Stimulus Localization by Neuronal Populations in Early Visual Cortex: Linking Functional Architecture to Perception



In primary visual areas any local input is initially transmitted via horizontal connections giving rise to a transient peak of activity with spreading surround. How does this scenario change when the stimulus starts to move? Psychophysical experiments indicate that localization is different for stationary flashed and moving objects depending on the stimulus history. We here demonstrate how successively presented stimuli alter cortical activation dynamics. By a combination of electrophysiological and optical recordings using voltage-sensitive dye we arrive at the conclusion that sub-threshold propagating activity pre-activates cortical regions far ahead of thalamic input. Such an anticipatory mechanism may contribute in shifts of the perceived position as observed for the flash-lag effect and line-motion illusion in human psychophysics.


Receptive Field Primary Visual Cortex Stimulus Position Supplementary Movie Receptive Field Size 
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D.J. supported by Minerva Foundation, BMBF, Deutsche Forschungsge­meinschaft (Scho 336/4-2 and Di 334/5-1,3). F.C. supported by Marie Curie EU fellowship. A.G. supported by the Grodetsky Center, Goldsmith, Korber & ISF Foundations, BMBF/MOS, and NIH 1R01-EB00790-01 grants.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurobiologyRuhr-University BochumBochumGermany

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