Jonathan Victor
Weill Cornell Medical College

Understanding the Computations in Primary Visual Cortex: Does Tweaking the Standard Model Suffice?

Wednesday 27th of May 2009 at 12:00pm
508-20 Evans Hall

A central problem in systems neuroscience is to understand the nature of cortical computations, and how they are implemented. Primary visual cortex is an excellent model system for addressing these questions, since its inputs are readily controlled and its anatomy is well-understood. Most studies have suggested that neurons of primary visual cortex can be modeled as a bank of feedforward filters and simple nonlinearities. However, here we present evidence of widespread and dramatic differences between the computations performed by real cortical neurons and computations of models based on a feedforward cascade. These differences suggest that a strongly recurrent network is an appropriate basic framework for understanding cortical computations.

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