Contrast Enhancement Mechanisms in the Retinothalamic Circuitry
The center-surround organization of the receptive fields of retinal ganglion cells highlights the presence of contrast in visual stimuli. As the receptive fields of thalamic relay cells follow the same organization, it is assumed that nothing or little processing is carried out at the thalamic stage before the information reaches higher processing areas. However, recent data in cat showing that the number of thalamic relay cells doubles those of retinal ganglion cells opens the door to question how contrast information is kept in an enlarged representation of the visual stimulus at the thalamic stage. This paper is aimed at providing a plausible explanation by means of simulations performed with a realistic dynamic model of the retinothalamic circuit.
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