Propagating waves in visual cortex: A large-scale model of turtle visual cortex

Zoran Nenadic, Bijoy K. Ghosh, Philip Ulinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This article describes a large-scale model of turtle visual cortex that simulates the propagating waves of activity seen in real turtle cortex. The cortex model contains 744 multicompartment models of pyramidal cells, stellate cells, and horizontal cells. Input is provided by an array of 201 geniculate neurons modeled as single compartments with spike-generating mechanisms and axons modeled as delay lines. Diffuse retinal flashes or presentation of spots of light to the retina are simulated by activating groups of geniculate neurons. The model is limited in that it does not have a retina to provide realistic input to the geniculate, and the cortex and does not incorporate all of the biophysical details of real cortical neurons. However, the model does reproduce the fundamental features of planar propagating waves. Activation of geniculate neurons produces a wave of activity that originates at the rostrolateral pole of the cortex at the point where a high density of geniculate afferents enter the cortex. Waves propagate across the cortex with velocities of 4 μm/ms to 70 μm/ms and occasionally reflect from the caudolateral border of the cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-184
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Computational Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2003


  • Cortical waves
  • Karhunen-Loéve decomposition
  • Large-scale model
  • Visual cortex


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