Feedforward mechanisms of cross-orientation interactions in mouse V1.
Sensory neurons are modulated by context. For example, in mouse primary visual cortex (V1), neuronal responses to the preferred orientation are modulated by the presence of superimposed orientations ("plaids"). The effects of this modulation are diverse; some neurons are suppressed, while others have larger responses to a plaid than its components. We investigated whether this diversity could be explained by a unified circuit mechanism. We report that this masking is maintained during suppression of cortical activity, arguing against cortical mechanisms. Instead, the heterogeneity of plaid responses is explained by an interaction between stimulus geometry and orientation tuning. Highly selective neurons are uniformly suppressed by plaids, whereas the effects in weakly selective neurons depend on the spatial configuration of the stimulus, transitioning systematically between suppression and facilitation. Thus, the diverse responses emerge as a consequence of the spatial structure of feedforward inputs, with no need to invoke cortical interactions.
Barbera, D; Priebe, NJ; Glickfeld, LL
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