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J Neurosci. 1989 Jun;9(6):2033-50.

Afferent basis of visual response properties in area MT of the macaque. I. Effects of striate cortex removal.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Princeton University, New Jersey 08544.


The middle temporal area (MT) of the macaque monkey is a region of extrastriate cortex involved in the analysis of visual motion. MT receives strong projections from striate cortex and from area V2, which is dependent on striate for visual responsiveness. Accordingly, the visual properties of MT neurons have been thought to reflect the further processing of its input from striate cortex. We examined the dependence of MT activity on pathways deriving from striate cortex by recording from MT neurons following removal of their striate input. Repeated recordings in area MT were made in 4 hemispheres of anesthetized macaques following either partial or total ablations of striate cortex. Cells in MT were tested for responsiveness, selectivity for direction of motion and direction tuning, and ocular dominance. Receptive fields were also plotted. In an additional animal, we recorded from MT neurons during reversible cooling of the central representation in striate cortex. We found that striate cortex removal or inactivation did not abolish the visual responsiveness of the majority of MT cells. Although the residual responses were generally much weaker than in the intact animal, direction selectivity and binocularity were still present. Moreover, receptive field size and overall topography appeared unaltered.

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