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Neuron. 2012 Jun 7;74(5):809-15. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.03.040.

Sensorimotor mismatch signals in primary visual cortex of the behaving mouse.

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Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, 82152 Munich-Martinsried, Germany.


Studies in anesthetized animals have suggested that activity in early visual cortex is mainly driven by visual input and is well described by a feedforward processing hierarchy. However, evidence from experiments on awake animals has shown that both eye movements and behavioral state can strongly modulate responses of neurons in visual cortex; the functional significance of this modulation, however, remains elusive. Using visual-flow feedback manipulations during locomotion in a virtual reality environment, we found that responses in layer 2/3 of mouse primary visual cortex are strongly driven by locomotion and by mismatch between actual and expected visual feedback. These data suggest that processing in visual cortex may be based on predictive coding strategies that use motor-related and visual input to detect mismatches between predicted and actual visual feedback.

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