Electrode recordings and imaging studies have revealed that localized visual stimuli elicit waves of activity that travel across primary visual cortex. Traveling waves are present also during spontaneous activity, but they can be greatly reduced by widespread and intensive visual stimulation. In this Review, we summarize the evidence in favor of these traveling waves. We suggest that their substrate may lie in long-range horizontal connections and that their functional role may involve the integration of information over large regions of space.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.