Studies in the mouse retina have characterized the spatial distribution of an anisotropic ganglion cell and photoreceptor mosaic, which provides a solid foundation to study how the cortex pools from afferent parallel color channels. In particular, the mouse’s retinal mosaic exhibits a gradient of wavelength sensitivity along its dorsoventral axis. Cones at the ventral extreme mainly express S opsin, which is sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths. Then, moving toward the retina’s dorsal extreme, there is a transition to M-opsin dominance. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the retina’s opsin gradient is recapitulated in cortical visual areas as a functional map of wavelength sensitivity. We first identified visual areas in each mouse by mapping retinotopy with intrinsic signal imaging (ISI). Next, we measured ISI responses to stimuli along different directions of the S- and M-color plane to quantify the magnitude of S and M input to each location of the retinotopic maps in five visual cortical areas (V1, AL, LM, PM, and RL). The results illustrate a significant change in the S:M-opsin input ratio along the axis of vertical retinotopy that is consistent with the gradient along the dorsoventral axis of the retina. In particular, V1 populations encoding the upper visual field responded to S-opsin contrast with 6.1-fold greater amplitude than to M-opsin contrast. V1 neurons encoding lower fields responded with 4.6-fold greater amplitude to M- than S-opsin contrast. The maps in V1 and higher visual areas (HVAs) underscore the significance of a wavelength sensitivity gradient for guiding the mouse’s behavior.
NEW & NOTEWORTHY Two elements of this study are particularly novel. For one, it is the first to quantify cone inputs to mouse visual cortex; we have measured cone input in five visual areas. Next, it is the first study to identify a feature map in the mouse visual cortex that is based on well-characterized anisotropy of cones in the retina; we have identified maps of opsin selectivity in five visual areas.
- higher visual areas
- visual cortex
- Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society
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