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lateral geniculate nucleus [keywords]
- Modeling lateral geniculate nucleus response with contrast gain control. Part 1: formulation. [Journal Article]
- J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis 2013 Nov 1; 30(11):2401-8.
A class of models for lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) on-cell behavior is proposed. The models consist of a linear filter with divisive normalization by root mean square local contrast and include an intrinsic noise density parameter. The properties of these models are shown to match observed LGN behavior: (1) a linear response to low-magnitude stimuli; (2) a linear response without saturation (luxotonic behavior) for zero-contrast stimuli (homogeneous fields) with increasing magnitude; and (3) response saturation for nonzero contrast stimuli with increasing magnitude. The models possess an intrinsic scale for signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The models show under and supersaturation, as well as saturation, for sinusoidal grating stimuli with increasing contrast and predict that different SNR regimes will cause a single neuron to show different contrast response curves. A companion paper  provides a detailed analysis of the full nonlinear response for sinusoidal grating stimuli and circular spot stimuli.
- Altered anterior visual system development following early monocular enucleation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Neuroimage Clin 2013.:72-81.
Retinoblastoma is a rare eye cancer that generally occurs before 5 years of age and often results in enucleation (surgical removal) of the cancerous eye. In the present study, we sought to determine the consequences of early monocular enucleation on the morphological development of the anterior visual pathway including the optic chiasm and lateral geniculate nucleus.A group of adults who had one eye enucleated early in life due to retinoblastoma was compared to binocularly intact controls. Although structural changes have previously been reported in late enucleation, we also collected data from one late enucleated participant to compare to our early enucleated participants. Measurements of the optic nerves, optic chiasm, optic tracts and lateral geniculate nuclei were evaluated from T1 weighted and proton density weighted images collected from each participant.The early monocular enucleation group exhibited overall degeneration of the anterior visual system compared to controls. Surprisingly, however, optic tract diameter and geniculate volume decreases were less severe contralateral to the remaining eye. Consistent with previous research, the late enucleated participant showed no asymmetry and significantly larger volume decreases in both geniculate nuclei compared to controls.The novel finding of an asymmetry in morphology of the anterior visual system following long-term survival from early monocular enucleation indicates altered postnatal visual development. Possible mechanisms behind this altered development include recruitment of deafferented cells by crossing nasal fibres and/or geniculate cell retention via feedback from primary visual cortex. These data highlight the importance of balanced binocular input during postnatal maturation for typical anterior visual system morphology.
- Subcortical connections of area V4 in the macaque. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Comp Neurol 2013 Nov 29.
Area V4 has numerous, topographically organized connections with multiple cortical areas, some of which are important for spatially-organized visual processing, and others of which seem important for spatial attention. Although the topographic organization of V4's connections with other cortical areas has been established, the detailed topography of its connections with subcortical areas is unclear. We therefore injected retrograde and anterograde tracers in different topographical regions of V4 in 9 macaques to determine the organization of its subcortical connections. The injection sites included representations ranging from the fovea to far peripheral eccentricities in both the upper and lower visual fields. The topographically organized connections of V4 included bidirectional connections with four subdivisions of the pulvinar, two subdivisions of the claustrum, and the interlaminar portions of the lateral geniculate nucleus, and efferent projections to the superficial and intermediate layers of the superior colliculus, the thalamic reticular nucleus, and the caudate nucleus. All of these structures have a possible role in spatial attention. The non-topographic, or converging, connections included bidirectional connections with the lateral nucleus of the amygdala, afferent inputs from the dorsal raphe, median raphe, locus coeruleus, ventral tegmentum and nucleus basalis of Meynert, and efferent projections to the putamen. Any role of these structures in attention may be less spatially specific. J. Comp. Neurol., 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Nitric oxide as a regulatory molecule in the processing of the visual stimulus. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Nitric Oxide 2013 Nov 23.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a highly reactive gas with considerable diffusion power that is produced pre- and post synaptically in the central nervous system (CNS). In the visual system, it is involved in the processing of the visual information from the retina to superior visual centers. In this review we discuss the main mechanisms through which nitric oxide acts, in physiological levels, on the retina, lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and primary visual cortex. In the retina, the cGMP-dependent nitric oxide activity initially amplifies the signal, subsequently increasing the inhibitory activity, suggesting that the signal is "filtered". In the thalamus, on dLGN, neuronal activity is amplified by NO derived from brainstem cholinergic cells, in a cGMP-independent mechanism; the result is the amplification of the signal arriving from retina. Finally, on the visual cortex (V1), NO acts through changes on the cGMP levels, increasing signal detection. These observations suggest that NO works like a filter, modulating the signal along the visual pathways.
