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An excitatory basis for divisive normalization in visual cortex

Nature Neuroscience volume 19, pages 568570 (2016) | Download Citation

Abstract

Neurons in visual cortex are connected not only locally, but also through networks of distal connectivity. These distal networks recruit both excitatory and inhibitory synapses and result in divisive normalization. Normalization is traditionally thought to result from increases in synaptic inhibition. By combining optogenetic stimulation and intracellular recordings in mouse visual cortex, we found that, on the contrary, normalization is a result of a decrease in synaptic excitation.

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Acknowledgements

We thank C. Reddy, C. Schmidt-Hieber, M. Basche and M. Rizzi for technical help, K. Svoboda for the gift of pCAGGS-ChR2-Venus, H. Kawasaki for the gift of pCAG-mCherry, and M. Dipoppa, N. Steinmetz, K.D. Harris and others in our laboratories for helpful discussions. This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust, the Simons Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and the European Research Council. M.C. holds the GlaxoSmithKline/Fight for Sight chair in Visual Neuroscience.

Author information

Author notes

    • Tatsuo K Sato
    •  & Bilal Haider

    Present addresses: Institute of Neuroscience, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany (T.K.S.), Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology & Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (B.H.).

Affiliations

  1. UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, London, UK.

    • Tatsuo K Sato
    • , Bilal Haider
    •  & Matteo Carandini
  2. Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, University College London, London, UK.

    • Michael Häusser

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Contributions

T.K.S., B.H., M.H. and M.C. designed the study. T.K.S. and B.H. performed the experiments. T.K.S., B.H. and M.C. analyzed the data. T.K.S., B.H., M.H. and M.C. wrote the paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Tatsuo K Sato or Matteo Carandini.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.4249

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