Stream-Specific Feedback Inputs to the Primate Primary Visual Cortex

Frederick Federer, Seminare Ta’afua, Sam Merlin, Alessandra Angelucci

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Received Date: 30th March 20

The sensory neocortex consists of hierarchically-organized areas reciprocally connected via feedforward and feedback circuits. Feedforward connections shape the receptive field properties of neurons in higher areas within parallel streams specialized in processing specific stimulus attributes. Feedback connections, instead, have been implicated in top-down modulations, such as attention, prediction and sensory context. However, their computational role remains unknown, partly because we lack knowledge about rules of feedback connectivity to constrain models of feedback function. For example, it is unknown whether feedback connections maintain stream-specific segregation, or integrate information across parallel streams. Using selective viral-mediated labeling of feedback connections arising from specific cytochrome-oxidase stripes of macaque visual area V2, we find that feedback to the primary visual cortex (V1) is organized into parallel streams resembling the reciprocal feedforward pathways. These results suggest that functionally-specialized V2 feedback channels modulate V1 responses to specific stimulus attributes, an organizational principle that could extend to feedback pathways in other sensory systems.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

Nature Communications

Nature Research, Springer Nature