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Models of Neural Systems

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On the Influence of Threshold Variability in a Mean-Field Model of the Visual Cortex
Citation key Bartsch2001
Author Bartsch, H. and Stetter, M. and Obermayer, K.
Title of Book Emergent Neural Computational Architectures Based on Neuroscience
Pages 174 – 187
Year 2001
ISBN 978-3-540-42363-8, 978-3-540-44597-5
ISSN 0302-9743
DOI 10.1007/3-540-44597-8_13
Publisher Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Abstract Orientation–selective neurons in monkeys and cats show contrast saturation and contrast–invariant orientation tuning. Recently proposed models for orientation selectivity predict contrast invariant orientation tuning but no contrast saturation at high strength of recurrent intracortical coupling, whereas at lower coupling strengths the contrast response saturates but the tuning widths are contrast dependent\mbox \citehans97,bart97. In the present work we address the question, if and under which conditions the incorporation of a stochastic distribution of activation thresholds of cortical neurons leads to the saturation of the contrast response curve as a network effect. We find that contrast saturation occurs naturally if two different classes of inhibitory inter-neurons are combined. Low threshold inhibition keeps the gain of the cortical amplification finite, whereas high threshold inhibition causes contrast saturation.
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