Selective tuning for contrast in macaque area V4

Ilaria Sani, Elisa Santandrea, Ashkan Golzar, Maria Concetta Morrone, Leonardo Chelazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Visually responsive neurons typically exhibit a monotonic-saturating increase of firing with luminance contrast of the stimulus and are able to adapt to the current spatiotemporal context by shifting their selectivity, therefore being perfectly suited for optimal contrast encoding and discrimination. Here we report the first evidence of the existence of neurons showing selective tuning for contrast in area V4d of the behaving macaque (Macaca mulatta), i.e., narrow bandpass filter neurons with peak activity encompassing the whole range of visible contrasts and pronounced attenuation at contrasts higher than the peak. Crucially, we found that contrast tuning emerges after a considerable delay from stimulus onset, likely reflecting the contribution of inhibitory mechanisms. Selective tuning for luminance contrast might support multiple functions, including contrast identification and the attentive selection of low contrast stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18583-18596
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume33
Issue number47
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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