We addressed how spatial frequency and orientation selectivity coexist and co-vary in Macaque primary visual cortex (V1) by simulating cortical layer 4Cα of V1 with a large-scale network model and then comparing the model's behavior with a population of cells we recorded in layer 4Cα. We compared the distributions of orientation and spatial frequency selectivity, as well as the correlation between the two, in the model with what we observed in the 4Cα population. We found that (1) in the model, both spatial frequency and orientation selectivity of neuronal firing are greater and more diverse than the LGN inputs to model neurons; (2) orientation and spatial frequency selectivity co-vary in the model in a way very similar to what we observed in layer 4Cα neurons; (3) in the model, orientation and spatial frequency selectivity co-vary because of intra-cortical inhibition. The results suggest that cortical inhibition provides a common mechanism for selectivity in multiple dimensions.
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