Under natural conditions, animals must process spatiotemporally complex signals in order to guide adaptive behavior. It follows that the response properties of neurons should reflect the dynamic nature of such signals. Recently, several studies have demonstrated the existence of time-varying receptive fields in the auditory, visual and somatosensory thalamocortical pathways. The characteristics of these receptive fields suggest that they are constrained by the need to actively interpret time-varying stimuli. Here, we review these studies, the possible functions of these receptive fields, and how they might be generated in the thalamocortical pathway.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience