Modeling the Possible Influences of Eye Movements on the Refinement of Cortical Direction Selectivity
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The second-order statistics of neural activity was examined in a model of the cat LGN and V1 during free-viewing of natural images. In the model, the specific patterns of thalamocortical activity required for a Bebbian maturation of direction-selective cells in VI were found during the periods of visual fixation, when small eye movements occurred, but not when natural images were examined in the absence of fixational eye movements. In addition, simulations of stroboscopic reming that replicated the abnormal pattern of eye movements observed in kittens chronically exposed to stroboscopic illumination produced results consistent with the reported loss of direction selectivity and preservation of orientation selectivity. These results suggest the involvement of the oculomotor activity of visual fixation in the maturation of cortical direction selectivity.
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