggest two types of dissociation between the effects of OFC and ILC lesions: (1) OFC lesions impaired the learning processes implicated in pavlovian autoshaping but not instrumental simultaneous discrimination learning, whereas ILC lesions were unimpaired at autoshaping and their reversal learning deficit did not reflect perseveration, and (2) OFC lesions induced perseverative responding in reversal learning but did not disinhibit responses to pavlovian CS-. In contrast, the ILC lesion had no effect on response inhibitory control in either of these settings. The findings are discussed in the context of dissociable executive functions in ventral sectors of the rat prefrontal cortex.

  13. Reduced visual cortex gray matter volume and thickness in young adults who witnessed domestic violence during childhood.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akemi Tomoda

    Full Text Available Exposure to interparental violence is associated with negative outcomes, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and reduced cognitive abilities. However, little is known about the potential effects of witnessing domestic violence during childhood on gray matter volume (GMV or cortical thickness. High-resolution 3.0 T volumetric scans (Siemens Trio Scanner were obtained on 52 subjects (18-25 years including 22 (6 males/16 females with a history of visually witnessing episodes of domestic violence, and 30 (8 males/22 females unexposed control subjects, with neither a current nor past DSM-IV Axis I or II disorder. Potential confounding effects of age, gender, level of parental verbal aggression, parental education, financial stress, full scale IQ, and total GMV, or average thickness were modeled using voxel based morphometry and FreeSurfer. Witnessing domestic violence subjects had a 6.1% GMV reduction in the right lingual gyrus (BA18 (P = 0.029, False Discovery Rate corrected peak level. Thickness in this region was also reduced, as was thickness in V2 bilaterally and left occipital pole. Theses regions were maximally sensitive to exposure to witnessing domestic violence between 11-13 years of age. Regional reductions in GMV and thickness were observed in both susceptible and resilient witnessing domestic violence subjects. Results in subjects witnessing domestic violence were similar to previously reported results in subjects with childhood sexual abuse, as the primary region affected was visual cortex. Brain regions that process and convey the adverse sensory input of the abuse may be specifically modified by this experience, particularly in subjects exposed to a single type of maltreatment. Exposure to multiple types of maltreatment is more commonly associated with morphological alterations in corticolimbic regions. These findings fit with preclinical studies showing that visual cortex is a highly plastic structure.

  14. Intrathalamic Mechanisms of Visual Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Mayo, J. Patrick

    2009-01-01

    The classical model of visual processing emphasizes the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) as the major intermediary between the retina and visual cortex. Yet, anatomical findings inspired Francis Crick to suggest an alternative model in which the thalamic reticular nucleus, which envelops the LGN, acts as the “guardian” of visual cortex by modulating LGN activity. Recent work by McAlonan and colleagues supports Crick's hypothesis, thereby enhancing our understanding of the early stages of visu...

  15. Augmenting distractor filtering via transcranial magnetic stimulation of the lateral occipital cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eštočinová, Jana; Lo Gerfo, Emanuele; Della Libera, Chiara; Chelazzi, Leonardo; Santandrea, Elisa

    2016-11-01

    Visual selective attention (VSA) optimizes perception and behavioral control by enabling efficient selection of relevant information and filtering of distractors. While focusing resources on task-relevant information helps counteract distraction, dedicated filtering mechanisms have recently been demonstrated, allowing neural systems to implement suitable policies for the suppression of potential interference. Limited evidence is presently available concerning the neural underpinnings of these mechanisms, and whether neural circuitry within the visual cortex might play a causal role in their instantiation, a possibility that we directly tested here. In two related experiments, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied over the lateral occipital cortex of healthy humans at different times during the execution of a behavioral task which entailed varying levels of distractor interference and need for attentional engagement. While earlier TMS boosted target selection, stimulation within a restricted time epoch close to (and in the course of) stimulus presentation engendered selective enhancement of distractor suppression, by affecting the ongoing, reactive instantiation of attentional filtering mechanisms required by specific task conditions. The results attest to a causal role of mid-tier ventral visual areas in distractor filtering and offer insights into the mechanisms through which TMS may have affected ongoing neural activity in the stimulated tissue. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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, t......, 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....

