Nonlinear analysis of cat retinal ganglion cells in the frequency domain
We have analyzed the responses of cat retinal ganglion cells to luminosity gratings that are modulated in time by a sum of sinusoids. A judicious choice of the component temporal frequencies permits a separation of the linear and second-order nonlinear components. Y cell responses show harmonic generation and intermodulation distortion over a wide frequency range. These nonlinear components predominate over the linear components for certain types of spatial stimuli. Nonlinear components in X cells are greatly diminished in comparison. The character of the nonlinear responses provides strong constraints on prospective models for the nonlinear pathway of the Y cell.