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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2014 Feb;24(1):95-102. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2013.08.017. Epub 2013 Oct 4.

Neural maps versus salt-and-pepper organization in visual cortex.

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Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, Faculty of Computer Science and Mathematics, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address:


Theoretical neuroscientists have long been intrigued by the spatial patterns of neuronal selectivities observed in the visual cortices of many mammals, including primates. While theoretical studies have contributed significantly to our understanding of how the brain learns to see, recent experimental discoveries of the spatial irregularity of visual response properties in the rodent visual cortex have prompted new questions about the origin and functional significance of cortical maps. Characterizing the marked differences of cortical design principles among species and comparing them may provide us with a deeper understanding of primate and non-primate vision.

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