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This article is part of the supplement: Sixteenth Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting: CNS*2007

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A large-scale realistic model of V1 exhibiting orientation selectivity diversity and laminar dependence

Rodrigo F Oliveira1* and Antonio C Roque2

Author Affiliations

1 Computational and Experimental Neuroplasticity Laboratory, Krasnow Institute, George Mason University, Rockfish Creek Lane, Fairfax, VA, 22030-4444, USA

2 Laboratory of Neural Systems, Department of Physics and Mathematics, School of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, 14040-901 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

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BMC Neuroscience 2007, 8(Suppl 2):P36  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-8-S2-P36

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:6 July 2007

© 2007 Oliveira and Roque; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


An important question regarding orientation selectivity (OS) in the primary visual cortex (V1) is to know how OS varies among different V1 neural populations and throughout V1 layers [1,2]. In this work we present a large-scale model highly constrained by physiology and anatomy and use it to address these questions.


The model corresponds to 4 mm2 of cortical area in a 10:1 scale. It is composed of 59,821 cells arranged into six layers (L1, L2/3, L4B, L4Cα, L5 and L6) representing the M pathway. Six different HH-type neuron models were constructed to simulate six different cell classes: late spiking, non-late spiking, fast spiking, regular spiking, chattering, and bursting neurons. These neurons were distributed in the six layers in a realistic way with short- and long-range intra-laminar connections as well as inter-laminar connections. Thalamic inputs are delivered to all excitatory cells in layers 4Cα and 6. Activation of a cortical cell is modeled by a convolution of a sinusoidal drifting grating with a Gabor function. Neural OS profile was determined via circular variance and half-height bandwidth of its tuning curve.


Neurons in the model show a diversity of OS consistent with experimental data (see Figure 1).

thumbnailFigure 1. Comparison of the OS profile shown by the model with experimental results.


Results suggest that the diversity in OS observed across cortical layers is at least partially due to heterogeneity in cellular electrophysiology and circuitry properties.


Supported by grants from FAPESP.


  1. Ringach D, Shapley R, Hawken MJ: Orientation selectivity in macaque V1: Diversity and laminar dependence.

    J Neurosci 2002, 22:5639-5651. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  2. Gur M, Kagan I, Snodderly DM: Orientation and direction selectivity of neurons in V1 of alert monkeys: Functional relationships and laminar distributions.

    Cereb Cortex 2005, 15:1207-1221. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL