Spatial and chromatic properties of neurons subserving foveal and parafoveal vision in rhesus monkey

  • Poggio G
  • Baker F
  • Mansfield R
 et al. 
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The response properties of neurons in the region of striate cortex subserving central retina (0°-2°) and in a region of representation of parafoveal retina (4°-7°) were studied in unanesthetized paralyzed macaque monkeys. Neurons sensitive to the orientation of the stimulus in the visual field (simple, complex and hypercomplex), and neurons lacking orientation selectivity (concentric, and a new class termed uniform) were found. In foveal cortex non-oriented cells were more numerous, and orientation sensitive cells had less strict spatial stimulus requirements than in parafoveal cortex. Most neurons received a monocular input, either exclusively or very predominantly. Three types of neurons were recognized on the basis of their responses to chromatic stimuli. (1) Luminosity neurons (about half the population) give the same qualitative response to all effective wayelengths and had a spectral sensitivity similar to that of the macaque, determined behaviorally. Cells with all spatial types of receptive fields, except simple, occurred in this group. (2) Spectrally-tuned neurons also responded in the same manner to different wavelengths, but over a narrower range than luminosity neurons, and their maximal sensitivity was shifted toward one or the other end of the visible spectrum. All tuned neurons had uniform or complex receptive field. (3) Spectrally-opponent neurons were either excited or inhibited by long wavelengths and responded in the opposite manner to short wavelengths. For cells with uniform or complex receptive fields the two opponent systems were coextensive. Simple or concentric neurons often had dual-opponent organization. The distribution of functional types among different cortical layers was similar in parafoveal and foveal cortex. The functional attributes of ocular dominance and orientation sensitivity were found to be statistically independent dimensions of cortical organization. On the other hand, the correlation between spatial and chromatic properties did not vary between different cytoarchitectonic layers, a finding suggesting that these neuronal properties depend on conjoined projectional and intracortical connecting mechanisms. © 1975.

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  • G. F. Poggio

  • F. H. Baker

  • R. J.W. Mansfield

  • A. Sillito

  • P. Grigg

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