Modulation of orientation-selective neurons by motion: when additive, when multiplicative?

Lüdge, Torsten; Urbanczik, Robert; Senn, Walter (2014). Modulation of orientation-selective neurons by motion: when additive, when multiplicative? Frontiers in computational neuroscience, 8(8), p. 67. Frontiers Research Foundation 10.3389/fncom.2014.00067

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The recurrent interaction among orientation-selective neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) is suited to enhance contours in a noisy visual scene. Motion is known to have a strong pop-up effect in perceiving contours, but how motion-sensitive neurons in V1 support contour detection remains vastly elusive. Here we suggest how the various types of motion-sensitive neurons observed in V1 should be wired together in a micro-circuitry to optimally extract contours in the visual scene. Motion-sensitive neurons can be selective about the direction of motion occurring at some spot or respond equally to all directions (pandirectional). We show that, in the light of figure-ground segregation, direction-selective motion neurons should additively modulate the corresponding orientation-selective neurons with preferred orientation orthogonal to the motion direction. In turn, to maximally enhance contours, pandirectional motion neurons should multiplicatively modulate all orientation-selective neurons with co-localized receptive fields. This multiplicative modulation amplifies the local V1-circuitry among co-aligned orientation-selective neurons for detecting elongated contours. We suggest that the additive modulation by direction-specific motion neurons is achieved through synaptic projections to the somatic region, and the multiplicative modulation by pandirectional motion neurons through projections to the apical region of orientation-specific pyramidal neurons. For the purpose of contour detection, the V1-intrinsic integration of motion information is advantageous over a downstream integration as it exploits the recurrent V1-circuitry designed for that task.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Physiology

UniBE Contributor:

Lüdge, Torsten; Urbanczik, Robert and Senn, Walter


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)




Frontiers Research Foundation




Stefan von Känel-Zimmermann

Date Deposited:

13 Oct 2014 09:38

Last Modified:

15 Mar 2021 04:22

Publisher DOI:





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