Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
The dendritic tree: a mathematical integrator
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) are sensitive to simple features of the visual scene such as contrast, spatial frequency or orientations. In higher mammals, they are organized into columns of orientation-preference, whereas such organization is absent in rodents. However, in both types of organization, neurons can be highly selective or poorly selective for a particular stimulus. In mouse V1, it has been shown that all stimuli are represented on the dendritic tree of single neurons. To what extent this concept is applicable in higher mammals? In this review, we discuss possible models of integrating visual information from visual cortical neurons. In particular, how the modulation of the number of inputs and/or the frequency firing can explain the orientation selectivity in V1. Based on our findings and literature, we propose three different hypotheses namely the spatial summation, the temporal summation and the excitation-inhibition. In addition, we discuss the possible interactions between excitatory pyramidal neurons and inhibitory interneurons during stimulus processing.