Transfer characteristics of lateral geniculate nucleus X-neurons in the cat: effects of temporal frequency

Exp Brain Res. 1994;98(2):191-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00228408.


The dependency of intrageniculate signal transfer on stimulus temporal frequency was investigated by comparing responses of individual X-relay cells with their direct retinal inputs in anesthetized and paralyzed cats. Temporal frequency response functions of lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) X-cells were more narrowly tuned than those of their retinal inputs. The efficiency of signal transfer was consistently highest at or around the geniculate cells' optimal temporal frequency, and the degree of signal transfer, which was more closely related to the LGN cells' firing rate than to the firing rate of their retinal input, decreased for both lower and higher temporal frequencies. The high temporal frequency cut-offs were significantly lower in geniculate cell responses than those of their direct retinal inputs. This reduction in temporal resolution was exaggerated for relatively low stimulus spatial frequencies. The present results provide clear evidence for the notion that LGN cells function as nonlinear temporal filters and that this stimulus-dependent signal transmission appears to be regulated by complex local mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electroencephalography
  • Geniculate Bodies / cytology
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology