Data_Sheet_1_Adrenergic Modulation of Visually-Guided Behavior.PDF (66.27 kB)

Data_Sheet_1_Adrenergic Modulation of Visually-Guided Behavior.PDF

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posted on 20.03.2019, 04:17 by Mario Treviño, Ricardo Medina-Coss y León, Elí Lezama

Iontophoretic application of norepinephrine (NE) into the primary visual cortex (V1) in vivo reduces spontaneous and evoked activity, without changing the functional selectivity of cortical units. One possible consequence of this phenomenon is that adrenergic receptors (ARs) regulate the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of neural responses in this circuit. However, despite such strong inhibitory action of NE on neuronal firing patterns in V1, its specific action on visual behavior has not been studied. Furthermore, the majority of observations regarding cortical NE from in vivo recordings have been performed in anesthetized animals and have not been tested behaviorally. Here, we describe how micro-infusion of AR agonists/antagonists into mouse V1 influences visually-guided behavior at different contrasts and spatial frequencies. We found that cortical activation of α1- and β-AR produced a substantial reduction in visual discrimination performance at high contrasts and low spatial frequencies, consistent with a divisive effect. This reduction was reversible and was accompanied by a rise in escape latencies as well as an increase in the group averaged choice variance as a function of stimulus contrast. We conclude that pharmacological activation of cortical AR regulates visual perception and adaptive behavior through a divisive gain control of visual responses.