Linearity of summation of synaptic potentials underlying direction selectivity in simple cells of the cat visual cortex

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Science  17 Dec 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5141, pp. 1901-1904
DOI: 10.1126/science.8266083


Intracellular recordings from simple cells of the cat visual cortex were used to test linear models for the generation of selectivity for the direction of visual motion. Direction selectivity has been thought to arise in part from nonlinear processes, as suggested by previous experiments that were based on extracellular recordings of action potentials. In intracellular recordings, however, the fluctuations in membrane potential evoked by moving stimuli were accurately predicted by the linear summation of responses to stationary stimuli. Nonlinear mechanisms were not required.