Adaptive coding across visual features during free-viewing and fixation conditions

Sunny Nigam, Russell Milton, Sorin Pojoga, Valentin Dragoi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Theoretical studies have long proposed that adaptation allows the brain to effectively use the limited response range of sensory neurons to encode widely varying natural inputs. However, despite this influential view, experimental studies have exclusively focused on how the neural code adapts to a range of stimuli lying along a single feature axis, such as orientation or contrast. Here, we performed electrical recordings in macaque visual cortex (area V4) to reveal significant adaptive changes in the neural code of single cells and populations across multiple feature axes. Both during free viewing and passive fixation, populations of cells improved their ability to encode image features after rapid exposure to stimuli lying on orthogonal feature axes even in the absence of initial tuning to these stimuli. These results reveal a remarkable adaptive capacity of visual cortical populations to improve network computations relevant for natural viewing despite the modularity of the functional cortical architecture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number87
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 6 2023


  • Neurons/physiology
  • Visual Cortex/physiology
  • Photic Stimulation/methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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