[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amblyopia is a developmental disorder resulting in poor vision in one eye. The mechanism by which input to the affected eye is prevented from reaching the level of awareness remains poorly understood. We recorded simultaneously from large populations of neurons in the supragranular layers of areas V1 and V2 in 6 macaques that were made amblyopic by rearing with artificial strabismus or anisometropia, and 1 normally reared control. In agreement with previous reports, we found that cortical neuronal signals driven through the amblyopic eyes were reduced, and that cortical neurons were on average more strongly driven by the non-amblyopic than by the amblyopic eyes. We analyzed multiunit recordings using standard population decoding methods, and found that visual signals from the amblyopic eye, while weakened, were not degraded enough to explain the behavioral deficits. Thus additional losses must arise in downstream processing. We tested the idea that under monocular viewing conditions, only signals from neurons dominated by – rather than driven by – the open eye might be used. This reduces the proportion of neuronal signals available from the amblyopic eye, and amplifies the interocular difference observed at the level of single neurons. We conclude that amblyopia might arise in part from degradation in the neuronal signals from the amblyopic eye, and in part from a reduction in the number of signals processed by downstream areas.
Vision Research 01/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.visres.2015.01.012 · 2.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many experiments in neuroscience require or would benefit tremendously from a wireless neural recording system. However, commercially available wireless systems are expensive, have moderate to high noise and are often not customizable. Academic wireless systems present impressive capabilities -, but are not available for other labs to use. To overcome these limitations, we have developed an ultra-low noise 8 channel wireless electrophysiological data acquisition system using standard, commercially available components. The system is capable of recording many types of neurological signals, including EEG, ECoG, LFP and unit activity. With a diameter of just 25 mm and height of 9 mm, including a CR2032 Lithium coin cell battery, it is designed to fit into a small recording chamber while minimizing the overall implant height (Fig. 1 and 3). Using widely available parts we were able to keep the material cost of our system under $100 dollars. The complete design, including schematic, PCB layout, bill of materials and source code, will be released through an open source license, allowing other labs to modify the design to fit their needs. We have also developed a driver to acquire data using the BCI2000 software system. Feedback from the community will allow us to improve the design and create a more useful neuroscience research tool.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lateral spatial interactions among elements of a scene, which either enhance or degrade visual performance, are ubiquitous in vision. The neural mechanisms underlying lateral spatial interactions are a matter of debate, and various hypotheses have been proposed. Suppressive effects may be due to local inhibitory interactions, whereas facilitatory effects are typically ascribed either to the function of long-range horizontal projections in V1 or to uncertainty reduction. We investigated the development of lateral spatial interactions, facilitation and suppression, and compared their developmental profiles to those of potential underlying mechanisms in the visual system of infant macaques. Animals ranging in age from 10 weeks to 3 years were tested with a lateral masking paradigm. We found that suppressive interactions are present from very early in postnatal life, showing no change over the age range tested. However, facilitation develops slowly over the first year after birth. Our data suggest that the early maturation of suppressive interactions is related to the relatively mature receptive field properties of neurons in early visual cortical areas near birth in infant macaques, whereas the later maturation of facilitation is unlikely to be explained by development of local or long-range connectivity in primary visual cortex. Instead our data favor a late developing feedback or top-down cognitive process to explain the origin of facilitation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To explore the relative development of the dorsal and ventral extrastriate processing streams, we studied the development of sensitivity to form and motion in macaque monkeys (Macaca nemestrina). We used Glass patterns and random dot kinematograms (RDK) to assay ventral and dorsal stream function, respectively. We tested 24 animals, longitudinally or cross-sectionally, between the ages of 5 weeks and 3 years. Each animal was tested with Glass patterns and RDK stimuli with each of two pattern types--circular and linear--at each age using a two alternative forced-choice task. We measured coherence threshold for discrimination of the global form or motion pattern from an incoherent control stimulus. Sensitivity to global motion appeared earlier than to global form and was higher at all ages, but performance approached adult levels at similar ages. Infants were most sensitive to large spatial scale (Δx) and fast speeds; sensitivity to fine scale and slow speeds developed more slowly independently of pattern type. Within the motion domain, pattern type had little effect on overall performance. However, within the form domain, sensitivity for linear Glass patterns was substantially poorer than that for concentric patterns. Our data show comparatively early onset for global motion integration ability, perhaps reflecting early development of the dorsal stream. However, both pathways mature over long time courses reaching adult levels between 2 and 3 years after birth.
