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Experience-Dependent Specialization of Receptive Field Surround for Selective Coding of Natural Scenes

Neuron 84: 457-69. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.09.010. Epub 2014 Sep 25

Authors/Editors: Pecka M
Han Y
Sader E
Mrsci-Flogel TD
Publication Date: 2014
Type of Publication: Journal Articles 2001 - 2017

Abstract

At eye opening, neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) are selective for stimulus features, but circuits continue to refine in an experience-dependent manner for some weeks thereafter. How these changes contribute to the coding of visual features embedded in complex natural scenes remains unknown. Here we show that normal visual experience after eye opening is required for V1 neurons to develop a sensitivity for the statistical structure of natural stimuli extending beyond the boundaries of their receptive fields (RFs), which leads to improvements in coding efficiency for full-field natural scenes (increased selectivity and information rate). These improvements are mediated by an experience-dependent increase in the effectiveness of natural surround stimuli to hyperpolarize the membrane potential specifically during RF-stimulus epochs triggering action potentials. We suggest that neural circuits underlying surround modulation are shaped by the statistical structure of visual input, which leads to more selective coding of features in natural scenes.

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