Matthias Kaschube
Princeton University

A mathematical constant in the design of the visual cortex

Tuesday 31st of October 2006 at 12:00pm
3105 Tolman Hall (Beach Room)

The orientation map in the visual cortex is an important model system for studying cortical development. Here we provide evidence that the global organization of the orientation map is governed by a process of activity-dependent self-organization. By quantifying large sets of functional brain imaging data we observe virtually identical pinwheel statistics in phylogenetically widely separated species. These universal statistics are quantitatively reproduced and explained by a pattern formation model including only basic key features of visual cortical organization. Further predictions of the model including the behavior of the orientation map under localized stimulation are derived and tested experimentally.

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