Cascaded effects of spatial adaptation in the early visual system

Neuron. 2014 Feb 5;81(3):529-35. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.11.025.


Virtually all stages of the visual system exhibit adaptation: neurons adjust their responses based on the recent stimulus history. While some of these adjustments occur at specific stages, others may be inherited from earlier stages. How do adaptation effects cascade along the visual system? We measured spatially selective adaptation at two successive stages in the mouse visual system: visual thalamus (LGN) and primary visual cortex (V1). This form of adaptation affected both stages but in drastically different ways: in LGN it only changed response gain, while in V1 it also shifted spatial tuning away from the adaptor. These effects, however, are reconciled by a simple model whereby V1 neurons summate LGN inputs with a fixed, unadaptable weighting profile. These results indicate that adaptation effects cascade through the visual system, that this cascading can shape selectivity, and that the rules of integration from one stage to the next are not themselves adaptable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Adaptation, Ocular / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Channelrhodopsins
  • Geniculate Bodies / cytology
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiology*
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / cytology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology
  • Wakefulness


  • Channelrhodopsins