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About pvc-2

Information about the pvc-2 data.


These experiments were performed to measure the spatiotemporal receptive fields of cortical cells.  The data were obtained with extra-cellular recordings from the primary visual cortex of anesthetized adult cats.  Visual stimuli were one-dimensional white noise (random bars) aligned to the preferred orientation of each cell and two-dimensional stimuli (natural images, natural phase, and random phase).    We have previously used spike-triggered average and spike-triggered covariance to analyze these data.  They can be used to test other methods for analyzing the stimulus-response relationship of visual cortical neurons.

Experimental procedures are described in the following papers:

Touryan, J., Lau, B., & Dan, Y. (2002) Isolation of relevant visual features from random stimuli for cortical complex cells. Journal of Neuroscience 22(24):10811-8

Touryan, J, Felsen, G., and Dan, Y. (2005) Spatial structure of complex cell receptive fields measured with natural images, Neuron 45, 781-791.

Felsen, G., Touryan, J., Han, F., and Dan, Y. (2005) Cortical sensitivity to visual features in natural scenes, PLoS Biol. 3 (10), e342.

Format of the data

Stimulus files are in Matlab format.  Neuron responses are in binary files listing  the spike times.  Details are described in file crcns-pvc2-readme.pdf.  Total file size is about 73 MB (compressed), 95 MB uncompressed.

How to download the data

Data may be downloaded from:
A account is required. See the download link for more instructions.

Getting help using the data

If you have questions about using the data, post them on the forum.

How to cite the data

Publications created through usage of the data should cite the data set in the following recommended format:

Dan, Yang; Felsen, Gidon; Touryan, Jon (2009): Extracellular recording from cells in cat primary visual cortex.

The above citation uses a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) which is assigned to the data set.  The DOI was created using DataCite ( and the California Digital Library, "EZID" system (


Documentation file

crcns-pvc2-readme.pdf (63.4 kB).
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