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Neuron. 2015 Nov 18;88(4):819-31. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.10.009. Epub 2015 Nov 5.

Origin and Function of Tuning Diversity in Macaque Visual Cortex.

Author information

1
Center for Neural Science, New York University, 4 Washington Place, Room 809, New York, NY 10003, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New York University, 4 Washington Place, Room 809, New York, NY 10003, USA. Electronic address: Robbe.Goris@nyu.edu.
2
Center for Neural Science, New York University, 4 Washington Place, Room 809, New York, NY 10003, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New York University, 4 Washington Place, Room 809, New York, NY 10003, USA.
3
Center for Neural Science, New York University, 4 Washington Place, Room 809, New York, NY 10003, USA. Electronic address: movshon@nyu.edu.

Abstract

Neurons in visual cortex vary in their orientation selectivity. We measured responses of V1 and V2 cells to orientation mixtures and fit them with a model whose stimulus selectivity arises from the combined effects of filtering, suppression, and response nonlinearity. The model explains the diversity of orientation selectivity with neuron-to-neuron variability in all three mechanisms, of which variability in the orientation bandwidth of linear filtering is the most important. The model also accounts for the cells' diversity of spatial frequency selectivity. Tuning diversity is matched to the needs of visual encoding. The orientation content found in natural scenes is diverse, and neurons with different selectivities are adapted to different stimulus configurations. Single orientations are better encoded by highly selective neurons, while orientation mixtures are better encoded by less selective neurons. A diverse population of neurons therefore provides better overall discrimination capabilities for natural images than any homogeneous population.

PMID:
26549331
PMCID:
PMC4786576
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2015.10.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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