August 2012
Volume 12, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2012
Gating of the Primary Visual Cortex by Pulvinar for Controlling Bottom-Up Salience
Author Affiliations
  • Gopathy Purushothaman, PhD
    Department of Cell & Developmental Biology Vanderbilt Medical School Nashville TN. 37232
  • Roan Marion
    Vanderbilt University Nashville TN
  • Keji Li
    Vanderbilt University Nashville TN
  • Vivien A. Casagrande
    Vanderbilt University Nashville TN
Journal of Vision August 2012, Vol.12, 1370. doi:
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      Gopathy Purushothaman, 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:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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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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