Orientation Maps of Subjective Contours in Visual Cortex

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Science  20 Dec 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5295, pp. 2110-2115
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5295.2110


Responses to subjective contours in visual cortical areas V1 and V2 in adult cats were investigated by optical imaging of intrinsic signals and single-unit recording. Both V1 and V2 contain maps of the orientation of subjective gratings that have their basis in specific kinds of neuronal responses to subjective orientations. A greater proportion of neurons in V2 than in V1 show a robust response to subjective edges. Through the use of subjective stimuli in which the orientation of the luminance component is invariant, an unmasked V1 response to subjective edges alone can be demonstrated. The data indicate that the processing of subjective contours begins as early as V1 and continues progressively in higher cortical areas.

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