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Neuronal nonlinearity explains greater visual spatial resolution for darks than lights

Overview of attention for article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, February 2014
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
34 news outlets
blogs
3 blogs
twitter
23 tweeters
facebook
11 Facebook pages
reddit
1 Redditor

Citations

dimensions_citation
44 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
122 Mendeley
citeulike
3 CiteULike
Title
Neuronal nonlinearity explains greater visual spatial resolution for darks than lights
Published in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, February 2014
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1310442111
Pubmed ID
Authors

Jens Kremkow, Jianzhong Jin, Stanley J. Komban, Yushi Wang, Reza Lashgari, Xiaobing Li, Michael Jansen, Qasim Zaidi, Jose-Manuel Alonso

Abstract

Astronomers and physicists noticed centuries ago that visual spatial resolution is higher for dark than light stimuli, but the neuronal mechanisms for this perceptual asymmetry remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that the asymmetry is caused by a neuronal nonlinearity in the early visual pathway. We show that neurons driven by darks (OFF neurons) increase their responses roughly linearly with luminance decrements, independent of the background luminance. However, neurons driven by lights (ON neurons) saturate their responses with small increases in luminance and need bright backgrounds to approach the linearity of OFF neurons. We show that, as a consequence of this difference in linearity, receptive fields are larger in ON than OFF thalamic neurons, and cortical neurons are more strongly driven by darks than lights at low spatial frequencies. This ON/OFF asymmetry in linearity could be demonstrated in the visual cortex of cats, monkeys, and humans and in the cat visual thalamus. Furthermore, in the cat visual thalamus, we show that the neuronal nonlinearity is present at the ON receptive field center of ON-center neurons and ON receptive field surround of OFF-center neurons, suggesting an origin at the level of the photoreceptor. These results demonstrate a fundamental difference in visual processing between ON and OFF channels and reveal a competitive advantage for OFF neurons over ON neurons at low spatial frequencies, which could be important during cortical development when retinal images are blurred by immature optics in infant eyes.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 23 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 122 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 4 3%
France 3 2%
Canada 2 2%
Japan 2 2%
China 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Iraq 1 <1%
Portugal 1 <1%
Belgium 1 <1%
Other 3 2%
Unknown 103 84%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 37 30%
Researcher 22 18%
Student > Master 16 13%
Professor 12 10%
Professor > Associate Professor 10 8%
Other 25 20%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 41 34%
Psychology 22 18%
Neuroscience 22 18%
Medicine and Dentistry 8 7%
Engineering 8 7%
Other 21 17%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 321. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 17 October 2016.
All research outputs
#19,762
of 8,529,445 outputs
Outputs from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#554
of 47,163 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#471
of 201,794 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#15
of 955 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,529,445 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 47,163 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 24.6. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 201,794 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 955 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.