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Awake mammals are often inattentive in familiar environments, but must still respond appropriately to relevant visual stimulation. Such "inattentive vision" has received little study, perhaps due to difficulties in controlling eye position in this state. In rabbits, eye position is exceedingly stable in both alert and inattentive states. Here, we exploit(More)
Spatial attention enhances our ability to detect stimuli at restricted regions of the visual field. This enhancement is thought to depend on the difficulty of the task being performed, but the underlying neuronal mechanisms for this dependency remain largely unknown. We found that task difficulty modulates neuronal firing rate at the earliest stages of(More)
Sensory cortical neurons are highly sensitive to brain state, with many neurons showing changes in spatial and/or temporal response properties and some neurons becoming virtually unresponsive when subjects are not alert. Although some of these changes are undoubtedly attributable to state-related filtering at the thalamic level, another likely source of(More)
We used spike-triggered current source-density analysis to examine axonal and postsynaptic currents generated in the visual cortex of awake rabbits by spontaneous spikes of individual sustained and transient dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGNd) neurons. Using these data, we asked whether sustained/transient sensory responses are related to short-term(More)
Neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) are frequently classified based on their response linearity: the extent to which their visual responses to drifting gratings resemble a linear replica of the stimulus. This classification is supported by the finding that response linearity is bimodally distributed across neurons in area V1 of anesthetized animals.(More)
Arrays of closely spaced quartz-insulated, platinum-tungsten microelectrodes are widely used to obtain acute recordings from chronically prepared subjects. These electrodes have excellent recording characteristics and can be fabricated to a wide variety of tip specifications. Typically, in such experiments, electrodes are introduced into, and removed from,(More)
The spread of somatic spikes into dendritic trees has become central to models of dendritic integrative properties and synaptic plasticity. However, backpropagating action potentials (BPAPs) have been studied mainly in slices, in which they are highly sensitive to multiple factors such as firing frequency and membrane conductance, raising doubts about their(More)
Awake mammals can switch between alert and nonalert brain states hundreds of times per day. Here, we study the effects of alertness on two cell classes in layer 4 of primary visual cortex of awake rabbits: presumptive excitatory "simple" cells and presumptive fast-spike inhibitory neurons (suspected inhibitory interneurons). We show that in both cell(More)
Corticotectal (CTect) neurons of layer 5 are large and prominent elements of mammalian visual cortex, with thick apical dendrites that ascend to layer 1, "intrinsically bursting" membrane properties, and fast-conducting descending axons that terminate in multiple subcortical domains. These neurons comprise a major output pathway of primary visual cortex,(More)
Directionally selective (DS) neurons are found in the retina and lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of rabbits and rodents, and in rabbits, LGN DS cells project to primary visual cortex. Here, we compare visual response properties of LGN DS neurons with those of layer 4 simple cells, most of which show strong direction/orientation selectivity. These(More)