The Role of Corticogeniculate Feedback in dLGN Experience-Dependent Plasticity

Presenter: Kaleb Kelley

Research Category: Physical and LIfe Sciences
College: College of Science
Major(s): Behavioral Neuroscience
Graduation Date: 2021

How the brain processes sensory stimuli is of great importance to understanding the basic principles of the nervous system and how neurological diseases resulting from mis-wired connections may arise. While the feedforward pathways of sensory perception have been studied in great detail, the feedback pathways from the cortex to the thalamus have just recently begun to receive research interests. For the visual system, corticogeniculate feedback has been found to exert modulatory effects on neurons of the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN). However, very little is known about how this pathway may affect synaptic plasticity of dLGN neurons. We attempt to develop a viral tool to manipulate cortical activity in the midst of in vivo electrophysiological recordings. This tool will be employed to study the effects of silencing corticogeniculate feedback on the population preferences of axis selective cells in dLGN following a selective environmental rearing paradigm that can produce plasticity in dLGN. Here we report preliminary findings that activation of excitatory DREADDs in inhibitory neurons can reduce multi-unit electrophysiological activity of primary visual cortex in the mouse. Further work must be done to optimize DREADD delivery before sufficient silencing of the visual cortex is possible.