Andrea Benucci (RIKEN BSI): “Dynamics of population responses in the cat visual cortex”
CiNet 1F Conference Room A
Information processing in the cortex is mediated by the coordinated activity of large populations of neurons. However, the computational rules used by neurons to process information are still poorly understood. To address this problem I focus on the visual system, specifically on the cat primary visual cortex (V1), where I study how attributes of visual stimuli are processed by large ensembles of neurons. My goal is to find a simple set of rules that describes the encoding of sensory signals by neuronal populations under different stimulus conditions. The experimental tools I use to record spontaneous and visually induced activity in V1 are based on multi-electrode recordings, voltage-sensitive dye imaging, and imaging of intrinsic signals. A particularly successful approach has been to describe population responses in terms of standing and propagating waves of activity. I will discuss the implications of these results for the rules of sensory processing and their dependence on stimulus attributes.