Microcircuits in visual cortex

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2002 Aug;12(4):418-25. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(02)00343-4.


The microcircuitry of the neocortex is bewildering in its anatomical detail, but seen through the filters of physiology, some simple circuits have been suggested. Intensive investigations of the cortical representation of orientation, however, show how difficult it is to achieve any consensus on what the circuits are, how they develop, and how they work. New developments in modeling allied with powerful experimental tools are changing this. Experimental work combining optical imaging with anatomy and physiology has revealed a rich local cortical circuitry. Whereas older models of cortical circuits have concentrated on simple 'feedforward' circuits, newer theoretical work has explored more the role of the recurrent cortical circuits, which are more realistic representations of the actual circuits and are computationally richer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Feedback
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Net
  • Neural Inhibition
  • Orientation
  • Pyramidal Cells / anatomy & histology
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Cortex / growth & development
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Pathways / growth & development
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*