IN DAVID HUBEL Neurophysiology Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (Received for publication March 9, 1966) THE RECEPTORS AND NERVE CELLS that make up the visual pathway must convey and interpret information on both the form and the color of retinal images. In higher mammals little is known about the degree to which nerve cells are specialized for handling these types of information. In a visual stimulus the iortance of spatial attributes, and especially of dark-light contours, first became obvious with the discovery by Hartline (20 ) of lateral inhibition in the Limulus, a type of study that was extended to mammals when Kuffler (28) demonstrated t,hat the receptive fields of retinal ganglion cells in the cat are subdivided into a center and an opponent surround. The opponent principle, in which spatially separated excitatory and inhibitory regions are pitted against each other, has now been observed for retinal ganglion cells in the frog (1), the lizard (9), the rabbit (3), the rat (4), the ground squirrel (33), and the monkey (24). Similar effects have been seen in the lateral genie ulate bod .y and visual cortex in the cat (23, 25, 26), and also recently
Journal of Neurophysiology – The American Physiological Society
Published: Nov 1, 1966
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