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Investigation of functional organization of receptive fields in the cat visual cortex

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Abstract

Receptive fields of neurons in Area 17 of the visual cortex were investigated in cats. Concentrically shaped fields, fields responding selectively to orientation of a strip or edge, and fields which can be regarded as intermediate between the first two types are described. The boundary between zones of summation and of lateral inhibition coincides in some receptive fields with the boundary between central and peripheral zones with opposite forms of response, while in other fields they do not coincide. For some cells there is no peripheral zone or it may disappear with worsening of the state of function. Cells were observed for which an increase in area of the stimulus in the central zone inhibits the response reaction. Analysis of these data suggests that several cells of the geniculate ganglion converge on some cortical neurons, and several cortical cells on others. An effect of adaptive inhibition was found in which constant illumination of an area in the center of the receptive field inhibits the response in another part. It is shown that this effect is unconnected with the action of scattered light. Constant illumination of the peripheral part of the receptive field deinhibits adaptive inhibition. The boundary between the zones of summation and of lateral inhibition coincides with the boundary between the zones of adaptive inhibition and deinhibition.

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Additional information

I. V. Pavlov Institute of Physiology, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Leningrad. Translated from Neirofiziologiya, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 90–100, July–August, 1969.

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Glezer, V.D., Ivanov, V.A. & Shcherbach, T.A. Investigation of functional organization of receptive fields in the cat visual cortex. Neurophysiology 1, 70–78 (1969). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01064545

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Keywords

  • Scattered Light
  • Visual Cortex
  • Cortical Neuron
  • Receptive Field
  • Central Zone