Brainmap: Anatomical, Physiological and Computational Studies of Cortico-cortical Feedback: CANCELLED

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 12:00
Seminar room 2204, 149 13th St., Charlestown Navy Yard


Richard Born, MD
Harvard Medical School
Department of Neurobiology
Feedback connections are prevalent throughout the cerebral cortex, yet their function remains poorly understood. Previous studies in anesthetized monkeys found that inactivating feedback from extrastriate visual cortex produced effects in striate cortex that were relatively weak, generally suppressive, largest for visual stimuli confined to the receptive field center, and detectable only at low stimulus contrast. We studied the influence of corticocortical feedback in alert monkeys using cortical cooling to reversibly inactivate visual areas 2 (V2) and 3 (V3) while characterizing receptive field properties in primary visual cortex (V1).We show that inactivation of feedback results in both response suppression and facilitation for stimuli restricted to the receptive field center, in most cases leading to a small reduction in the degree of orientation selectivity but no change in orientation preference. For larger-diameter stimuli that engage regions beyond the center of the receptive field, eliminating feedback from V2/V3 results in strong and consistent response facilitation, effectively reducing the strength of surround suppression in V1 for stimuli of both low and high contrast. For extended contours, eliminating feedback had the effect of reducing end stopping. Inactivation effects were largest for neurons that exhibited strong surround suppression before inactivation, and their timing matched the dynamics of surround suppression under control conditions. Our results provide direct evidence that feedback contributes to surround suppression, which is an important source of contextual influences essential to vision.