Experimentally derived model shows that adaptation acts as a powerful spatiotemporal filter of visual responses in the rat collicular neurons

Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 12;8(1):8942. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27331-2.


Adaptation of visual responses enhances visual information processing mainly by preserving the full dynamic range of neuronal responses during changing light conditions and is found throughout the whole visual system. Although adaptation in the primate superior colliculus neurons has received much attention little is known about quantitative properties of such adaptation in rodents, an increasingly important model in vision research. By employing single unit recordings, we demonstrate that in the rat collicular neurons visual responses are shaped by at least two forms of adaptation. When visual stimuli were repeatedly presented in the same location, visual responses were reduced in the majority of single units. However, when the adaptor stimulus was outside a small diameter receptive field (RF), responses to stimulus onset but not offset were enhanced in the majority of units. Responses to stimulus offset were reduced less and recovered faster than responses to stimulus onset and the effect was limited to a fraction of RF area. Simulations showed that such adaptation acted as a powerful spatiotemporal filter and could explain several tuning properties of collicular neurons. These results demonstrate that in rodents the adaption of visual responses has a complex spatiotemporal structure and can profoundly shape visual information processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spatio-Temporal Analysis*
  • Superior Colliculi / cytology
  • Superior Colliculi / physiology
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / cytology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology
  • Visual Fields / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*