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J Neurophysiol. 2011 Nov;106(5):2303-13. doi: 10.1152/jn.00388.2011. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

Neural response dynamics of spiking and local field potential activity depend on CRT monitor refresh rate in the tree shrew primary visual cortex.

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  • 1Visual Cognition Laboratory, Dept. of Medicine, Univ. of Fribourg, Chemin du Musée 5, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland.

Abstract

Entrainment of neural activity to luminance impulses during the refresh of cathode ray tube monitor displays has been observed in the primary visual cortex (V1) of humans and macaque monkeys. This entrainment is of interest because it tends to temporally align and thus synchronize neural responses at the millisecond timescale. Here we show that, in tree shrew V1, both spiking and local field potential activity are also entrained at cathode ray tube refresh rates of 120, 90, and 60 Hz, with weakest but still significant entrainment even at 120 Hz, and strongest entrainment occurring in cortical input layer IV. For both luminance increments ("white" stimuli) and decrements ("black" stimuli), refresh rate had a strong impact on the temporal dynamics of the neural response for subsequent luminance impulses. Whereas there was rapid, strong attenuation of spikes and local field potential to prolonged visual stimuli composed of luminance impulses presented at 120 Hz, attenuation was nearly absent at 60-Hz refresh rate. In addition, neural onset latencies were shortest at 120 Hz and substantially increased, by ∼15 ms, at 60 Hz. In terms of neural response amplitude, black responses dominated white responses at all three refresh rates. However, black/white differences were much larger at 60 Hz than at higher refresh rates, suggesting a mechanism that is sensitive to stimulus timing. Taken together, our findings reveal many similarities between V1 of macaque and tree shrew, while underscoring a greater temporal sensitivity of the tree shrew visual system.

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