  17. Electrophysiological evidence for cognitive control during conflict processing in visual spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kehrer, Stefanie; Kraft, Antje; Irlbacher, Kerstin; Koch, Stefan P; Hagendorf, Herbert; Kathmann, Norbert; Brandt, Stephan A

    2009-11-01

    Event-related potentials were measured to investigate the role of visual spatial attention mechanisms in conflict processing. We suggested that a more difficult target selection leads to stronger attentional top-down control, thereby reducing the effects of arising conflicts. This hypothesis was tested by varying the selection difficulty in a location negative priming (NP) paradigm. The difficult task resulted in prolonged responses as compared to the easy task. A behavioral NP effect was only evident in the easy task. Psychophysiologically the easy task was associated with reduced parietal N1, enhanced frontocentral N2 and N2pc components and a prolonged P3 latency for the conflict as compared to the control condition. The N2pc effect was also obvious in the difficult task. Additionally frontocentral N2 amplitudes increased and latencies of N2pc and P3 were delayed compared to the easy task. The differences at frontocentral and parietal electrodes are consistent with previous studies ascribing activity in the prefrontal and parietal cortex as the source of top-down attentional control. Thus, we propose that stronger cognitive control is involved in the difficult task, resulting in a reduced behavioral NP conflict.

  18. Simultaneous recordings from the primary visual cortex and lateral geniculate nucleus reveal rhythmic interactions and a cortical source for γ-band oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastos, Andre M; Briggs, Farran; Alitto, Henry J; Mangun, George R; Usrey, W Martin

    2014-05-28

    Oscillatory synchronization of neuronal activity has been proposed as a mechanism to modulate effective connectivity between interacting neuronal populations. In the visual system, oscillations in the gamma-frequency range (30-100 Hz) are thought to subserve corticocortical communication. To test whether a similar mechanism might influence subcortical-cortical communication, we recorded local field potential activity from retinotopically aligned regions in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and primary visual cortex (V1) of alert macaque monkeys viewing stimuli known to produce strong cortical gamma-band oscillations. As predicted, we found robust gamma-band power in V1. In contrast, visual stimulation did not evoke gamma-band activity in the LGN. Interestingly, an analysis of oscillatory phase synchronization of LGN and V1 activity identified synchronization in the alpha (8-14 Hz) and beta (15-30 Hz) frequency bands. Further analysis of directed connectivity revealed that alpha-band interactions mediated corticogeniculate feedback processing, whereas beta-band interactions mediated geniculocortical feedforward processing. These results demonstrate that although the LGN and V1 display functional interactions in the lower frequency bands, gamma-band activity in the alert monkey is largely an emergent property of cortex. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/347639-06$15.00/0.

  19. No evidence for visual context-dependency of olfactory learning in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarali, Ayse; Mayerle, Moritz; Nawroth, Christian; Gerber, Bertram

    2008-08-01

    How is behaviour organised across sensory modalities? Specifically, we ask concerning the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster how visual context affects olfactory learning and recall and whether information about visual context is getting integrated into olfactory memory. We find that changing visual context between training and test does not deteriorate olfactory memory scores, suggesting that these olfactory memories can drive behaviour despite a mismatch of visual context between training and test. Rather, both the establishment and the recall of olfactory memory are generally facilitated by light. In a follow-up experiment, we find no evidence for learning about combinations of odours and visual context as predictors for reinforcement even after explicit training in a so-called biconditional discrimination task. Thus, a ‘true’ interaction between visual and olfactory modalities is not evident; instead, light seems to influence olfactory learning and recall unspecifically, for example by altering motor activity, alertness or olfactory acuity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric Huppé-Gourgues

    2018-03-01

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

  1. Effects of the Bee Venom Herbal Acupuncture on the Neurotransmitters of the Rat Brain Cortex

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    Hyoung-Seok Yun

    2001-02-01

    Full Text Available In order to study the effects of bee venom Herbal Acupuncture on neurotransmitters in the rat brain cortex, herbal acupuncture with bee venom group and normal saline group was performed at LI4 bilaterally of the rat. the average optical density of neurotransmitters from the cerebral cortex was analysed 30 minutes after the herbal aqupuncture, by the immunohistochemistry. The results were as follows: 1. The density of NADPH-diaphorase in bee venom group was increased significantly at the motor cortex, visual cortex, auditory cortex, cingulate cortex, retrosplenial cortex and perirhinal cortex compared to the normal saline group. 2. The average optical density of vasoactive intestinal peptide in bee venom group had significant changes at the insular cortex, retrosplenial cortex and perirhinal cortex, compared to the normal saline group. 3. The average optical density of neuropeptide-Y in bee venom group increased significantly at the visual cortex and cingulate cortex, compared to the normal saline group.

