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Theory for the development of neuron selectivity: Orientation specificity and binocular interaction in visual cortex

Bienenstock, EL and Cooper, LN and Munro, PW (1982) Theory for the development of neuron selectivity: Orientation specificity and binocular interaction in visual cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 2 (1). 32 - 48. ISSN 0270-6474

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The development of stimulus selectivity in the primary sensory cortex of higher vertebrates is considered in a general mathematical framework. A synaptic evolution scheme of a new kind is proposed in which incoming patterns rather than converging afferents complete. The change in the efficacy of a given synapse depends not only on instantaneous pre- and postsynaptic activities but also on a slowly varying time-averaged value of the postsynaptic activity. Assuming an appropriate nonlinear form this dependence, development of selectivity is obtained under quite general conditions on the sensory environment. One does not require nonlinearity of the neuron's integrative power nor does one need to assume any particular form for intracortical circuitry. This is first illustrated in simple cases, e.g., when the environment consists of only two different stimuli presented alternately in a random manner. The following formal statement then holds: the state of the system converges with probability 1 to points of maximum selectivity in the state space. We next consider the problem of early development of orientation selectivity and binocular interaction in primary visual cortex. Giving the environment an appropriate form, we obtain orientation tuning curves and ocular dominance comparable to what is observed in normally reared adult cats or monkeys. Simulations with binocular input and various types of normal or altered environments show good agreement with the relevant experimental data. Experiments are suggested that could test our theory further.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bienenstock, EL
Cooper, LN
Munro, PWpwm@pitt.eduPWM
Date: 1 January 1982
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Neuroscience
Volume: 2
Number: 1
Page Range: 32 - 48
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1523/jneurosci.02-01-00032.1982
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Information Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0270-6474
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2011 13:49
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2020 14:01


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