Large-scale modeling of the primary visual cortex: Influence of cortical architecture upon neuronal response

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Abstract

A large-scale computational model of a local patch of input layer 4Cα of the primary visual cortex (V1) of the macaque monkey, together with a coarse-grained reduction of the model, are used to understand potential effects of cortical architecture upon neuronal performance. Both the large-scale point neuron model and its asymptotic reduction are described. The work focuses upon orientation preference and selectivity, and upon the spatial distribution of neuronal responses across the cortical layer. Emphasis is given to the role of cortical architecture (the geometry of synaptic connectivity, of the ordered and disordered structure of input feature maps, and of their interplay) as mechanisms underlying cortical responses within the model. Specifically: (i) Distinct characteristics of model neuronal responses (firing rates and orientation selectivity) as they depend upon the neuron's location within the cortical layer relative to the pinwheel centers of the map of orientation preference; (ii) A time independent (DC) elevation in cortico-cortical conductances within the model, in contrast to a "push-pull" antagonism between excitation and inhibition; (iii) The use of asymptotic analysis to unveil mechanisms which underly these performances of the model; (iv) A discussion of emerging experimental data. The work illustrates that large-scale scientific computation - coupled together with analytical reduction, mathematical analysis, and experimental data, can provide significant understanding and intuition about the possible mechanisms of cortical response. It also illustrates that the idealization which is a necessary part of theoretical modeling can outline in sharp relief the consequences of differing alternative interpretations and mechanisms - with final arbiter being a body of experimental evidence whose measurements address the consequences of these analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-252
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Physiology Paris
Volume97
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

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Keywords

  • Architecture
  • Dynamics
  • Orientation tuning
  • Visual cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology (medical)

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