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Nat Neurosci. 2000 Jan;3(1):54-63.

A model for intradendritic computation of binocular disparity.

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  • 1Neuroscience Program, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-2520, USA.


Many complex cells in mammalian primary visual cortex are finely tuned to binocular disparity. In the prevailing model, several binocular simple cells drive each disparity-tuned complex cell. However, some cat complex cells receive direct LGN input, and binocular simple cells are rare in macaque. In our biophysically detailed compartmental model, active dendrites of a single neuron perform the multiple simple-cell-like subunit computations that underlie both orientation and disparity tuning. The responses of our detailed model could be predicted by a simple algebraic formula closely related to an 'energy' model. Adding inhibitory synapses led to sharper, more contrast-invariant tuning curves. Thus active dendrites could contribute to binocular-disparity tuning in complex cells.

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