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J Neurosci. 2010 Apr 28;30(17):5912-26. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6456-09.2010.

Parallel input channels to mouse primary visual cortex.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


It is generally accepted that in mammals visual information is sent to the brain along functionally specialized parallel pathways, but whether the mouse visual system uses similar processing strategies is not known. It is important to resolve this issue because the mouse brain provides a tractable system for developing a cellular and molecular understanding of disorders affecting spatiotemporal visual processing. We have used single-unit recordings in mouse primary visual cortex to study whether individual neurons are more sensitive to one set of sensory cues than another. Our quantitative analyses show that neurons with short response latencies have low spatial acuity and high sensitivity to contrast, temporal frequency, and speed, whereas neurons with long latencies have high spatial acuity, low sensitivities to contrast, temporal frequency, and speed. These correlations suggest that neurons in mouse V1 receive inputs from a weighted combination of parallel afferent pathways with distinct spatiotemporal sensitivities.

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