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V1 surface size predicts GABA concentration in medial occipital cortex

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Bergmann,  J.
Neurophysiology Department, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Max Planck Society;

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Genc,  E.
Neurophysiology Department, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Max Planck Society;

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Kohler,  A.
Neurophysiology Department, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Max Planck Society;

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Singer,  W.
Neurophysiology Department, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Bergmann, J., Pilatus, U., Genc, E., Kohler, A., Singer, W., & Pearson, J. (2016). V1 surface size predicts GABA concentration in medial occipital cortex. NeuroImage, 124, 654-662.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-58E7-D
Abstract
A number of recent studies have established a link between behavior and the anatomy of the primary visual cortex (V1). However, one often-raised criticism has been that these studies provide little insight into the mechanisms of the observed relationships. As inhibitory neural interactions have been postulated as an important mechanism for those behaviors related to V1 anatomy, we measured the concentration of inhibitory gammaamino butyric acid (GABA) in the medial occipital cortex where V1 is located using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and estimated the surface area of V1 using fMRI retinotopic mapping. We found a significant positive relationship between GABA concentration and V1 surface area. This relationship was present irrespective of whether the MRS voxel had a fixed size across participants or was proportionally sized to each individual's V1 surface area. Hence, individuals with a larger V1 had a higher GABA concentration in the medial occipital cortex. By tying together V1 size and GABA concentration, our findings point towards individual differences in the level of neural inhibition that might partially mediate the relationships between behavior and V1 neuroanatomy. In addition, they illustrate how stable microscopic properties of neural activity and function are reflected in macro-measures of V1 structure. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.