Orientation sensitive elements in the corticofugal influence on centre-surround interactions in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus

Exp Brain Res. 1993;93(1):6-16. doi: 10.1007/BF00227775.


In a previous study, we have shown that the corticofugal projection to the dLGN enhances inhibitory mechanisms underlying length tuning. This suggests that the inhibitory influences deriving from the corticofugal feedback should exhibit characteristics that reflect the response properties of orientation-tuned layer VI cells. Here we report data obtained from experiments using a bipartite visual stimulus, with an inner section over the dLGN cell receptive field centre and an outer section extending beyond it. For both X and Y cells there was a modulation of the strength of the surround antagonism of centre responses that was dependent on the orientation alignment of contours in the two components of the stimulus. Layer VI cells showed maximal responses when the two components were aligned to the same orientation; dLGN cells showed a minimal response. Varying the orientation alignment of the inner and outer components of the stimulus in a randomised, interleaved fashion showed that bringing the stimulus into alignment resulted in a 24.28% increase in the surround antagonism of the centre response. Blocking cortical activity showed this effect of alignment to be strongly dependent on corticofugal feedback. This effect of orientation alignment appears to apply for any absolute orientation of the alignment condition and supports the view that an entire subset of cortical orientation columns generate the feedback influencing any given dLGN cell. This mechanism makes dLGN cells sensitive to the orientation domain discontinuities in elongated contours moving across their receptive field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Feedback / physiology
  • Female
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiology*
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Visual Cortex / physiology