Recurrent antitopographic inhibition mediates competitive stimulus selection in an attention network

Lai, Dihui; Brandt, Sebastian; Luksch, Harald; Wessel, Ralf (2011). Recurrent antitopographic inhibition mediates competitive stimulus selection in an attention network. Journal of neurophysiology, 105(2), pp. 793-805. Bethesda, Md.: American Physiological Society 10.1152/jn.00673.2010

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Topographically organized neurons represent multiple stimuli within complex visual scenes and compete for subsequent processing in higher visual centers. The underlying neural mechanisms of this process have long been elusive. We investigate an experimentally constrained model of a midbrain structure: the optic tectum and the reciprocally connected nucleus isthmi. We show that a recurrent antitopographic inhibition mediates the competitive stimulus selection between distant sensory inputs in this visual pathway. This recurrent antitopographic inhibition is fundamentally different from surround inhibition in that it projects on all locations of its input layer, except to the locus from which it receives input. At a larger scale, the model shows how a focal top-down input from a forebrain region, the arcopallial gaze field, biases the competitive stimulus selection via the combined activation of a local excitation and the recurrent antitopographic inhibition. Our findings reveal circuit mechanisms of competitive stimulus selection and should motivate a search for anatomical implementations of these mechanisms in a range of vertebrate attentional systems.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > Clinic and Policlinic for Anaesthesiology and Pain Therapy

UniBE Contributor:

Brandt, Sebastian




American Physiological Society




Jeannie Wurz

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:19

Last Modified:

23 Jan 2018 12:16

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 210953)

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