- Mapping the primate lateral geniculate nucleus: A review of experiments and methods. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Physiol Paris 2013 Nov 21.
Mapping neuronal responses in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) is key to understanding how visual information is processed in the brain. This paper focuses on our current knowledge of the dynamics the receptive field (RF) as broken down into the classical receptive field (CRF) and the extra-classical receptive field (ECRF) in primate LGN. CRFs in the LGN are known to be similar to those in the retinal ganglion cell layer in terms of both spatial and temporal characteristics, leading to the standard interpretation of the LGN as a relay center from retina to primary visual cortex. ECRFs have generally been found to be large and inhibitory, with some differences in magnitude between the magno-, parvo-, and koniocellular pathways. The specific contributions of the retina, thalamus, and visual cortex to LGN ECRF properties are presently unknown. Some reports suggest a retinal origin for extra-classical suppression based on latency arguments and other reports have suggested a thalamic origin for extra-classical suppression. This issue is complicated by the use of anesthetized animals, where cortical activity is likely to be altered. Thus further study of LGN ECRFs is warranted to reconcile these discrepancies. Producing descriptions of RF properties of LGN neurons could be enhanced by employing preferred naturalistic stimuli. Although there has been significant work in cats with natural scene stimuli and noise that statistically imitates natural scenes, we highlight a need for similar data from primates. Obtaining these data may be aided by recent advancements in experimental and analytical techniques that permit the efficient study of nonlinear RF characteristics in addition to traditional linear factors. In light of the reviewed topics, we conclude by suggesting experiments to more clearly elucidate the spatial and temporal structure of ECRFs of primate LGN neurons.
- Parvalbumin increases in the medial and lateral geniculate nuclei of aged rhesus macaques. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Front Aging Neurosci 2013.:69.
Subcortical auditory structures in the macaque auditory system increase their densities of neurons expressing the calcium binding protein parvalbumin (PV) with age. However, it is unknown whether these increases occur in the thalamic division of the auditory system, the medial geniculate nucleus (MGN). Furthermore, it is also unclear whether these age-related changes are specific to the macaque auditory system or are generalized to other sensory systems. To address these questions, the PV immunoreactivity of the medial and lateral geniculate nuclei (LGN) from seven rhesus macaques ranging in age from 15 to 35 was assessed. Densities of PV expressing neurons in the three subdivisions of the MGN and the six layers of the LGN were calculated separately using unbiased stereological sampling techniques. We found that the ventral and magnocellular subdivisions of the MGN and all six layers of the LGN increased their expressions of PV with age, although increases in the MGN were greater in magnitude than in the LGN. Together, these results suggest that the MGN shows age-related increases in PV expression as is seen throughout the macaque ascending auditory system, and that the analogous region of the visual system shows smaller increases. We conclude that, while there are some similarities between sensory systems, the age-related neurochemical changes seen throughout the macaque auditory system cannot be fully generalized to other sensory systems.
- Spatiotemporal flow of information in the early visual pathway. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Eur J Neurosci 2013 Nov 20.
