{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

hubel-lecture - EVOLUTION OF IDEAS ON THE PRIMARY VISUAL...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
EVOLUTION OF IDEAS ON THE PRIMARY VISUAL CORTEX, 1955-1978: A BIASED HISTORICAL ACCOUNT Nobel lecture, 8 December 1981 by DAVID H. HUBEL Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurobiology, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. INTRODUCTION In the early spring of 1958 I drove over to Baltimore from Washington, D.C., and in a cafeteria at Johns Hopkins Hospital met Stephen Kuffler and Torsten Wiesel, for a discussion that was more momentous for Torsten’s and my future than either of us could have possibly imagined. I had been at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research for three years, in the Neuropsychiatry Section headed by David Rioch, working under the supervi- sion of M.G.F. Fuortes. I began at Walter Reed by developing a tungsten microelectrode and a technique for using it to record from chronically implant- ed cats, and I had been comparing the firing of cells in the visual pathways of sleeping and waking animals. It was time for a change in my research tactics. In sleeping cats only diffuse light could reach the retina through the closed eyelids. Whether the cat was asleep or awake with eyes open, diffuse light failed to stimulate the cells in the striate cortex. In waking animals I had succeeded in activating many cells with moving spots on a screen, and had found that some cells were very selective in that they responded when a spot moved in one direction across the screen (e.g. from left to right) but not when it moved in the opposite direction (1) (Fig. 1). There were many cells that I could not influence at all. Obviously there was a gold mine in the visual cortex, but methods were needed that would permit the recording of single cells for many hours, and with the eyes immobilized, if the mine were ever to begin producing. I had planned to do a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins Medical School with Vernon Mountcastle, but the timing was awkward for him because he was remodeling his laboratories. One day Kuffler called and asked if I would like to work in his laboratory at the Wilmer Institute of Ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital with Torsten Wiesel, until the remodeling was completed. That was expected to take about a year. I didn’t have to be persuaded; some rigorous training in vision was just what I needed, and though Kuffler himself was no longer working in vision the tradition had been main- tained in his laboratory. Torsten and I had visited each other’s laboratories and it was clear that we had common interests and similar outlooks. Kuffler 24
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Evolution of Ideas on the Primary Visual Cortex, 1955—l978... 25 Figure 1. Continuous recording from striate cortex of an unrestrained cat. In each dual trace the lower member shows the microelectrode oscilloscope recording from two cells, one with large impulses, the other smaller ones. The stimulus was small to-and-fro hand movements in front of the cat. Each movement interrupted a light beam falling on a photoelectric cell, producing the notches in the upper beam. The upper two pairs of records represent fast movements, the lower ones slower movements. Each line represents 4 seconds. (1)
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern