Spatio-temporal requirements for direction selectivity in area 18 and PMLS complex cells

Ildikó Vajda*, Martin J.M. Lankheet, Wim A. Van De Grind

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The spatio-temporal requirements for direction selectivity were studied in two extrastriate motion processing areas in the cat, area 18 and the posteromedial lateral suprasylvian cortex (PMLS). Direction, velocity and pixel size of random pixel arrays (RPA) were adjusted for each neuron and direction selectivity was measured as a function of step size and delay for a given optimal velocity. A subset of direction selective complex cells in area 18 was tuned to intermediate step size and delay combinations rather than the smoothest motion (band-pass cells). Other area 18 complex cells responded best to the smallest value of step size and delay (low-pass cells). Tuning varied with the pixel size of the RPA. Cells with tuning for smaller pixels favoured a preference for non-smooth motion. Area 18 cells with lower spatial resolution showed larger optimal and maximal step sizes. For a subset of the cells in area 18, we measured direction selectivity for extensive step-delay combinations, covering multiple velocities. Results showed that most cells were tuned to narrow range of step-delay combinations, and that the optimal step size was independent of temporal delay. Direction selective complex cells in PMLS were tuned to larger pixel sizes than those in area 18, although the distributions did overlap. In contrast to area 18, PMLS cells preferred the smoothest motion, irrespective of RPA pixel size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1769-1779
Number of pages11
JournalVision Research
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cat extrastriate area
  • Motion vision
  • Random pixel array
  • Single step pattern lifetime
  • Spatio-temporal characteristics


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