Abstract

Neurons in primate V4 exhibit various types of selectivity for contour shapes, including curves, angles, and simple shapes. How are these neurons organized in V4 remains unclear. Using intrinsic signal optical imaging and 2-photon calcium imaging, we observed submillimeter functional domains in V4 that contained neurons preferring curved contours over rectilinear ones. These curvature domains had similar sizes and response amplitudes as orientation domains but tended to separate from these regions. Within the curvature domains, neurons that preferred circles or curve orientations clustered further into finer-scale subdomains. Nevertheless, individual neurons also had a wide range of contour selectivity, and neighboring neurons exhibited a substantial diversity in shape tuning besides their common shape preferences. In strong contrast to V4, V1 and V2 didn't have such contour-shape-related domains. These findings highlight the importance and complexity of curvature processing in visual object recognition and the key functional role of V4 in this process.

Data availability

Data and MATLAB code required to reproduce all figures are available at https://osf.io/qydj5/

The following data sets were generated

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Rendong Tang

    State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-3622-3383
  2. Qianling Song

    State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-9177-7429
  3. Ying Li

    State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Rui Zhang

    State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Xingya Cai

    State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-7829-3833
  6. Haidong D Lu

    State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
    For correspondence
    haidong@bnu.edu.cn
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-1739-9508

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China (31530029)

  • Haidong D Lu

National Natural Science Foundation of China (31625012)

  • Haidong D Lu

National Natural Science Foundation of China (31800870)

  • Rendong Tang

China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2018M631373)

  • Rendong Tang

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Kristine Krug, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All procedures were performed in accordance with the National Institutes of Health Guidelines and were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of the Beijing Normal University. Protocol number: IACUC(BNU)-NKCNL2016-06.

Version history

  1. Received: April 2, 2020
  2. Accepted: November 18, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: November 19, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: December 1, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Tang et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Rendong Tang
  2. Qianling Song
  3. Ying Li
  4. Rui Zhang
  5. Xingya Cai
  6. Haidong D Lu
(2020)
Curvature-processing domains in primate V4
eLife 9:e57502.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.57502

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https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.57502