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Knowing with Which Eye We See: Utrocular Discrimination and Eye-Specific Signals in Human Visual Cortex

Schwarzkopf, DS; Schindler, A; Rees, G; (2010) Knowing with Which Eye We See: Utrocular Discrimination and Eye-Specific Signals in Human Visual Cortex. PLOS ONE , 5 (10) , Article e13775. 10.1371/journal.pone.0013775. Green open access

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Abstract

Neurophysiological and behavioral reports converge to suggest that monocular neurons in the primary visual cortex are biased toward low spatial frequencies, while binocular neurons favor high spatial frequencies. Here we tested this hypothesis with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Human participants viewed flickering gratings at one of two spatial frequencies presented to either the left or the right eye, and judged which of the two eyes was being stimulated (utrocular discrimination). Using multivoxel pattern analysis we found that local spatial patterns of signals in primary visual cortex (V1) allowed successful decoding of the eye-of-origin. Decoding was above chance for low but not high spatial frequencies, confirming the presence of a bias reported by animal studies in human visual cortex. Behaviorally, we found that reliable judgment of the eye-of-origin did not depend on spatial frequency. We further analyzed the mean response in visual cortex to our stimuli and revealed a weak difference between left and right eye stimulation. Our results are thus consistent with the interpretation that participants use overall levels of neural activity in visual cortex, perhaps arising due to local luminance differences, to judge the eye-of-origin. Taken together, we show that it is possible to decode eye-specific voxel pattern information in visual cortex but, at least in healthy participants with normal binocular vision, these patterns are unrelated to awareness of which eye is being stimulated.

Type: Article
Title: Knowing with Which Eye We See: Utrocular Discrimination and Eye-Specific Signals in Human Visual Cortex
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013775
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0013775
Language: English
Additional information: © 2010 Schwarzkopf 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 supported by the Wellcome Trust. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Keywords: OCULAR DOMINANCE COLUMNS, SURFACE-BASED ANALYSIS, ORIENTATION, DOMAINS, PATTERN, CATS
UCL classification: UCL
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 Life Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/338577
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