Organization of color-selective neurons in macaque visual area V4

J Neurophysiol. 2009 Jul;102(1):15-27. doi: 10.1152/jn.90624.2008. Epub 2009 Apr 15.

Abstract

Cortical area V4 in monkeys contains neurons that respond selectively to particular colors. It has been controversial how these color-selective neurons are spatially organized in V4. One view asserts that color-selective neurons are organized in columns with different colors orderly mapped across the cortex, whereas other studies have found no evidence for columnar organization or any other clustered structure. In the present study, we reexamined the functional organization of color-selective neurons in area V4 by quantitatively evaluating and comparing the color selectivity of nearby neurons as well as those encountered along electrode penetrations. Using a multiple single-unit recording technique, we recorded extracellular activities simultaneously from groups of nearby V4 neurons. Color discrimination and color preferences exhibited a moderate correlation between nearby neurons, consistent with neurons in a local region of V4 sharing similar responses to stimulus color. However, the degree of clustering was variable across recording sites. Some regions contained neurons with similar color preferences, whereas others contained neurons with diverse color preferences. Neurons in penetrations normal to the cortical surface responded to an overlapping range of colors and maintained a moderate correlation. Neurons in penetrations tangential to the cortical surface differed dramatically in their preferred color and exhibited a negative correlation. We conclude that neurons in area V4 are moderately clustered according to their color selectivity and that this weak clustering is columnar in structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Color*
  • Macaca fascicularis / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / classification
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Visual Cortex / cytology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology