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Neuron. 2001 Nov 8;32(3):515-25.

Construction of complex receptive fields in cat primary visual cortex.

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Laboratory of Neurobiology, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021, USA.


In primary visual cortex, neurons are classified into simple cells and complex cells based on their response properties. Although the role of these two cell types in vision is still unknown, an attractive hypothesis is that simple cells are necessary to construct complex receptive fields. This hierarchical model puts forward two main predictions. First, simple cells should connect monosynaptically to complex cells. Second, complex cells should become silent when simple cells are inactivated. We have recently provided evidence for the first prediction, and here we do the same for the second. In summary, our results suggest that the receptive fields of most layer 2+3 complex cells are generated by a mechanism that requires simple cell inputs.

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