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Modeling the Emergence of Whisker Direction Maps in Rat Barrel Cortex

Figure 3

A somatotopically aligned map of whisker deflection direction emerges in each supra-barrel.

A Example map from one network trained on 5,000 input patterns in which whisker deflection directions are each concentrated towards the orientation of the stimulus (). Maps in each supra-barrel are a match to that measured by ref. [8] in which neurons on the left of each supra-barrel, for example, prefer leftward deflections of the PW. Reprinted and adapted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: Nature Neuroscience [8], copyright 2006. Supra-barrels are delineated by white lines. B Mean direction preference for neurons at each cortical location, over the 20 networks in the same data set, showing that the organization is consistent across runs. C Plot of the long range lateral connection strengths, from the representative example neuron at the position marked by *, to the rest of the cortical map. Pixel brightness indicates lateral weight strength, and the color indicates the preferred deflection direction of each connected neuron. This neuron becomes most strongly connected to others, some located many supra-barrels away, that are tuned to similar directions of PW deflection.

Figure 3