Using a large-scale computational model, we identify a possible operating state of the primary visual cortex (V1) which results from a rich interplay of a hierarchy of spatial and temporal scales. This state is characterized by (a) high total conductance, (b) strong inhibition, (c) large synaptic fluctuations, and (d) an important role of NMDA conductance in the orientation-specific, long-range interactions. Our model reproduces -- and offers possible mechanisms underlying -- cortical phenomena including orientation tuning and large-scale spatiotemporal activity patterns in V1.

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This work was partly supported by the National Science Foundation through grants IGMS-0308943 and DMS-0506287.

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