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The Neural Correlates of Visuospatial Perceptual and Oculomotor Extrapolation

Tibber, M; Saygin, AP; Grant, S; Melmoth, D; Rees, G; Morgan, M; (2010) The Neural Correlates of Visuospatial Perceptual and Oculomotor Extrapolation. PLOS ONE , 5 (3) , Article e9664. 10.1371/journal.pone.0009664. Green open access

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Abstract

The human visual system must perform complex visuospatial extrapolations (VSE) across space and time in order to extract shape and form from the retinal projection of a cluttered visual environment characterized by occluded surfaces and moving objects. Even if we exclude the temporal dimension, for instance when judging whether an extended finger is pointing towards one object or another, the mechanisms of VSE remain opaque. Here we investigated the neural correlates of VSE using functional magnetic resonance imaging in sixteen human observers while they judged the relative position of, or saccaded to, a (virtual) target defined by the extrapolated path of a pointer. Using whole brain and region of interest (ROI) analyses, we compared the brain activity evoked by these VSE tasks to similar control judgements or eye movements made to explicit (dot) targets that did not require extrapolation. The data show that activity in an occipitotemporal region that included the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) was significantly greater during VSE than during control tasks. A similar, though less pronounced, pattern was also evident in regions of the fronto-parietal cortex that included the frontal eye fields. However, none of the ROIs examined exhibited a significant interaction between target type (extrapolated/explicit) and response type (oculomotor/perceptual). These findings are consistent with a close association between visuoperceptual and oculomotor responses, and highlight a critical role for the LOC in the process of VSE.

Type: Article
Title: The Neural Correlates of Visuospatial Perceptual and Oculomotor Extrapolation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009664
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009664
Language: English
Additional information: © 2010 Tibber et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This work was funded by the Wellcome Trust (grant no. 079766 - www.wellcome.ac.uk). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Keywords: LATERAL OCCIPITAL COMPLEX, HUMAN VISUAL-CORTEX, ILLUSORY CONTOURS, BOUNDARY EXTENSION, SACCADE TRAJECTORIES, VOLITIONAL SACCADES, OBJECT PERCEPTION, FMRI ACTIVATION, GLOBAL SHAPES, EYE-MOVEMENTS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/129794
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