Form processing modules in primate area V4

Geoffrey M. Ghose, Daniel Y. TS'o

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Area V4 occupies a central position among the areas of the primate cerebral cortex involved with object recognition and analysis. Consistent with this role, neurons in V4 are selective for many visual attributes including color, orientation, and binocular disparity. However, it is uncertain whether cells within V4 are organized with respect to these properties. In this study we used in vivo optical imaging and electrophysiology in macaque visual cortex to show that cells that share certain physiological properties are indeed grouped together in V4. Our results revealed regions containing cells with common orientation selectivity. These regions were similar in size to those seen in V2 and much larger than those seen in V1 and were confirmed by appropriately targeted single-unit recording. Surprisingly, orientation organization visible through imaging was limited to the portion of V4 representing the central visual fields. Optical imaging also revealed a functional organization related to stimulus size. Size-sensitive regions (S regions) contained cells that were strongly suppressed by large stimuli. In contrast to V2, S regions in V4 contain orientation domains. These results suggest that V4 contains modular assemblies of cells related to particular aspects of form analysis. Such organization may contribute to the construction of object-based representations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2191-2196
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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