Spatial and temporal properties of neurons of the lateral suprasylvian cortex of the cat

M. C. Morrone, M. Di Stefano, D. C. Burr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

1. Neurons in the posteromedial lateral suprasylvian cortex (PMLS) of cats were recorded extracellularly to investigate their response to stimulation by bars and by sinusoidal gratings. 2. Two general types of cells were identified: those that modulated in synchrony with the passage of drifting bars and gratings and those that responded with an unmodulated increase in discharge. Both types responded to contrast reversed gratings with a modulation of activity: the cells that modulated to drifting gratings modulated to the first harmonic of contrast reversed gratings (at appropriate spatial phase and frequency), whereas those that did not modulate to drifting gratings always modulated to the second harmonic of contrast reversed gratings. No cell had a clear null point. 3. Nearly all cells were selective for spatial frequency. The preferred frequency ranged from 0.1 to 1 cycles per degree (cpd), and selectivity bandwidths (full width at half height) were around two octaves. Preferred spatial frequency was not correlated with receptive field size, but bandwidth and receptive field size were positively correlated. Preferred spatial frequency decreased with eccentricity, at about 0.05 octaves/deg. 4. The response of all cells increased as a function of grating contrast up to a saturation level. The contrast threshold for response to a grating of optimal parameters was ~1% for most cells and the saturation contrast ~10%. The contrast gain was ~25 spikes/s per log unit of contrast. 5. All cells were tuned for temporal frequency, preferring frequencies from ~3 to 10 Hz, with a selectivity bandwidth ~2 octaves. For some cells, the spatial selectivity did not depend on the temporal frequency and vice versa. Others were spatiotemporally coupled, with the preferred temporal frequency being lower at high than at low spatial frequencies, and the preferred spatial frequency lower at high than at low temporal frequencies. Previous results showing broad velocity tuning to a bar were replicated and found to be predictable from the combined spatial and temporal tuning of PMLS cells and the Fourier spectrum of a bar. Preferred temporal frequency steadily decreased with eccentricity, at 0.025 octaves/deg. 6. The results for PMLS cells are compared with those of other visual areas. Acuity and spatial preference and selectivity bandwidth is comparable to all areas except area 17, where they are a factor of about two higher. Temporal selectivity in PMLS is as fine as observed in other areas. The possibility that PMLS cells may be involved with motion detection and detection of motion in depth is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-986
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Volume56
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1986

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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Spatial and temporal properties of neurons of the lateral suprasylvian cortex of the cat. / Morrone, M. C.; Di Stefano, M.; Burr, D. C.

In: Journal of Neurophysiology, Vol. 56, No. 4, 1986, p. 969-986.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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