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J Neurophysiol. 2000 Oct;84(4):2048-62.

Spatial distribution of contextual interactions in primary visual cortex and in visual perception.

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The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


To examine the role of primary visual cortex in visuospatial integration, we studied the spatial arrangement of contextual interactions in the response properties of neurons in primary visual cortex of alert monkeys and in human perception. We found a spatial segregation of opposing contextual interactions. At the level of cortical neurons, excitatory interactions were located along the ends of receptive fields, while inhibitory interactions were strongest along the orthogonal axis. Parallel psychophysical studies in human observers showed opposing contextual interactions surrounding a target line with a similar spatial distribution. The results suggest that V1 neurons can participate in multiple perceptual processes via spatially segregated and functionally distinct components of their receptive fields.

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