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Neuronal basis of perceptual learning in striate cortex.

Ren Z, Zhou J, Yao Z, Wang Z, Yuan N, Xu G, Wang X, Zhang B, Hess RF, Zhou Y - Sci Rep (2016)

Bottom Line: It is well known that, in humans, contrast sensitivity training at high spatial frequency (SF) not only leads to contrast sensitivity improvement, but also results in an improvement in visual acuity as assessed with gratings (direct effect) or letters (transfer effect).Furthermore, both the neuronal differences in OSF and SNR were significantly correlated with the improvement of acuity measured behaviorally.These results suggest that striate neurons might mediate the perceptual learning-induced improvement for high spatial frequency stimuli by an alteration in their spatial frequency representation and by an increased SNR.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: CAS Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Disease, and School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, P.R. China.

ABSTRACT
It is well known that, in humans, contrast sensitivity training at high spatial frequency (SF) not only leads to contrast sensitivity improvement, but also results in an improvement in visual acuity as assessed with gratings (direct effect) or letters (transfer effect). However, the underlying neural mechanisms of this high spatial frequency training improvement remain to be elucidated. In the present study, we examined four properties of neurons in primary visual cortex (area 17) of adult cats that exhibited significantly improved acuity after contrast sensitivity training with a high spatial frequency grating and those of untrained control cats. We found no difference in neuronal contrast sensitivity or tuning width (Width) between the trained and untrained cats. However, the trained cats showed a displacement of the cells' optimal spatial frequency (OSF) to higher spatial frequencies as well as a larger neuronal signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Furthermore, both the neuronal differences in OSF and SNR were significantly correlated with the improvement of acuity measured behaviorally. These results suggest that striate neurons might mediate the perceptual learning-induced improvement for high spatial frequency stimuli by an alteration in their spatial frequency representation and by an increased SNR.

No MeSH data available.


Correlation between the perceptual and net neuronal changes.The average neuronal responses of untrained cats were taken as baseline to calculate the ‘net’ neuronal changes. (a) Relationship between the improvements of visual acuities and the increase of average neuronal optimum spatial frequency values in the trained cats. (b) Relationship between the improvements of visual acuity and the enhancement of average neuronal SNR value in trained cats. (c) Relationship between the improvements of visual acuity and the decrease of average neuronal M value in trained cats. Each dot indicates one eye of a trained cat. Different color indicate different trained cat. Solid and empty circle represent trained and untrained eyes, respectively. Solid line in each subplot indicates the best linear fit.
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f5: Correlation between the perceptual and net neuronal changes.The average neuronal responses of untrained cats were taken as baseline to calculate the ‘net’ neuronal changes. (a) Relationship between the improvements of visual acuities and the increase of average neuronal optimum spatial frequency values in the trained cats. (b) Relationship between the improvements of visual acuity and the enhancement of average neuronal SNR value in trained cats. (c) Relationship between the improvements of visual acuity and the decrease of average neuronal M value in trained cats. Each dot indicates one eye of a trained cat. Different color indicate different trained cat. Solid and empty circle represent trained and untrained eyes, respectively. Solid line in each subplot indicates the best linear fit.

Mentions: Figure 5 shows the correlation between the perceptual and ‘net’ neuronal changes in the three trained cats from which we recorded. The average neuronal responses of untrained cats were taken as baseline to calculate the ‘net’ improvement. The increase of neuronal optimal spatial frequency and the improvement of perceptual visual acuity from each trained and untrained eye in the three trained cats were highly correlated (Fig. 5a, r = 0.98, p < 0.0001). The enhancement of neuronal SNR and the improvement of visual acuity were also significantly correlated (Fig. 5b, r = 0.78, p = 0.020). Further analysis shows that it is the decrease of M (Fig. 5c, r = 0.72, p = 0.034) rather than the increase of Rmax (r = 0.04, p = 0.734) that drove the significant correlation with the visual acuity improvement, which in turn means that the decrease of neuronal spontaneous activity may contribute to the behavioral improvement.


