In anesthetized and immobilized domestic cats, we have studied the effects of brief reversible inactivation (by cooling to 10 °C) of the ipsilateral or contralateral postero-temporal visual (PTV) cortices on: 1) the magnitude of spike-responses of neurons in striate cortex (cytoarchitectonic area 17, area V1) to optimized sine-wave modulated contrast-luminosity gratings confined to the classical receptive fields (CRFs) and 2) the relative strengths of modulation of CRF-induced spike-responses by gratings extending into the extra-classical receptive field (ECRF). Consistent with our previous reports (Bardy et al., 2006; Huang et al., 2007), inactivation of ipsilateral PTV cortex (presumed homologue of primate infero-temporal cortex) resulted in significant reversible changes (almost all substantial reductions) in the magnitude of spike-responses to CRF-confined stimuli in about half of the V1 neurones. Similarly, in half of the present sample, inactivation of ipsilateral PTV cortex resulted in significant reversible changes (in over 70% of cases, reduction) in the relative strength of ECRF modulation of the CRF-induced spike-responses. By contrast, despite the fact that receptive fields of all V1 cells tested were located within 5° of representation of the zero vertical meridian, inactivation of contralateral PTV cortex only rarely resulted in significant (yet invariably small) changes in the magnitude of spike-responses to CRF-confined stimuli or significant (again invariably small) changes in the relative strength of ECRF modulation of spike-responses. Thus, the ipsilateral, but not contralateral, 'higher-order' visual cortical areas make significant contribution not only to the magnitude of CRF-induced spike-responses but also to the relative strengths of ECRF-induced modulation of the spike-responses of V1 neurons. Therefore, the feedback signals originating from the ipsilateral higher-order cortical areas appear to make an important contribution to contextual modulation of responses of neurons in the primary visual cortices.
- 'higher-order' visual cortices
- contextual modulation
- reversible cortical inactivation
- silent surround
- single neuron recordings
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