Michael Schmid

8 juin 2012

Ernst Strüngmann Institute, Frankfurt, Germany

The 2nd visual pathway idea : V1-independent brain circuits for visual detection

invité par Sabrina Ravel


The idea of a 2nd visual pathway has its roots from many observations on visual capacities that survive injury to primary visual cortex (V1) and are often referred to as “blindsight” : In various forms it was suggested that tecto-thalamic projections bypass V1 and feed information directly into various neocortical and limbic structures to mediate visually guided, yet largely unconscious behavior. To this date though a more precise anatomical and functional characterization of these circuits is lacking. I will describe here our efforts to isolate the 2nd visual pathway at the thalamic level and how its experimental manipulation affects visual processing in the cortex. The work I will be talking about has been conducted in macaque monkeys using a wide-range of techniques ranging from psychophysics, fMRI and electrophysiology to pharmacology and most recently optogenetics. I will end with a speculative discussion why the primary visual pathway is needed to generate visual awareness.
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