Zoom in on neural circuits in macaque visual cortex

Shiming Tang

Peking University
Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 10:30am
560 Evans

My lab focuses on the neural mechanism of visual object recognition and developing techniques for neuronal circuit mapping. We have established long-term two-photon imaging in awake monkeys — the first and critical step toward comprehensive circuit mapping — to identify single neuron functions. We have systematically characterized the V1 neuronal responses with unprecedented details in awake monkeys. We found a large percentage of V1 neurons exhibited complex pattern selectivities beyond orientation tuning and sparsely responded to natural scenes. This finding suggests an early stage of local complex pattern detection in V1 in the visual object recognition hierarchy.Recently, we performed high resolution dendritic imaging in macaque monkeys, and mappedthe fine spatial-temperal organization of excitatory inputs on dendrites of macaque V1 neurons. Our results suggested V1 neurons integrate rich and heterogeneous inputs for complex local pattern detecting. With these modern imaging technologies adopting in macaque monkeys, we can untangle the neuronal micro-circuits in visual cortex and finally uncover fundamental computational principles in visual information processing.