Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 263–272 | Cite as

Theory of ocular dominance column formation

Mathematical basis and computer simulation
  • Shigeru Tanaka


A general theory previously proposed by the author which describes synaptic stabilization on the basis of three basic assumptions is employed for the understanding of ocular dominance column formation. A reduced mathematical model is constructed based on the thermodynamics in the Ising spin variables representing the afferent synaptic connection distribution. The results of Monte Carlo simulations on the segregation of ipsilateral and contralateral synaptic terminals in the input layer of the primary visual cortex suggest the existence of phase transition phenomena. Three types of ocular dominance column patterns — stripe, blob, and uniform — are visualized according to the values of the correlation strength and the degree of imbalance in activity between the left and right retinas. The theory presented here successfully explains how ocular dominance columns are developed.


Phase Transition Retina Monte Carlo Simulation General Theory Visual Cortex 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shigeru Tanaka
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Fundamental Research Laboratories, NEC CorporationIbarakiJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory for Neural Networks, RIKEN Frontier Research ProgramSaitamaJapan

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