Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

October 2009


In visual cortex, responses to stimulation of the receptive field (RF) are modulated by simultaneous stimulation of the RF surround. The mechanisms for surround modulation remain unidentified. We previously proposed that in the primary visual cortex (V1), near surround modulation is mediated by geniculocortical and horizontal connections and far surround modulation by interareal feedback connections. To understand spatial integration in the secondary visual cortex (V2) and its underlying circuitry, we have characterized spatial summation in different V2 layers and stripe compartments and compared it to that in V1. We used grating stimuli in circular and annular apertures of different sizes to estimate the extent and sensitivity of RF and surround components in V1 and V2. V2 RFs and surrounds were twice as large as those in V1. As in V1, V2 RFs doubled in size when measured at low contrast. In both V1 and V2, surrounds were about fivefold the size of the RF and the far surround could exceed 12.5° in radius, averaging 5.5° in V1 and 9.2° in V2. The strength of surround suppression was similar in both areas. Thus although differing in spatial scale, the interactions among RF components are similar in V1 and V2, suggesting similar underlying mechanisms. As in V1, the extent of V2 horizontal connections matches that of the RF center, but is much smaller than the largest far surrounds, which likely derive from interareal feedback. In V2, we found no laminar or stripe differences in size and magnitude of surround suppression, suggesting conservation across stripes of the basic circuit for surround modulation.


This work was originally published in Journal of Neurophysiology, available at doi:10.1152/jn.00512.2009.



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