In addition to the classical, center/surround receptive field of neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), there is an extraclassical, nonlinear surround that can strongly suppress LGN responses. This form of suppression likely plays an important role in adjusting the gain of LGN responses to visual stimuli. We performed experiments in alert and anesthetized macaque monkies to quantify extraclassical suppression in the LGN and determine the roles of feedforward and feedback pathways in the generation of LGN suppression. Results show that suppression is significantly stronger among magnocellular neurons than parvocellular neurons and that suppression arises too quickly for involvement from cortical feedback. Furthermore, the amount of suppression supplied by the retina is not significantly different from that in the LGN. These results indicate that extraclassical suppression in the macaque LGN relies on feedforward mechanisms and suggest that suppression in the cortex likely includes a component established in the retina.
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