Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of contrast display exposure on neuronal directional and spatial frequency tuning. Neuronal responses were recorded from ninety-four neurons in cortical areas 17 and 18 in two adult cats. Methods: A multi-channel microelectrode was implanted in cortical areas 17 and 18 of two paralyzed and anaesthetized cats. Various drifting sinusoidal grating contrast displays were presented to one of the cats’ eyes in the visual field. Contour plots based on the neuronal responses to the drifting sinusoidal grating displays using various contrasts (i.e., 0.4, 0.7, and 1.0) and velocities (i.e., 4.6, 13.9, 23.1, 32.3, 41.5, 50.8, and 60.0 deg/sec) were plotted as a function of the spatial frequency and the direction associated with each velocity and contrast used. Results: Five parameters were extracted from these contour plots: 1) optimum response, 2) preferred direction, 3) optimum spatial frequency, 4) directional tuning width, and 5) spatial frequency bandwidth. To determine the optimal velocity, each parameter was plotted against each of the specific display contrasts used, and a ‘best fit’ line was established. Response amplitudes were dependent on the type of contrast utilized; however, the spatial frequency and directional tuning properties were stable for the cortical neurons assessed. Conclusions: The results of the presentation of different contrasts on neuronal directional and spatial frequency tuning are consistent with behavioral results when medium and high contrast displays are used.
Materials and Methods
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