Direction- and velocity-specific responses from beyond the classical receptive field in the middle temporal visual area (MT)

Perception. 1985;14(2):105-26. doi: 10.1068/p140105.


The true receptive field of more than 90% of neurons in the middle temporal visual area (MT) extends well beyond the classical receptive field (crf), as mapped with conventional bar or spot stimuli, and includes a surrounding region that is 50 to 100 times the area of the crf. These extensive surrounds are demonstrated by simultaneously stimulating the crf and the surround with moving stimuli. The surrounds commonly have directional and velocity-selective influences that are antagonistic to the response from the crf. The crfs of MT neurons are organized in a topographic representation of the visual field. Thus MT neurons are embedded in an orderly visuotopic array, but are capable of integrating local stimulus conditions within a global context. The extensive surrounds of MT neurons may be involved in figure-ground discrimination, preattentive vision, perceptual constancies, and depth perception through motion cues.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aotus trivirgatus / physiology*
  • Cebidae / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Depth Perception / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual
  • Form Perception / physiology
  • Microelectrodes
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*
  • Visual Fields