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Contextual drive of neuronal responses in mouse V1 in the absence of feedforward input

Research group Roelfsema
Publication year 2023
Published in Science advances
Authors Lisa Kirchberger, Sreedeep Mukherjee, M.W. Self, P.R. Roelfsema

Neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) respond to stimuli in their receptive field (RF), which is defined by the feedforward input from the retina. However, V1 neurons are also sensitive to contextual information outside their RF, even if the RF itself is unstimulated. Here, we examined the cortical circuits for V1 contextual responses to gray disks superimposed on different backgrounds. Contextual responses began late and were strongest in the feedback-recipient layers of V1. They differed between the three main classes of inhibitory neurons, with particularly strong contextual drive of VIP neurons, indicating a contribution of disinhibitory circuits to contextual drive. Contextual drive was strongest when the gray disk was perceived as figure, occluding its background, rather than a hole. Our results link contextual drive in V1 to perceptual organization and provide previously unknown insight into how recurrent processing shapes the response of sensory neurons to facilitate figure perception.

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