Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Squaring cortex with color

A long-standing puzzle has been the seeming inconsistency between neuronal responses in primary visual cortex to colored stimuli and the elementary perceptual attributes of color vision. Nonlinear analysis resolves this paradox.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Clustering of V1 neuron color tuning estimated using linear and quadratic models of neural response.


  1. Horwitz, G.D. & Hass, C.A. Nat. Neurosci. 15, 913–919 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Smith, T. & Guild, J. Trans. Opt. Soc. 33, 73–134 (1931).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Baylor, D.A., Nunn, B.J. & Schnapf, J.L. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 357, 575–607 (1984).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Hering, E. Grundzüge der Lehre vom Lichtsinn (Springer, Berlin, 1920).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  5. Hurvich, L.M. & Jameson, D. Psychol. Rev. 64, 384–404 (1957).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. MacLeod, D.I.A. & Boynton, R.M. J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 1183–1186 (1979).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Wandell, B.A. Foundations of Vision (Sinauer, 1995).

    Google Scholar 

  8. Svaetichin, G. Acta Physiol. Scand. 39 (suppl. 134), 17–46 (1956).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. De Valois, R.L. Cold Spring Harb. Symp. Quant. Biol. 30, 567–579 (1965).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Derrington, A.M., Krauskopf, J. & Lennie, P. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 357, 241–265 (1984).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Wiesel, T.N. & Hubel, D.H. J. Neurophysiol. 29, 1115–1156 (1966).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Livingstone, M.S. & Hubel, D.H. J. Neurosci. 4, 309–356 (1984).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Lennie, P., Krauskopf, J. & Sclar, G. J. Neurosci. 10, 649–669 (1990).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Carandini, M. & Heeger, D.J. Science 264, 1333–1336 (1994).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Field, G.D. et al. Nature 467, 673–677 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Brian A Wandell.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wandell, B., Chichilnisky, E. Squaring cortex with color. Nat Neurosci 15, 809–810 (2012).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing