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Neuropsychologia. 2002;40(13):2280-7.

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of human area MT/V5 disrupts perception and storage of the motion aftereffect.

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  • 1Laboratory for Magnetic Brain Stimulation, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 330 Brookline Avenue, KS-454, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Following adaptation to a moving stimulus, the introduction of a stationary pattern creates the illusion of motion. This phenomenon, known as the motion aftereffect (MAE), can be delayed by placing a blank storage interval between the adapting and test stimuli. Human motion selective area MT/V5 has been proposed as the likely neural origin of MAEs. To examine the role of MT/V5 in perceiving and storing MAEs, we applied repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to this area during a 10s storage interval and while subjects perceived illusory motion. Our results show that rTMS disrupts perception of the MAE when it is delivered in the early parts of the storage period and when it is applied during the perceptual MAE itself. Stimulation of control regions corresponding to V1 or Cz did not affect the MAE. In addition, magnetic stimulation of dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortices did not disrupt MAE perception. These data provide experimental support for the notion that MT/V5 subserves perception and storage of the motion aftereffect.

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