Cell-Targeted Optogenetics and Electrical Microstimulation Reveal the Primate Koniocellular Projection to Supra-granular Visual Cortex

Neuron. 2016 Apr 6;90(1):143-51. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.02.036. Epub 2016 Mar 24.


Electrical microstimulation and more recently optogenetics are widely used to map large-scale brain circuits. However, the neuronal specificity achieved with both methods is not well understood. Here we compare cell-targeted optogenetics and electrical microstimulation in the macaque monkey brain to functionally map the koniocellular lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) projection to primary visual cortex (V1). Selective activation of the LGN konio neurons with CamK-specific optogenetics caused selective electrical current inflow in the supra-granular layers of V1. Electrical microstimulation targeted at LGN konio layers revealed the same supra-granular V1 activation pattern as the one elicited by optogenetics. Taken together, these findings establish a selective koniocellular LGN influence on V1 supra-granular layers, and they indicate comparable capacities of both stimulation methods to isolate thalamo-cortical circuits in the primate brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2 / metabolism
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Geniculate Bodies / metabolism
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiology*
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Optogenetics
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*


  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2