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?


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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