Direction-selective motion discrimination by traveling waves in visual cortex

Berry, Hugues and Heitmann, Stewart and Ermentrout, G. Bard (2020) Direction-selective motion discrimination by traveling waves in visual cortex. PLOS Computational Biology, 16 (9). pp. e1008164. ISSN 1553-7358

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The majority of neurons in primary visual cortex respond selectively to bars of light that have a specific orientation and move in a specific direction. The spatial and temporal responses of such neurons are non-separable. How neurons accomplish that computational feat without resort to explicit time delays is unknown. We propose a novel neural mechanism whereby visual cortex computes non-separable responses by generating endogenous traveling waves of neural activity that resonate with the space-time signature of the visual stimulus. The spatiotemporal characteristics of the response are defined by the local topology of excitatory and inhibitory lateral connections in the cortex. We simulated the interaction between endogenous traveling waves and the visual stimulus using spatially distributed populations of excitatory and inhibitory neurons with Wilson-Cowan dynamics and inhibitory-surround coupling. Our model reliably detected visual gratings that moved with a given speed and direction provided that we incorporated neural competition to suppress false motion signals in the opposite direction. The findings suggest that endogenous traveling waves in visual cortex can impart direction-selectivity on neural responses without resort to explicit time delays. They also suggest a functional role for motion opponency in eliminating false motion signals.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2021 05:38
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2021 05:38

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