We perceive the visual world as a unitary whole, yet one of the guiding principles of nearly a half century of neurophysiological research since the early recordings by Hartline ( 1938) has been that the visual system consists of neurons that are driven by stimulation within small discrete portions of the total visual field. These classical receptive fields (CRFs) have been mapped with the excitatory responses evoked by a flashed or moving stimulus, usually a spot or bar of light. Most of the visual neurons, in turn, are organized in a series of maps of the visual field, at least 10 of which exist in the visual cortex in primates as well as additional topographic representations in the lateral geniculate body, pulvinar and optic tectum (Allman 1 977, Newsome & Allman 1 980, Allman & Kaas 1 98 4 . It has been widely assumed that perceptual ) functions that require the integration of inputs over large portions of the visual field must be either collective properties of arrays of neurons representing the visual field, or features of those neurons at the highest processing levels in the visual system, such as the cells in inferotemporal or posterior parietal
Annual Review of Neuroscience – Annual Reviews
Published: Mar 1, 1985
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