Parallel development of orientation maps and spatial frequency selectivity in cat visual cortex

Authors

  • Toshiki Tani,

    1. Laboratory for Visual Neurocomputing, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, Wako, Saitama, Japan
    2. Department of Anatomical Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Hirosaki University, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan
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    • T.T. and J.R. contributed equally to this work.

  • Jérôme Ribot,

    1. Laboratory for Visual Neurocomputing, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, Wako, Saitama, Japan
    2. Laboratoire de Physiologie de la Perception et de l’Action, Collège de France-CNRS, UMR 7152, Marcelin Berthelot, Paris, France
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    • T.T. and J.R. contributed equally to this work.

  • Kazunori O’Hashi,

    1. Laboratory for Visual Neurocomputing, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, Wako, Saitama, Japan
    2. Laboratory for Integrative Neural Systems, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, Wako, Saitama, Japan
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  • Shigeru Tanaka

    1. Laboratory for Visual Neurocomputing, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, Wako, Saitama, Japan
    2. Department of Information and Communication Engineering, the University of Electro-Communications, Chofu, Tokyo, Japan
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Dr T. Tani, as above.
E-mails: tani@riken.jp, ttani@cc.hirosaki-u.ac.jp

Abstract

In an early stage of the postnatal development of cats, orientation maps mature and spatial frequency selectivity is consolidated. To investigate the time course of orientation map maturation associated with the consolidation of spatial frequency selectivity, we performed optical imaging of intrinsic signals in areas 17 and 18 of cats under the stimulation of drifting square-wave gratings with different orientations and spatial frequencies. First, orientation maps for lower spatial frequencies emerged in the entire part of the lateral gyrus, which includes areas 17 and 18, and then these orientation maps in the posterior part of the lateral gyrus disappeared as orientation maps for higher spatial frequencies matured. Independent of age, an anteroposterior gradient of response strengths from lower to higher spatial frequencies was observed. This indicates that the regional distribution of spatial frequencies is innately determined. The size of iso-orientation domains tended to decrease as the stimulus spatial frequency increased at every age examined. In contrast, orientation representation bias changed with age. In cats younger than 3 months, the cardinal (vertical and horizontal) orientations were represented predominantly over the oblique orientations. However, in young adult cats from 3 to 9 months old, the representation bias switched to predominantly oblique orientations. These age-dependent changes in the orientation representation bias imply that orientation maps continue to elaborate within postnatal 1 year with the consolidation of spatial frequency selectivity. We conclude that both intrinsic and mutual factors lead to the development of orientation maps and spatial frequency selectivity.

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