In both dichromats and trichromats, cone opsin signals are maintained independently in cones and combined at the bipolar and retinal ganglion cell level, creating parallel color opponent pathways to the central visual system. Like other dichromats, the mouse retina expresses a short-wavelength (S) and a medium-wavelength (M) opsin, with the S-opsin shifted to peak sensitivity in the ultraviolet (UV) range. Unlike in primates, nonuniform opsin expression across the retina and coexpression in single cones creates a mostly mixed chromatic signal. Here, we describe the visuotopic and chromatic organization of spiking responses in the dorsal lateral geniculate and of the local field potentials in their recipient zone in primary visual cortex (V1). We used an immersive visual stimulus dome that allowed us to present spatiotemporally modulated UV and green luminance in any region of the visual field of an awake, head-fixed mouse. Consistent with retinal expression of opsins, we observed graded UV-to-green dominated responses from the upper to lower visual fields, with a smaller difference across azimuth. In addition, we identified a subpopulation of cells (<10%) that exhibited spectrally opponent responses along the S-M axis. Luminance signals of each wavelength and color signals project to the middle layers of V1. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: In natural environments, color information is useful for guiding behavior. How small terrestrial mammals such as mice use graded expression of cone opsins to extract visual information from their environments is not clear, even as the use of mice for studying visually guided behavior grows. In this study, we examined the color signals that the retina sends to the visual cortex via the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus. We found that green dominated responses in the lower and nasal visual field and ultraviolet dominated responses in the upper visual field. We describe a subset of cells that exhibit color opponent responses.
Pubmed ID: 27986926 RIS Download
Mesh terms: Animals | Color Vision | Cone Opsins | Geniculate Bodies | Male | Mice | Mice, Inbred C57BL | Photic Stimulation | Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells | Retinal Ganglion Cells | Ultraviolet Rays | Visual Cortex | Visual Fields | Visual Pathways
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