Li, CY (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Shanghai Inst Biol Sci, Inst Neurosci, Shanghai 200031, Peoples R China,email@example.com
We have investigated how the nonclassical receptive field (nCRF) affects dynamic orientation selectivity of cells in the primary visual cortex (VI) in anaesthetized and paralysed cats using the reverse correlation method. We found that tuning to the orientation of the test stimulus depends on the size of the stimulation area. A significant sharpening of orientation tuning was induced by nCRF stimulation, with the magnitude of the effect increasing with the size of stimulation. The effect of the nCRF on the temporal dynamics of orientation tuning was also investigated by examining the tuning over a range of delays from stimulus onset. We found small but detectable changes in both the preferred orientation and the bandwidth of tuning over time when the classical receptive field (CRF) was stimulated alone. Stimulation in nCRF significantly increased the magnitude of these temporal changes. Thus, nCRF stimulation not only enhances the overall orientation selectivity, but also enriches the temporal dynamics of cortical neurones, which may increase the computational power of the visual cortex in information processing.