Understanding the rules of life

Category: Standard Studentships

Integration of visual and modulatory inputs in the early visual system

Project No.2232

Primary Supervisor

Prof Leon Lagnado – University of Sussex


Dr Sylvia Schroeder – University of Sussex

Prof Arjuna Ratnayaka – University of Southampton


Visual processing has been regarded as a sequential process from the extraction of simple to more complex visual attributes.

However, even early stages of this process are modulated by feedback projections from later stages and input reflecting behavioural and internal brain states. Here we will determine how retinal, cortical and neuromodulatory inputs shape the responses of visual neurons in the superficial superior colliculus (SC).

We will use two-photon imaging in awake mice to record activity of neurons in the SC as well as axons originating in the retina, visual cortex, and brainstem nuclei. The awake animal will be presented with various visual stimuli including natural images and movies while it will naturally experience various internal and behavioural states, which will be monitored on video.

The project advances our understanding of early visual processing and the integration of bottom-up and top-down neural signals.