Then, as they shifted a slide in the opthalmoscope, a cell in the cat’s visual cortex suddenly started to fire. The edge of the slide had cast a straight, dark line on the animal’s retina. “It was what the cell wanted, and it wanted it, moreover, in just one narrow range of orientations,” Dr. Hubel said in his Nobel lecture.
They studied the cell for nine hours, and then, Dr. Wiesel recalled, ran down the hall screaming with joy.
--Denise Gellene, NYT, on a great moment in science