Spatial and temporal analysis by neurons in the representation of the central visual field in the cat's lateral suprasylvian visual cortex

Martin S. Gizzi, Ephraim Katz, J. Anthony Movshon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We studied quantitatively the receptive-field properties of 74 units recorded from the representation of the central visual fields in the cat's lateral suprasylvian (LS) visual cortex. In agreement with previous workers, we found that LS receptive fields tended to be large and to lack discernible spatial structure. They resembled the complex receptive fields of areas 17 and 18 in their general organization. We examined the responses of these neurons to moving optimally oriented sinusoidal gratings that varied in spatial and temporal frequency of drift. Most LS neurons were selective for the spatial frequency of sinusoidal gratings; 7% responded to all spatial frequencies below a cutoff value. In agreement with previous reports, the optimal spatial frequencies for LS neurons covered a wider range than is seen in either area 17 or 18 alone (0.05-1 cycle/deg), but are certainly included in the range covered by both these afferent areas. Individual neurons in LS responded to a range of spatial frequencies broader than is typical for neurons in areas 17 and 18. The effect of varying the drift rate of otherwise optimal gratings was similar in LS to that reported for areas 17 and 18. Most neurons were optimally responsive to drift rates between 0.5 and 4 Hz, and resolved frequencies as high as 10–30 Hz. A few neurons had optima higher than 6 Hz and resolved frequencies in excess of 30 Hz. We conclude that the receptive fields of LS neurons reflect rather closely the properties of their afferents from areas 17 and 18. Apart from the increased incidence of directional selectivity in LS and the increase in receptive-field size seen there, we find no evidence for a significant reorganization of visual signals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-468
Number of pages6
JournalVisual Neuroscience
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1990



  • Extrastriate cortex
  • Receptive fields
  • Spatial selectivity
  • Temporal selectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems

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