We report the results of extracellular single-unit recording experiments where we quantitatively analyzed the receptive-field (RF) properties of neurons in V1 and an adjacent extrastriate visual area (V2L) of anesthetized mice with emphasis on the RF center-surround organization. We compared the results with the RF center-surround organization of V1 and V2 neurons in macaque monkeys. If species differences in spatial scale are taken into consideration, mouse V1 and V2L neurons had remarkably fine stimulus selectivity, and the majority of response properties in V2L were not different from those in V1. The RF center-surround organization of mouse V1 neurons was qualitatively similar to that for macaque monkeys (i.e., the RF center is surrounded by extended suppressive regions). However, unlike in monkey V2, a significant proportion of cortical neurons, largely complex cells in V2L, did not exhibit quantifiable RF surround suppression. Simple cells had smaller RF centers than complex cells, and the prevalence and strength of surround suppression were greater in simple cells than in complex cells. These findings, particularly on the RF center-surround organization of visual cortical neurons, give new insights into the principles governing cortical circuits in the mouse visual cortex and should provide further impetus for the use of mice in studies on the genetic and molecular basis of RF development and synaptic plasticity.
(c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.