Spatial properties of X and Y cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat and conduction velocities of their inputs

Yuen Tat So, Robert Shapley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Visual neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the cat may be separated into distinct X and Y classes based on a test of the linearity of spatial summation. Y cells produce nonlinear responses especially when the visual stimulus is a fine spatial grating. X cells exhibit mainly linear summation properties. X cells respond mainly at the fundamental modulation frequency of a contrast reversal grating while Y cells respond at the fundamental and at the second harmonic of the modulation frequency. The spatial resolution of X cells' fundamental responses and Y cells' second harmonic responses is about the same, and both are two to eight times higher than the spatial resolution of the Y cells' fundamental response. The conduction velocity of the Y optic tract afferents is greater than that of the velocity of the X afferents. However, the LGN latencies of the responses of the two classes of cells to optic chiasm stimulation overlap considerably.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-550
Number of pages18
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1979

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Geniculate Bodies
Cats
Optic Chiasm
Reaction Time
Neurons

Keywords

  • Conduction velocity
  • Lateral geniculate nucleus
  • Spatial resolution
  • X and Y cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

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AB - Visual neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the cat may be separated into distinct X and Y classes based on a test of the linearity of spatial summation. Y cells produce nonlinear responses especially when the visual stimulus is a fine spatial grating. X cells exhibit mainly linear summation properties. X cells respond mainly at the fundamental modulation frequency of a contrast reversal grating while Y cells respond at the fundamental and at the second harmonic of the modulation frequency. The spatial resolution of X cells' fundamental responses and Y cells' second harmonic responses is about the same, and both are two to eight times higher than the spatial resolution of the Y cells' fundamental response. The conduction velocity of the Y optic tract afferents is greater than that of the velocity of the X afferents. However, the LGN latencies of the responses of the two classes of cells to optic chiasm stimulation overlap considerably.

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