Linear and nonlinear spatial subunits in Y cat retinal ganglion cells

S. Hochstein, Robert Shapley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

mechanism machanism which makes Y cells different from X cells was investigated. Spatial frequency contrast sensitivity functions for the fundamental and second harmonic responses of Y cells to alternating phase gratings were determined. The fundamental spatial frequency response was predicted by the Fourier transform of the sensitivity profile of the Y cell. The high spatial frequency cut off of a Y cell's fundamental response was in this way related to the centre of the cell's receptive field. The second harmonic response of a Y cell did not cut off at such a low spatial frequency as the fundamental response. This result indicated that the source of the second harmonic was a spatial subunit of the receptive field smaller in spatial extent than the centre. Contrast sensitivity vs. spatial phase for a Y cell was measured under three conditions: a full grating, a grating seen through a centrally located window, a grating partially obscured by a visual shutter. The 2nd/1st harmonic sensitivity ratio went down with the window and up with the shutter. These results implied that the centre of Y cells was linear and also that the nonlinear subunits extended into the receptive field surround. Spatial localization of the nonlinear subunits was determined by means of a spatial dipole stimulus. The nonlinear subunits overlapped the centre and surround of the receptive field and extended beyond both. The nature of the Y cell nonlinearity was found to be rectification as determined from measurements of the second harmonic response as a function of contrast. Spatial models for the Y cell receptive field are proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-284
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Physiology
Volume262
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1976

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Retinal Ganglion Cells
Cats
Contrast Sensitivity
Fourier Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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Linear and nonlinear spatial subunits in Y cat retinal ganglion cells. / Hochstein, S.; Shapley, Robert.

In: Journal of Physiology, Vol. 262, No. 2, 1976, p. 265-284.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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