Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 54–61 | Cite as

Intracortical facilitation among co-oriented, co-axially aligned simple cells in cat striate cortex

  • J. I. Nelson
  • B. J. Frost


Most neurons in cat striate visual cortex show inhibitory effects when moving contours are presented beyond the limits of classic receptive field regions. Facilitatory effects are also present in about 40% of simple cells. Here, we report a highly specific form of this facilitation, mediated only by neurons possessing both an orientation tuning matched to the test unit, and a receptive field position aligned with its long axis. This finding illustrates one of the intracortical interconnection schemes hypothesized by Mitchison and Crick (1982). Periodic clustering in long, intrinsic axons may signify a neuron seeking specific functional interactions like these across columnar systems in both the spatial and orientation domains.

Key words

Visual cortex Intracortical interactions Facilitation Columns 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. I. Nelson
    • 1
  • B. J. Frost
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyJohn Curtin School of Medical ResearchCanberraAustralia

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