David H. Hubel's research while affiliated with Johns Hopkins University and other places

Publications (124)

Article
Full-text available
Over 40 years ago, Hubel and Wiesel gave a preliminary report of the first account of cells in monkey cerebral cortex selective for binocular disparity. The cells were located outside of V-1 within a region referred to then as “area 18.” A full-length manuscript never followed, because the demarcation of the visual areas within this region had not...
Article
While attending medical school at McGill, David Hubel developed an interest in the nervous system during the summers he spent at the Montreal Neurological Institute. After heading to the United States in 1954 for a Neurology year at Johns Hopkins, he was drafted by the army and was assigned to the Neuropsychiatry Division at the Walter Reed Hospita...
Book
Scientists' understanding of two central problems in neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy has been greatly influenced by the work of David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel: What is it to see? This relates to the machinery that underlies visual perception, How do we acquire the brain's mechanisms for vision? This is the nature-nurture question as to whe...
Article
We compared the appearance of a line passing through the optic-disc blind spot with that of lines passing just medial or just lateral to the blind spot. Though there is no well-defined gap in the line, we see a consistent difference, which is hard to describe. On the other hand, during a migraine aura experienced by one of us, lines passing through...
Article
Biomedical research in today's universities is usually carried out by groups consisting of a leader and 5-20 or so trainees. This is in sharp contrast with past generations, when research was usually done by individuals or small partnerships of two or three who thought up their own ideas and carried them out themselves. Group leaders today spend th...
Article
Microsaccades are the largest and fastest of the fixational eye movements, which are involuntary eye movements produced during attempted visual fixation. In recent years, the interaction between microsaccades, perception and cognition has become one of the most rapidly growing areas of study in visual neuroscience. The neurophysiological consequenc...
Article
Recordings were made from single cells in the striate cortex of lightly anaesthetized cats. The retinas were stimulated separately or simultaneously with light spots of various sizes and shapes. In the light-adapted state cortical cells were active in the absence of additional light stimulation. Increasing the depth of anaesthesia tended to suppres...
Article
If, after being in the dark for many minutes, one views an extended surface under dim (scotopic) illumination, one fails to see any hint of the dark spot at the center of gaze that might be expected from the absence of rods in the fovea. Here we report that, if the surface is suddenly completely darkened, one sees for a few seconds a relatively bri...
Article
Knowledge of the physiology of the primate visual cortex (area V-1) comes mostly from studies done in photopic conditions, in which retinal cones are active and rods play little or no part. Conflicting results have come from research into the effects of dark adaptation on receptive field organization of cells in the retina and the lateral geniculat...
Article
Full-text available
Our eyes continually move even while we fix our gaze on an object. Although these fixational eye movements have a magnitude that should make them visible to us, we are unaware of them. If fixational eye movements are counteracted, our visual perception fades completely as a result of neural adaptation. So, our visual system has a built-in paradox —...
Article
When images are stabilized on the retina, visual perception fades. During voluntary visual fixation, however, constantly occurring small eye movements, including microsaccades, prevent this fading. We previously showed that microsaccades generated bursty firing in the primary visual cortex (area V-1) in the presence of stationary stimuli. Here we e...
Article
Full-text available
We explored the neural basis for spatial color contrast (red looks redder surrounded by green) and temporal color contrast (red looks redder if preceded by green) in primary visual cortex (V1) of the alert macaque. Using pairs of stimuli, we found a subset of neurons that gave stronger responses to sequences of red and green spots and stronger resp...
Article
Full-text available
When viewing a stationary object, we unconsciously make small, involuntary eye movements or 'microsaccades'. If displacements of the retinal image are prevented, the image quickly fades from perception. To understand how microsaccades sustain perception, we studied their relationship to the firing of cells in primary visual cortex (V1). We tracked...
Article
Last month, 70 members of the U.S. Congress, including Henry Hyde, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and J. C. Watts Jr. Republican Conference Chairman, signed a letter urging the federal government to ban all research on stem cells obtained from human embryos and fetuses. The letter calls upon the U.S. Department of Health and Human Servi...
Article
Beginnings Looking back 40 years, it is hard to imagine how the prospects could have been better for us when, in the spring of 1958, we set out to try to understand the visual cortex. We were both medically trained. Torsten had a long experience in psychiatry, he grew up in a mental hospital outside Stockholm and had practiced both adult and child...
Article
On testing my own vision in very dim light I observed two phenomena associated with the lack of retinal rods (the receptors specialized for vision in dim light) in the fovea, the region corresponding to our centre of gaze. First, a bright (or dark) straight line passing through the fovea was seen as discontinuous, with a clear 1° gap. Second, after...
