Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 281–290 | Cite as

Quantification of directional and orientational selectivities of visual neurons to moving stimuli

  • Bing Li
  • Yi Wang
  • Yuncheng Diao


Directional and orientational components usually coexist and are mixed in the cell's overall responses when moving optical stimuli are used to study the response characteristics of visual neurons. While these two properties were quantified with all the previous methods for data analysis, their effects could not be efficiently separated from each other, and thus the analyses were imperfect. In this paper, theoretical evidence and examples are provided to show the defects of the old methods. In order to separate the two components completely, we propose to apply optimal regression analysis with the sine-cosine function series as the fundamental variables. Based on this separation, we defined the orientational selectivity as variation of response strength with orientation and performed integration and averaging to quantify the two properties [cf. Eqs. (5) and (6)]. The present method has the advantages of completeness and accuracy, and can detect some details which would have been missed by other methods. An explanation of the intrinsic implications of the method and our comprehension of directional and orientational selectivities and preferred direction and orientation are also given.


Data Analysis Regression Analysis Present Method Previous Method Response Characteristic 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bing Li
    • 1
  • Yi Wang
    • 1
  • Yuncheng Diao
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Visual Information Processing, Institute of BiophysicsAcademia SinicaBeijingPeople's Republic of China

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