Journal of Neurophysiology vol:63 issue:3 pages:404-23
1. The influence of a moving texture on neuronal responses to a moving bar was tested in 103 area 18 neurons of anesthetized and paralyzed cats. The texture was a two-dimensional noise pattern, the bar moved at optimal speed, and its contrast was adjusted to yield 50% of the maximum response. 2. The moving texture exerted two different but related effects: it suppressed the response of area 18 neurons to the moving bar, and it modulated the direction selectivity of parastriate neurons. These effects were strongest when the texture moved at the same speed or faster than the bar. 3. Genuine suppressive effects of the moving texture were distinguished from lack of summation between bar and texture responses. Suppressive effects of either type were observed in 75% of the area 18 cells and occurred more frequently among C family cells, velocity tuned cells, and in layer 5 than in other groups of cells. 4. The modulation of direction selectivity was distinguished from pseudomodulation because of lack of summation of bar and texture responses. The direction selectivity of 35% of the area 18 cells was modulated by the moving texture. Six different relative direction selectivity (RDS) types were observed in area 18. 5. The neurons of which direction selectivity was modulated by the moving texture occurred predominantly in layers 2-3 and 6, suggesting that they represent a further stage of processing within area 18. 6. Many (75%) area 18 cells responded to the texture moving on its own. Most of these cells respond to isolated features ("grains") in the patterns rather than to the movement of the whole pattern. Cells responding to the movement of the whole pattern were generally C family cells, and their direction selectivity was not modulated by the moving texture. 7. These results are compared with those obtained under identical experimental conditions in area 17. Although suppressive effects are similar in both areas, RDS types are differently distributed in the two areas. 8. The possible origins of the interactions and their functional significance are discussed.