Article
The results of some technically demanding experiments may resolve a long-standing debate - the cause underlying the orientation selectivity of cells in the primary visual cortex.
Article
The squirrel monkey lacks anatomically demonstrable ocular dominance columns, and physiologically it has an ocular dominance distribution in V1 that is very different from that of macaques, with far fewer cells that strongly favor one eye over the other. We tested an alert squirrel monkey for physiological responses to stereoscopic stimuli by measu...
Article
Though experience tells us we can perceive depth in dim light, it is not so obvious that one of the chief mechanisms for depth perception, stereopsis, is possible under scotopic conditions. The only studies on human stereopsis in the dark adapted state seem to be those of Nagel [(1902) Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 27, 264-266] and Mueller and Lloyd...
Article
We tested color and contrast sensitivity in the magnocellular and parvocellular subdivisions of the lateral geniculate body and in layers 2, 3, 4B, and 4C alpha of visual area 1 to obtain physiological data on the degree of segregation of the 2 pathways and on the fate of the color and contrast information as it is transmitted from the geniculate t...
Article
The first systematic studies of the visual cortex of mammals with well-developed color vision presented an intriguing, and as yet unsolved puzzle. Most retinal ganglion cells and most cells in the lateral geniculate body are color coded; most cells in the primary visual cortex (V1) are not (Wiesel and Hubel 1966; Hubel and Wiesel 1968). In the late...
Article
Two recent papers on the macaque visual system have concluded that in the lateral geniculate body the ratio of the number of cells in the magnocellular system to the number in the parvocellular system representing the same area of visual field increases by a factor of 20 between the fovea and the far periphery. In the primary visual cortex the rela...
Article
Anatomical and physiological observations in monkeys indicate that the primate visual system consists of several separate and independent subdivisions that analyze different aspects of the same retinal image: cells in cortical visual areas 1 and 2 and higher visual areas are segregated into three interdigitating subdivisions that differ in their se...
Article
Physiological and anatomical findings in the primate visual system, as well as clinical evidence in humans, suggest that different components of visual information processing are segregated into largely independent parallel pathways. Such a segregation leads to certain predictions about human vision. In this paper we describe psychophysical experim...
Article
Primate visual cortical area 18 (visual area 2), when stained for the enzyme cytochrome oxidase, shows a pattern of alternating dark and light stripes; in squirrel monkeys, the dark stripes are clearly of 2 alternating types, thick and thin. We have recorded from these 3 subdivisions in macaques and squirrel monkeys, and find that each has distinct...
Article
In area 18 of the primate visual cortex, staining for the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase reveals 3 types of stripelike subdivisions running perpendicular to the 17/18 border: thick, thin, and pale stripes. In a previous paper (Livingstone and Hubel, 1984), we described the anatomical connections with area 17 of 2 of these 3 subdivisions, b...
Article
Two main topics will thread their way through this paper: The structure of the monkey striate cortex, including its inputs and outputs, and the physiological basis of color vision. When Margaret Livingstone and I began this work four years ago we did not set out to study color, but the structures in the cortex that we have been looking at turn out...
Article
This study examines the extent to which the restriction of visual experience to lines of a single orientation influences the organization of the striate cortex in infant monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Previous studies of kittens raised with monocular exposure to a single line orientation have consistently shown the response preference of cells driven by...
Article
In primates, both the primary and secondary visual cortical areas can be subdivided histologically by staining for the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase. In the primary visual cortex (area 17, the first cortical receiving area for visual information) these histological differences correspond to functional subdivisions, cytochrome-dark regions...
Article
Several recent studies have suggested a patchy system of intrinsic lateral connections in area 17 of the macaque monkey. To see whether this pattern bore any relationship to the cytochrome oxidase blobs we made multiple tiny injections of horseradish peroxidase into layers 2 and 3 of area 17, small enough so that some of the injections (or their co...
Article
Staining for the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase reveals an array of dense regions (blobs) in the primate primary visual cortex. They are most obvious in the upper layers, 2 and 3, but can also be seen in layers 4B, 5, and 6, in register with the blobs in layers 2 and 3. We compared cells inside and outside blobs in macaque and squirrel mon...
Article
When the monkey striate cortex is stained for the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase a polka-dot pattern of patches or blobs is observed in layers 2 and 3 and more faintly in layers 5 and 6. In the macaque these blobs are aligned along the centers of ocular dominance columns. Cells within blobs lack the orientation selectivity and instead have...
