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Exp Brain Res. 1984;53(2):223-32.

The role of the visual cortex in response properties of lateral geniculate cells in rats.


Unitary discharges of the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) were analyzed in anesthetized and paralyzed rats after inactivation of visual cortical areas (VC) by cryoblockade or by depositing a cotton wick soaked in KCl (3 M). The receptive fields were mapped prior to and following the interruption of the cortico-geniculate feedback. The responsiveness of the VC was controlled by monitoring evoked potentials and the EEG. In most off-center and about half on-center cells the surround excitatory responses were markedly reduced and even totally abolished. In contrast, the center excitation remained unchanged or increased suggesting a parallel decline of the inhibitory surround. This differential influence of cortical blockade on on- or off-responses failed to appear in on-off cells whose receptive field was nonconcentrically organized. It is proposed that the VC exerts a complex influence upon geniculate physiology while the spatial center-surround relationships are under the control of the VC. The results of this investigation are comparable to those obtained in rabbits and cats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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