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Chromatic Properties of Neurons in Macaque Area V2


Kiper,  DC
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

Gegenfurtner,  KR
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Kiper, D., Fenstemaker, S., & Gegenfurtner, K.(1996). Chromatic Properties of Neurons in Macaque Area V2 (34).

We recorded from single cells in area V2 of cynomolgus monkeys using standard acute recording techniques. After measuring each cell's spatial and temporal properties, we performed several tests of its chromatic properties using sinewave gratings modulated around a mean gray background. Most cells behaved like neurons in area V1 and their response was adequately described by a model that assumes a linear combination of cone signals. Unlike in V1, we found a subpopulation of cells whose activity was increased or inhibited by stimuli within a narrow range of color combinations. No particular color directions were preferentially represented. V2 cells showing color-specificity, including cells showing narrow chromatic tuning, could be found in any of the stripe compartments, as defined by cytochrome-oxidase (CO) staining. An addition of chromatic contrast facilitated the responses of most neurons to gratings with various luminance contrasts. Neurons in all three CO-compartments gave a significant population response to isoluminant gratings. Receptive fields properties of cells were generally similar for luminance and chromatically defined stimuli. We found only a small number of cells with a clearly identifiable double-opponent receptive field organization. The similarity between the chromatic tuning characteristics of individual color-specific cells in area V2 and psychophysically observed higher order color mechanisms suggests an important role for area V2 in the cortical hierarchy for the processing of color signals.