Article
When the primate primary visual cortex, area 17, is stained for the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase, it shows a striking polka-dot pattern (cytochrome oxidase blobs). Area 18, the second visual area, shows a cytochrome-oxidase pattern of coarse alternating thick and thin stripes running perpendicular to the 17-18 border and separated by lig...
Article
Human vision has the remarkable property that, over a wide range, changes in the wavelength composition of the source light illuminating a scene result in very little change in the colour of any of the objects. This colour constancy can be explained by the retinex theory, which predicts the colour of a point on any object from a computed relationsh...
Article
The following article is the lecture delivered by the author in Stockholm on 8 December 1981 when he received the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology which he shared with Roger Sperry and Torsten Wiesel. The article is published here with permission from the Nobel Foundation and will also be included in the complete volume of Les Prix Nobel en 19...
Article
In primate primary visual cortex, staining for cytochrome oxidase reveals a regular array of blob-like structures, most prominent in layers II and III but also present in layers V and VI. In an attempt to learn more about the input to these blobs, we injected the lateral geniculate bodies of macaques and squirrel monkeys with [3H]proline or horsera...
Article
In two preliminary studies, normal macaque1 and squirrel monkey2,3 striate cortex cut parallel to the surface and stained for cytochrome oxidase (a mitochondrial enzyme) showed a striking pattern of regularly spaced patches. This was surprising, since until then no physiological or anatomical studies had suggested such a patchy organization. In the...
Article
Single units in the cat lateral geniculate nucleus and primary visual cortex show changes in both spontaneous and visually evoked firing as a function of the state of wakefulness. On arousal spontaneous firing is smoother and often reduced, whereas evoked responses are usually enhanced; the result is an increase in the signal-to-noise ratio. Single...
Article
The main purpose of this study was to examine the normal postnatal development of ocular dominance columns in the striate cortex of the macaque monkey and to determine how this developmental process is influenced by monocular lid-suture. The physiological pattern of ocular dominance was studied in long, tangential electrode penetrations. For anatom...
Article
Fibres in the mammalian optic nerve are generally thought to be organised retinotopically. Recording electrophysiologically from the cat optic nerve, we found little evidence to support this notion, which led us to investigate the problem by anatomical methods. We made a localised injection of horseradish peroxidase into the lateral geniculate body...
Article
Functional implications of mouse hereditary retinal degeneration have been studied at the level of the superior colliculus and visual cortex in the C57BL/6J-le rd strain. On autoradiography at a light-microscopic level, following eye injection with radioactive compounds, central visual structures appeared normal. A slight reduction in ipsilateral r...
Article
In the macaque monkey striate (primary visual) cortex, the grouping of cells into ocular dominance and orientation columns leads to the prediction of highly specific spatial patterns of cellular activity in response to stimulation by lines through one or both eyes. In the pesent paper these paterns have been examined by the 2-deoxyuglucose autoradi...
Article
Full-text available
IN the past fifteen years physiological studies of the primary visual cortex in higher mammals have provided evidence for two independent systems of functional subdivisions, ocular dominance columns and orientation columns1. These two systems are closely related to two important functions of visual cortex: combining at a single-cell level the infor...
Article
Of the many possible functions of the macaque monkey primary visual cortex (striate cortex, area 17) two are now fairly well understood. First, the incoming information from the lateral geniculate bodies is rearranged so that most cells in the striate cortex respond to specifically oriented line segments, and, second, information originating from t...
Article
Ocular dominance columns were examined by a variety of techniques in juvenile macaque monkeys in which one eye had been removed or sutured closed soon after birth. In two monkeys the removal was done at 2 weeks and the cortex studied at 11/2 years. Physiological recordings showed continuous responses as an electrode advanced along layer IVC in a di...
Article
Since the first reports of aggregations by ocular dominance of ceils in monkey striate cortex'-', :~, the geometry of these groupings has become increasingly clear. The columns have been reconstructed anatomically, first using the Wiitanen modification of the Nauta-Fink-Heime r method~, 9, then by autoradiography tMlowing eye in- jection of labeled...
Article
Excerpt The primary visual cortex of higher mammals is known to carry out two main functions. The inputs from the lateral geniculate body are regrouped in such a way that line segments in specific orientations become the most effective stimuli (Hubel and Wiesel 1959), and it is here that one finds the first important convergence of signals from the...
