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Born, Gregory; Schneider-Soupiadis, Felix A.; Erisken, Sinem; Vaiceliunaite, Agne; Mobarhan, Milad H.; Lao, Chu Lan; Spacek, Martin A.; Einevoll, Gaute T. and Busse, Laura ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6127-7754 (11. November 2021): Corticothalamic feedback sculpts visual spatial integration in mouse thalamus. In: Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 24: pp. 1711-1720

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En route from the retina to the cortex, visual information passes through the dorsolateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) of the thalamus, where extensive corticothalamic (CT) feedback has been suggested to modulate spatial processing. How this modulation arises from direct excitatory and indirect inhibitory CT feedback pathways remains enigmatic. Here, we show that in awake mice, retinotopically organized cortical feedback sharpens receptive fields (RFs) and increases surround suppression in the dLGN. Guided by a network model indicating that widespread inhibitory CT feedback is 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 RFs, show little surround suppression and exhibit strong feedback-dependent responses to large stimuli. These features make them an ideal candidate for mediating feedback-enhanced surround suppression in the dLGN. We conclude that cortical feedback sculpts spatial integration in the dLGN, likely via recruitment of neurons in the visTRN.

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