Cone inputs to murine striate cortex

Ekesten, Björn; Gouras, Peter

We have recorded responses from single neurons in murine visual cortex to determine the effectiveness of the input from the two murine cone photoreceptor mechanisms and whether there is any unique selectivity for cone inputs at this higher region of the visual system that would support the possibility of colour vision in mice. Each eye was stimulated by diffuse light, either 370 (strong stimulus for the ultra-violet (UV) cone opsin) or 505 nm (exclusively stimulating the middle wavelength sensitive (M) cone opsin), obtained from light emitting diodes (LEDs) in the presence of a strong adapting light that suppressed the responses of rods. Single cells responded to these diffuse stimuli in all areas of striate cortex. Two types of responsive cells were encountered. One type (135/323 – 42%) had little to no spontaneous activity and responded at either the on and/or the off phase of the light stimulus with a few impulses often of relatively large amplitude. A second type (166/323 – 51%) had spontaneous activity and responded tonically to light stimuli with impulses often of small amplitude. Most of the cells responded similarly to both spectral stimuli. A few (18/323 – 6%) responded strongly or exclusively to one or the other spectral stimulus and rarely in a spectrally opponent manner. Most cells in murine striate cortex receive excitatory inputs from both UV- and M-cones. A small fraction shows either strong selectivity for one or the other cone mechanism and occasionally cone opponent responses. Cells that could underlie chromatic contrast detection are present but extremely rare in murine striate cortex.



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Also Published In

BMC Neuroscience

More About This Work

Academic Units
BioMed Central
Published Here
September 8, 2014