Indexed on: 30 Apr '15Published on: 30 Apr '15Published in: Neuroscience Letters
The receptive fields of the clear majority of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) of cats contain silent surround regions beyond the classical receptive field (CRF). When stimulated on their own, the silent surround regions do not generate action potentials (spikes); instead, they modulate (and usually partially suppress) spike responses to stimuli presented in the CRF. In the present study, we subdivided our sample of single V1 neurons recorded from anesthetized cats into two distinct categories: surround-suppressive (SS) cells and surround-non-suppressive (SN) cells. Consistent with previous reports, we found a negative correlation between the size of the CRF and the optimal spatial frequency (SF) of circular patches of achromatic gratings presented in the cells' receptive fields. Furthermore, we found a positive correlation between the strength of the surround suppression and the optimal spatial frequency of the achromatic gratings presented in the cells' receptive fields. The correlation between the strength of surround suppression and the optimal spatial frequency was stronger in neurons with suppressive regions located in the so-called 'end' zones. The functional implications of these relationships are discussed.