The receptive fields for simple cells in visual cortex show a strong preference for edges of a particular orientation and display adjacent excitatory and inhibitory subfields. These subfields are projections from ON-center and OFF-center lateral geniculate nucleus cells, respectively. Here we present a single-cell model using ON and OFF channels, a natural scene environment, and synaptic modification according to the Bienenstock, Cooper, and Munro (BCM) theory. Our results indicate that lateral geniculate nucleus cells must act predominantly in the linear region around the level of spontaneous activity, to lead to the observed segregation of ON/OFF subfields
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