Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Dr. Alessandra Angelucci, "Contextual Integration in Primary Visual Cortex: Circuits, Mechanism, and Function"

Mon, April 24, 2017 | SEAY 4.244

12:00 PM

CPS Colloquium Series
Spring 2017


Alessandra Angelucci, Ph.D.
Dpts. Neuroscience, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Moran Eye Institute
University of Utah


"Contextual Integration in Primary Visual Cortex: Circuits, Mechanism, and Function"

April 24, 12pm - 1pm, SEAY 4.244

Reception with refreshments at 11:45 a.m. 

Find information about current and upcoming talks at CPS on our website.

Abstract:  Sensory perception is profoundly affected by spatial context. In sensory cortices, neuronal responses to visual stimuli inside their receptive field (RF) are modulated by contextual stimuli outside the RF, a phenomenon called surround modulation (SM). How do neuronal RFs integrate spatial information from outside the RF, and what is the function of SM? One goal of my laboratory research is to answer these two important questions, using the macaque primary visual cortex (V1) as a model system. Understanding the circuit and mechanisms for SM in V1 can reveal fundamental principles of computations in sensory cortices, as this phenomenon exists throughout sensory modalities and animal species.

Current debate is centered over whether feedforward or intracortical circuits generate SM, and whether this results from increased inhibition or reduced excitation. I will present a working hypothesis, based on theoretical and experimental evidence, that SM results from feedforward, horizontal, and feedback interactions with local recurrent connections, via synaptic mechanisms involving both increased inhibition and reduced recurrent excitation. In particular, strong and balanced recurrent excitatory and inhibitory circuits play a crucial role in the computation of SM.


Sponsored by: Center for Perceptual Systems

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