Synaptic organisation of visual space in primary visual cortex

Gasler, Ioana Teodora. Synaptic organisation of visual space in primary visual cortex. 2017, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Science.


Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_12576

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How a sensory stimulus is processed and perceived depends on the surrounding sensory scene. In the visual cortex, contextual signals can be conveyed by an extensive network of intra- and inter-areal excitatory connections that link neurons representing stimulus features separated in visual space. However, the connectional logic of visual contextual inputs remains unknown; it is not clear what information individual neurons receive from different parts of the visual field, nor how this input relates to the visual features a neuron encodes, defined by its spatial receptive field. We determined the organisation of excitatory synaptic inputs responding to different locations in the visual scene by mapping spatial receptive fields in dendritic spines of mouse visual cortex neurons using two-photon calcium imaging. We found that neurons received functionally diverse inputs from extended regions of visual space. Inputs representing similar visual features from the same location in visual space were more likely to cluster on neighbouring spines. Inputs from visual field regions beyond the postsynaptic neuron’s receptive field often synapsed on higher-order dendritic branches. These putative long-range inputs were more frequent and more likely to share the preference for oriented edges with the postsynaptic neuron when the input’s receptive field was spatially displaced along the axis of the postsynaptic neuron’s receptive field orientation. Therefore, the connectivity between neurons with displaced receptive fields obeys a specific rule, whereby they connect preferentially when their receptive fields are co-oriented and co-axially aligned. This organization of synaptic connectivity is ideally suited for amplification of elongated edges, which are enriched in the visual environment, and thus provides a potential substrate for contour integration and object grouping.
Advisors:Hofer, Sonja and Scheiffele, Peter
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Former Organization Units Biozentrum > Neuronal circuits and brain function (Hofer)
UniBasel Contributors:Hofer, Sonja and Scheiffele, Peter
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:12576
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:1 Online-Ressource (88 Seiten)
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edoc DOI:
Last Modified:25 Apr 2018 04:30
Deposited On:24 Apr 2018 13:40

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