Adaptation of visually evoked responses of relay cells in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat following prolonged exposure to drifting gratings
Shou TD, Li XG, Zhou YF, Hu B
VISUAL NEUROSCIENCE 13 (4): 605-613 JUL-AUG 1996

Adaptation of visual cortical cells' responses is observed following repeated presentation of grating stimuli. Grating adaptation is believed to exist only at the cortical level. The purpose of this study was to see if grating adaptation also occurs in the lateral geniculate nucleus. We studied the responses of 164 relay cells in layer A and Al of the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGNd) to grating stimuli. Normal cats, as well as cats in which visual cortex was ablated, were studied. Adaptation was investigated using repeated presentation of gratings of different contrasts and orientations. The results showed the following: (1) Grating adaptation reduced the responses of 46% of the LGNd cells recorded. The responses normally decreased within 30 s and then stabilized. However, there was heterogeneity in the effects observed. About 38% of the cells studied were not affected by the adapting gratings. Some cells (16%) showed facilitation rather than habituation of their responses to test stimuli. (2) There was no significant difference between X and Y cells in their susceptibility to adaptation. This suggests that grating adaptation is a general property, independent of cell type. (3) The contrast-response curves of 57% of the LGNd cells studied shifted down after exposure to high-contrast adapting gratings. (4) Adapting gratings of the cells' preferred orientation decreased the orientation sensitivity of 56% of the orientation-sensitive cells. Adapting gratings at the nonpreferred orientation did not affect orientation sensitivity. (5) Prolonged grating adaptation also reduced the responses of 49% of the LGNd cells after inactivation of cortical inputs to the LGNd.

grating adaptation, lateral geniculate nucleus, orientation, contrast gain control, cat