Properties of the visual cortical cells
Properties of the Visual Cortical Cells
The critical functional properties of the visual cortical cells include the receptive field (RF) and the area visual magnification factor (ACMF) (Stevens, 2002). The values of the two systematically vary at different locations of the cortical surface. The population density of the neurons on the cortical surface determines the ACMF. For the eye, unlike a camera which is made to analyze the field of view uniformly, it has a sampling mechanism which limits its detailed analysis to the center of the field of view with the focus reducing towards the periphery of the field of view. The neuron density is highest in the middle of the retina (Stevens, 2002) hence more stimuli are sent to the brain in from the center.
The RF of a neuron is defined by the area of the field of view it receives stimuli from (Ringach, 2004). From the definition and the sampling mechanism of the eye, neurons at the periphery have a larger RF than those at the middle. This allocation of RF explains why the peripheral view is not as much detailed as the central view since the brain receives fewer stimuli per area covered.
Increase in age has an adverse effect on the ACMF. Detoriation of the neurons reduces their density at across the whole cortical surface hence reducing the overall ability to focus sharply on objects (Mendelson & Wells, 2002). For instance, this explains why ext…
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