Functional clusters of neurons in layer 6 of macaque V1

Michael J. Hawken, Robert M. Shapley, Anita A. Disney, Virginia Garcia-Marin, Andrew Henrie, Christopher A. Henry, Elizabeth N. Johnson, Siddhartha Joshi, Jenna G. Kelly, Dario L. Ringach, Dajun Xing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Layer 6 appears to perform a very important role in the function of macaque primary visual cortex, V1, but not enough is understood about the functional characteristics of neurons in the layer 6 population. It is unclear to what extent the population is homogeneous with respect to their visual properties or if one can identify distinct subpopulations. Here we performed a cluster analysis based on measurements of the responses of single neurons in layer 6 of primary visual cortex in male macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) to achromatic grating stimuli that varied in orientation, direction of motion, spatial and temporal frequency, and contrast. The visual stimuli were presented in a stimulus window that was also varied in size. Using the responses to parametric variation in these stimulus variables, we extracted a number of tuning response measures and used them in the cluster analysis. Six main clusters emerged along with some smaller clusters. Additionally, we asked whether parameter distributions from each of the clusters were statistically different. There were clear separations of parameters between some of the clusters, particularly for f1/f0 ratio, direction selectivity, and temporal frequency bandwidth, but other dimensions also showed differences between clusters. Our data suggest that in layer 6 there are multiple parallel circuits that provide information about different aspects of the visual stimulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2445-2457
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 18 2020


  • Layer 6
  • Primate
  • Visual cortex
  • Space Perception/physiology
  • Neurons/physiology
  • Visual Cortex/cytology
  • Time Perception/physiology
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Male
  • Orientation
  • Animals
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual
  • Brain Mapping
  • Electrocardiography
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Motion Perception/physiology
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Contrast Sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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