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J Comp Neurol. 2006 Sep 20;498(3):330-51.

Contribution of feedforward thalamic afferents and corticogeniculate feedback to the spatial summation area of macaque V1 and LGN.

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Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84132, USA.


Neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) respond best to oriented gratings of optimal size within their receptive field (RF) and are suppressed by larger gratings involving the nonclassical RF surround. A V1 neuron's optimal stimulus size is larger at lower stimulus contrast. A central question in visual neuroscience is what circuits generate the size tuning of V1 cells. We recently demonstrated that V1 horizontal connections integrate signals within a region of the RF center corresponding to the V1 neuron's optimal stimulus size at low contrast; extrastriate feedback connections to V1, instead, are longer range and can integrate signals from the most distant regions of the V1 cell's RF surround. Here, we have determined the contribution of geniculocortical feedforward and corticogeniculate feedback connections to the size-tuning of macaque V1 and lateral geniculate (LGN) neurons, respectively. Specifically, we have quantitatively compared the visuotopic extent of geniculate feedforward afferents to V1 with the size of the RF center and surround of neurons in the V1 input layers and the visuotopic extent of V1 feedback connections to the LGN with the RF size of cells in V1 layer 6, where these connections originate. We find geniculate feedforward connections to provide visuotopic information to V1 that is spatially coextensive with the V1 neuron's optimal stimulus size measured with high-contrast gratings. V1 feedback connections restrict their influence to an LGN region visuotopically coextensive with the size of the minimum response field (or classical RF) of V1 layer 6 cells and commensurate with the LGN region from which they receive feedforward connections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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