Three Theories of Cortical Function

  • H. B. Barlow
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 27)


Ralph Freeman asked me, as an introduction to this meeting, to try to give you some kind of review of the present status of knowledge in the field of cortical development. The more I looked into it, the more confused I became. There has been a lot of papers published, and these, of course, all constitute local advances; but overall the situation has not, in my view, changed very significantly since I tried to review it three years ago (Barlow, 1975), or even before that date. It is as if we were winning all the battles, but losing the war, and when that sort of thing happens, it’s a sure sign that you don’t know what the war is all about. I began to wonder if the trouble with work on the development of the cortex is that we have not identified the problem or problems correctly.


Granule Cell Receptive Field Retinal Image Primary Visual Cortex Pupil Diameter 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. B. Barlow
    • 1
  1. 1.Physiological LaboratoryCambridgeEngland

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