Cortical suppressive waves shape the representation of long-range apparent motion.

Sandrine Chemla, Alexandre Reynaud, Matteo diVolo, Yann Zerlaut, Laurent Perrinet, Alain Destexhe and Frédéric Chavane

bioRxiv preprint: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/10/09/372763

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Abstract

How does the brain link visual stimuli across space and time? Visual illusions provide an experimental paradigm to study these processes. When two stationary dots are flashed in close spatial and temporal succession, human observers experience a percept of motion. Large spatio-temporal separation challenges the visual system to keep track of object identity along the apparent motion path. Here, we utilize voltage-sensitive dye imaging in primary visual cortex (V1) of the awake monkey to investigate whether intra-cortical connections within V1 can shape cortical dynamics to represent the illusory motion. We find that the arrival of the second stimulus in V1 creates a suppressive wave traveling toward the retinotopic representation of the first. Computational approaches show that this suppressive wave can be explained by recurrent gain control fed by the intra-cortical network and contributes to precisely encode the expected motion velocity. We suggest that non-linear intra-cortical dynamics preformat population responses in V1 for optimal read-out by downstream areas.
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