Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Vision has long been the model for understanding cortical function. Great progress has been made in understanding the transformations that occur within some primary visual cortex (V1) layers, like the emergence of orientation selectivity in layer 4. Less is known about other V1 circuit elements, like the shaping of V1 input via corticothalamic projections, or the population structure of the cortico-cortical output in layer 2/3. Here, we use the mouse early visual system to investigate the structure and function of circuit elements in V1. We use two approaches: comparative physiology and optogenetics. We measured the structure of pairwise correlations in the output layer 2/3 using extracellular recordings. We find that despite a lack of organization in mouse V1 seen in other species, the specificity of connections preserves a correlation structure on multiple timescales. To investigate the role of corticogeniculate projections, we utilize a transgenic mouse line to specifically and reversibly manipulate these projections with millisecond precision. We find that activity of these cells results a mix of inhibition and excitation in the thalamus, is not spatiotemporally specific, and can affect correlated activity. Finally, we classify mouse thalamic cells according to stimuli used for cell classification in primates and cats, finding some, but not complete, homology to the processing streams of primate thalamus and further highlighting fundamentals of mammalian visual system organization.
Denman, Daniel, "Correlated Activity and Corticothalamic Cell Function in the Early Mouse Visual System" (2014). Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations. 1254.