Spring 2018

Emergence of Direction Selectivity at the Convergence of Thalamo-Cortical Synapses in Visual Cortex

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 3:30 pm4:00 pm

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Calvin Lab Auditorium

Detecting the direction of an object’s motion is essential for our representation of the visual environment. Visual cortex is one of the main stages in the mammalian nervous system where motion direction may be computed de novo. Experiments and theories indicate that cortical neurons respond selectively to motion direction by combining inputs that provide information about distinct spatial locations with distinct time-delays. Despite the importance of this spatiotemporal offset for direction selectivity its origin and cellular mechanisms are not fully understood. I will showthat ~80+/-10 thalamic neurons responding with distinct time-courses to stimuli in distinct locations contribute to the excitation of mouse visual cortical neurons during visual stimulation. Integration of thalamic inputs with the appropriate spatiotemporal offset provides cortical neurons with the primordial bias for direction selectivity. These data show how cortical neurons selectively combine the spatiotemporal response diversity of thalamic neurons to extract fundamental features of the visual world.