DOI: 10.1101/456459Oct 30, 2018Paper

Feedforward and feedback processing during figure-ground perception in mice

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Ulf H SchnabelPieter R Roelfsema


The segregation of figures from the background is an important first step in the analysis of a visual scene. Figure-ground segregation is thought to rely on interactions between the primary visual cortex (area V1) and higher visual areas. Upon presentation of a new image, the initial V1 responses reflect the information in the neurons receptive fields (RFs), whereas later activity is context-dependent so that the representations of figures are enhanced relative to the background (1,2,3). It is unknown if the figural response enhancement in V1 plays a role in perception and the mechanisms that produce it are not well understood. We trained mice to report a contrast-defined figure or a figure on a textured background that required figure-ground segregation, and optogenetically silenced V1 activity at different time-points. Suppression of early V1 activity interfered with both visual tasks, but suppression of the later activity selectively interfered with figure-ground perception. Using widefield imaging, we observed that figures also elicited stronger activity than the background in higher visual areas, and we used optogenetics to demonstrate that the extra activity is fed back to enhance the V1 figure representation. Within V1, ...Continue Reading

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