Dynamic Modulation of Cortical Excitability during Visual Active Sensing

Cell Reports
Annamaria BarczakCharles E Schroeder


Visual physiology is traditionally investigated by presenting stimuli with gaze held constant. However, during active viewing of a scene, information is actively acquired using systematic patterns of fixations and saccades. Prior studies suggest that during such active viewing, both nonretinal, saccade-related signals and "extra-classical" receptive field inputs modulate visual processing. This study used a set of active viewing tasks that allowed us to compare visual responses with and without direct foveal input, thus isolating the contextual eye movement-related influences. Studying nonhuman primates, we find strong contextual modulation in primary visual cortex (V1): excitability and response amplification immediately after fixation onset, transiting to suppression leading up to the next saccade. Time-frequency decomposition suggests that this amplification and suppression cycle stems from a phase reset of ongoing neuronal oscillatory activity. The impact of saccade-related contextual modulation on stimulus processing makes active visual sensing fundamentally different from the more passive processes investigated in traditional paradigms.


Aug 10, 2019·Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience·Marcin Leszczynski, Charles E Schroeder
Aug 28, 2020·Science Advances·Marcin LeszczyńskiCharles E Schroeder
Oct 21, 2020·PLoS Biology·Alice TomassiniAlessandro D'Ausilio

Related Concepts

Cortical Excitability
Nerve Impulses
Eye Movements
Fixation, Ocular
Macaca mulatta
Photic Stimulation
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