The cortical representation of heading perception derives from several functional processes distributed across many cortical areas. The aim of the present study was to assess if the optic flow motion directions, expansion and contraction, differently modulate the firing activity of area PEc neurons. We determined the influence of the eye position and/or the spatial position of the focus of expansion (FOE) on this activity. Single neuron activity during radial optic flow stimulation was recorded in three behaving monkeys. The retinal FOE position and the spatial eye position were examined in order to study eye position’s influence upon the directional selectivity for the radial stimuli. We observed that the neurons able to discriminate the retinotopic FOE position are differently modulated by expansion and contraction. One class of neurons exhibited a different preferred FOE position during expansion and contraction. A second class showed the same preferred position with similar firing activity in the two stimuli. A third class showed the same preferred position but different firing activity. Eye position affected the directional selectivity of most PEc cells. The main result of this study is that there is a continuum in cell modulation by optic flow direction, and it can be modified by the angle of gaze with respect to the FOE. These results shed light on potential cellular integrative mechanisms of area PEc in heading perception.

Optic flow direction coding in area PEc of the behaving monkey / Raffi M.; Maioli M.G.; Squatrito S.. - In: NEUROSCIENCE. - ISSN 0306-4522. - STAMPA. - 194:(2011), pp. 136-149. [10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.07.036]

Optic flow direction coding in area PEc of the behaving monkey

RAFFI, MILENA;MAIOLI, MARIA GRAZIA;SQUATRITO, SALVATORE
2011

Abstract

The cortical representation of heading perception derives from several functional processes distributed across many cortical areas. The aim of the present study was to assess if the optic flow motion directions, expansion and contraction, differently modulate the firing activity of area PEc neurons. We determined the influence of the eye position and/or the spatial position of the focus of expansion (FOE) on this activity. Single neuron activity during radial optic flow stimulation was recorded in three behaving monkeys. The retinal FOE position and the spatial eye position were examined in order to study eye position’s influence upon the directional selectivity for the radial stimuli. We observed that the neurons able to discriminate the retinotopic FOE position are differently modulated by expansion and contraction. One class of neurons exhibited a different preferred FOE position during expansion and contraction. A second class showed the same preferred position with similar firing activity in the two stimuli. A third class showed the same preferred position but different firing activity. Eye position affected the directional selectivity of most PEc cells. The main result of this study is that there is a continuum in cell modulation by optic flow direction, and it can be modified by the angle of gaze with respect to the FOE. These results shed light on potential cellular integrative mechanisms of area PEc in heading perception.
2011
Optic flow direction coding in area PEc of the behaving monkey / Raffi M.; Maioli M.G.; Squatrito S.. - In: NEUROSCIENCE. - ISSN 0306-4522. - STAMPA. - 194:(2011), pp. 136-149. [10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.07.036]
Raffi M.; Maioli M.G.; Squatrito S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/107906
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