Abstract

The responses of adjacent neurons in inferior temporal (IT) cortex carry signals that are to a large degree independent (Gawne and Richmond. 1993). Adjacent primary visual cortical neurons have similar orientation tuning (Hubel and Wiesel, 1962, 1968), suggesting that their responses might be more redundant than those in IT. We recorded the responses of 26 pairs of adjacent complex cells in the primary visual cortex of two awake monkeys while using both a set of 16 bar-like stimuli, and a more complex set of 128 two-dimensional patterns. Linear regression showed that 40% of the signal variance of one neuron was related to that of the other when the responses to the bar-like stimuli were considered. However, when the responses to the two-dimensional stimuli were included in the analysis, only 19% of the signal variance of one neuron was related to that of the adjacent one, almost exactly the same results as found in IT. An information theoretic analysis gave similar results. We hypothesize that this trend toward independence of information processing by adjacent cortical neurons is a general organizational strategy used to maximize the amount of information carried in local groups.