Dynamics of the orientation-tuned membrane potential response in cat primary visual cortex
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Neurons in the primary visual cortex are highly selective for stimulus orientation, whereas their thalamic inputs are not. Much controversy has been focused on the mechanism by which cortical orientation selectivity arises. Although an increasing amount of evidence supports a linear model in which orientation selectivity is conferred upon visual cortical cells by the alignment of the receptive fields of their thalamic inputs, the controversy has recently been rekindled with the suggestion that late cortical input--delayed by multiple synapses--could lead to sharpening of orientation selectivity over time. Here we used intracellular recordings in vivo to examine temporal properties of the orientation-selective response to flashed gratings. Bayesian parameter estimation demonstrated that both preferred orientation and tuning width were stable throughout the response to a single stimulus.
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