Representation of Visual Information in Simple and Complex Cells in the Primary Visual Cortex
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The primary visual cortex (VI) is the main gateway to visual perception. As such, neurons in this area must be able to support encoding of information relevant to many aspects of vision, including perception of form, surface, color, depth, motion, and texture. Although there is some degree of specialization, e.g., for color, within the population of neurons, the fundamental classes of cells in VI, simple and complex cells, must encode information for many aspects of visual function at the same time. If that is the case, how and to what extent do VI neurons encode form, depth, and motion information at the same time? There are relatively few existing data for addressing these questions directly, because most studies, by design, usually pay attention specifically to only one aspect of visual function at a time. We have addressed these questions by studying joint spatiotemporal receptive fields of simple cells and joint disparity-time receptive fields of complex cells in the cat striate cortex.