The functional specificity of the projections of single large basket cells of the cat primary visual cortex was studied using novel analytical approaches. The distribution of the labelled axons and that of the target cells were three-dimensionally reconstructed and compared quantitatively to orientation, direction and ocular dominance maps obtained with the intrinsic signal optical imaging technique. Quantitative analysis was carried out (i) for the entire basket cell, (ii) separately, for local and distal projections of the axon and (iii) by dissecting the same axon into two projection fields at the first bifurcation. It was found that although the functional distributions (orientation, direction and ocular dominance) for the entire cell were multi-modal and broadly tuned, individual main branches of the same cell displayed highly specific topography. In the further analysis, 2-dimensional probability density estimates of the target cell distributions revealed clear clustering which may be important for local subfield antagonism. These findings provide support to the idea that the same basket cell mediates several specific receptive field operations depending on the location of the target somata in the functional maps.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology