Volume 14, Issue 3 (May & Jun 2023)                   BCN 2023, 14(3): 419-430 | Back to browse issues page

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1- Neuroscience Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2- Department of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics, Student Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
3- Laboratory of Sensory Processing, Brain Mind Institute, Faculty of Life Sciences, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland.
4- Department of Neuroscience, Neuroscience Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Introduction: Sensory processing is profoundly regulated by brain neuromodulatory systems. One of the main neuromodulators is serotonin which influences higher cognitive functions, such as different aspects of perceptual processing. Accordingly, malfunction in the serotonergic system may lead to visual illusion in psychiatric disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. This study aims to investigate the serotonergic modulation of visual responses of neurons to stimulus orientation in the primary visual cortex. 
Methods: Eight-week-old naive mice were anesthetized and a craniotomy was done on the region of interest in the primary visual cortex. Spontaneous and visual-evoked activities of neurons were recorded before and during the electrical stimulation of the dorsal raphe nucleus using in vivo whole-cell patch-clamp recording. The square-wave grating of 12 orientations was presented. The data were analyzed and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare the data of two conditions that belong to the same neurons, with or without electrical stimulation. 
Results: The serotonergic system changed the orientation tuning of nearly 60% of recorded neurons by decreasing the mean firing rate in two independent visual response components, namely gain and baseline response. It also increased the mean firing rate in a small number of neurons (about 20%). Additionally, it left the preferred orientation and sensitivity of neurons unchanged.
Conclusion: Serotonergic modulation showed a bidirectional effect. It causes predominately divisive and subtractive decreases in the visual responses of the neurons in the primary visual cortex that can modify the balance between internal and external sensory signals and result in disorders.
Type of Study: Original | Subject: Cognitive Neuroscience
Received: 2021/01/16 | Accepted: 2021/02/2 | Published: 2023/05/8

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