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A model of direction-selective "simple" cells in the visual cortex based on inhibition asymmetry

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Ruff,  PI
Former Department Structure and Function of Natural Nerve-Net , Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Rauschecker,  JP
Former Department Structure and Function of Natural Nerve-Net , Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Palm,  G
Former Department Structure and Function of Natural Nerve-Net , Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Ruff, P., Rauschecker, J., & Palm, G. (1987). A model of direction-selective "simple" cells in the visual cortex based on inhibition asymmetry. Biological Cybernetics, 57(3), 147-157. doi:10.1007/BF00364147.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-C984-3
Abstract
Direction selectivity is a prominent feature of single units in the central visual pathway of cat and monkey. Various mechanisms have been proposed for the generation of this property. Experimental evidence suggests that intracortical inhibition is a major factor contributing to direction selectivity. We have developed a one-dimensional computer model for direction selective simple cells in the visual cortex under two basic assumptions: 1) Inhibition is exerted upon a cortical cell by neighboring cells from either side within a retinotopic array, 2) The relative strength of inhibition from both neighbors can be varied, interneurons always having larger time constants than the simple cells. Summation in the model is linear, but is followed by an essential non-linearity. ON- and/or OFF-center cells of the sustained type (X-cells) are used as an input to the simple cells. The computer simulation demonstrates that various subtypes of direction-selective simple cells in area 17, as described by Schiller et al. (1976), can be generated by different amounts of inhibition asymmertry, different delays and by different spatial arrangements of the input. Only one type of input (ON or OFF) is required to generate direction selectivity, but a greater variety of cell subtypes is created by combining both. Length-summation, contributing to orientation selectivity, was not considered in this one-dimensional model.