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Cortical direction selectivity without directional experience

Miyashita, Masanobu1; Kim, Dae-Shik2; Tanaka, Shigeru2,3

Vision, Central

HOW neurones in the visual cortex acquire their response properties during postnatal development is an important question with far-reaching implications. In the present study, we demonstrate the developmental specification of geniculo-cortical afferents using our previously proposed model for the activity-dependent self-organization of neural networks. Our results indicate, in contrast to common beliefs, that both orientation and direction selectivity can be achieved in the primary visual cortex even if the retinae were never exposed to oriented and/or moving objects during development.

1NEC Fundamental Research Laboratories Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, Wako, Saitama, 351–01 Japan

2Laboratory for Neural Modeling, FRP, The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), Wako, Saitama, 351–01 Japan

3Corresponding Author: Shigeru Tanaka

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: The authors would like to thank Tomoya Saito of NEC Informatec Systems Corporation for his technical support and useful discussions regarding the simulation methods.

Received 18th December 1996; accepted 31 January 1997

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.