Vision research 05/2012; 63:34-42. DOI:10.1016/j.visres.2012.04.018 · 2.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amblyopic humans are known to have a range of spatial vision abnormalities. Prior studies have documented amblyopic deficits in global form perception but have typically used only one set of stimulus parameters. Our aim in this study was to examine the extent and nature of global form perception deficits in strabismic amblyopia using a range of spatial scales and pattern types. Glass patterns are random dot stimuli in which the local orientations of paired dots must be integrated over space to yield a global form percept. We measured coherence thresholds for discrimination of pattern structure in translational (linear) and concentric Glass patterns at three spatial scales in two control and six amblyopic observers. We found that sensitivity to Glass patterns depended on both spatial scale and pattern type in all observers. Participants with a history of abnormal early visual experience showed greater interocular threshold difference when the discrimination was based on translational patterns than when it was based on concentric patterns, and the degree of amblyopic loss was greatest at fine spatial scale. Our results show that the nature and extent of global form vision deficits vary substantially with stimulus parameters and are greatest at fine spatial scales.
Journal of Vision 10/2010; 10(12):25. DOI:10.1167/10.12.25 · 2.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early experience affects the development of the visual system. Ocular misalignment or unilateral blur often causes amblyopia, a disorder that has become a standard for understanding developmental plasticity. Neurophysiological studies of amblyopia have focused almost entirely on the first stage of cortical processing in striate cortex. Here we provide the first extensive study of how amblyopia affects extrastriate cortex in nonhuman primates. We studied macaque monkeys (Macaca nemestrina) for which we have detailed psychophysical data, directly comparing physiological findings to perceptual capabilities. Because these subjects showed deficits in motion discrimination, we focused on area MT/V5, which plays a central role in motion processing. Most neurons in normal MT respond equally to visual stimuli presented through either eye; most recorded in amblyopes strongly preferred stimulation of the nonamblyopic (fellow) eye. The pooled responses of neurons driven by the amblyopic eye showed reduced sensitivity to coherent motion and preferred higher speeds, in agreement with behavioral measurements. MT neurons were more limited in their capacity to integrate motion information over time than expected from behavioral performance; neurons driven by the amblyopic eye had even shorter integration times than those driven by the fellow eye. We conclude that some, but not all, of the motion sensitivity deficits associated with amblyopia can be explained by abnormal development of MT.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 09/2010; 30(36):12198-209. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3055-10.2010 · 6.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In human and non-human primates, higher form vision matures substantially later than spatial acuity and contrast sensitivity, as revealed by performance on such tasks as figure-ground segregation and contour integration. Our goal was to understand whether delayed maturation on these tasks was intrinsically form-dependent or, rather, related to the nature of spatial integration necessary for extracting task-relevant cues. We used an intermediate-level form task that did not call for extensive spatial integration. We trained monkeys (6-201 weeks) to discriminate the orientation of pattern modulation in a two-alternative forced choice paradigm. We presented two families of form patterns, defined by texture or contrast variations, and luminance-defined patterns for comparison. Infant monkeys could discriminate texture- and contrast-defined form as early as 6 weeks; sensitivity improved up to 40 weeks. Surprisingly, sensitivity for texture- and contrast-defined form matured earlier than for luminance-defined form. These results suggest that intermediate-level form vision develops in concert with basic spatial vision rather than following sequentially. Comparison with earlier results reveals that different aspects of form vision develop over different time courses, with processes that depend on comparing local image content maturing earlier than those requiring "global" linking of multiple visual elements across a larger spatial extent.
Journal of Vision 09/2010; 10(11):11. DOI:10.1167/10.11.11 · 2.73 Impact Factor