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Exp Brain Res. 1988;71(1):1-7.

The organization of receptive fields in area 18 neurones of the cat varies with the spatio-temporal characteristics of the visual stimulus.

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Istituto di Neurofisiologia del C.N.R., Pisa, Italy.


The spatial frequency tuning curves of neurones of area 18 depend upon the velocity of the visual stimulus. The higher the velocity the lower the spatial frequencies to which the cell is tuned. Since in area 17 the size of the cell receptive field is inversely related with the optimal spatial frequency to which the cell responds, we have investigated whether the shift of the optimal spatial frequency with the velocity corresponds to a "change" in the receptive field size. We recorded extracellularly from neurones in area 18; for each cell we selected two gratings, one of high spatial frequency drifting at low velocity and another of low spatial frequency drifting at high velocity to which the cell gave comparable responses. The results show that the masking of the cells receptive field which abolishes the response to the high frequency low velocity grating does not prevent the cell from responding to the low frequency high velocity grating. We conclude that the size of the receptive field of neurones in area 18 depends upon the characteristics (spatial frequency and velocity) of the visual stimulus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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