Neurophysiological Evidence of Cooperative Mechanisms for Stereo Computation
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2006, 00:00 by Jason M. Samonds, Brian Potetz, Tai Sing Lee
Although there has been substantial progress in understanding the neurophysiological mechanisms of stereopsis, how neurons interact in a network during stereo computation remains unclear. Computational models on stereopsis suggest local competition and long-range cooperation are important for resolving ambiguity during stereo matching. To test these predictions, we simultaneously recorded from multiple neurons in V1 of awake, behaving macaques while presenting surfaces of different depths rendered in dynamic random dot stereograms. We found that the interaction between pairs of neurons was a function of similarity in receptive fields, as well as of the input stimulus. Neurons coding the same depth experienced common inhibition early in their responses for stimuli presented at their nonpreferred disparities. They experienced mutual facilitation later in their responses for stimulation at their preferred disparity. These findings are consistent with a local competition mechanism that first removes gross mismatches, and a global cooperative mechanism that further refines depth estimates.