Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 457–461

Orientation selectivity in the cat's striate cortex is invariant with stimulus contrast

  • G. Sclar
  • R. D. Freeman
Research Note

DOI: 10.1007/BF00238641

Cite this article as:
Sclar, G. & Freeman, R.D. Exp Brain Res (1982) 46: 457. doi:10.1007/BF00238641


Extracellular responses of single units in striate cortex of the cat were studied quantitatively. Sinusoidal gratings were used as stimuli and the variables of interest were orientation and contrast. Specifically, we wanted to determine if orientation tuning was dependent on contrast. Of 45 cells studied in detail, two basic types of contrast-response pattern were observed, but most patterns were intermediate between these extremes. In one type, responses increased approximately linearly with log contrast while in the second, saturation was found at low contrast levels. For all these cells, orientation tuning characteristics were independent of contrast. An additional observation, made from 14 cells, was that stimuli presented at non-optimal orientations can suppress responses to below the general maintained discharge levels. In eight of these cases, the inhibition was clearly contrast-dependent.

Key words

Cat visual cortex Orientation tuning Contrast 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Sclar
    • 1
  • R. D. Freeman
    • 1
  1. 1.School of OptometryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA