Depth sensitivity of binocular cortical neurons of behaving monkeys

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Containing Papers of a Biological Character
B Fischer, G F Poggio


Activity of neurons if foveal striate and prestriate cortex of trained rhesus monkeys was recorded with metal microelectrodes. While animals fixated a small spot at a given fixation distance (38 or 57 cm), bright or dark bars moving across a frontoparallel plane were presented at different depths in a range of +/- 10 cm about the fixation distance. Almost all cells showed binocular interaction. Neurons with balanced ocularity (approximately equal monocular responses) usually facilitated each other and were tuned to depth around the plane of fixation often with inhibitory flanks nearer and further. Neurons with unbalanced ocularity either inhibited each other or had asymmetric depth sensitivity profiles, i.e. activation by stimuli in front and suppression by stimuli behind the fixation plane (near cells) or vice versa (far cells). Thus striate and prestriate cortex of the monkey contains four subsets of binocular cells which may contribute to depth perception.


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