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J Neurophysiol. 1978 May;41(3):572-88.

Color vision mechanisms in monkey striate cortex: dual-opponent cells with concentric receptive fields.


1. I have recorded with tungsten microelectrodes from single cells in the monkey's visual cortex and have specifically studied those neurons which were sensitive to the color of the stimulus. In the primate striate cortex there are four classes of color-coded cells. The cells described in this paper have concentric receptive fields with one red-green opponent-color system in the field center and the opposite organization in the surround. These dual-opponent cells were nost sensitive to the simultaneous presentation of two different colors, one covering the field center and the other illuminating the surround. They are probable involved in the perception of simultaneous color-contrast phenomena. 2. Spectral sensitivity curves revealed that both the field centers and the surrounds received opposite types of inputs from red-sensitive and green-sensitive cones. None of the cells tested had inputs from rods. 3. Area-sensitivity curves showed that peripheral suppression was present for both phases of the center opponent-color system. The boundary between the center and the surround was the same for both sets of opponent systems. Some cells had "silent" surrounds, which did not respond to annular stimuli. 4. Multiple-unit recordings from a concentric cell and one of its presumed afferents yielded information regarding its possible synaptic inputs. In some cases the cells appeared to receive contacts from red/green opponent-color geniculated fibers with circular receptive fields that lacked an antagonistic surround (similar to Wiesel and Hubel's (37) type II class). In other instances the afferents had on-center, off surround receptive fields or the reverse, but received inputs from only one cone type, either red or green (similar to Wiesel and Hubel's type III class). 5. Concentric cells were always driven by only one eye. 6. The laminar distribution of these cells was limited almost entirely to layer IV and its subdivisions. 7. The cumulative evidence presented in this paper indicates that the concentric cells probably received direct geniculate inputs and, therefore, they are the first cortical stage in the integration of color-contrast information.

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