Binocular disparity is an important cue for depth perception. To correctly represent disparity, neurons must find corresponding visual features between the left- and right-eye images. The visual pathway ascending from V1 to inferior temporal cortex solves the correspondence problem. An intermediate area, V4, has been proposed to be a critical stage in the correspondence process. However, the distinction between V1 and V4 is unclear, because accumulating evidence suggests that the process begins within V1. In this article, we report that the pooled responses in macaque V4, but not responses of individual neurons, represent a solution to the correspondence problem. We recorded single-unit responses of V4 neurons to random-dot stereograms of varying degrees of anticorrelation. To achieve gradual anticorrelation, we reversed the contrast of an increasing proportion of dots as in our previous psychophysical studies, which predicted that the neural correlates of the solution to correspondence problem should gradually eliminate their disparity modulation as the level of anticorrelation increases. Inconsistent with this prediction, the tuning amplitudes of individual V4 neurons quickly decreased to a nonzero baseline with small anticorrelation. By contrast, the shapes of individual tuning curves changed more gradually so that the amplitude of population-pooled responses gradually decreased toward zero over the entire range of graded anticorrelation. We explain these results by combining multiple energy-model subunits. From a comparison with the population-pooled responses in V1, we suggest that disparity representation in V4 is distinctly advanced from that in V1. Population readout of V4 responses provides disparity information consistent with the correspondence solution.
- binocular vision
- correspondence problem
- V1 and MT
- visual area V4
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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