Linear and Nonlinear Dynamics in the Development of Orientation Preference Maps
The formation of feature-maps in the developing visual cortex has become a central system for the study of cooperative phenomena in large neural networks, both theoretically[1, 2] and experimentally [3, 4]. With advanced optical imaging techniques [5, 6] it is now possible to monitor the activity of neural populations synchronously with a high spatial resolution. This kind of measurement should finally enable a comparison of experiment and mathematical theory in quantitative detail. In this contribution we start to outline the respective contributions of linear and nonlinear dynamics in the development of visual cortical maps, the different timescales, on which these qualitatively distinct processes take place and how their effects might be accessed experimentally in a quantitative fashion.
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