Do Mice and Cats See Eye-to-Eye by Prof. Jennifer Crodelle, Courant Institute of Mathematics, New York University, Class of 1960s Speaker, Friday, October 11, 1 – 1:45 pm, Stetson Court Classroom 105
Abstract: The primary visual cortex (V1) of mammals is an area of the brain that receives and interprets visual input. Neurons in V1 have the characteristic that they respond preferentially to a particular orientation angle of the edge of a visual stimulus. In mammals such as cats, V1 contains an ordered map of the orientation preference of each neuron where cells preferring similar angles reside close to one another. In mice, however, the map of orientation preference appears random and disordered, with little correlation between preferred orientation and location in cortical space. Though much is known about orientation-preference maps in adult mammals, the mechanism underlying the formation of these maps during development is still unknown. In particular, I am interested in understanding under which circumstances does the map that forms appear ordered (as in cats) or disordered (as in mice). In this talk, I will discuss a mathematical model used to describe a neuronal network of V1 during development and suggest a testable hypothesis for the mechanism underlying the formation of either an ordered or disordered orientation-preference map.