Disparity-selective neurons in area V4 of macaque monkeys

Journal of Neurophysiology
Masayuki WatanabeI Fujita


Area V4 is an intermediate stage of the ventral visual pathway providing major input to the final stages in the inferior temporal cortex (IT). This pathway is involved in the processing of shape, color, and texture. IT neurons are also sensitive to horizontal binocular disparity, suggesting that binocular disparity is processed along the ventral visual pathway. In the present study, we examined the processing of binocular disparity information by V4 neurons. We recorded responses of V4 neurons to binocularly disparate stimuli. A population of V4 neurons modified their responses according to changes of stimulus disparity; neither monocular responses nor eye movements could account for this modulation. Disparity-tuning curves were similar for different locations within a neuron's receptive field. Neighboring neurons recorded using a single electrode displayed similar disparity-tuning properties. These findings indicate that a population of V4 neurons is selective for binocular disparity, invariant for the position of the stimulus within the receptive field. The finding that V4 neurons with similar disparity selectivity are clustered suggests the existence of functional modules for disparity processing in V4.


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