Article
Full-text available
In adult mice of the C57BL/6J strain the projection of the visual field was systematically mapped under direct vision. As in other vertebrate species the nasal (anterior) field projected anterolaterally, and the inferior field posterolaterally. Values of magnification-1 (m-1, or degrees of visual field per millimeter tectal surface) were calculated...
Article
The distribution of retinotectal projections was studied in 4 macaque monkeys by examining the tectum autoradiographically 3-21 days after eye injection with radioactive proline or a proline-fucose mixture. Contrary to previous reports the optic fibers project to all regions of the tectum including a relatively sparse but nevertheless very clear pr...
Article
Full-text available
The superior colliculus was studied in anesthetized mice by recording from single cells and from unit clusters. The topographic representation of the visual field was similar to what has been found in other mammals, with the temporal part of the contralateral visual field projecting posteriorly and the inferior visual field laterally. At the anteri...
Article
A pattern of alternative dark and pale bands was observed in the straite cortex of the macaque monkey. The bands, which ran parallel to the surface, were seen in tangential sections stained with a reduced silver method for normal fibers and were most clear in layer 4C α, immediately deep to the line of Gennari. The dark bands were about 300 μ wide...
Article
THE two main targets of the mammalian optic nerve fibres are the lateral geniculate body and the superior colliculus (optic tectum). From studies with various techniques, and in several mammalian species including the cat1-5, monkey6-9, rabbit10-12, rat13, and ground squirrel14 three major functions of the superior colliculus have been described. I...
Article
This paper is concerned with the relationship between orientation columns, ocular-dominance columns, the topographic mapping of visual fields onto cortex, and receptive-field size and scatter. Although the orientation columns are an order of magnitude smaller than the ocular-dominance columns, the horizontal distance corresponding to a complete cyc...
Article
The main object of this study was to see whether ordered sequences of orientation columns are present in very young visually naive monkeys. Recordings were made from area 17 in two macaque monkeys three and four weeks of age, whose eyes had been closed near the time of birth. The first monkey was born normally, but one day elapsed before eye closur...
Article
The striate cortex of the macaque monkey is subdivided into two independent and overlapping systems of columns termed “orientation columns” and “ocular dominance columns.” The present paper is concerned with the orientation columns, particularly their geometry and the relationship between successive columns. The arrangement of the columns is highly...
Article
In the past few years the technique of mapping pathways in the central nervous system by anterograde axoplasmic transport of radioactive molecules has come into wide use and is now an important supplement to Nauta degeneration methods e,6,1°,13. Several investigatorsa,3,v,9,12 have noted radioactive substances in the postsynaptic ceils, which sugge...
Article
Single cell recordings in monkey striate cortex have shown differences in response properties from one cell layer to the next and have also shown that the IVth layer, which receives most of its input from the geniculate, is subdivided into a mosaic of regions, some connected to the left eye, others to the right. In the present study small lesions w...
Article
1. Guillery has recently shown that the Siamese cat has a grossly abnormal lateral geniculate body. His anatomical study suggested that certain fibres originating in the temporal retina of each eye cross in the chiasm instead of remaining uncrossed. They thus reach the wrong hemispheres, but in the geniculate they terminate in the regions that the...
Article
In the past few decades, much progress has been made in working out what might be called the general cellular physiology of the nervous system, including the ionic mechanisms of impulse conduction and synaptic transmission. This has opened the way towards an attack on the functional architecture of the central nervous system. Until very recently, m...
Article
1. Kittens were visually deprived by suturing the lids of the right eye for various periods of time at different ages. Recordings were subsequently made from the striate cortex, and responses from the two eyes compared. As previously reported, monocular eye closure during the first few months of life causes a sharp decline in the number of cells th...
Article
Random-dot stereoscopic patterns have been used to provide behavioural evidence of stereoscopic vision in macaque monkeys. Cells sensitive to binocular depth have been found in area 18 of the macaque monkey cortex.
Article
On anatomical and physiological grounds a zone of cat cortex deep in the medial bank of the suprasylvian sulcus (the Clare-Bishop area) is known to receive strong visual projections both from the lateral geniculate body and area 17. We have mapped receptive fields of single cells in this area in eight cats. Active responses to visual stimuli were f...
Article
Anatomical investigation of the monkey striate cortex supports the physiological concept that the cortex is subdivided vertically into columnar aggregates of cells. Here the shape and size of two independent and overlapping column systems are described.
Article
1. The striate cortex was studied in lightly anaesthetized macaque and spider monkeys by recording extracellularly from single units and stimulating the retinas with spots or patterns of light. Most cells can be categorized as simple, complex, or hypercomplex, with response properties very similar to those previously described in the cat. On the av...
