The main route of information flow in the cerebral cortex is from the middle layers of cortex to upper and lower layers. However, upper layers of the cat primary visual cortex can be directly driven by inputs from secondary visual cortex when activity in middle layers is disrupted. Upper-layer activity can be driven either by middle layers or by direct corticocortical inputs. One consequence of this result is that areas of cortex thought to be carrying out low-order analysis may be able to extract considerable information from higher order areas.
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