Orbitofrontal control of visual cortex gain promotes visual associative learning

Dechen Liu, Juan Deng, Zhewei Zhang, Zhi-Yu Zhang, Yan-Gang Sun, Tianming Yang and Haishan Yao

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Oct 24, 2019
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Received Date: 16th October 19

Signaling of expected outcomes in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is critical for outcome-guided and learning behavior. The OFC projects to primary visual cortex (V1), yet the function of this top-down projection is unclear. We found that optogenetic activation of OFC projection to V1 reduced the amplitude of V1 visual responses via the recruitment of local somatostatin-expressing (SST) interneurons. Using mice performing a Go/No-Go visual task, we showed that the OFC projection to V1 mediated the suppression of V1 responses to the reward-irrelevant No-Go stimulus. Furthermore, the responses of V1-projecting OFC neurons to No-Go stimulus were reduced when the mice’s expectation was incorrect. In addition, optogenetic inactivation of OFC projection to V1 impaired, whereas activation of SST interneurons in V1 improved the learning of Go/No-Go visual task. Thus, OFC top-down projection to V1 is crucial to drive visual associative learning by reducing the response gain of V1 neurons to non-relevant stimulus.

Read in full at bioRxiv.

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 It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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