TITLE

Visual Interactions Conform to Pattern Decorrelation in Multiple Cortical Areas

AUTHOR(S)
Sharifian, Fariba; Nurminen, Lauri; Vanni, Simo
PUB. DATE
July 2013
SOURCE
PLoS ONE;Jul2013, Vol. 8 Issue 7, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Neural responses to visual stimuli are strongest in the classical receptive field, but they are also modulated by stimuli in a much wider region. In the primary visual cortex, physiological data and models suggest that such contextual modulation is mediated by recurrent interactions between cortical areas. Outside the primary visual cortex, imaging data has shown qualitatively similar interactions. However, whether the mechanisms underlying these effects are similar in different areas has remained unclear. Here, we found that the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal spreads over considerable cortical distances in the primary visual cortex, further than the classical receptive field. This indicates that the synaptic activity induced by a given stimulus occurs in a surprisingly extensive network. Correspondingly, we found suppressive and facilitative interactions far from the maximum retinotopic response. Next, we characterized the relationship between contextual modulation and correlation between two spatial activation patterns. Regardless of the functional area or retinotopic eccentricity, higher correlation between the center and surround response patterns was associated with stronger suppressive interaction. In individual voxels, suppressive interaction was predominant when the center and surround stimuli produced BOLD signals with the same sign. Facilitative interaction dominated in the voxels with opposite BOLD signal signs. Our data was in unison with recently published cortical decorrelation model, and was validated against alternative models, separately in different eccentricities and functional areas. Our study provides evidence that spatial interactions among neural populations involve decorrelation of macroscopic neural activation patterns, and suggests that the basic design of the cerebral cortex houses a robust decorrelation mechanism for afferent synaptic input.
ACCESSION #
89627090

 

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