In the future, such methods could be applied to higher order visual areas where responses have complex, and sometimes unknown, invariances that characterize neural feature selectivity. Combining the information presented here thus far reveals a gap in current knowledge of ECRFs in the primate LGN. The work that has been done in cats shows that natural scenes and 1/f noise are better at revealing nonlinearities in neuronal responses than white noise. Moreover, a commonly proposed model of ECRF effect is nonlinear, underscoring the potential importance of method selection. However, there is currently a lack of work in primates
to examine these issues. The cat visual system, although similar to the primate visual system, has significant see more differences that should give pause when generalizing findings in cats to those for primates, especially when looking for the potential influence of cortico-thalamic feedback. Inter-species differences can be found at the molecular level, such as when Levitt and colleagues compared neuronal properties in visually-deprived macaques (Levitt et al., 2001), in an attempt to extend Guimaraes et al.’s previous study in cats (Guimaraes et al., 1990). Levitt et al.
sutured one eye shut shortly after birth in five macaques and compared anatomical and functional differences with four macaques which had been reared with normal vision in both eyes. The authors found that immunoreactivity for a monoclonal antibody that labels magnocellular laminae (Cat-301) was uniformly reduced in Lapatinib purchase laminae corresponding to the deprived eye. In cats, the Cat-301 antibody specifically labels Y cells, which are lost after deprivation (Guimaraes et al., 1990). This result provides structural evidence to suggest
that primates do not possess a visual pathway strictly analogous to the Y cell pathway of cats, as had been earlier asserted by Shapley and Perry based on functional from characteristics alone (Shapley and Perry, 1986). Differences are also evident at the systems level in the early visual stream. In the cat, LGN projects to two areas of the visual cortex, Brodmann Areas 17 and 18, unlike the single projection to visual cortex in primates. Lesioning either one of Area 17 or 18 has limited effect on the functioning of the unlesioned area, and specifically does not induce profound blindness (Dreher and Cottee, 1975). In primates, the LGN projects almost solely to V1 and lesions of that area eliminate conscious sight entirely in the affected part of the visual field (Brindley et al., 1969). In addition to the problems of generalizing across species, almost all work classifying RFs and ECRFs has been done in anesthetized animals, cats and primates alike, with some important exceptions. Alitto et al. examined the differences in visual responses of alert and anesthetized macaques (Alitto et al., 2011).