Adaptation shifts preferred orientation of tuning curve in the mouse visual cortex

PLoS One. 2013 May 23;8(5):e64294. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064294. Print 2013.


In frontalized mammals it has been demonstrated that adaptation produces shift of the peak of the orientation tuning curve of neuron following frequent or lengthier presentation of a non-preferred stimulus. Depending on the duration of adaptation the shift is attractive (toward the adapter) or repulsive (away from the adapter). Mouse exhibits a salt-and-pepper cortical organization of orientation maps, hence this species may respond differently to adaptation. To examine this question, we determined the effect of twelve minutes of adaptation to one particular orientation on neuronal orientation tuning curves in V1 of anesthetized mice. Multi-unit activity of neurons in V1 was recorded in a conventional fashion. Cells were stimulated with sine-wave drifting gratings whose orientation tilted in steps. Results revealed that similarly to cats and monkeys, majority of cells shifted their optimal orientation in the direction of the adapter while a small proportion exhibited a repulsive shift. Moreover, initially untuned cells showing poor tuning curves reacted to adaptation by displaying sharp orientation selectivity. It seems that modification of the cellular property following adaptation is a general phenomenon observed in all mammals in spite of the different organization pattern of the visual cortex. This study is of pertinence to comprehend the mechanistic pathways of brain plasticity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Ocular*
  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Mice
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Orientation*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Visual Cortex / cytology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*

Grant support

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council 8290 AND Fonds de Recherche du Quebec - Nature et Technolgies - 137773. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.