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Cereb Cortex. 2015 Jun;25(6):1427-40. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bht318. Epub 2013 Dec 15.

Primary visual cortex represents the difference between past and present.

Author information

1
Optical Imaging Group, Institut für Neuroinformatik, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany Bernstein Group for Computational Neuroscience, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Osnabrück, 49069 Osnabrück, Germany.
2
Optical Imaging Group, Institut für Neuroinformatik, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany Bernstein Group for Computational Neuroscience, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany.
3
Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Osnabrück, 49069 Osnabrück, Germany.
4
Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Osnabrück, 49069 Osnabrück, Germany Department of Neurophysiology and Pathophysiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.

Abstract

The visual system is confronted with rapidly changing stimuli in everyday life. It is not well understood how information in such a stream of input is updated within the brain. We performed voltage-sensitive dye imaging across the primary visual cortex (V1) to capture responses to sequences of natural scene contours. We presented vertically and horizontally filtered natural images, and their superpositions, at 10 or 33 Hz. At low frequency, the encoding was found to represent not the currently presented images, but differences in orientation between consecutive images. This was in sharp contrast to more rapid sequences for which we found an ongoing representation of current input, consistent with earlier studies. Our finding that for slower image sequences, V1 does no longer report actual features but represents their relative difference in time counteracts the view that the first cortical processing stage must always transfer complete information. Instead, we show its capacities for change detection with a new emphasis on the role of automatic computation evolving in the 100-ms range, inevitably affecting information transmission further downstream.

KEYWORDS:

early visual cortex; information transmission; natural image processing; orientation difference detection; predictive coding

PMID:
24343889
PMCID:
PMC4428292
DOI:
10.1093/cercor/bht318
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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