  2. Self-regulation of inter-hemispheric visual cortex balance through real-time fMRI neurofeedback training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robineau, F; Rieger, S W; Mermoud, C; Pichon, S; Koush, Y; Van De Ville, D; Vuilleumier, P; Scharnowski, F

    2014-10-15

    Recent advances in neurofeedback based on real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allow for learning to control spatially localized brain activity in the range of millimeters across the entire brain. Real-time fMRI neurofeedback studies have demonstrated the feasibility of self-regulating activation in specific areas that are involved in a variety of functions, such as perception, motor control, language, and emotional processing. In most of these previous studies, participants trained to control activity within one region of interest (ROI). In the present study, we extended the neurofeedback approach by now training healthy participants to control the interhemispheric balance between their left and right visual cortices. This was accomplished by providing feedback based on the difference in activity between a target visual ROI and the corresponding homologue region in the opposite hemisphere. Eight out of 14 participants learned to control the differential feedback signal over the course of 3 neurofeedback training sessions spread over 3 days, i.e., they produced consistent increases in the visual target ROI relative to the opposite visual cortex. Those who learned to control the differential feedback signal were subsequently also able to exert that control in the absence of neurofeedback. Such learning to voluntarily control the balance between cortical areas of the two hemispheres might offer promising rehabilitation approaches for neurological or psychiatric conditions associated with pathological asymmetries in brain activity patterns, such as hemispatial neglect, dyslexia, or mood disorders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    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.

  4. Visual attention capacity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Habekost, Thomas; Starrfelt, Randi

    2009-01-01

    Psychophysical studies have identified two distinct limitations of visual attention capacity: processing speed and apprehension span. Using a simple test, these cognitive factors can be analyzed by Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The method has strong specificity and sensitivity......, and measurements are highly reliable. As the method is theoretically founded, it also has high validity. TVA-based assessment has recently been used to investigate a broad range of neuropsychological and neurological conditions. We present the method, including the experimental paradigm and practical guidelines...... to patient testing, and review existing TVA-based patient studies organized by lesion anatomy. Lesions in three anatomical regions affect visual capacity: The parietal lobes, frontal cortex and basal ganglia, and extrastriate cortex. Visual capacity thus depends on large, bilaterally distributed anatomical...

  5. Effects of Arousal on Mouse Sensory Cortex Depend on Modality

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    Daisuke Shimaoka

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Changes in arousal modulate the activity of mouse sensory cortex, but studies in different mice and different sensory areas disagree on whether this modulation enhances or suppresses activity. We measured this modulation simultaneously in multiple cortical areas by imaging mice expressing voltage-sensitive fluorescent proteins (VSFP. VSFP imaging estimates local membrane potential across large portions of cortex. We used temporal filters to predict local potential from running speed or from pupil dilation, two measures of arousal. The filters provided good fits and revealed that the effects of arousal depend on modality. In the primary visual cortex (V1 and auditory cortex (Au, arousal caused depolarization followed by hyperpolarization. In the barrel cortex (S1b and a secondary visual area (LM, it caused only hyperpolarization. In all areas, nonetheless, arousal reduced the phasic responses to trains of sensory stimuli. These results demonstrate diverse effects of arousal across sensory cortex but similar effects on sensory responses. : Shimaoka et al. use voltage-sensitive imaging to show that the effects of arousal on the mouse cortex are markedly different across areas and over time. In all the sensory areas studied, nonetheless, arousal reduced the phasic voltage responses to trains of sensory stimuli. Keywords: cerebral cortex, cortical state, locomotion, sensory processing, widefield imaging

  6. The Significance of Memory in Sensory Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muckli, Lars; Petro, Lucy S

    2017-05-01

    Early sensory cortex is typically investigated in response to sensory stimulation, masking the contribution of internal signals. Recently, van Kerkoerle and colleagues reported that attention and memory signals segregate from sensory signals within specific layers of primary visual cortex, providing insight into the role of internal signals in sensory processing. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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