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Cortical column design: a link between the maps of preferred orientation and orientation tuning strength?

Wörgötter, Florentin and Niebur, Ernst (1993) Cortical column design: a link between the maps of preferred orientation and orientation tuning strength? Biological Cybernetics, 70 (1). pp. 1-13. ISSN 0340-1200. doi:10.1007/BF00202561.

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We demonstrate that the map of the preferred orientations and the corresponding map of the orientation tuning strengths as measured with optical imaging are not independent, but that band-pass filtering of the preferred orientation map at each location yields a good approximation of the orientation tuning strength. Band-pass filtering is performed by convolving the map of orientation preference with its own autocorrelation function. We suggest an interpretation of the autocorrelation function of the preferred orientations as synaptic coupling function, i.e., synaptic strength as a function of intracortical distance between cortical cells. In developmental models it has been shown previously that a “Mexican hat”-shaped synaptic coupling function (with a shape similar to that of the autocorrelation function) can produce a realistical-looking pattern of preferred orientations. Since optical imaging performs surface averaging, we discuss the possibility that the connection between the two maps is a measurement artifact of optical imaging. Whether this is the case can only be decided by combining electrode penetrations with optical imaging techniques for which we suggest experiments. We present a model for the generation of both maps from a single computational concept. The model is based on inverse Fourier transform of rather simple two-dimensional annulus-shaped spectra which will produce a column structure very similar to real data. Thus, our approach shows that the complex appearance of cortical orientation columns has a rather simple description in the Fourier domain. Our theoretical analysis explains why singularities in the cortex do not have vorticities other than ±1/2, a result which corresponds to recent experimental findings. This study combines the results from several modeling approaches with recently available optical imaging data to construct a model of both aspects (angle and strength) of the cortical orientation column system. This could alter ideas about cortical development if the link between the two maps can be established as a physiological result.

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Additional Information:Received: 5 November 1992/Accepted in revised form: 5 March 1993. Copyright Springer-Verlag 1993. Acknowledgements. We thank Drs. T. Bonhoeffer, A. Grinvald, and G. Blasdel for sharing their data with us. Discussions with Ken Miller and Klaus Obermayer are gratefully acknowledged. E.N. is supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and F. W. by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award and the James S. McDonnell Foundation to Christ of Koch. We would like to thank Christof Koch and Ulf Eysel for their ongoing encouragement and support.
Group:Koch Laboratory (KLAB)
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U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftUNSPECIFIED
NSF Presidential Young Investigator AwardUNSPECIFIED
James S. McDonnell FoundationUNSPECIFIED
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ID Code:40548
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:11 Jan 2008 01:54
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:49

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