Wide-field voltage imaging is unique in its capability to capture snapshots of activity-across the full gradient of average changes in membrane potentials from subthreshold to suprathreshold levels-of hundreds of thousands of superficial cortical neurons that are simultaneously active. Here, I highlight two examples where voltage-sensitive dye imaging (VSDI) was exploited to track gradual space-time changes of activity within milliseconds across several millimeters of cortex at submillimeter resolution: the line-motion condition, measured in Amiram Grinvald's Laboratory more than 10 years ago and-coming full circle running VSDI in my laboratory-another motion-inducing condition, in which two neighboring stimuli counterchange luminance simultaneously. In both examples, cortical spread is asymmetrically boosted, creating suprathreshold activity drawn out over primary visual cortex. These rapidly propagating waves may integrate brain signals that encode motion independent of direction-selective circuits.
Keywords: V1 motion encoding; cortical propagation; line-motion; luminance counterchange; voltage-sensitive dye imaging.