Abstract

Construction of surface is a crucial step toward the representation of shape through the integration of local information. Physiological studies have reported that the primary visual cortex (V1) codes the medial axis (MA) that is a skeletal structure equidistant from nearby contours, suggesting the early representation of surface in V1. Although the neural basis of surface construction has not been clarified, the onset synchronization of border ownership (BO)-selective cells is a plausible candidate for the generation of surface. We investigated computationally the representation of surface in a biophysically detailed model of primate V1-V2 networks. The simulation results showed that the simultaneous arrival of signals from BO-selective cells evoked strong responses of V1 cells located around the MA. The simulation results lead to a prediction that the perception of the direction of figure (DOF) depends on the degree of synchronous presentation of contour. We conducted a psychophysical experiment and showed that the perception of the DOF is biased toward a highly synchronized contour. These results suggest a crucial role of the onset synchronization of BO-selective cells for the construction of early representation of shape.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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