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J Neurosci. 1988 May;8(5):1610-24.

Functional anatomy of macaque striate cortex. V. Spatial frequency.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


When macaque monkeys view achromatic, sinusoidal gratings of a single spatial frequency, the pattern of 14C-2-deoxy-d-glucose (DG) uptake produced by the gratings is shown to depend on the spatial frequency chosen. When a relatively high (5-7 cycles/deg) spatial frequency is shown binocularly at systematically varied orientations, uptake in parafoveal striate cortex is highest between the cytochrome oxidase blobs (that is, in the interblobs) in layers 1, 2, and 3. In layers 4B, 5, and 6, where the cytochrome oxidase blobs are faint or absent, DG uptake is highest in a periodic pattern that lies in register with the interblobs of layers 2 + 3. When the grating is, instead, of relatively low (1-1.5 cycles/deg) spatial frequency, DG uptake is highest in the blobs, in the blob-aligned portions of layers 1-4B, and in the lower-layer blobs as well. These variations in DG topography are confirmed in stimulus comparisons within a single hemisphere. Presumably, this shift in functional topography within the extra-granular layer is the primate homolog of "spatial frequency columns" shown earlier in the cat (Tootell et al., 1981; Silverman, 1984). In the well-differentiated architecture of primate striate cortex, laminar differences produced by high- versus low-spatial-frequency gratings are visible as well. Gratings of very high spatial frequency produce much higher uptake in 4Cb (which receives input from the parvocellular LGN layers) than in 4Ca (which gets its input from the magnocellular LGN layers). Gratings of low spatial frequency produce the converse result. Presumably, cells in the magnocellular LGN layers and/or in the magnocellular-dominated layer 4Ca have lower average spatial frequency tuning (larger receptive fields) than their counterparts in the parvocellular LGN and/or in striate layer 4Cb. The DG patterns produced by various spatial frequencies also vary with eccentricity, in a manner consistent with known, eccentricity-dependent variations of receptive-field size and spatial frequency tuning. Thus, gratings of a "middle"-spatial-frequency range (4-5 cycles/deg) produce high uptake in the blobs near the foveal representation and high uptake in the interblobs at more peripheral eccentricities, including 5 degrees. This shift in DG topography also includes the transition zone near 3 degrees, where the level of stimulus-driven uptake is as high in the blob regions as it is in interblob regions. Variations in uptake between layers 4Ca and 4Cb, as a function of eccentricity, shift in parallel with the changes in the upper-layer topography.

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