Spike-triggered characterization of excitatory and suppressive stimulus dimensions in monkey V1

Nicole C. Rust, Odelia Schwartz, J. Anthony Movshon, Eero Simoncelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neurons in primary visual cortex are commonly characterized using linear models, or simple extensions of linear models. Specifically, V1 simple cell responses are often characterized using a rectified linear receptive field, and complex cell responses are often described as the sum of squared responses of two linear subunits. We examined this class of model directly by applying spike-triggered covariance analysis to responses of monkey V1 neurons under binary white noise stimulation. The analysis extracts a low-dimensional subspace of the full stimulus space that is primarily responsible for generation of the neural response, including both excitatory and suppressive components. We found no fewer than two excitatory dimensions in simple cells, and as many as seven dimensions in complex cells. For all cells, we also found suppressive dimensions that were at least equal in number to the excitatory dimensions. These results suggest that extensions to standard models are required to fully describe the response properties of cells in V1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-799
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Complex cell
  • Direction tuning
  • Primary visual cortex
  • Simple cell
  • Spike-triggered covariance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence


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