Visual Neuroscience

Research Articles

Chromatic properties of neurons in macaque area V2

Daniel C. Kipera11, Suzanne B. Fenstemakera1 and Karl R. Gegenfurtnera12

a1 Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York


We recorded from single cells in area V2 of cynomolgus monkeys using standard acute recording techniques. After measuring each cell's spatial and temporal properties, we performed several tests of its chromatic properties using sine-wave gratings modulated around a mean gray background. Most cells behaved like neurons in area V1 and their responses were adequately described by a model that assumes a linear combination of cone signals. Unlike in V1, we found a subpopulation of cells whose activity was increased or inhibited by stimuli within a narrow range of color combinations. No particular color directions were preferentially represented. V2 cells showing color specificity, including cells showing narrow chromatic tuning, were present in any of the stripe compartments, as defined by cytochrome-oxidase (CO) staining. An addition of chromatic contrast facilitated the responses of most neurons to gratings with various luminance contrasts. Neurons in all three CO compartments gave significant responses to isoluminant gratings. Receptive-field properties of cells were generally similar for luminance and chromatically defined stimuli. We found only a small number of cells with a clearly identifiable double-opponent receptive-field organization.

(Received January 13 1997)

(Accepted March 26 1997)


1 Now at Institut de Biologie Cellulaire et de Morphologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Lausanne, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland.

2 Now at Max-Planck-Institut für biologische Kybernetik, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

Reprint requests to: Karl R. Gegenfurtner, Max-Planck-Institut für biologische Kybernetik, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.