Visual Cortex Circuitry and Orientation Tuning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 9 (NIPS 1996)

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Trevor Mundel, Alexander Dimitrov, Jack Cowan


A simple mathematical model for the large-scale circuitry of pri(cid:173) mary visual cortex is introduced. It is shown that a basic cor(cid:173) tical architecture of recurrent local excitation and lateral inhi(cid:173) bition can account quantitatively for such properties as orien(cid:173) tation tuning. The model can also account for such local ef(cid:173) fects as cross-orientation suppression. It is also shown that non(cid:173) local state-dependent coupling between similar orientation patches, when added to the model, can satisfactorily reproduce such ef(cid:173) fects as non-local iso--orientation suppression, and non-local cross(cid:173) orientation enhancement. Following this an account is given of per(cid:173) ceptual phenomena involving object segmentation, such as "pop(cid:173) out", and the direct and indirect tilt illusions.