Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 80, Issue 1, pp 129–134 | Cite as

An analysis of neural spike-train distributions: determinants of the response of visual cortex neurons to changes in orientation and spatial frequency

  • D. Berger
  • K. Pribram
  • H. Wild
  • C. Bridges


A previously unexploited method of examining neural spike-trains was applied to data obtained from cells in the visual cortex. Distributions of interspike intervals recorded extracellularly from cat visual cortex under four conditions were analyzed. Stimuli were gratings differing in orientation and spatial frequency. The probability density function of first passage time for a random walk with drift process, which is defined by its barrier height and drift coefficient, was used to characterize the generating process of axonal discharge under resting and stimulus conditions. Drift coefficient and barrier height were derived from the sample mean and standard deviation of the measured inter-spike intervals. For cells with simple receptive fields, variations in the drift coefficient were produced by changes in orientation and spatial frequency. Variations in barrier height were produced only by changes in orientation of the stimulus.

Key words

Visual cortex Spike train analysis Cat 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Berger
    • 1
  • K. Pribram
    • 1
  • H. Wild
    • 1
  • C. Bridges
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Brain Research and Informational Sciences, Radford UniversityRadfordUSA

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