Suppressive surrounds and contrast gain in magnocellular-pathway retinal ganglion cells of macaque

Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, New York 10003, USA.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.75). 09/2006; 26(34):8715-26. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0821-06.2006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The modulation sensitivity of visual neurons can be influenced by remote stimuli which, when presented alone, cause no change in the ongoing discharge rate of the neuron. We show here that the extraclassical surrounds that underlie these effects are present in magnocellular-pathway (MC) but not in parvocellular-pathway (PC) retinal ganglion cells of the macaque. The response of MC cells to drifting gratings and flashing spots was halved by drifting or contrast-reversing gratings surrounding their receptive fields, but PC cell responses were unaffected. The suppression cannot have arisen from the classical receptive field, or been caused by scattered light, because it could be evoked by annuli that themselves caused little or no response from the cell, and is consistent with the action of a divisive suppressive mechanism. Suppression in MC cells was broadly tuned for spatial and temporal frequency and greater at high contrast. If perceptual phenomena with similar stimulus contexts, such as the "shift effect" and saccadic suppression, have a retinal component, then they reflect the activity of the MC pathway.

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    ABSTRACT: Stimuli appearing in the surround of the classical receptive field (CRF) can reduce neuronal firing and perceived contrast of a preferred stimulus in the CRF, a phenomenon referred to as surround suppression. Suppression is greatest when the surrounding stimulus has the same orientation and spatial frequency (SF) as the central target. Although spatial attention has been shown to influence surround suppression, the effects of feature-based attention have yet to be characterized. Using behavioral contrast adaptation in humans, we examined center-surround interactions between SF and orientation, and asked whether attending to one feature dimension versus the other influenced suppression. A center-surround triplet comprised of a central target Gabor and two flanking Gabors were used for adaptation. The flankers could have the same SF and orientation as the target, or differ in one or both of the feature dimensions. Contrast thresholds were measured for the target before and after adapting to center-surround triplets, and postadaptation thresholds were taken as an indirect measure of surround suppression. Both feature dimensions contributed to surround suppression and did not summate. Moreover, when center and surround had the same feature value in one dimension (e.g., same orientation) but had different values in the other dimension (e.g., different SF), there was more suppression when attention was directed to the feature dimension that matched between center and surround than when attention was directed to the feature dimension that differed. These results demonstrate that feature-based attention can influence center-surround interactions by enhancing the effects of the attended dimension. © 2015 ARVO.


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