David Ferster

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The input conductance of cells in the cat primary visual cortex (V1) has been shown recently to grow substantially during visual stimulation. Because increasing conductance can have a divisive effect on the synaptic input, theoretical proposals have ascribed to it specific functions. According to the veto model, conductance increases would serve to sharpen(More)
Feedforward models of visual cortex appear to be inconsistent with a well-known property of cortical cells: contrast invariance of orientation tuning. The models' fixed threshold broadens orientation tuning as contrast increases, whereas in real cells tuning width is invariant with contrast. We have compared the orientation tuning of spike and membrane(More)
We have investigated the relationship between membrane potential and firing rate in cat visual cortex and found that the spike threshold contributes substantially to the sharpness of orientation tuning. The half-width at half-height of the tuning of the spike responses was 23 +/- 8 degrees, compared with 38 +/- 15 degrees for the membrane potential(More)
Neural responses are typically characterized by computing the mean firing rate, but response variability can exist across trials. Many studies have examined the effect of a stimulus on the mean response, but few have examined the effect on response variability. We measured neural variability in 13 extracellularly recorded datasets and one intracellularly(More)
The origin of orientation selectivity in the responses of simple cells in cat visual cortex serves as a model problem for understanding cortical circuitry and computation. The feed-forward model posits that this selectivity arises simply from the arrangement of thalamic inputs to a simple cell. Much evidence, including a number of recent intracellular(More)
We have recorded intracellularly from pairs of neurons less than 500 microm distant from one another in V1 of anesthetized cats. Cross-correlation of spontaneous fluctuations in membrane potential revealed significant correlations between the cells in each pair. This synchronization was not dependent on the occurrence of action potentials, indicating that(More)
More than 30 years after Hubel and Wiesel first described orientation selectivity in the mammalian visual cortex, the mechanism that gives rise to this property is still controversial. Hubel and Wiesel proposed a simple model for the origin of orientation tuning, in which the circularly symmetrical receptive fields of neurons in the lateral geniculate(More)
The receptive fields of simple cells in the cat visual cortex are, by definition, divided into ON and OFF subfields. There is little doubt that each subfield is generated by excitatory input from geniculate neurons of the appropriate center type: ON subfields by ON-center cells, and OFF subfields by OFF-center cells. In intracellular records, ON subfields(More)
Neurons of the visual cortex of the cat were penetrated with intracellular electrodes and postsynaptic potentials evoked by visual stimuli recorded. By alternately polarizing the cell with steady current injected through the recording electrode, IPSPs and EPSPs could be recorded and analyzed independently. Hyperpolarizing current suppressed IPSPs and(More)
Direction selectivity in simple cells of primary visual cortex, defined from their spike responses, cannot be predicted using linear models. It has been suggested that the shunting inhibition evoked by visual stimulation is responsible for the nonlinear component of direction selectivity. Cortical inhibition would suppress a neuron's firing when stimuli(More)