A Model for Self-Organization of Visual Cortex Response Maps and Patchy Connections That Does Not Require Feature Categories.

J.J. Wright1, P.D. Bourke2.

[1] Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, and Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
[2] iVEC@UWA, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.


A new model is contrasted with standard models of V1 organization. The new model proposes that synchronous oscillation and metabolic competition organize the configuration of the superficial patch system, and includes an earlier concept - that neurons form local connections within macrocolumns in a closed mesh work analogous to a Möbius strip. The new model accounts for the organization of response maps and patchy connections, including their tendency toward hexagonal rotational periodicity and the absence of patchy connections about orientation preference singularities, and explains interspecies variation in their orderliness.
Simulations of signal transmission provide a critical test of the new model. The simulations reproduce experimentally observed effects upon V1 neuron responses to visual lines, as a function of the line's orientation, direction of movement, speed, and length. Neither selective feature-specific response of neurons (as in standard models, which are unable to explain the same data) nor selective neuron responses to particular spatial and temporal frequencies of inputs are assumed. Further anatomical and physiological tests for the new model are proposed, and the implications for information flow in the cortex are briefly considered.

Keywords: spatio-temporal energy - superficial patch system - synaptic metabolic competition - synchronous oscillation - usual organization.

Preprint: preprint.pdf