PSYC 2390 Lecture 3: PSYC2390 Chapter 3 Notes

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1 Aug 2016
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Chapter 3 Outline
Lateral Inhibition and Perception
oLateral Inhibition in the Limulus
oLateral Inhibition and Lightness Perception
oA Display That Can’t Be Explained by Lateral Inhibition
Processing From Retina to Visual Cortex and Beyond
oResponding of Single Fibers in the Optic Nerve
oHubel and Wiesel’s Rationale for Studying Receptive Fields
oReceptive Fields of Neurons in the Visual Cortex
Do Feature Detectors Play a Role in Perception?
oSelective Adaptation
oSelective Rearing
oHigher-Level Neurons
The Sensory Code
oSpecificity Coding: Representation by the Firing of a Specialized Neuron
oDistributed Coding: Representation by the Firing of Large Groups of Neurons
oSparse Coding: Representation by the Firing of a Small Number of Neurons
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PSYC2390 – Sensation & Perception CHAPTER 3: Neural
Processing and Perception
Neural Processing  Interaction of the signals in many neurons
Lateral Inhibition
Lateral Inhibition  Inhibition that is transmitted across the retina
Pioneering work on lateral inhibition was carried out on a primitive animal called the
Limulus, more familiarly known as the horseshoe crab
Lateral Inhibition in the Limulus
Keffer Hartline, Henry Wagner, and Floyd Ratliff used the Limulus to demonstrate how
lateral inhibition can affect the response of neurons in a circuit
They chose the this animal because the structure of its eye makes it possible to stimulate
individual receptors
The Limulus eye is made up of hundreds of tiny structures called ommatidia
oEach ommmatidium has a small lens on the eye’s surface that is located directly
over a single receptor
oEach lens and receptor is roughly the diameter of a pencil point (large compared
to human receptors)
oThis makes it possible to illuminate and record from a single receptor without
illuminating its neighbouring receptors
(Figure 3.3. in text)
oWhen Hartline and co. recorded from the nerve fiber of receptor A, they found
that illumination of that receptor caused a large response (Figure 3.3a)
oWhen they added illumination to the three nearby receptors at B, the response of
receptor A decreased (Figure 3.3b)
oFurther increasing the illumination of B was found to decrease A’s response even
more (Figure 3.3c)
oTherefore, illumination of the neighbouring receptors at B inhibited the firing of
receptor A is caused by lateral inhibition
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