We used dynamic dense noise stimuli and local spectral reverse correlation methods to reveal the local sensitivities of neurons in visual area 2 (V2) of macaque monkeys to orientation and spatial frequency within their receptive fields. This minimized the potentially confounding assumptions that are inherent in stimulus selections. The majority of neurons exhibited a relatively high degree of homogeneity for the preferred orientations and spatial frequencies in the spatial matrix of facilitatory subfields. However, about 20% of all neurons showed maximum orientation differences between neighboring subfields that were greater than 25 deg. The neurons preferring horizontal or vertical orientations showed less inhomogeneity in space than the neurons preferring oblique orientations. Over 50% of all units also exhibited suppressive profiles, and those were more heterogeneous than facilitatory profiles. The preferred orientation and spatial frequency of suppressive profiles differed substantially from those of facilitatory profiles, and the neurons with suppressive subfields had greater orientation selectivity than those without suppressive subfields. The peak suppression occurred with longer delays than the peak facilitation. These results suggest that the receptive field profiles of the majority of V2 neurons reflect the orderly convergence of V1 inputs over space, but that a subset of V2 neurons exhibit more complex response profiles having both suppressive and facilitatory subfields. These V2 neurons with heterogeneous subfield profiles could play an important role in the initial processing of complex stimulus features.
- local spectral reverse correlation
- receptive field subfields
- extrastriate visual neurons
- Copyright © 2012 the American Physiological Society