Visual cortical areas in the two sides of the brain are interconnected by interhemispheric fibers passing through the splenium of the corpus callosum. In this review, we summarize data concerning the anatomical features of visual callosal connections, their roles in basic visual processing, and how their alterations contribute to visual deficits in different human neuropathologies. Splenial fibers represent a population of excitatory axons with varying diameters, which interconnect cortical columns with similar functional properties (i.e., same orientation selectivity) in the two hemispheres. Their branches activate simultaneously distinct iso-oriented columns in the contralateral hemisphere, thus mediating forms of stimulus-dependent interhemispheric synchronization. Callosal branches also make synapses onto GABAergic cells, resulting in an inhibitory modulation of visual processing that involves both iso-oriented and cross-oriented cortical networks. Interhemispheric inhibition appears to predominate at short latencies following callosal activation, whereas excitation becomes more robust with increasing delays. These callosal effects are dynamically adapted to the incoming visual activity, so that stimuli providing only weak afferent input are facilitated by callosal pathways, whereas strong visual input via the retinogeniculate pathway tends to be offset by transcallosal inhibition. We also review data highlighting the contribution of callosal input activity to maturation of visual function during early 'critical periods' in brain development and describe how interhemispheric transfer of visual information is rerouted in cases of callosal agenesis or following splenial damage. Finally, we provide an overview of alterations in splenium anatomy or function that may be at the basis of visual defects in several pathologic conditions.
|Autori:||Bocci T.; Pietrasanta M.; Cerri C.; Restani L.; Caleo M.; Sartucci F.:|
|Titolo:||Visual callosal connections: role in visual processing.|
|Anno del prodotto:||2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|