Local and Global Influences of Visual Spatial Selection and Locomotion in Mouse Primary Visual Cortex

Curr Biol. 2019 May 20;29(10):1592-1605.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.03.065. Epub 2019 May 2.


Sensory selection and movement locally and globally modulate neural responses in seemingly similar ways. For example, locomotion enhances visual responses in mouse primary visual cortex (V1), resembling the effects of spatial attention on primate visual cortical activity. However, interactions between these local and global mechanisms and the resulting effects on perceptual behavior remain largely unknown. Here, we describe a novel mouse visual spatial selection task in which animals either monitor one of two locations for a contrast change ("selective mice") or monitor both ("non-selective mice") and can run at will. Selective mice perform well only when their selected stimulus changes, giving rise to local electrophysiological changes in the corresponding hemisphere of V1 including decreased noise correlations and increased visual information. Non-selective mice perform well when either stimulus changes, giving rise to global changes across both hemispheres of V1. During locomotion, selective mice have worse behavioral performance, increased noise correlations in V1, and decreased visual information, while non-selective mice have decreased noise correlations in V1 but no change in performance or visual information. Our findings demonstrate that mice can locally or globally enhance visual information, but the interaction of the global effect of locomotion with local selection impairs behavioral performance. Moving forward, this mouse model will facilitate future studies of local and global sensory modulatory mechanisms and their effects on behavior.

Keywords: behavior; electrophysiology; locomotion; mouse; neuroscience; noise correlations; visual cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Random Allocation
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*