The spatio temporal receptive field
(STRF) of a neuron
represents which types of stimuli excite or inhibit that neuron. If linearity
is assumed, the neuron can be modelled as having a time-varying firing rate equal to the convolution
of the stimulus with the STRF.
The example STRF here is for an auditory neuron
from the area CM
of a male zebra finch
, when played conspecific
birdsong. The colour of this plot shows the effect of sound on this neuron: this neuron tends to be excited by sound from about 2.5 kHz to 7 kHz heard by the animal 12 ms ago, but it is inhibited by sound in the same frequency rage from about 18 ms ago.
This STRF was generated with STRFPAK
: free software (registration required) to help estimate STRFs.
Visual STRFs can have the same dimension as movies.