Parasol cell mosaics are unlikely to drive the formation of structured orientation maps in primary visual cortex

Victoria R.A. Hore, John B. Troy, Stephen J. Eglen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The receptive fields of on- and off-center parasol cell mosaics independently tile the retina to ensure efficient sampling of visual space. A recent theoretical model represented the on- and off-center mosaics by noisy hexagonal lattices of slightly different density. When the two lattices are overlaid, long-range Moiré interference patterns are generated. These Moiré interference patterns have been suggested to drive the formation of highly structured orientation maps in visual cortex. Here, we show that noisy hexagonal lattices do not capture the spatial statistics of parasol cell mosaics. An alternative model based upon local exclusion zones, termed as the pairwise interaction point process (PIPP) model, generates patterns that are statistically indistinguishable from parasol cell mosaics. A key difference between the PIPP model and the hexagonal lattice model is that the PIPP model does not generate Moiré interference patterns, and hence stimulated orientation maps do not show any hexagonal structure. Finally, we estimate the spatial extent of spatial correlations in parasol cell mosaics to be only 200-350 μm, far less than that required to generate Moiré interference. We conclude that parasol cell mosaics are too disordered to drive the formation of highly structured orientation maps in visual cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-299
Number of pages17
JournalVisual Neuroscience
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

Keywords

  • Hexagonal lattices
  • Orientation selectivity
  • PIPP model
  • Receptive fields
  • Retinal mosaics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems

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