Mar 7, 2000

Hierarchical organization of macaque and cat cortical sensory systems explored with a novel network processor

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
C C HilgetagM P Young


Neuroanatomists have described a large number of connections between the various structures of monkey and cat cortical sensory systems. Because of the complexity of the connection data, analysis is required to unravel what principles of organization they imply. To date, analysis of laminar origin and termination connection data to reveal hierarchical relationships between the cortical areas has been the most widely acknowledged approach. We programmed a network processor that searches for optimal hierarchical orderings of cortical areas given known hierarchical constraints and rules for their interpretation. For all cortical systems and all cost functions, the processor found a multitude of equally low-cost hierarchies. Laminar hierarchical constraints that are presently available in the anatomical literature were therefore insufficient to constrain a unique ordering for any of the sensory systems we analysed. Hierarchical orderings of the monkey visual system that have been widely reported, but which were derived by hand, were not among the optimal orderings. All the cortical systems we studied displayed a significant degree of hierarchical organization, and the anatomical constraints from the monkey visual and somato-motor sy...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

In Silico
Optic Tract Structure
Visual System
Limbic System
Projections and Predictions
Motor Neurons
Cell Differentiation Process

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