The spatial components of a visual scene are processed neurally in a sequence of coarse features followed by fine features. This coarse-to-fine temporal stream was initially considered to be a cortical function, but has recently been demonstrated in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that coarse-to-fine processing is present at earlier stages of visual processing in the retinal ganglion cells that supply lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) neurons. To compare coarse-to-fine processing in the cat's visual system, we measured the visual responses of connected neuronal pairs from the retina and LGN, and separate populations of cells from each region. We found that coarse-to-fine processing was clearly present at the ganglion cell layer of the retina. Interestingly, peak and high-spatial-frequency cutoff responses were higher in the LGN than in the retina, indicating that there was a progressive cascade of coarse-to-fine information from the retina to the LGN to the visual cortex. The analysis of early visual pathway receptive field characteristics showed that the physiological response interplay between the center and surround regions was consistent with coarse-to-fine features and may provide a primary role in the underlying mechanism. Taken together, the results from this study provided a framework for understanding the emergence and refinement of coarse-to-fine processing in the visual system.
- Effects of antioxidant treatment on blast-induced brain injury. [Journal Article]
- PLoS One 2013; 8(11):e80138.
Blast-induced traumatic brain injury has dramatically increased in combat troops in today's military operations. We previously reported that antioxidant treatment can provide protection to the peripheral auditory end organ, the cochlea. In the present study, we examined biomarker expression in the brains of rats at different time points (3 hours to 21 days) after three successive 14 psi blast overpressure exposures to evaluate antioxidant treatment effects on blast-induced brain injury. Rats in the treatment groups received a combination of antioxidants (2,4-disulfonyl α-phenyl tertiary butyl nitrone and N-acetylcysteine) one hour after blast exposure and then twice a day for the following two days. The biomarkers examined included an oxidative stress marker (4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, 4-HNE), an immediate early gene (c-fos), a neural injury marker (glial fibrillary acidic protein, GFAP) and two axonal injury markers [amyloid beta (A4) precursor protein, APP, and 68 kDa neurofilament, NF-68]. The results demonstrate that blast exposure induced or up-regulated the following: 4-HNE production in the dorsal hippocampus commissure and the forceps major corpus callosum near the lateral ventricle; c-fos and GFAP expression in most regions of the brain, including the retrosplenial cortex, the hippocampus, the cochlear nucleus, and the inferior colliculus; and NF-68 and APP expression in the hippocampus, the auditory cortex, and the medial geniculate nucleus (MGN). Antioxidant treatment reduced the following: 4-HNE in the hippocampus and the forceps major corpus callosum, c-fos expression in the retrosplenial cortex, GFAP expression in the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN), and APP and NF-68 expression in the hippocampus, auditory cortex, and MGN. This preliminary study indicates that antioxidant treatment may provide therapeutic protection to the central auditory pathway (the DCN and MGN) and the non-auditory central nervous system (hippocampus and retrosplenial cortex), suggesting that these compounds have the potential to simultaneously treat blast-induced injuries in the brain and auditory system.
- Scaling the primate lateral geniculate nucleus: Niche and neurodevelopment in the regulation of magnocellular and parvocellular cell number and nucleus volume. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Comp Neurol 2013 Nov 13.
New stereological assessments of lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) neuron numbers and volumes in 5 New World primates (Cebus apella, Saguinus midas niger, Alouatta caraya, Aotus azarae and Callicebus moloch), and compiled LGN volumes for an additional 26 mammals were analyzed to better understand visual system evolution. Both the magnocellular (M) and parvocellular (P) cell populations scale allometrically with brain volume in primates, P cells with a significantly higher slope such that for every increase in M neuron number, P neuron numbers more than double (ln scale; y=0.89x+2.42R(2) = 0.664). In diurnal primates, the ratio of P to M cells was slightly, but significantly higher than in nocturnal primates. Considering all mammals including primates, LGN volume was unrelated to nocturnal or diurnal niche, but showed marked differences in slope and intercept depending on taxonomic group. The allometric scaling of M and P cells can be related to the order of neurogenesis, with late-generated P cells increasing with positive allometry compared to the earlier-generated M cells. This developmental regularity links relative foveal representation to relative isocortex enlargement, which is also generated late. The small increase in the P/M cell ratio in diurnal primates may result from increased developmental neuron loss in the M cell population as it competes for limited termination zones in primary visual cortex. J. Comp. Neurol., 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Detailed Illustration of the Visual Field Representation along the Visual Pathway to the Primary Visual Cortex: A Graphical Summary. [Journal Article]
- Ophthalmic Res 2014; 51(1):37-41.