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Independence of visuotopic representation and orientation map in the visual cortex of the cat

Authors

  • Péter Buzás,

    1. Institut für Physiologie, Abteilung für Neurophysiologie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstrasse 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
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  • Maxim Volgushev,

    1. Institut für Physiologie, Abteilung für Neurophysiologie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstrasse 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
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  • Ulf T. Eysel,

    1. Institut für Physiologie, Abteilung für Neurophysiologie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstrasse 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
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  • Zoltán F. Kisvárday

    1. Institut für Physiologie, Abteilung für Neurophysiologie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstrasse 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
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: Dr Zoltán F. Kisvárday, as above.
E-mail: kisva@neurop.ruhr-uni-bochum.de

Abstract

The representations of visual space and stimulus orientation were mapped in the cat primary visual cortex using electrophysiological recordings supplemented with intrinsic signal optical imaging. The majority of units displaced up to 600 µm laterally had overlapping RFs both in orientation domains and around singularities of the orientation map. Quantitative comparison of these units revealed only a weak, positive correlation between the difference in their preferred orientations and RF separations (area 17: r = 0.09; area 18: r = 0.15). The occurrence of nonoverlapping RFs could be accounted for by random RF position scatter rather than by orientation difference between the units. Monte Carlo analysis showed that our findings are compatible with a locally smooth and linear representation of visual space that is not coupled to the representation of stimulus orientation. An important functional implication of the above map relationships is that positional information captured by the retina is faithfully transmitted into the cortex.

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