Relationship between natural image statistics and lateral connectivity in the primary visual cortex

Philipp Rudiger, Jean-Luc Stevens, Bharath Talluri, James A. Bednar

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


The distribution of orientation-selective cells in the primary visual cortex has been found to reflect the first-order statistics of visual inputs, i.e. which orientations are most common during a critical period [1]. Similarly, some properties of the lateral connections between these cells have been found to reflect the second-order statistics of images, i.e. the coocurrence statistics of oriented edge elements, but the results have differed by species. Specifically, horizontal connections have been found to be elongated along the axis of preferred orientation in tree shrew [2] and owl monkey [3], but not in macaque [4]. It is unclear whether these results indicate genuine species differences, or perhaps differences in the visual environments in which these animals were raised. Here we analyse the effect of input statistics on lateral excitatory connectivity in a developmental model of primary visual cortex, by relating differences in co-occurence statistics of distinct image datasets, analysed using methods presented in [5], to corresponding differences in the emergent long-range lateral structure. The goal is to propose a testable series of mechanisms linking visual inputs, to cortical structure, and then to predicted behavioral results on tests of surround modulation. The model, based on earlier variations of a self-organizing map model, develops robust yet adaptive orientation maps [6], long-range lateral connectivity, and a wide range of contextual modulatory effects in a spatially calibrated circuit of macaque V1 [7]. By training the model using images with previously characterized second-order statistics, we demonstrate that the co-occurence of oriented edges is encoded within the horizontal connectivity of our model. On that basis we predict patterns of lateral connectivity for animas reared in different environments, which can be tested by in future experiments.
[1] Shigeru Tanaka, Jerome Ribot, Kazuyuki Imamura, and Toshiki Tani. Orientation-restricted continuous visual exposure induces marked reorganization of orientation maps in early life. NeuroImage, 30(2):462?77, April 2006.
[2] W H Bosking, Y Zhang, B Schofield, and D Fitzpatrick. Orientation selectivity and the arrangement of horizontal connections in tree shrew striate cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience, 17(6):2112?27, March 1997.
[3] L C Sincich and G G Blasdel. Oriented axon projections in primary visual cortex of the monkey. The Journal of Neuroscience, 21(12):4416?26, June 2001.
[4] Alessandra Angelucci, Jonathan B Levitt, Emma J S Walton, Jean-Michel Hupe, Jean Bullier, and Jennifer S Lund. Circuits for local and global signal integration in primary visual cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience, 22(19):8633?46, October 2002.
[5] Laurent Perrinet and James A. Bednar. Edge co-occurrences are sufficient to categorize natural versus animal images. Submitted.
[6] Jean-luc R Stevens, Judith S Law, Jan Antolik, and James A Bednar. Mechanisms for stable, robust,and adaptive development of orientation maps in the primary visual cortex. Journal of Neuroscience,33(40):15747?15766, 2013.
[7] Philipp Rudiger and James A. Bednar. Unifying anatomical, psychophysical and developmental circuit models of primary visual cortex. In Society for Neuroscience, page Program No. 639.11/EE10, 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventComputational and Systems Neuroscience (Cosyne) 2014 - Utah, Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: 27 Feb 20142 Mar 2014


ConferenceComputational and Systems Neuroscience (Cosyne) 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySalt Lake City


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