For sensory systems, feedforward projections from thalamic relay cells provide the cortex with information about the external environment. The cortex, in turn, sends extensive feedback to the thalamus. The cortex thus functions both to process information supplied by the thalamus as well as to influence dynamically the transmission of thalamic input. The primary goal of the experiments presented in this proposal is to determine how the primary visual cortex (V1) and the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the thalamus interact to dynamically influence visual processing. The study involves three sets of experiments. The first major series of experiments (Specific Aim 1) will test the hypothesis that corticogeniculate feedback serves to increase the strength and temporal precision of LGN responses to visual stimuli. The remaining experiments go on to test the exciting possibility that corticogeniculate feedback dynamically adjusts feedforward activity and functional connectivity to meet the behavioral and perceptual demands that occur during visual processing. The second major series of experiments (Specific Aim 2) will test the hypothesis that directed attention influences the dynamic properties of feedforward and feedback pathways interconnecting the LGN and V1. The third major series of experiments (Specific Aim 3) will test the hypothesis that perceptual modulation during binocular rivalry influences neuronal activity in the LGN and the dynamic properties of feedforward and feedback connectivity. Given the central importance of corticothalamic pathways for governing the excitability of thalamocortical networks, it is important that we understand the functional properties of the corticothalamic pathway, as disorders of the pathway likely underlie several illnesses affecting vision and visual processing.

Public Health Relevance

A reciprocal arrangement of neuronal connections governs the excitability of neurons in the thalamus and cerebral cortex. Given the severe financial and quality-of-life consequences that follow from disruption in the ability of these brain regions to communicate with each other, such as occurs with many forms of epilepsy and several illnesses affecting vision and visual processing, it is important that we gain a better understanding of thei functional relationship. The goal of this proposal is to determine how the cortex and thalamus interact to dynamically influence visual processing.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01EY013588-12
Application #
8523869
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (SPC)
Program Officer
Steinmetz, Michael A
Project Start
2001-07-05
Project End
2017-07-31
Budget Start
2013-08-01
Budget End
2014-07-31
Support Year
12
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$348,515
Indirect Cost
$111,015
Name
University of California Davis
Department
Neurology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
047120084
City
Davis
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
95618
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Moore 4th, Bartlett D; Rathbun, Daniel L; Usrey, W Martin et al. (2014) Spatiotemporal flow of information in the early visual pathway. Eur J Neurosci 39:593-601
Briggs, Farran; Mangun, George R; Usrey, W Martin (2013) Attention enhances synaptic efficacy and the signal-to-noise ratio in neural circuits. Nature 499:476-80
Briggs, Farran; Usrey, W Martin (2011) Distinct mechanisms for size tuning in primate visual cortex. J Neurosci 31:12644-9
Alitto, Henry J; Moore 4th, Bartlett D; Rathbun, Daniel L et al. (2011) A comparison of visual responses in the lateral geniculate nucleus of alert and anaesthetized macaque monkeys. J Physiol 589:87-99
Moore 4th, Bartlett D; Kiley, Caitlin W; Sun, Chao et al. (2011) Rapid plasticity of visual responses in the adult lateral geniculate nucleus. Neuron 71:812-9
Briggs, Farran; Usrey, W Martin (2011) Corticogeniculate feedback and visual processing in the primate. J Physiol 589:33-40
Munneke, Jaap; Heslenfeld, Dirk J; Usrey, W Martin et al. (2011) Preparatory effects of distractor suppression: evidence from visual cortex. PLoS One 6:e27700
Rathbun, Daniel L; Warland, David K; Usrey, W Martin (2010) Spike timing and information transmission at retinogeniculate synapses. J Neurosci 30:13558-66
Koepsell, Kilian; Wang, Xin; Vaingankar, Vishal et al. (2009) Retinal oscillations carry visual information to cortex. Front Syst Neurosci 3:4

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