Event Abstract

Receptive field properties of colour cells in the cat lateral geniculate nucleus

  • 1 University of Pécs, Institute of Physiology, Medical School, Hungary
  • 2 University of Pécs, Neurophysiology Research Group of the HAS, Medical School, Hungary

Non-primate mammals have dichromatic colour vision with two types of cone photoreceptors (S and ML) but the neural pathway carrying S/ML ("blue-yellow") chromatic opponent responses has never been described in these animals. In search of such a pathway, we have set out to characterise the cone inputs to the receptive fields (RFs) of neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of domestic cats. Five anaesthetised, paralysed and artificially ventilated adult cats were used. Circular patches of drifting sinusoidal gratings were presented at the RF centre of each single unit recorded while the stimulus driven action potential responses were recorded from the LGN using metal microelectrodes. Colour and contrast of the gratings were calibrated to allow specific modulation of S- or ML-cones. The majority (n=30) of the 41 characterized neurons was strongly driven by ML-cones but no evidence of S-cone input was found in these cells. The rest of the cells (n=11, found in the deep, C layers of the LGN) showed input from both cone types in a colour opponent manner. Moreover, the summation fields of S- and ML-cone inputs were equal in size. These results show that the receptive field structure of S-cone driven cells corresponds to that of primate blue-ON cells. We suggest that these cells are part of a "blue-yellow" colour opponent pathway and form the basis of colour vision in the cat.


Supported by OTKA grant K79156 and the Bolyai Fellowship to P.B. and by the HAS to L.L.

Keywords: Sensory and motor activity, Neuroscience

Conference: 13th Conference of the Hungarian Neuroscience Society (MITT), Budapest, Hungary, 20 Jan - 22 Jan, 2011.

Presentation Type: Abstract

Topic: Sensory and motor activity

Citation: Kóbor P, Petykó Z, Telkes I, Lénárd L and Buzás P (2011). Receptive field properties of colour cells in the cat lateral geniculate nucleus. Front. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: 13th Conference of the Hungarian Neuroscience Society (MITT). doi: 10.3389/conf.fnins.2011.84.00158

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Received: 03 Mar 2011; Published Online: 23 Mar 2011.

* Correspondence: Dr. P. Kóbor, University of Pécs, Institute of Physiology, Medical School, Pécs, Hungary, peter.kobor@aok.pte.hu

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