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Vision Res. 1987;27(10):1687-92.

Response suppression by extending sine-wave gratings within the receptive fields of neurons in visual cortical area V3A of the macaque monkey.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester 01605.


Even though there are many more cycles of the "optimal" grating extending across the receptive fields of cells in V3A than of cells in V1 and V2, the spatial frequency bandwidths in V3A are no narrower than in V1 or V2. Thus, the inputs to V3A cells are not combined in a phase coherent manner across the entire receptive field. Moreover, the defined receptive fields of cells in V3A are generally surrounded by suppressive regions which are, on average, much stronger than those found for neurons in V1 and V2. Even within the classical receptive field, most neurons in V3A respond far more vigorously to a limited patch of a few cycles of a grating at the preferred spatial frequency than to wider grating stimuli. This intra-receptive field suppression demonstrates a new level of response complexity, and suggests that V3A cells may antagonistically combine nonlinear mechanisms that themselves encode stimulus energy over a restricted region of space and spatial-frequency.

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