David Christian Lyon

picture of David Christian Lyon

Associate Professor, Vice Chair, Anatomy & Neurobiology
School of Medicine

Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 2001, Psychology (Neuroscience)

Phone: (949) 824-0447
Fax: (949) 824-9788
Email: dclyon@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine
317B/318 Med Surge II
Mail Code: 1275
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Visual Cortex, Pulvinar Nucleus, Orientation Selectivity, Optical Imaging, Single Cell Electroporation, Neurophysiology, Neuroanatomy, Rabies Virus, Inhibitory Neurons
Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT
Postdoctoral Fellow, Salk Institute
Research Abstract
The lab relates structure to function in the mammalian visual cortex and thalamus using a variety of techniques - from intrinsic signal imaging to genetically targeted viral tracing. We are interested in the number and organization of cortical areas in different animal models, how modules within each area derive their functional characteristics, and the detailed circuitry underlying sensory capabilities of particular neuron subtypes, such as inhibitory neurons.
Awards and Honors
Randolph Blake Early Career Award, from Vanderbilt University, Dept. of Psychology, 2009
Krieg Cortical Explorer Award, Cajal Club, 2007
Krieg Cortical Scholar Award, Cajal Club, 2003
Suh S, Choi EH, Leinonen H, Foik AT, Newby GA, Yeh WH, Dong Z, Kiser PD, Lyon DC, Liu DR,
Palczewski K (2020) Restoration of visual function in adult mice with an inherited retinal disease via adenine base editing. Nature Biomedical Engineering. 4(11):1119.
Scholl LR, Foik AT, Lyon DC (2020) Projections between visual cortex and pulvinar in the rat. Journal of Comparative Neurology. May 3. doi: 10.1002/cne.24937.
Foik AT, Scholl LR, Lean GA, Lyon DC (2020) Visual response characteristics in lateral and medial subdivisions of the rat pulvinar. Neuroscience. 441:117-130.
Lean GA, Liu YJ, Lyon DC (2019) Cell type specific tracing of the subcortical input to primary visual cortex from the basal forebrain. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 527:589-599.
Foik AT, Lean GA, Scholl LR, McLelland BT, Mathur A, Aramant RB, Seiler MJ, Lyon DC (2018) Detailed visual cortical responses generated by retinal sheet transplants in rats with severe retinal degeneration. Journal of Neuroscience, 38:10709-10724.
Negwer M, Liu Y, Schubert D, Lyon DC (2017) V1 connections reveal a series of elongated higher visual areas in the California ground squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 525:1909-1921.
Liu Y, Hashemi-Nezhad M, Lyon DC (2017) Differences in orientation tuning between pinwheel and domain neurons in primary visual cortex depend on contrast and size. Neurophotonics. 4(3), 031209, 1-11.
Liu Y, Hashemi-Nezhad M, Lyon DC (2015) Contrast invariance of orientation tuning in cat primary visual cortex neurons depends on stimulus size. Journal of Physiology. 593.19: 4485-4498.
Kaas JH, Roe AW, Baldwin MKL, Lyon DC (2015) Resolving the V3 question: knowns and unknowns and a new proposal. Vision Research. 32:e016, 1-8.
Cerkevich CM, Lyon DC, Balaram P, Kaas JH (2014) Distribution of cortical neuron projections to the superior colliculus in macaque monkeys. Eye and Brain. 6:121-137.
Liu Y, Arreola M, Coleman C, Lyon DC (2014) Very long-range disynaptic V1 connections through layer 6 pyramidal neurons revealed by transneuronal tracing with rabies virus. Eye and Brain. 6:45-56.
Liu YJ, Ehrengruber MU, Negwer M, Shao HJ, Cetin AH, Lyon DC (2013) Tracing inputs to inhibitory or excitatory neurons of mouse and cat visual cortex with a targeted rabies virus. Curr Biol. 23(18):1746-55.
Liu YJ, Hashemi-Nezhad M, Lyon DC (2013) Sharper orientation tuning of the extraclassical suppressive-surround due to a neuron's location in the V1 orientation map emerges late in time. Neuroscience. 229:100-17.
Lyon DC (2012) Morphological approaches to the anatomical dissection of neuronal circuits. In: Neuromethods (Vol. 67), Neuronal Network Analysis: Concepts and Experimental Approaches, T Fellin and MM Halassa, eds. Springer, New York, pp. 375-389.
Hashemi-Nezhad M, Lyon DC (2012) Orientation tuning of the suppressive extraclassical surround depends on intrinsic organization of V1. Cerebral Cortex.22(2):308-26.
Lyon DC, Connolly JD (2012) The case for primate V3. Proc Biol Sci. 279(1729):625-33.Review.
Lyon DC, Rabideau C (2012) Lack of robust LGN label following transneuronal rabies virus injections into macaque area V4. J Comp Neurol. 520(11):2500-11.
Liu YJ, Hashemi-Nezhad M, Lyon DC (2011) Dynamics of extraclassical surround modulation in three types of V1 neurons.J Neurophysiol. 105(3):1306-17.
Lyon DC, Nassi JJ, Callaway EM (2010) A disynaptic relay from superior colliculus to dorsal stream visual cortex in macaque monkey. Neuron.65(2):270-9.
Stimberg M, Wimmer K, Martin R, Schwabe L, Mariño J, Schummers J, Lyon DC, Sur M, Obermayer K (2009) The operating regime of local computations in primary visual cortex.Cereb Cortex. 19(9):2166-80.
Wickersham IR, Lyon DC, Barnard RJ, Mori T, Finke S, Conzelmann KK, Young JA, Callaway EM (2007) Monosynaptic restriction of transsynaptic tracing from single, genetically targeted neurons. Neuron. 53:639-647.
Kaas JH and Lyon DC (2007) Pulvinar contributions to the dorsal and ventral streams of visual processing
in primates. Brain Research Reviews, Special Issue on Golgi and Cajal. 55:285-296.
Nassi JJ*, Lyon DC* and Callaway EM (2006) The parvocellular LGN provides a robust disynaptic input to the visual motion area MT. Neuron. 50:319-327. *Co-First Authors
Mariño J, Schummers J, Lyon DC, Schwabe L, Beck O, Wiesing P, Obermayer K and Sur M (2005) Invariant computations in local cortical networks with balanced excitation and inhibition. Nature Neuroscience. 8:194-201.
2020-2022 NINDS R21 NS113264-01A1, $432,000 Total Costs (PI) Title: Viral strategies for bi-directional optogenetic control of specific cell types in neocortex of non- transgenic animals
2015-2019 NEI R01 EY024890-01, $1,507,919 Total Costs (PI) Title: Role of cell-type specific circuits in visual processing
2014-2015 Whitehall Foundation 1 Year Renewal, $75,000 (PI) Title: Role of cell type specific cortical circuits in visual processing
2012-2014 NINDS R21 NS072948-01A1, $450,000 Total Costs (PI) Title: Cell Type Specific Tracing of Neocortical Circuits Using Viral Vectors
2010-2013 Whitehall Foundation 3 Year Grant, $225,000 (PI) Title: Functional Roles of Orientation Maps in Early Visual Cortex
2008 Whitehall Foundation Grant in Aid, $30,000 (PI) Title: Functional Role of Orientation Maps in Early Visual Cortex
Professional Societies
Society for Neuroscience
Vision Sciences Society
Graduate Programs
Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program

Research Center
Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Engineering
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