Modularity in the Organization of Mouse Primary Visual Cortex
Ji W
Gamanut R
Bista P
D'Souza RD
Wang Q
Burkhalter A

Layer 1 (L1) of primary visual cortex (V1) is the target of projections from many brain regions outside of V1. We found that inputs to the non-columnar mouse V1 from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus and feedback projections from multiple higher cortical areas to L1 are patchy. The patches are matched to a pattern of M2 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor expression at fixed locations of mouse, rat, and monkey V1. Neurons in L2/3 aligned with M2-rich patches have high spatial acuity, whereas cells in M2-poor zones exhibited high temporal acuity. Together M2+ and M2- zones form constant-size domains that are repeated across V1. Domains map subregions of the receptive field, such that multiple copies are contained within the point image. The results suggest that the modular network in mouse V1 selects spatiotemporally distinct clusters of neurons within the point image for top-down control and differential routing of inputs to cortical streams.