Contrasts in spatial organization of receptive fields at geniculate and retinal levels: centre surround and outer surround

  • Hammond P
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1. The organization of receptive fields of retinal ganglion cells and A-laminae cells from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the cat are compared under identical conditions. Some aspects of the geniculate data have been given elsewhere (Hammond, 1972b).2. The receptive fields of geniculate cells consist of three zones - centre, antagonistic surround and synergistic outer surround - compared with only two for retinal cells. This result further supports the theory that the centre and surround of geniculate cell receptive fields derive from convergent, but discrete, retinal inputs.3. The surrounds of geniculate receptive fields are known to be more powerfully antagonistic on their centres than is true of retinal cells. This relationship is re-examined.4. Unlike geniculate fields, the locus of maximum sensitivity for the receptive field surround of retinal cells is not invariant either to stimulus geometry or adaptational state.5. The latter result strongly suggests that the surround mechanism for retinal cells extends through the centre of the field. It establishes unequivocally that the overlap between receptive field centre and surround mechanisms, only marginal in geniculate, is very extensive indeed in retina.

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  • P. Hammond

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