The thalamus is the major gate to the cortex, and its contribution to cortical receptive field properties is well established. Cortical feedback to the thalamus is, in turn, the anatomically dominant input to relay cells, yet its influence on thalamic processing has been difficult to interpret. For an understanding of complex sensory processing, detailed concepts of the corticothalamic interplay need to be established. To study corticogeniculate processing in a model, we draw on various physiological and anatomical data concerning the intrinsic dynamics of geniculate relay neurons, the cortical influence on relay modes, lagged and nonlagged neurons, and the structure of visual cortical receptive fields. In extensive computer simulations, we elaborate the novel hypothesis that the visual cortex controls via feedback the temporal response properties of geniculate relay cells in a way that alters the tuning of cortical cells for speed.

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