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PLoS One. 2015 Dec 15;10(12):e0144929. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144929. eCollection 2015.

Covariation between Spike and LFP Modulations Revealed with Focal and Asynchronous Stimulation of Receptive Field Surround in Monkey Primary Visual Cortex.

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Department of Psychology, Seoul National University, Gwanak, Seoul, Korea.
Program of Cognitive Science, Seoul National University, Gwanak, Seoul, Korea.


A focal visual stimulus outside the classical receptive field (RF) of a V1 neuron does not evoke a spike response by itself, and yet evokes robust changes in the local field potential (LFP). This subthreshold LFP provides a unique opportunity to investigate how changes induced by surround stimulation leads to modulation of spike activity. In the current study, two identical Gabor stimuli were sequentially presented with a variable stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) ranging from 0 to 100 ms: the first (S1) outside the RF and the second (S2) over the RF of primary visual cortex neurons, while trained monkeys performed a fixation task. This focal and asynchronous stimulation of the RF surround enabled us to analyze the modulation of S2-evoked spike activity and covariation between spike and LFP modulation across SOA. In this condition, the modulation of S2-evoked spike response was dominantly facilitative and was correlated with the change in LFP amplitude, which was pronounced for the cells recorded in the upper cortical layers. The time course of covariation between the SOA-dependent spike modulation and LFP amplitude suggested that the subthreshold LFP evoked by the S1 can predict the magnitude of upcoming spike modulation.

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