Visual Neuroscience

Research Articles

Temporal-frequency selectivity in monkey visual cortex

M. J. Hawkena1, R. M. Shapleya1 and D. H. Grosofa1 p1

a1 Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York

Abstract

We investigated the dynamics of neurons in the striate cortex (V1) and the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) to study the transformation in temporal-frequency tuning between the LGN and V1. Furthermore, we compared the temporal-frequency tuning of simple with that of complex cells and direction-selective cells with nondirection-selective cells, in order to determine whether there are significant differences in temporal-frequency tuning among distinct functional classes of cells within V1. In addition, we compared the cells in the primary input layers of V1 (4a, 4cα, and 4cβ) with cells in the layers that are predominantly second and higher order (2, 3, 4b, 5, and 6). We measured temporal-frequency responses to drifting sinusoidal gratings. For LGN neurons and simple cells, we used the amplitude and phase of the fundamental response. For complex cells, the elevation of impulse rate (F0) to a drifting grating was the response measure. There is significant low-pass filtering between the LGN and the input layers of V1 accompanied by a small, 3-ms increase in visual delay. There is further low-pass filtering between V1 input layers and the second- and higher-order neurons in V1. This results in an average decrease in high cutoff temporal-frequency between the LGN and V1 output layers of about 20 Hz and an increase in average visual latency of about 12–14 ms. One of the most salient results is the increased diversity of the dynamic properties seen in V1 when compared to the cells of the lateral geniculate, possibly reflecting specialization of function among cells in V1. Simple and complex cells had distributions of temporal-frequency tuning properties that were similar to each other. Direction-selective and nondirection-selective cells had similar preferred and high cutoff temporal frequencies, but direction-selective cells were almost exclusively band-pass while nondirection-selective cells distributed equally between band-pass and low-pass categories. Integration time, a measure of visual delay, was about 10 ms longer for V1 than LGN. In V1 there was a relatively broad distribution of integration times from 40–80 ms for simple cells and 60–100 ms for complex cells while in the LGN the distribution was narrower.

Correspondence:

p1 Present address: Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Washington University, 660 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO 63130, USA.

Footnotes

Reprint requests to: Michael Hawken, Center for Neural Science, New York University, 4 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003, USA.