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Single unit responses to visual stimuli in cat cortical areas 17 and 18 3. responses to moving stimuli of variable velocity



Single unit responses to visual stimuli in cat cortical areas 17 and 18 3. responses to moving stimuli of variable velocity



Archives Italiennes de Biologie 117(3): 248-267



Single unit responses to moving stimuli of variable velocity were recorded from the visual cortex (areas 17 and 18) of locally anesthetized, Flaxedil-paralyzed and artificially ventilated cats. All cortical cells studied turned out to be sensitive to moving stimuli. Non-oriented and simple cells showed similar stimulus-response curves, reaching the maximum discharge rate at velocities of about 10-20 degrees/s. Complex cells can be divided in 2 groups: neurons which are sensitive to slow moving stimuli (part of area-17 complex cells) and neurons which are sensitive to fast moving stimuli (part of area-17 and all of area-18 complex cells). These 2 groups show many of the characteristics of X- and Y-system neurons, respectively. Y-simple cells are perhaps mainly responsible for the detection of temporal changes in the luminous contrast distribution in a visual scene and Y-complex cells for the detection of movement therein. X-simple and X-complex neurons seem to be involved in form perception and in the process of temporal stability, i.e., the temporally continuous perception of an object despite eye movements. The hypothesis, psychophysically confirmed in man of 2 parallel channels in the visual system, 1 conveying information on the form and the other on the movement of an object.

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