Contributions of indirect pathways to visual response properties in macaque middle temporal area MT.
ABSTRACT: The primate visual cortex exhibits a remarkable degree of interconnectivity. Each visual area receives an average of 10 to 15 inputs, many of them from cortical areas with overlapping, but not identical, functional properties. In this study, we assessed the functional significance of this anatomical parallelism to the middle temporal area (MT) of the macaque visual cortex. MT receives major feedforward inputs from areas V1, V2, and V3, but little is known about the properties of each of these pathways. We previously demonstrated that reversible inactivation of V2 and V3 causes a disproportionate degradation of tuning for binocular disparity of MT neurons, relative to direction tuning (Ponce et al., 2008). Here we show that MT neurons continued to encode speed and size information during V2/3 inactivation; however, many became significantly less responsive to fast speeds and others showed a modest decrease in surround suppression. These changes resemble previously reported effects of reducing stimulus contrast (Pack et al., 2005; Krekelberg et al., 2006), but we show here that they differ in their temporal dynamics. We find no evidence that the indirect pathways selectively target different functional regions within MT. Overall, our findings suggest that the indirect pathways to MT primarily convey modality-specific information on binocular disparity, but that they also contribute to the processing of stimuli moving at fast speeds.
Project description:Recent fMRI studies have shown fusion of visual motion and disparity signals for shape perception (Ban et al., 2012), and unmasking camouflaged surfaces (Rokers et al., 2009), but no such interaction is known for typical dorsal motion pathway tasks, like grasping and navigation. Here, we investigate human speed perception of forward motion and its representation in the human motion network. We observe strong interaction in medial (V3ab, V6) and lateral motion areas (MT(+)), which differ significantly. Whereas the retinal disparity dominates the binocular contribution to the BOLD activity in the anterior part of area MT(+), headcentric disparity modulation of the BOLD response dominates in area V3ab and V6. This suggests that medial motion areas not only represent rotational speed of the head (Arnoldussen et al., 2011), but also translational speed of the head relative to the scene. Interestingly, a strong response to vergence eye movements was found in area V1, which showed a dependency on visual direction, just like vertical-size disparity. This is the first report of a vertical-size disparity correlate in human striate cortex.
Project description:Processing of visual information is both parallel and hierarchical, with each visual area richly interconnected with other visual areas. An example of the parallel architecture of the primate visual system is the existence of two principal pathways providing input to the middle temporal visual area (MT): namely, a direct projection from striate cortex (V1), and a set of indirect projections that also originate in V1 but then relay through V2 and V3. Here we have reversibly inactivated the indirect pathways while recording from MT neurons and measuring eye movements in alert monkeys, a procedure that has enabled us to assess whether the two different input pathways are redundant or whether they carry different kinds of information. We find that this inactivation causes a disproportionate degradation of binocular disparity tuning relative to direction tuning in MT neurons, suggesting that the indirect pathways are important in the recovery of depth in three-dimensional scenes.
Project description:We generated probabilistic area maps and maximum probability maps (MPMs) for a set of 18 retinotopic areas previously mapped in individual subjects (Georgieva et al., 2009 and Kolster et al., 2010) using four different inter-subject registration methods. The best results were obtained using a recently developed multimodal surface matching method. The best set of MPMs had relatively smooth borders between visual areas and group average area sizes that matched the typical size in individual subjects. Comparisons between retinotopic areas and maps of estimated cortical myelin content revealed the following correspondences: (i) areas V1, V2, and V3 are heavily myelinated; (ii) the MT cluster is heavily myelinated, with a peak near the MT/pMSTv border; (iii) a dorsal myelin density peak corresponds to area V3D; (iv) the phPIT cluster is lightly myelinated; and (v) myelin density differs across the four areas of the V3A complex. Comparison of the retinotopic MPM with cytoarchitectonic areas, including those previously mapped to the fs_LR cortical surface atlas, revealed a correspondence between areas V1-3 and hOc1-3, respectively, but little correspondence beyond V3. These results indicate that architectonic and retinotopic areal boundaries are in agreement in some regions, and that retinotopy provides a finer-grained parcellation in other regions. The atlas datasets from this analysis are freely available as a resource for other studies that will benefit from retinotopic and myelin density map landmarks in human visual cortex.
