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Many neurons in mammalian primary visual cortex have properties such as sharp tuning for contour orientation, strong selectivity for motion direction, and insensitivity to stimulus polarity, that are not shared with their sub-cortical counterparts. Successful models have been developed for a number of these properties but in one case, direction selectivity, there is no consensus about underlying mechanisms. We here define a model that accounts for many of the empirical observations concerning direction selectivity. The model describes a single column of cat primary visual cortex and comprises a series of processing stages. Each neuron in the first cortical stage receives input from a small number of on-centre and off-centre relay cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus. Consistent with recent physiological evidence, the off-centre inputs to cortex precede the on-centre inputs by a small ∼4 ms interval, and it is this difference that confers direction selectivity on model neurons. We show that the resulting model successfully matches the following empirical data: the proportion of cells that are direction selective; tilted spatiotemporal receptive fields; phase advance in the response to a stationary contrast-reversing grating stepped across the receptive field. The model also accounts for several other fundamental properties. Receptive fields have elongated subregions, orientation selectivity is strong, and the distribution of orientation tuning bandwidth across neurons is similar to that seen in the laboratory. Finally, neurons in the first stage have properties corresponding to simple cells, and more complex-like cells emerge in later stages. The results therefore show that a simple feed-forward model can account for a number of the fundamental properties of primary visual cortex.



Autor: Nastaran Hesam Shariati, Alan W. Freeman

Fuente: http://plos.srce.hr/



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