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Single unit responses to visual stimuli in cat cortical areas 17 and 18 2. responses to stationary stimuli of variable duration



Single unit responses to visual stimuli in cat cortical areas 17 and 18 2. responses to stationary stimuli of variable duration



Archives Italiennes de Biologie 117(3): 231-247



Single unit responses to stationary stimuli of variable duration were recorded from the visual cortex (areas 17 and 18) of locally anesthetized, Flaxedil-paralyzed and artificially ventilated cats. Only the responses of simple and non-oriented cells were taken into account, being complex and hypercomplex cells unresponsive to stationary stimuli. Simple cells can be divided in 2 groups, PT- and P-neurons. PT-neurons show responses with a phasic component followed by a tonic one, the latter fading away in 1.9 .+-. 1.1 s. P-neurons show only the phasic component, lasting .apprx. 50 ms regardless of the stimulus duration. These 2 groups seem to have the same characteristics as those X- and Y-simple cells described by others. Non-oriented cells show only the tonic component and still discharge 7.5 s after the onset of a stationary stimulus. On the grounds of the neurophysiological data and psychophysical data reported by others PT-neurons (X-simple cells) are mainly involved in the process of spatial contrast discrimination and P-neurons (Y-simple cells) in temporal contrast discrimination. Non-oriented cells are considered as cortical inhibitory interneurons.

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