Honors & Awards
Best Publication Award, Category Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience, Swiss Society for Neuroscience (2018)
Doctor of Philosophy, Universitat Basel (2017)
BSc, University of Basel, Computer Science (2013)
Visuomotor Coupling Shapes the Functional Development of Mouse Visual Cortex.
2017; 169 (7): 1291–1302.e14
The emergence of sensory-guided behavior depends on sensorimotor coupling during development. How sensorimotor experience shapes neural processing is unclear. Here, we show that the coupling between motor output and visual feedback is necessary for the functional development of visual processing in layer 2/3 (L2/3) of primary visual cortex (V1) of the mouse. Using a virtual reality system, we reared mice in conditions of normal or random visuomotor coupling. We recorded the activity of identified excitatory and inhibitory L2/3 neurons in response to transient visuomotor mismatches in both groups of mice. Mismatch responses in excitatory neurons were strongly experience dependent and driven by a transient release from inhibition mediated by somatostatin-positive interneurons. These data are consistent with a model in which L2/3 of V1 computes a difference between an inhibitory visual input and an excitatory locomotion-related input, where the balance between these two inputs is finely tuned by visuomotor experience.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2017.05.023
View details for PubMedID 28602353
A Sensorimotor Circuit in Mouse Cortex for Visual Flow Predictions.
2017; 95 (6): 1420–32.e5
The cortex is organized as a hierarchical processing structure. Feedback from higher levels of the hierarchy, known as top-down signals, have been shown to be involved in attentional and contextual modulation of sensory responses. Here we argue that top-down input to the primary visual cortex (V1) from A24b and the adjacent secondary motor cortex (M2) signals a prediction of visual flow based on motor output. A24b/M2 sends a dense and topographically organized projection to V1 that targets most neurons in layer 2/3. By imaging the activity of A24b/M2 axons in V1 of mice learning to navigate a 2D virtual environment, we found that their activity was strongly correlated with locomotion and resulting visual flow feedback in an experience-dependent manner. When mice were trained to navigate a left-right inverted virtual environment, correlations of neural activity with behavior reversed to match visual flow. These findings are consistent with a predictive coding interpretation of visual processing.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.08.036
View details for PubMedID 28910624