Stereoscopic depth discrimination in the visual cortex: neurons ideally suited as disparity detectors

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Science  31 Aug 1990:
Vol. 249, Issue 4972, pp. 1037-1041
DOI: 10.1126/science.2396096


The possibility has been explored that a subset of physiologically identifiable cells in the visual cortex is especially suited for the processing of stereoscopic depth information. First, characteristics of a disparity detector that would be useful for such processing were outlined. Then, a method was devised by which detailed binocular response data were obtained from cortical cells. In addition, a model of the disparity detector was developed that includes a plausible hierarchical arrangement of cortical cells. Data from the cells compare well with the requirements for the archetypal disparity detector and are in excellent agreement with the predictions of the model. These results demonstrate that a specific type of cortical neuron exhibits the desired characteristics of a disparity detector.

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