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Vis Neurosci. 2001 Nov-Dec;18(6):973-81.

Cartesian and non-Cartesian responses in LGN, V1, and V2 cells.

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School of Optometry and Program in Vision Science, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.


Cell responses to drifting Cartesian (parallel) and non-Cartesian (concentric, radial, and hyperbolic) stimuli were recorded in and beyond the classical receptive field (CRF) in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), V1, and V2 of anesthetized monkeys. Many cells were equally responsive to Cartesian and non-Cartesian, especially concentric, gratings. Around 15% of cells in each area were significantly more responsive to concentric compared to parallel gratings; however, cells significantly more responsive to parallel compared to concentric gratings were more numerous in the cortex. While many cells responded to hyperbolic and radial gratings, few were most responsive to these gratings. Cell selectivity decreased for Cartesian and increased for non-Cartesian gratings from V1 to V2 and the relative response varied as a function of stimulus extent with respect to the CRE. Complex, nonoriented, nondirectional cells with a low aspect ratio (AR) responded best to non-Cartesian gratings. These results cannot be fully explained using Gabor linear/energy models of simple and complex receptive fields (RFs) although such models predict some cells to respond equally to Cartesian and non-Cartesian gratings. Cells significantly more responsive to non-Cartesian gratings can be accounted for by CRF selectivity influenced by modulation from the nonclassical receptive field (nCRF). The present study shows that Cartesian/non-Cartesian selectivity is not an emergent property of V4 cells but is present at all levels of early visual processing being subserved by a subset of cells with specific tuning properties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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