Journal of Computational Neuroscience

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 143–159 | Cite as

Computational Modeling of Orientation Tuning Dynamics in Monkey Primary Visual Cortex

  • M.C. Pugh
  • D.L. Ringach
  • R. Shapley
  • M.J. Shelley


In the primate visual pathway, orientation tuning of neurons is first observed in the primary visual cortex. The LGN cells that comprise the thalamic input to V1 are not orientation tuned, but some V1 neurons are quite selective. Two main classes of theoretical models have been offered to explain orientation selectivity: feedforward models, in which inputs from spatially aligned LGN cells are summed together by one cortical neuron; and feedback models, in which an initial weak orientation bias due to convergent LGN input is sharpened and amplified by intracortical feedback. Recent data on the dynamics of orientation tuning, obtained by a cross-correlation technique, may help to distinguish between these classes of models. To test this possibility, we simulated the measurement of orientation tuning dynamics on various receptive field models, including a simple Hubel-Wiesel type feedforward model: a linear spatiotemporal filter followed by an integrate-and-fire spike generator. The computational study reveals that simple feedforward models may account for some aspects of the experimental data but fail to explain many salient features of orientation tuning dynamics in V1 cells. A simple feedback model of interacting cells is also considered. This model is successful in explaining the appearance of Mexican-hat orientation profiles, but other features of the data continue to be unexplained.

cortical dynamics orientation tuning monkey primary visual cortex layers 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • M.C. Pugh
    • 1
  • D.L. Ringach
    • 2
  • R. Shapley
    • 3
  • M.J. Shelley
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia
  2. 2.Departments of Neurobiology and PsychologyUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos Angeles
  3. 3.Center for Neural ScienceNew York UniversityNew York
  4. 4.Courant Institute for Mathematical SciencesNew York UniversityNew York

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