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Neuron. 2002 Jan 3;33(1):143-9.

The effect of gaze angle and fixation distance on the responses of neurons in V1, V2, and V4.

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Advanced Network Systems Research Laboratory, Telcordia Technologies, 445 South Street, Room 1A-132B, Morristown, NJ 07960, USA.


What we see depends on where we look. This paper characterizes the modulatory effects of point of regard in three-dimensional space on responsiveness of visual cortical neurons in areas V1, V2, and V4. Such modulatory effects are both common, affecting 85% of cells, and strong, frequently producing changes of mean firing rate by a factor of 10. The prevalence of neurons in area V4 showing a preference for near distances may be indicative of the involvement of this area in close scrutiny during object recognition. We propose that eye-position signals can be exploited by visual cortex as classical conditioning stimuli, enabling the perceptual learning of systematic relationships between point of regard and the structure of the visual environment.

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