Adaptation to stimulus contrast and correlations during natural visual stimulation

Neuron. 2007 Aug 2;55(3):479-91. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.07.013.


In this study, we characterize the adaptation of neurons in the cat lateral geniculate nucleus to changes in stimulus contrast and correlations. By comparing responses to high- and low-contrast natural scene movie and white noise stimuli, we show that an increase in contrast or correlations results in receptive fields with faster temporal dynamics and stronger antagonistic surrounds, as well as decreases in gain and selectivity. We also observe contrast- and correlation-induced changes in the reliability and sparseness of neural responses. We find that reliability is determined primarily by processing in the receptive field (the effective contrast of the stimulus), while sparseness is determined by the interactions between several functional properties. These results reveal a number of adaptive phenomena and suggest that adaptation to stimulus contrast and correlations may play an important role in visual coding in a dynamic natural environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology*
  • Geniculate Bodies / cytology
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiology
  • Nature*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*