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Gopathy Purushothaman, PhD, Roan Marion, Keji Li, Vivien A. Casagrande; Gating of the Primary Visual Cortex by Pulvinar for Controlling Bottom-Up Salience. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):1370. doi: 10.1167/12.9.1370.
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The thalamic nucleus pulvinar has been implicated in the control of visual attention. Its reciprocal connections with both frontal and sensory cortices can coordinate top-down and bottom-up processes for selective visual attention. However, pulvino-cortical neural interactions are little understood. We recently found that the lateral pulvinar (PL) powerfully controls stimulus-driven responses in the primary visual cortex (V1). Reversibly inactivating PL abolished visual responses in supra-granular layers of V1. Excitation of PL neurons responsive to one region of visual space increased 4-fold V1 responses to this region and decreased 3-fold V1 responses to the surrounding region. Glutamate agonist injection in LGN increased V1 activity 8-fold and induced an excitotoxic lesion of LGN; subsequently injecting the glutamate agonist into PL increased V1 activity 14-fold. Spontaneous activity in PL and V1 following visual stimulation were strongly coupled and selectively entrained at the stimulation frequency. These results suggest that PL-V1 interactions are well-suited to control bottom-up salience within a competitive cortico-pulvino-cortical network for selective attention.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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