The spatial structure of cone-opponent receptive fields in macaque retina

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The receptive field structure of long (L) to middle (M) wavelength (L/M) cone-opponent ganglion cells of the parafoveal macaque retina was investigated using drifting gratings. Gratings were luminance, chromatic or selective for the L- or M-cones. Based on these spatial tuning curves, receptive field profiles for the individual cones were derived. Receptive field profiles were coarse compared to single cones, and often could not be described by a simple Gaussian, having shallower flanks. There was a continuum of spatial properties, which blurred any systematic distinction between Type I and Type II receptive fields. Opponent center-surround organization within a single cone was rare. Usually, responses to all four grating types could be described based on the cone receptive field profiles. An exception was a few cells that showed irregularities of amplitude and phase at high spatial frequencies for one or other of the cone isolating conditions. The data are related to standard models of M/L opponent receptive fields and implications for central processing are considered.

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