Project description:Magnocellular versus parvocellular (M-P) streams are fundamental to the organization of macaque visual cortex. Segregated, paired M-P streams extend from retina through LGN into V1. The M stream extends further into area V5/MT, and parts of V2. However, elsewhere in visual cortex, it remains unclear whether M-P-derived information (1) becomes intermixed or (2) remains segregated in M-P-dominated columns and neurons. Here we tested whether M-P streams exist in extrastriate cortical columns, in 8 human subjects (4 female). We acquired high-resolution fMRI at high field (7T), testing for M- and P-influenced columns within each of four cortical areas (V2, V3, V3A, and V4), based on known functional distinctions in M-P streams in macaque: (1) color versus luminance, (2) binocular disparity, (3) luminance contrast sensitivity, (4) peak spatial frequency, and (5) color/spatial interactions. Additional measurements of resting state activity (eyes closed) tested for segregated functional connections between these columns. We found M- and P-like functions and connections within and between segregated cortical columns in V2, V3, and (in most experiments) area V4. Area V3A was dominated by the M stream, without significant influence from the P stream. These results suggest that M-P streams exist, and extend through, specific columns in early/middle stages of human extrastriate cortex.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The magnocellular and parvocellular (M-P) streams are fundamental components of primate visual cortical organization. These streams segregate both anatomical and functional properties in parallel, from retina through primary visual cortex. However, in most higher-order cortical sites, it is unknown whether such M-P streams exist and/or what form those streams would take. Moreover, it is unknown whether M-P streams exist in human cortex. Here, fMRI evidence measured at high field (7T) and high resolution revealed segregated M-P streams in four areas of human extrastriate cortex. These results suggest that M-P information is processed in segregated parallel channels throughout much of human visual cortex; the M-P streams are more than a convenient sorting property in earlier stages of the visual system.
Project description:Optical imaging was used to map patterns of visually evoked activation in the second (V2) and third (V3) visual areas of owl monkeys. Modular patterns of activation were produced in response to stimulation with oriented gratings, binocular versus monocular stimulation, and stimuli containing wide-field luminance changes. In V2, luminance-change domains tended to lie between domains selective for orientation. Regions preferentially activated by binocular stimulation co-registered with orientation-selective domains. Co-alignment of images with cytochrome oxidase (CO)-processed sections revealed functional correlates of 2 types of CO-dense regions in V2. Orientation-responsive domains and binocular domains were correlated with the locations of CO-thick stripes, and luminance-change domains were correlated with the locations of CO-thin stripes. In V3, orientation preference, luminance-change, and binocular preference domains were observed, but were more irregularly arranged than those in V2. Our data suggest that in owl monkey V2, consistent with that in macaque monkeys, modules for processing contours and binocularity exist in one type of compartment and that modules related to processing-surface features exist within a separate type of compartment.
Project description:We investigated the BOLD response of visual cortical and sub-cortical regions to fast drifting motion presented over wide fields, including the far periphery. Stimuli were sinusoidal gratings of 50% contrast moving at moderate and very high speeds (38 and 570 °/s), projected to a large field of view (~60°). Both stimuli generated strong and balanced responses in the lateral geniculate nucleus and the superior colliculus. In visual cortical areas, responses were evaluated at three different eccentricities: central 0-15°; peripheral 20-30°; and extreme peripheral 30-60°. "Ventral stream" areas (V2, V3, V4) preferred moderate-speeds in the central visual field, while motion area MT+ responded equally well to both speeds at all eccentricities. In all other areas and eccentricities BOLD responses were significant and equally strong for both types of moving stimuli. Support vector machine showed that the direction of the fast-speed motion could be successfully decoded from the BOLD response in all visual areas, suggesting that responses are mediated by motion mechanisms rather than being an unspecific preference for fast rate of flicker. The results show that the visual cortex responds to very fast motion, at speeds generated when we move our eyes rapidly, or when moving objects pass by closely.
