Precisely correlated firing in cells of the lateral geniculate nucleus

J. M. Alonso, William Martin Usrey, R. C. Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

374 Scopus citations


SIMPLE cells within layer IV of the cat primary visual cortex are selective for lines of a specific orientation. It has been proposed that their receptive-field properties are established by the pattern of connections that they receive from the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the thalamus. Thalamic inputs, however, represent only a small proportion of the synopses made onto simple cells, and others have argued that corticocortical connections are likely to be important in shaping simple- cell response properties. Here we describe a mechanism that might be involved in selectively strengthening the effect of thalamic inputs. We show that neighbouring geniculate neurons with overlapping receptive fields of the same type (on-centre or off-centre) often fire spikes that ace synchronized to within 1 millisecond. Moreover, these neurons often project to a common cortical target neuron where synchronous spikes are more effective in evoking a postsynaptic response. We propose that precisely correlated firing within a group of geniculate neurons could serve to reinforce the thalamic input to cortical simple cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-819
Number of pages5
Issue number6603
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Precisely correlated firing in cells of the lateral geniculate nucleus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this