The relative contributions of feedforward and recurrent connectivity to the direction-selective responses of cells in layer IVB of primary visual cortex are currently the subject of debate in the neuroscience community. Recently, biophysically detailed simulations have shown that realistic direction-selective responses can be achieved via recurrent cortical interactions between cells with nondirection-selective feedforward input (Suarez et al., 1995; Maex & Orban, 1996). Unfortunately these models, while desirable for detailed comparison with biology, are complex and thus difficult to analyze mathematically. In this article, a relatively simple cortical dynamical model is used to analyze the emergence of direction-selective responses via recurrent interactions. A comparison between a model based on our analysis and physiological data is presented. The approach also allows analysis of the recurrently propagated signal, revealing the predictive nature of the implementation.

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