Subdomains within orientation columns of primary visual cortex

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  05 Jun 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 6, eaaw0807
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw0807


In the mammalian visual system, early stages of visual form processing begin with orientation-selective neurons in primary visual cortex (V1). In many species (including humans, monkeys, tree shrews, cats, and ferrets), these neurons are organized in a beautifully arrayed pinwheel-like orientation columns, which shift in orientation preference across V1. However, to date, the relationship of orientation architecture to the encoding of multiple elemental aspects of visual contours is still unknown. Here, using a novel, highly accurate method of targeting electrode position, we report for the first time the presence of three subdomains within single orientation domains. We suggest that these zones subserve computation of distinct aspects of visual contours and propose a novel tripartite pinwheel-centered view of an orientation hypercolumn.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances