Orientation tuning of the suppressive extraclassical surround depends on intrinsic organization of V1

Cereb Cortex. 2012 Feb;22(2):308-26. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhr105. Epub 2011 Jun 10.


The intrinsic functional architecture of early cortical areas in highly visual mammals is characterized by the presence of domains and pinwheels, with orientation preference of the inputs to these regions being more and less selective, respectively. We exploited this organizational feature to investigate mechanisms supporting extraclassical surround suppression, a process thought to be critical for figure ground segregation and form vision. Combining intrinsic signal optical imaging and single-unit recording in V1 of anesthetized cats, we show for the first time that the orientation tuning of the suppressive surround is sharper for domain than for pinwheel neurons. This difference depends on high center gain and is more pronounced in superficial cortex. In addition, when we remove the near component of the surround stimulus, the strength of suppression induced by the iso-oriented surround is significantly reduced for domain neurons but is unchanged for orthogonal oriented surrounds. This leads to broader orientation tuning of suppression that renders domain cells indistinguishable from pinwheel cells. Because the limited receptive field of the near surround can be accounted for by the lateral spread of long-range connections in V1, our findings suggest that intrinsic V1 circuits play a key role in the orientation tuning of extraclassical surround suppression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cats
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Visual Cortex / cytology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology*