Binocular flash suppression in the primary visual cortex of anesthetized and awake macaques
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
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Primary visual cortex (V1) was implicated as an important candidate for the site of perceptual suppression in numerous psychophysical and imaging studies. However, neurophysiological results in awake monkeys provided evidence for competition mainly between neurons in areas beyond V1. In particular, only a moderate percentage of neurons in V1 were found to modulate in parallel with perception with magnitude substantially smaller than the physical preference of these neurons. It is yet unclear whether these small modulations are rooted from local circuits in V1 or influenced by higher cognitive states. To address this question we recorded multi-unit spiking activity and local field potentials in area V1 of awake and anesthetized macaque monkeys during the paradigm of binocular flash suppression. We found that a small but significant modulation was present in both the anesthetized and awake states during the flash suppression presentation. Furthermore, the relative amplitudes of the perceptual modulations were not significantly different in the two states. We suggest that these early effects of perceptual suppression might occur locally in V1, in prior processing stages or within early visual cortical areas in the absence of top-down feedback from higher cognitive stages that are suppressed under anesthesia.