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Modulation of Responses to Optic Flow in Area 7a by Retinotopic and Oculomotor Cues in Monkey

By Heather L Read and Ralph M Siegel


Perception of two-and-three dimensional optic flow critically depends upon extrastriate cortices that are part of the "dorsal stream" for visual processing. Neurons in area 7a, a sub-region of the posterior parietal cortex, have a dual sensitivity to visual input and to eye position. The sensitivity and selectivity of area 7a neurons to three sensory cues were studied: optic flow, retinotopic stimulus position, and eye position. The visual response to optic flow was modulated by the retinotopic stimulus position and by the eye position in the orbit. The position dependence of the retinal and eye position modulation (i.e. gain field) were quantified by a quadratic regression model that allowed for linear or peaked receptive fields. A local maximum (or minimum) in both the retinotopic fields and the gain fields was observed suggesting that these sensory qualities are not necessarily linearly represented in area 7a. Neurons were also found that simply encoded the eye position in the absence of optic flow. The spatial tuning for the eye position signals upon stationary stimuli and optic flow was not the same suggesting multiple anatomical sources of the signals. These neurons can provide a substrate for spatial representation while primates move in the environment

Topics: Neuroanatomy, Neurology
Year: 1997
OAI identifier: oai:cogprints.org:7
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