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Creating Modern Neuroscience: The Revolutionary 1950s$
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Gordon M. Shepherd MD, DPhil

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195391503

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195391503.001.0001

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Neural Circuits: Cortical Columns and Cortical Processing

Neural Circuits: Cortical Columns and Cortical Processing

(p.129) 10 Neural Circuits: Cortical Columns and Cortical Processing
Creating Modern Neuroscience: The Revolutionary 1950s

Gordon M. Shepherd

Oxford University Press

This chapter details notable discoveries about neural circuits in the 1950s. The decade was a golden age of discovery in the cerebral cortex, witnessing the first steps by the pioneers pushing their recording microelectrodes into the unknown territories of the major cortical systems. The homunculus for the somatosensory and motor cortex was revealed, the visual cortex was opened up for a parallel approach to identifying visual stimuli and feature detectors, there were tantalizing hints that the auditory cortex contained a frequency map, and the motor cortex was found to contain circuits for lateral excitation and inhibition within the motor homunculus. An outgrowth of the cortex, the olfactory bulb, was found to represent odors by spatial activity patterns analogous to the spatial organization of the sensory cortical systems.

Keywords:   neural circuits, neurons, cerebral cortex, cortical systems

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