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Neural Information ProcessingComputational Models of Primary Visual Cortex

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Computational Models of Primary Visual Cortex


Primary visual cortex in higher animals like cats and non-human primates is one of the best characterized cortical areas. Therefore, it serves as a paradigmatic area for understanding visual processing and for understanding cortical computation in general. Here we use computational approaches, which are based on network models of different complexity (rate models vs. spiking models, integrate-and-fire vs. Hodgkin-Huxley models, columnar models vs. map models), in order to characterize the functional organization of visual cortex, to study the dynamics of the cortical network, and to evaluate hypotheses about the mechanisms shaping the response properties of visual cortical neurons. A recent model-based analysis of experimental data provided evidence, that cortical networks may operate in a regime which is close to the transition to self-sustained firing. This finding will serve as one starting point for further investigations.

Acknowledgement: Research was funded by BMBF, DFG, HFSPO, Welcome Trust and the Technische Universität Berlin.

Selected Publications:

A Model for the Depth-Dependence of Receptive Field Size and Contrast Sensitivity of Cells in Layer 4C of Macaque Striate Cortex
Citation key Bauer1999
Author Bauer, U. and Scholz, M. and Levitt, J. and Obermayer, K. and Lund, J.
Pages 613 – 629
Year 1999
DOI 10.1016/S0042-6989(98)00172-2
Journal Vision Research
Volume 39
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract A model of LGN input to layer 4C of macaque primary visual cortex has been used to test the hypothesis that feedforward convergence of P and M inputs on to layer 4C spiny stellate neurons is suffcient to explain the observed gradual change in receptive field size and contrast sensitivity with depth in the layer. Overlap of dendrites of postsynaptic neurons between M and P input zones proved sufficient to explain change in the lower two-thirds of layer 4C, while more rapid change in upper 4C was matched by proposing two different M inputs with partial overlap in upper 4C alpha.
Bibtex Type of Publication Selected:v1
Link to publication Link to original publication Download Bibtex entry


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