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Ordered vs Disordered Orientation Maps in Primary Visual Cortex

By David McLaughlin, New York University / NYU Shanghai

Many mammals (cat, monkey) possess ordered maps of orientation preference in the primary visual cortex.  On the other hand, rodents (rat, mouse) have orientation preference mapped in a disordered or "salt and pepper" fashion.  We develop a large-scale computational model of the input layer of primary visual cortex for Macaque monkey and for mouse -- models that capture the effects on orientation selectivity of ordered vs disordered maps of orientation preference.  The mouse model reproduces the effects on "thalamus to cortical", and "cortical to cortical", excitation which have been observed in recent optogenetic experiments from the Scanziani Lab.  We analyze the mechanisms by which the computer model achieves these effects in the presence of a disordered map of orientation preference.