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Exp Brain Res. 2004 Oct;158(3):373-7. Epub 2004 Jul 30.

Distant cortical locations of the upper and lower quadrants of the visual field represented by neurons with elongated and radially oriented receptive fields.

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Institute for Problems of Information Transmission, RAS, Moscow, Russia.


In our previous study of the cytoarchitectonic field 7 of cat cortex we had described neurons with extremely elongated receptive fields (RFs). The long axes of these RFs were oriented radially, towards the centre of the retina. These neurons represented only the lower contralateral part of visual field. They were surrounded from all sides by neurons with clearly different RF properties. We proposed that neurons with a similar radial organization and with RFs in the upper visual field also exist in the cortex but are localized in the area that was distant from the representation of the corresponding lower visual field. We expected to find these neurons in front of the representation of the upper visual field in areas V1, V2 and V3 (fields 17, 18 and 19), behind the central representation in area 21a. This cortical region was studied in five behaving cats. In all animals, neurons with radial RFs in the upper visual field were found in the expected location. As in the lower visual field, their RFs always spared the central visual field. Other RF properties of these neurons were also very similar to those found previously in the lower visual field. It became obvious that neurons with radial RFs are included into the fourth extrastriate crescent with complete contralateral representation. However, in the fourth crescent, RF properties in the central visual field differed significantly from those on the periphery. As a result, neurons with similar radial RFs in the upper and lower visual fields were located in the distant cortical regions, and were separated by the representation of the central visual field presented by the non-radial neurons of the cytoarchitectonic area 21a.

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