V1 microcircuit dynamics: altered signal propagation suggests intracortical origins for adaptation in response to visual repetition.

Westerberg JA, Cox MA, Dougherty K, Maier A
J Neurophysiol. 2019 121 (5): 1938-1952

PMID: 30917065 · PMCID: PMC6589708 · DOI:10.1152/jn.00113.2019

Repetitive visual stimulation profoundly changes sensory processing in the primary visual cortex (V1). We show how the associated adaptive changes are linked to an altered flow of synaptic activation across the V1 laminar microcircuit. Using repeated visual stimulation, we recorded layer-specific responses in V1 of two fixating monkeys. We found that repetition-related spiking suppression was most pronounced outside granular V1 layers that receive the main retinogeniculate input. This repetition-related response suppression was robust to alternating stimuli between the eyes, in line with the notion that repetition-related adaptation is predominantly of cortical origin. Most importantly, current source density (CSD) analysis, which provides an estimate of local net depolarization, revealed that synaptic processing during repeated stimulation was most profoundly affected within supragranular layers, which harbor the bulk of cortico-cortical connections. Direct comparison of the temporal evolution of laminar CSD and spiking activity showed that stimulus repetition first affected supragranular synaptic currents, which translated into a reduction of stimulus-evoked spiking across layers. Together, these results suggest that repetition induces an altered state of intracortical processing that underpins visual adaptation. Our survival depends on our brains rapidly adapting to ever changing environments. A well-studied form of adaptation occurs whenever we encounter the same or similar stimuli repeatedly. We show that this repetition-related adaptation is supported by systematic changes in the flow of sensory activation across the laminar cortical microcircuitry of primary visual cortex. These results demonstrate how adaptation impacts neuronal interactions across cortical circuits.

MeSH Terms (9)

Adaptation, Physiological Animals Evoked Potentials, Visual Female Geniculate Bodies Macaca radiata Male Neurons Visual Cortex

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