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Article
BEFORE A KITTEN OPENS ITS EYES, and long before the eyes are used in visual exploration, single cells of the primary visual cortex respond to natural stimulation with the same specificity as is found in the adult (5). This sug- gests that the anatomical connections between retina and striate cortex are for the most part innate. During the first 3 m...

Citations

... How experience sculpts neural circuits has been studied extensively in the primary visual cortex (V1), where monocular deprivation (MD) during a critical period perturbs the response properties of neurons (Espinosa and Stryker, 2012;Hensch and Quinlan, 2018). The effects of MD on visual cortex were first characterized cats and primates as 'single units' by auditory discrimination (Hubel et al., 1977;Hubel and Wiesel, 1970;Wiesel and Hubel, 1963). ...
... Leaf texture features were extracted using Gabor features by [29]. The accuracy of the UCI Machine Repository Dataset was 85 percent, whereas the Swedish Leaf Dataset was 94.1 percent. ...
... Interconnections are initially laid out by mechanisms regulating neuronal migration as well as the outgrowth of axons and dendrites. The resulting immature circuits, however, are frequently less precise than their mature counterparts and undergo further remodeling, a process that is strongly influenced by changes in the activity of afferent neurons ( Hubel et al., 1977). At cellular level, circuit refinement is thought to correspond to the elimination of established glutamatergic synapses and addition of new ones ( Grutzendler et al., 2002;Trachtenberg et al., 2002). ...
... Retinotopic duplications within areas of visual cortex have been recognized in monkeys for some time. In the macaque's area V1, strips of visual field are duplicated in ocular dominance columns in layer 4, yielding two interdigitated maps (Hubel et al., 1974). In area V2 in macaques, there is retinotopic duplication in thick, thin, and interstripe regions, resulting in three interdigitated maps that correspond to functionally different compartments (Roe and Ts'o, 1995). ...
... For example, the discovery in the hippocampus of neurons that fire in specific places (i.e., place fields) was compelling evidence for cognitive maps [1,2]. In another example, the discovery of cells in the visual cortex that fired preferentially to simple stimuli, such as gradients of a particular angle, and other cells that preferred more complex stimuli, such as edges and movement, helped to explain how the visual system processes complex visual scenes from simpler stimuli within those scenes [3][4][5][6]. Another cornerstone of systems neuroscience has been analytical and theoretical approaches [7][8][9] that attempt to decode how the brain transforms inputs into functional outputs (e.g., how visual signals are used in the generation of visual perceptions and even cognitive maps). ...
... The main orientation of these bands is again perpendicular to the border between areas 17 and 18. In the cat striate cortex, both OR-columns and OD-columns tend to form bands, or at least elongated slabs, and there are indications that their main orientation is perpendicular to the 17/18 border (Stryker et al. 1977; Shatz and Stryker 1978; LeVay et al. 1978; Albus 1979; Singer 1981; Singer et al. 1981; L6wel et al. 1987; L6wel and Singer 1987b). Thus, the cat appears to have two well developed columnar systems which tend to form bands. ...
... Hierarchical models of visual processing propose that these colorselective cells in early retinotopic cortex help to segment visual scenes into figure-ground representations (Hubel and Wiesel 1968, 1977; Lee et al. 1998), whereas cells in regions beyond early visual cortex compute surface properties of the resulting objects, including those that create our perception of surface color (Zeki and Marini 1998; Conway et al. 2007; Bouvier et al. 2008). Many theories of visual object perception have also suggested that the visual system initially segments objects from the background and later " fills in " or " binds " color to the resulting surfaces (Grossberg and Mingolla 1985; Humphreys et al. 2000; Roelfsema et al. 2007; Shipp et al. 2009). ...
... Although there are a wealth of excellent tools aimed at inferring spike trains from calcium data, currently the pseudo-R 2 of algorithms on paired spiking and calcium data tops out at around 0.6 (31). Nonetheless, it is clear that recording with either modality has lead to similar global conclusions-for example, grid cells can be uncovered in spiking or calcium signals (32, 33), reward prediction errors can be found in dopamine neurons across species and recording modalities (34-36), and visual cortex shows orientation tuning across species and modalities (37)(38)(39). ...
... Based on their discovery regarding cortical pathology, considerable research efforts have been undertaken in the screening, prevention and treatment of amblyopia. The current guidelines for clinical treatment were published by the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG) from about 2000 to 2015 [5][6][7]. ...
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