Axon topography of layer IV spiny cells to orientation map in the cat primary visual cortex (Area 18)

Fuyuki Karube, Zoltán F. Kisvárday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Our aim was to reveal the relationship between layer IV horizontal connections and the functional architecture of the cat primary visual cortex because these connections play important roles in the first cortical stage of visual signals integration. We investigated bouton distribution of spiny neurons over an orientation preference map using in vivo optical imaging, unit recordings, and single neuron reconstructions. The radial extent of reconstructed axons (14 star pyramidal and 9 spiny stellate cells) was ∼1.5 mm. In the vicinity of the parent somata (<400 μm), boutons occupied chiefly iso-orientations, however, more distally, 7 cells projected preferentially to non-iso-orientations. Boutons of each cell were partitioned into 1-15 distinct clusters based on the mean-shift algorithm, of which 57 clusters preferred iso-orientations and 43 clusters preferred cross-orientations, each showing sharp orientation preference "tuning." However, unlike layer III/V pyramidal cells preferring chiefly iso-orientations, layer IV cells were engaged with broad orientations because each bouton cluster from the same cell could show different orientation preference. These results indicate that the circuitry of layer IV spiny cells is organized differently from that of iso-orientation dominant layer III/V cells and probably processes visual signals in a different manner from that of the superficial and deeper layers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1443-1458
Number of pages16
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2011


  • bouton
  • cluster
  • horizontal connection
  • optical imaging
  • spiny stellate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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