Neuronal basis of perceptual learning in striate cortex.

Ren Z, Zhou J, Yao Z, Wang Z, Yuan N, Xu G, Wang X, Zhang B, Hess RF, Zhou Y - Sci Rep (2016)

Correlation between the perceptual and net neuronal changes.The average neuronal responses of untrained cats were taken as baseline to calculate the ‘net’ neuronal changes. (a) Relationship between the improvements of visual acuities and the increase of average neuronal optimum spatial frequency values in the trained cats. (b) Relationship between the improvements of visual acuity and the enhancement of average neuronal SNR value in trained cats. (c) Relationship between the improvements of visual acuity and the decrease of average neuronal M value in trained cats. Each dot indicates one eye of a trained cat. Different color indicate different trained cat. Solid and empty circle represent trained and untrained eyes, respectively. Solid line in each subplot indicates the best linear fit.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4837366&req=5

f5: Correlation between the perceptual and net neuronal changes.The average neuronal responses of untrained cats were taken as baseline to calculate the ‘net’ neuronal changes. (a) Relationship between the improvements of visual acuities and the increase of average neuronal optimum spatial frequency values in the trained cats. (b) Relationship between the improvements of visual acuity and the enhancement of average neuronal SNR value in trained cats. (c) Relationship between the improvements of visual acuity and the decrease of average neuronal M value in trained cats. Each dot indicates one eye of a trained cat. Different color indicate different trained cat. Solid and empty circle represent trained and untrained eyes, respectively. Solid line in each subplot indicates the best linear fit.
Mentions: Figure 5 shows the correlation between the perceptual and ‘net’ neuronal changes in the three trained cats from which we recorded. The average neuronal responses of untrained cats were taken as baseline to calculate the ‘net’ improvement. The increase of neuronal optimal spatial frequency and the improvement of perceptual visual acuity from each trained and untrained eye in the three trained cats were highly correlated (Fig. 5a, r = 0.98, p < 0.0001). The enhancement of neuronal SNR and the improvement of visual acuity were also significantly correlated (Fig. 5b, r = 0.78, p = 0.020). Further analysis shows that it is the decrease of M (Fig. 5c, r = 0.72, p = 0.034) rather than the increase of Rmax (r = 0.04, p = 0.734) that drove the significant correlation with the visual acuity improvement, which in turn means that the decrease of neuronal spontaneous activity may contribute to the behavioral improvement.

Bottom Line: It is well known that, in humans, contrast sensitivity training at high spatial frequency (SF) not only leads to contrast sensitivity improvement, but also results in an improvement in visual acuity as assessed with gratings (direct effect) or letters (transfer effect).Furthermore, both the neuronal differences in OSF and SNR were significantly correlated with the improvement of acuity measured behaviorally.These results suggest that striate neurons might mediate the perceptual learning-induced improvement for high spatial frequency stimuli by an alteration in their spatial frequency representation and by an increased SNR.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: CAS Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Disease, and School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, P.R. China.

ABSTRACT
It is well known that, in humans, contrast sensitivity training at high spatial frequency (SF) not only leads to contrast sensitivity improvement, but also results in an improvement in visual acuity as assessed with gratings (direct effect) or letters (transfer effect). However, the underlying neural mechanisms of this high spatial frequency training improvement remain to be elucidated. In the present study, we examined four properties of neurons in primary visual cortex (area 17) of adult cats that exhibited significantly improved acuity after contrast sensitivity training with a high spatial frequency grating and those of untrained control cats. We found no difference in neuronal contrast sensitivity or tuning width (Width) between the trained and untrained cats. However, the trained cats showed a displacement of the cells' optimal spatial frequency (OSF) to higher spatial frequencies as well as a larger neuronal signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Furthermore, both the neuronal differences in OSF and SNR were significantly correlated with the improvement of acuity measured behaviorally. These results suggest that striate neurons might mediate the perceptual learning-induced improvement for high spatial frequency stimuli by an alteration in their spatial frequency representation and by an increased SNR.

No MeSH data available.