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Vis Neurosci. 1996 May-Jun;13(3):509-16.

Heterogeneity in local distributions of orientation-selective neurons in the cat primary visual cortex.

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Center for Neuroscience,University of California, Davis 95616, USA.


We have employed the tetrode technique, which allows accurate discrimination of individual neuronal spike trains from multiunit recordings, in order to examine the variation of orientation selectivity among local groups of neurons. We recorded a total of 321 cells from 62 sites in area 17 of halothane-anesthetized cats; each site contained between three to ten neurons that were estimated to be less than 65 microns away from the tetrode tip. For each cell, we determined the orientation tuning in response to moving bars. Of the cells tested, 8.4% were unresponsive, 22.7% had no preferential response to any particular orientation, while 68.8% were tuned. The average difference in preferred orientation between cell pairs recorded at the same site was 10.7 deg, but the variance in preferred orientation differences differed significantly among sites. Some clusters of cells exhibited the same or nearly the same orientation preference, while others had orientation preferences that differed by as much as 90 deg. Our data demonstrate that the tuning for orientation is more heterogeneously distributed at a local level than previous studies have suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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