The responses of V1 cortical neurons to flashed presentations of orthogonal single lines and edges

Academic Article


  • How cortical neurons process multiple inputs is a fundamental issue in modern neuroscience. Neurons in visual cortical area V1 have been shown to exhibit cross-orientation suppression, where the response to an optimally oriented visual stimulus is reduced by the simultaneous presence of an orthogonally oriented stimulus. This is consistent with the view that cortical neurons respond to multiple inputs with a weighted average (or normalization) of the responses to the inputs presented separately. However, most of these studies have used drifting or counterphase-modulated grating stimuli, potentially confounding orientation effects with non-orientation-specific gain control mechanisms. Additionally, primate vision depends to a great extent on transient stimulus presentations during fixations between saccades. Therefore this study examined the responses of primate V1 neurons to orthogonal flashed-onset single edges and lines, and to their combinations. Single edges or lines do not typically cause strong suppression of the responses to an orthogonal stimulus, even though a grating does. This appears to hold true regardless of the relative contrasts of the orthogonal single lines or edges. This is consistent with response suppression from an orthogonal grating being due to non-orientationspecific contrast gain control (Koeling M, Shapley R, Shelley M. J Comp Neurosci 25: 390-400, 2008; Priebe NJ, Ferster D. Nat Neurosci 9: 552-561, 2006; Walker GA, Ohzawa I, Freeman RD. J.Neurophysiol 79: 227-239, 1998). While normalization mechanisms are clearly important for the cerebral cortex, under many conditions the responses of V1 cortical neurons to an optimally oriented stimulus can be unaffected by the presence of orthogonal stimuli, which may be important to avoid confounding the interpretation of a neural response.
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    Author List

  • Gawne TJ
  • Start Page

  • 2676
  • End Page

  • 2681
  • Volume

  • 113
  • Issue

  • 7