Neuronal responses to edges defined by luminance vs. temporal texture in macaque area V1

Vis Neurosci. Sep-Oct 1997;14(5):949-62. doi: 10.1017/s0952523800011664.

Abstract

We examined the responsivity, orientation selectivity, and direction selectivity of a sample of neurons in cortical area V1 of the macaque using visual stimuli consisting of drifting oriented contours defined by each of two very different figural cues: luminance contrast and temporal texture. Comparisons of orientation and direction tuning elicited by the different cues were made in order to test the hypothesis that the neuronal representations of these parameters are form-cue invariant. The majority of the sampled cells responded to both stimulus types, although responses to temporal texture stimuli were generally weaker than those elicited by luminance-defined stimuli. Of those units exhibiting orientation selectivity when tested with the luminance-defined stimuli, more than half were also selective for the orientation of the temporal texture stimuli. There was close correspondence between the preferred orientations and tuning bandwidths revealed with the two stimulus types. Of those units exhibiting directional selectivity when tested with the luminance-defined stimuli, about two-thirds were also selective for the direction of the temporal texture stimuli. There was close correspondence between the preferred directions revealed with the two stimulus types, although bidirectional responses were somewhat more common when temporal texture stimuli were used. These results indicate that many V1 neurons encode orientation and direction of motion of retinal image features in a manner that is largely independent of whether the feature is defined by luminance or temporal texture contrast. These neurons may contribute to perceptual phenomena in which figural cue identity is disregarded.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology*
  • Cues*
  • Female
  • Flicker Fusion*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Cortex / cytology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*