Sharpening of orientation selective receptive fields in the mammalian visual cortex by long-range interactions

  • Ernst Niebur
  • Florentin Wörgötter
Conference paper
Part of the Informatik-Fachberichte book series (INFORMATIK, volume 251)


Lateral intracortical interactions are believed to be responsible for the sharpening of the receptive field profiles of visual cortical cells. This study demonstrates a structurally imposed limitation of long range interactions on the frequently invoked cross orientation inhibition scheme: it leads to inhomogeneous input for different cell populations which is experimentally not observed. We propose a novel connection scheme called “circular inhibition“ which circumvents this problem. The scheme is analyzed by computer simulation of the early visual system of the cat, and by studying a simple analytically solvable model. Our model yields results consistent with the experimentally determined structure of the orientational hypercolumns in area 18 of the cat.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernst Niebur
    • 1
  • Florentin Wörgötter
    • 2
  1. 1.Computation and Neural Systems ProgramCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Institut für NeurophysiologieRuhr-Universität BochumBochumWest Germany

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