Project description:The perception of visual depth is determined by integration of spatial disparities of inputs from the two eyes. Single cells in visual cortex of monkeys are known to respond to specific binocular disparities; however, little is known about their functional organization. We now show, using intrinsic signal optical imaging and single-unit physiology, that, in the thick stripe compartments of the second visual area (V2), there is a clustered organization of Near cells and Far cells, and moreover, there are topographic maps for Near to Far disparities within V2. Our findings suggest that maps for visual disparity are calculated in V2, and demonstrate parallels in functional organization between the thin, pale, and thick stripes of V2.
Project description:Stereoscopic vision depends on correct matching of corresponding features between the two eyes. It is unclear where the brain solves this binocular correspondence problem. Although our visual system is able to make correct global matches, there are many possible false matches between any two images. Here, we use optical imaging data of binocular disparity response in the visual cortex of awake and anesthetized monkeys to demonstrate that the second visual cortical area (V2) is the first cortical stage that correctly discards false matches and robustly encodes correct matches. Our findings indicate that a key transformation for achieving depth perception lies in early stages of extrastriate visual cortex and is achieved by population coding.
Project description:The borders between objects and their backgrounds create discontinuities in image feature maps that can be used to recover object shape. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify cortical areas that encode two of the most important image segmentation cues: relative motion and relative disparity. Relative motion and disparity cues were isolated by defining a central 2-degree disk using random-dot kinematograms and stereograms, respectively. For motion, the disk elicited retinotopically organized activations starting in V1 and extending through V2 and V3. In the surrounding region, we observed phase-inverted activations indicative of suppression, extending out to at least 6 degrees of retinal eccentricity. For disparity, disk activations were only found in V3, while suppression was observed in all early visual areas. Outside of early visual cortex, several areas were sensitive to both types of cues, most notably LO1, LO2 and V3B, making them additional candidate areas for motion- and disparity-cue combination. Adding an orthogonal task at fixation did not diminish these effects, and in fact led to small but measurable disk activations in V1 and V2 for disparity. The overall pattern of extra-striate activations is consistent with recent three-stream models of cortical organization.
Project description:To investigate changes of vision-related resting-state activity in pituitary adenoma (PA) patients with visual damage through comparison to healthy controls (HCs).25 PA patients with visual damage and 25 age- and sex-matched corrected-to-normal-vision HCs underwent a complete neuro-ophthalmologic evaluation, including automated perimetry, fundus examinations, and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocol, including structural and resting-state fMRI (RS-fMRI) sequences. The regional homogeneity (ReHo) of the vision-related cortex and the functional connectivity (FC) of 6 seeds within the visual cortex (the primary visual cortex (V1), the secondary visual cortex (V2), and the middle temporal visual cortex (MT+)) were evaluated. Two-sample t-tests were conducted to identify the differences between the two groups.Compared with the HCs, the PA group exhibited reduced ReHo in the bilateral V1, V2, V3, fusiform, MT+, BA37, thalamus, postcentral gyrus and left precentral gyrus and increased ReHo in the precuneus, prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), insula, supramarginal gyrus (SMG), and putamen. Compared with the HCs, V1, V2, and MT+ in the PAs exhibited decreased FC with the V1, V2, MT+, fusiform, BA37, and increased FC primarily in the bilateral temporal lobe (especially BA20,21,22), prefrontal cortex, PCC, insular, angular gyrus, ACC, pre-SMA, SMG, hippocampal formation, caudate and putamen. It is worth mentioning that compared with HCs, V1 in PAs exhibited decreased or similar FC with the thalamus, whereas V2 and MT+ exhibited increased FCs with the thalamus, especially pulvinar.In our study, we identified significant neural reorganization in the vision-related cortex of PA patients with visual damage compared with HCs. Most subareas within the visual cortex exhibited remarkable neural dysfunction. Some subareas, including the MT+ and V2, exhibited enhanced FC with the thalamic pulvinar, which indicates an important role in the compensatory mechanism following visual impairment. In addition, neural dysfunction within the visual cortex was associated with neural activity alternation in the higher-order cognitive cortex, especially subareas in default mode network (DMN) and salience network (SN).