Dr. Henry J Alitto, Ph.D.


Position Title
Project Scientist

Center for Neuroscience


Research Interests

My long-term goal is to understand how corticothalamic pathways contribute to sensory and cognitive functions in the normal brain and to understand how dysfunction of these pathways contribute to neurological disorders. In the visual system, primary visual cortex (V1) is interconnected with two thalamic nuclei:  the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and the pulvinar. The LGN serves as the primary conduit of retinal information to the cortex, while the pulvinar complex acts as a corticothalamic hub sharing reciprocal connectivity with the entire visual cortical hierarchy. Through the use of optogenetic techniques, which I spearheaded in the lab, and multielectrode recording methods, my research is addressing how changes in sensory input and behavioral demands dynamically modulate thalamocortical circuits.

Recent Publications

  • Alitto HJ, Rathbun DL, Vandeleest JJ, Alexander PC, and Usrey WM. (in press) The augmentation of retinogeniculate communication during thalamic burst mode. Journal of Neuroscience
  • Alitto HJ, Rathbun DL, Fisher TG, Alexander PC, Usrey WM. 2018. Contrast gain control and retinogeniculate communication. European Journal of Neuroscience. 2018 Mar 8. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13904. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29520859, PMCID: PMC6129230
  • Fisher TG, Alitto HJ*, Usrey WM*. 2017. Retinal and Nonretinal Contributions to Extraclassical Surround Suppression in the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus. Journal of Neuroscience 37:226-235. PMID: 28053044, PMCID: PMC5214633 *co-senior authors
  • Rathbun DL, Alitto HJ, Warland DK, Usrey WM. 2016. Stimulus Contrast and Retinogeniculate Signal Processing. Frontiers in Neural Circuits. 10:8. PubMed [journal] PMID: 26924964, PMCID: PMC4759309
  • Usrey WM, Alitto HJ. 2015. Visual Functions of the Thalamus. Annual Review of Visual Science. 1:351-371. PMID: 28217740, PMCID: PMC5310631
  • Alitto HJ, Usrey WM. 2015. Dissecting the dynamics of corticothalamic feedback. Neuron. 86:605-607. PubMed [journal] PMID: 25950627
  • Alitto HJ, Usrey WM. 2015. Surround suppression and temporal processing of visual signals. Journal of Neurophysiology. 113:2605-2617. PMID: 25652919, PMCID: PMC4416570


Other Links:

Henry's Linkedin