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Recent in vitro studies have shown that acetylcholine (ACh) selectively reduces the efficacy of lateral cortical connections via a muscarinic mechanism, while boosting the efficacy of thalamocortical/feed-forward connections via a nicotinic mechanism. This suggests that high levels of ACh should reduce center-surround interactions of neurons in primary(More)
Representing the orientation of features in the visual image is a fundamental operation of the early cortical visual system. The nature of such representations can be informed by considering anisotropic distributions of response across the range of orientations. Here we used functional MRI to study modulations in the cortical activity elicited by(More)
Exposure of cortical cells to sustained sensory stimuli results in changes in the neuronal response function. This phenomenon, known as adaptation, is a common feature across sensory modalities. Here, we quantified the functional effect of adaptation on the ensemble activity of cortical neurons in the rat whisker-barrel system. A multishank array of(More)
Cortical processing is strongly influenced by the actions of neuromodulators such as acetylcholine (ACh). Early studies in anaesthetized cats argued that acetylcholine can cause a sharpening of orientation tuning functions and an improvement of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of neuronal responses in primary visual cortex (V1). Recent in vitro studies have(More)
The visibility of an isolated simple stimulus is known to depend on its contrast. However, when such a stimulus is surrounded by other geometrically-simple stimuli, its perceived contrast can change markedly. Here, we examined whether such effects contribute to our perception of contrasts when we view real world scenes. We show that the perceived contrast(More)
The local orientation structure of a visual image is fundamental to the perception of spatial form. Reports of reliable orientation-selective modulations in the pattern of fMRI activity have demonstrated the potential for investigating the representation of orientation in the human visual cortex. Orientation-selective voxel responses could arise from(More)
Luminance gratings reportedly produce a stronger functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in those parts of the retinotopic cortical maps where they are oriented radially to the point of fixation. We sought to extend this finding by examining anisotropies in the response of cortical areas V1-V3 to(More)
The responses of orientation-selective neurons in primate visual cortex can be profoundly affected by the presence and orientation of stimuli falling outside the classical receptive field. Our perception of the orientation of a line or grating also depends upon the context in which it is presented. For example, the perceived orientation of a grating(More)
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 3T in human participants to trace the chromatic selectivity of orientation processing through functionally defined regions of visual cortex. Our aim was to identify mechanisms that respond to chromatically defined orientation and to establish whether they are tuned specifically to color or operate in(More)
Perception of the spatial structure of the environment results from visual system processes which integrate local information to produce global percepts. Here, we investigated whether particular global spatial arrangements evoke greater responses in the human visual system, and how such anisotropies relate to those evident in the responses to the local(More)