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The primary visual cortex of primates and carnivores is organized into columns of neurons with similar preferences for stimulus orientation, but the developmental origin and function of this organization are still matters of debate. We found that the orientation preference of a cortical column is closely related to the population receptive field of its ON(More)
Astronomers and physicists noticed centuries ago that visual spatial resolution is higher for dark than light stimuli, but the neuronal mechanisms for this perceptual asymmetry remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that the asymmetry is caused by a neuronal nonlinearity in the early visual pathway. We show that neurons driven by darks (OFF neurons) increase(More)
ON and OFF visual pathways originate in the retina at the synapse between photoreceptor and bipolar cells. OFF bipolar cells are shorter in length and use receptors with faster kinetics than ON bipolar cells and, therefore, process information faster. Here, we demonstrate that this temporal advantage is maintained through thalamocortical processing, with(More)
Thalamic neurons respond to visual scenes by generating synchronous spike trains on the timescale of 10-20 ms that are very effective at driving cortical targets. Here we demonstrate that this synchronous activity contains unexpectedly rich information about fundamental properties of visual stimuli. We report that the occurrence of synchronous firing of cat(More)
Visual information is mediated by two major thalamic pathways that signal light decrements (OFF) and increments (ON) in visual scenes, the OFF pathway being faster than the ON. Here, we demonstrate that this OFF temporal advantage is transferred to visual cortex and has a correlate in human perception. OFF-dominated cortical neurons in cats responded ∼3 ms(More)
Images are processed in the primary visual cortex by neurons that encode different stimulus orientations and spatial phases. In primates and carnivores, neighboring cortical neurons share similar orientation preferences, but spatial phases were thought to be randomly distributed. We discovered a columnar organization for spatial phase in cats that shares(More)
The primary visual cortex contains a detailed map of the visual scene, which is represented according to multiple stimulus dimensions including spatial location, ocular dominance and stimulus orientation. The maps for spatial location and ocular dominance arise from the spatial arrangement of thalamic afferent axons in the cortex. However, the origins of(More)