RTG 2175 Perception in Context and its neural Basis
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TP Busse/Wachtler_2: Inference of synaptic connectivity from contrast-invariant orientation tuning in the early visual system

PhD student Simon Renner:

"Cells that respond to preferrentially to bars or gratings at a specific orientation have been extensively studied since their discovery in the 1960's. In the 1980's, experiments on cats showed that the sharpness of orientation selectivity is independent of the contrast that exists between the presented grating and its background. This contrast-invariance represents a specific case for signal normalization, a phenomenon that can be observed in other parts of the brain as well. How the brain achieves this signal normalization is a topic of intense discussion. One proposed circuit model is the stabilized supralinear network (SSN), which employs balanced excitation and inhibition combined with a power-law activation function. As part of the SPP 2041 - Computational Connectomics, my project combines experimental and computational methods to infer connectivity between neuronal populations in mouse visual cortex. I am using the SSN to generate connectivity profiles between excitatory and inhibitory cortical neurons from electrophysiological data recorded in mouse visual cortex and thalamus."