Cortical Receptive Fields

Nobel laureates David Hubel & Thorsten Wiesel discovered that there were cortical receptive fields that respond best when the stimulus was of a certain shape, had a given orientation and or moved in a given direction. For example, one receptive field might respond best when a vertical rectangle moves to the right, but not when it moves in other directions.

The spikes illustrated above show a high spike rate when the rectangle moves to the right but none when it is moved to the left or down. If the rectangle is moved to the right but slightly in an upward direction the spike rate would be reduced.

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