Two-dimensional substructure of MT receptive fields

Neuron. 2001 Jun;30(3):781-93. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(01)00313-0.


Neurons at progressively higher levels of the visual system have progressively larger, more complicated receptive fields, presumably constructed from simpler antecedent receptive fields. To study this hierarchical organization, we used sparse white noise to map receptive-field substructure (second order Wiener-like kernels) in an extrastriate motion processing area (MT) of alert monkeys. The maps revealed a clear substructure, on a spatial scale comparable to the receptive fields of the V1 inputs. There were both facilitatory and suppressive interactions that differed in spatial organization and time course. Directional interactions were remarkably precise over a very small spatial range, and reversed when successive stimuli reversed contrast--a neural correlate of "reverse phi" motion perception. The maps of some cells had an unexpected, curved shape, which challenges existing models for direction selectivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Space Perception / physiology
  • Visual Fields / physiology*