Li, CY (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Shanghai Inst Biol Sci, Inst Neurosci, Shanghai 200031, Peoples R China,
The primary visual cortex is organized into clusters of cells having similar classical receptive field (CRF) properties. Nonclassical, extra-receptive fields (ERFs) can either inhibit or facilitate the response elicited by stimulation within the CRF. Here, we report that in the primary visual cortex of cat, neurons with similar inhibitory or facilitatory ERF properties are also grouped into clusters. These clusters are randomly distributed in all cortical layers, with no detectable relationship with orientation and ocular dominance columns. This functional organization of neurons with respect to ERF properties may allow an efficient processing of global visual information.