Spatial and temporal frequency tuning in striate cortex: functional uniformity and specializations related to receptive field eccentricity.
ABSTRACT In light of anatomical evidence suggesting differential connection patterns in central vs. peripheral representations of cortical areas, we investigated the extent to which the response properties of cells in the primary visual area (V1) of the marmoset change as a function of eccentricity. Responses to combinations of the spatial and temporal frequencies of visual stimuli were quantified for neurons with receptive fields ranging from 3 degrees to 70 degrees eccentricity. Optimal spatial frequencies and stimulus speeds reflected the expectation that the responses of cells throughout V1 are essentially uniform, once scaled according to the cortical magnification factor. In addition, temporal frequency tuning was similar throughout V1. However, spatial frequency tuning curves depended both on the cell's optimal spatial frequency and on the receptive field eccentricity: cells with peripheral receptive fields showed narrower bandwidths than cells with central receptive fields that were sensitive to the same optimal spatial frequency. Although most V1 cells had separable spatial and temporal frequency tuning, the proportion of neurons displaying significant spatiotemporal interactions increased in the representation of far peripheral vision (> 50 degrees). In addition, of the fewer than 5% of V1 cells that showed robust (spatial frequency independent) selectivity to stimulus speed, most were concentrated in the representation of the far periphery. Spatiotemporal interactions in the responses of many cells in the peripheral representation of V1 reduced the ambiguity of responses to high-speed (> 30 degrees/s) signals. These results support the notion of a relative specialization for motion processing in the far peripheral representations of cortical areas, including V1.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), a small-bodied New World primate, offers several advantages to complement vision research in larger primates. Studies in the anesthetized marmoset have detailed the anatomy and physiology of their visual system (Rosa et al., 2009) while studies of auditory and vocal processing have established their utility for awake and behaving neurophysiological investigations (Lu et al., 2001a,b; Eliades and Wang, 2008a,b; Osmanski and Wang, 2011; Remington et al., 2012). However, a critical unknown is whether marmosets can perform visual tasks under head restraint. This has been essential for studies in macaques, enabling both accurate eye tracking and head stabilization for neurophysiology. In one set of experiments we compared the free viewing behavior of head-fixed marmosets to that of macaques, and found that their saccadic behavior is comparable across a number of saccade metrics and that saccades target similar regions of interest including faces. In a second set of experiments we applied behavioral conditioning techniques to determine whether the marmoset could control fixation for liquid reward. Two marmosets could fixate a central point and ignore peripheral flashing stimuli, as needed for receptive field mapping. Both marmosets also performed an orientation discrimination task, exhibiting a saturating psychometric function with reliable performance and shorter reaction times for easier discriminations. These data suggest that the marmoset is a viable model for studies of active vision and its underlying neural mechanisms.Journal of Neuroscience 01/2014; 34(4):1183-94. · 6.91 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Although the primary visual cortex (V1) is one of the most extensively studied areas of the primate brain, very little is known about how the far periphery of visual space is represented in this area. We characterized the physiological response properties of V1 neurons in anaesthetized marmoset monkeys, using high-contrast drifting gratings. Comparisons were made between cells with receptive fields located in three regions of V1, defined by eccentricity: central (3-5°), near peripheral (5-15°), and far peripheral (>50°). We found that orientation selectivity of individual cells was similar from the center to the far periphery. Nonetheless, the proportion of orientation-selective neurons was higher in central visual field representation than in the peripheral representations. In addition, there were similar proportions of cells representing all orientations, with the exception of the representation of the far periphery, where we detected a bias favoring near-horizontal orientations. The proportions of direction-selective cells were similar throughout V1. When the center/surround organization of the receptive fields was tested with gratings with varying diameters, we found that the population of neurons that was suppressed by large gratings was smaller in the far periphery, although the strength of suppression in these cells tended to be stronger. In addition, the ratio between the diameters of the excitatory centers and suppressive surrounds was similar across the entire visual field. These results suggest that, superimposed on the broad uniformity of V1, there are subtle physiological differences, which indicate that spatial information is processed differently in the central versus far peripheral visual fields.Visual Neuroscience 10/2013; · 1.48 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Humans are diurnal primates with high visual acuity at the center of gaze. Although primates share many similarities in the organization of their visual centers with other mammals, and even other species of vertebrates, their visual pathways also show unique features, particularly with respect to the organization of the cerebral cortex. Therefore, in order to understand some aspects of human visual function, we need to study non-human primate brains. Which species is the most appropriate model? Macaque monkeys, the most widely used non-human primates, are not an optimal choice in many practical respects. For example, much of the macaque cerebral cortex is buried within sulci, and is therefore inaccessible to many imaging techniques, and the postnatal development and lifespan of macaques are prohibitively long for many studies of brain maturation, plasticity, and aging. In these and several other respects the marmoset, a small New World monkey, represents a more appropriate choice. Here we review the visual pathways of the marmoset, highlighting recent work that brings these advantages into focus, and identify where additional work needs to be done to link marmoset brain organization to that of macaques and humans. We will argue that the marmoset monkey provides a good subject for studies of a complex visual system, which will likely allow an important bridge linking experiments in animal models to humans.Frontiers in Neural Circuits 01/2014; 8:96. · 3.33 Impact Factor