Dynamic modulation of cortical excitability during visual active sensing
SourceCell Reports, 27, 12, (2019), pp. 3447-3459
Article / Letter to editor
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PI Group MR Techniques in Brain Function
Subject150 000 MR Techniques in Brain Function
Summary Visual physiology is traditionally investigated by presenting stimuli with gaze held constant. However, during active viewing of a scene, information is actively acquired using systematic patterns of fixations and saccades. Prior studies suggest that during such active viewing, both nonretinal, saccade-related signals and “extra-classical” receptive field inputs modulate visual processing. This study used a set of active viewing tasks that allowed us to compare visual responses with and without direct foveal input, thus isolating the contextual eye movement-related influences. Studying nonhuman primates, we find strong contextual modulation in primary visual cortex (V1): excitability and response amplification immediately after fixation onset, transiting to suppression leading up to the next saccade. Time-frequency decomposition suggests that this amplification and suppression cycle stems from a phase reset of ongoing neuronal oscillatory activity. The impact of saccade-related contextual modulation on stimulus processing makes active visual sensing fundamentally different from the more passive processes investigated in traditional paradigms.
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