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Gain control from beyond the classical receptive field in primate primary visual cortex

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher Tinsley, Professor Andrew Derrington


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Gain control is a salient feature of information processing throughout the visual system. Heeger (1991, 1992) described a mechanism that could underpin gain control in primary visual cortex (VI). According to this model, a neuron's response is normalized by dividing its output by the sum of a population of neurons, which are selective for orientations covering a broad range. Gain control in this scheme is manifested as a change in the semisaturation constant (contrast gain) of a VI neuron. Here we examine how flanking and annular gratings of the same or orthogonal orientation to that preferred by a neuron presented beyond the receptive field modulate gain in V1 neurons in anesthetized marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). To characterize how gain was modulated by surround stimuli, the Michaelis-Menten equation was fitted to response versus contrast functions obtained under each stimulus condition. The modulation of gain by surround stimuli was modelled best as a divisive reduction in response gain. Response gain varied with the orientation of surround stimuli, but was reduced most when the orientation of a large annular grating beyond the classical receptive field matched the preferred orientation of neurons. The strength of surround suppression did not vary significantly with retinal eccentricity or laminar distribution. In the mannoset, as in macaques (Angelucci et al., 2002a,b), gain control over the sort of distances reported here (up to 10 deg) may be mediated by feedback from extrastriate areas.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tinsley CJ; Derrington AM; Webb BS; Barraclough NE; Parker A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Visual Neuroscience

Year: 2003

Volume: 20

Issue: 3

Pages: 221-230

ISSN (print): 0952-5238

ISSN (electronic): 1469-8714

Publisher: Cambridge University Press