Inhibitory processes in the flash evoked potential of the monkey

Michael A. Kraut, Joseph C. Arezzo, Herbert G. Vaughan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Flash visual evoked potentials (VEP) and concurrent multiple unit activity (MUA) were recorded from closely spaced intracortical sites in unanesthetized monkeys before and after intracortical injection of the GABAa antagonist bicuculline. Laminar VEP profiles were subjected to current source density (CSD) analysis to localize the transmembrane current flows contributing to the generation of the field potentials. Before bicuculline, the first large VEP component, N40, was generated principally within the parvocellular thalamorecipient sublamina 4Cb. After bicuculline injection, the current sinks associated with N40 spread throughout lamina 4, consistent with a release of intracortical inhibition mediated by GABA. A subsequent component, P65, believed to represent recurrent inhibitory activity within 4Cb, was greatly diminished in size after bicuculline injection. The laminar pattern of current sources and sinks coincident with this component was more complicated after bicuculline, reflecting the summation of current flows associated with disinhibited lamina 4 activity. Bicuculline also altered the responses of neuronal elements in laminae 3 and 5, evidenced by large increases in MUA in these laminae that began approximately 50 msec after stimulation. Finally, bicuculline diminished the degree of intracortical ocular dominance, implicating GABAergic mechanisms in the maintenance and refinement of ocular input segregation within cortical columns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-452
Number of pages13
JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Flash visual evoked potentials
  • Inhibitory effects
  • Multiple unit activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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