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J Neurophysiol. 2005 Apr;93(4):2263-78. Epub 2004 Oct 20.

Blue-yellow signals are enhanced by spatiotemporal luminance contrast in macaque V1.

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Vision Center Laboratory, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 N. Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


We measured the color tuning of a population of S-cone-driven V1 neurons in awake, fixating monkeys. Analysis of randomly chosen color stimuli that were effective in evoking action potentials showed that these neurons received opposite sign input from the S cones and a combination of L and M cones. Surprisingly, these cells also responded to LM cone contrast irrespective of polarity, a nonlinear sensitivity that was masked by conventional linear analysis methods. Taken together, these observations can be summarized in a nonlinear model that combines nonopponent and opponent signals such that luminance contrast enhances color processing. These findings indicate that important aspects of the cortical representation of color cannot be described by classical linear analysis, and reveal a possible neural correlate of perceptual color-luminance interactions.

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