Orientation columns in the primary visual cortex are known to have (mostly) simple cells in layers 4 and 6, and (mostly) complex cells in layers 2,3 and 5. Orientation columns spanning an entire range of orientations (0-180 degrees) are “grouped” into ocular dominance columns.

My question: Ocular dominance columns are monocular columns, corresponding either to the contralateral or the ipsilateral eye. Complex cells, however, are binocular. How do these two things go together?


1 Answer 1


Ocular dominance columns are not purely monocular, nor are simple cells purely monocular.

Simple and complex cells both exhibit a range of ocular preference, from preferring one to the other. See this figure from Hubel and Wiesel, 1962:

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Hubel, D. H., & Wiesel, T. N. (1962). Receptive fields, binocular interaction and functional architecture in the cat's visual cortex. The Journal of physiology, 160(1), 106-154.


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