Data: Similar neural and perceptual masking effects of low-power optogenetic stimulation in primate V1
Chen, Spencer et al. (2022), Data: Similar neural and perceptual masking effects of low-power optogenetic stimulation in primate V1, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.00000003h
Can direct stimulation of primate V1 substitute for a visual stimulus and mimic its perceptual effect? To address this question, we developed an optical-genetic toolkit to “read” neural population responses using widefield calcium imaging, while simultaneously using optogenetics to “write” neural responses into V1 of behaving macaques. We focused on the phenomenon of visual masking, where detection of a dim target is significantly reduced by a co-localized medium-brightness pedestal. Using our toolkit, we tested whether V1 optogenetic stimulation can recapitulate the perceptual masking effect of a visual pedestal. We find that, similar to a visual pedestal, low-power optostimulation can significantly reduce visual detection sensitivity, that a sublinear interaction between visual and optogenetic evoked V1 responses could account for this perceptual effect, and that these neural and behavioral effects are spatially selective. Our toolkit and results open the door for further exploration of perceptual substitutions by direct stimulation of sensory cortex.