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Receptive field characteristics of neurons in a visual area of the rabbit temporal cortex

Journal of Comparative Neurology 171(2): 135-145

Receptive field characteristics of neurons in a visual area of the rabbit temporal cortex

In a program of surveying the characteristics of visual receptive fields of neurons in rabbit brain, we have explored cortical sectors beyond the striate and occipital cortices and found cells in a part of the temporal lobe that were responsive to visual stimulation. Using evoked potential and unit-cluster methods, this temporal visual area was mapped to be roughly oval-shaped, 3 mm x 2mm in size, and at about the level posterior to the apex region of auditory area 1. It is located ventral to and continuous with visual area 11, at about the caudal half of M. Rose's temporal cortices 1 and 2 (T1 and T2). Only about two-thirds of 96 units studied responded to some sort of moving light stimulation. These motion-sensitive cells were divided into four groups. Cells in the first group (22) responded best to a large light spot or shadow sweeping quickly across the field. Cells in the second group (29) responded to slow moving, jerking spot. Nine cells responded to a narrow, dark bar thrusting into a lighted field. Four cells are "direction-selective," responding to light stimulus moving in one direction and showing either no response or decreased background discharges in the opposite direction. In addition, three cells required unusual stimulus features. Of the 38 cells tested, nine of them were found to be binocularly driven. These receptive field characteristics are quite different from those described for other visual centers of the rabbit. The significance of these results together with data on the anatomical connections of this cortical area as reported in the following paper were discussed.

Accession: 006269911

PMID: 833347

DOI: 10.1002/cne.901710202

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