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Born, Gregory; Erisken, Sinem; Schneider, Felix A.; Klein, Agne; Mobarhan, Milad H.; Lao, Chu Lan; Spacek, Martin A.; Einevoll, Gaute T.; Busse, Laura ORCID: 0000-0002-6127-7754 (22. May 2020): Corticothalamic feedback sculpts visual spatial integration in mouse thalamus. In: BioRxiv
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En route from retina to cortex, visual information travels through the dorsolateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus (dLGN), where extensive cortico-thalamic (CT) feedback has been suggested to modulate spatial processing. How this modulation arises from direct excitatory and indirect inhibitory CT feedback components remains enigmatic. We show that in awake mice topographically organized cortical feedback modulates spatial integration in dLGN by sharpening receptive fields (RFs) and increasing surround suppression. Guided by a network model revealing wide-scale inhibitory CT feedback necessary to reproduce these effects, we targeted the visual sector of the thalamic reticular nucleus (visTRN) for recordings. We found that visTRN neurons have large receptive fields, show little surround suppression, and have strong feedback-dependent responses to large stimuli, making them an ideal candidate for mediating feedback-enhanced surround suppression in dLGN. We conclude that cortical feedback sculpts spatial integration in dLGN, likely via recruitment of neurons in visTRN.