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Neuroimage. 2006 Sep;32(3):1308-16. Epub 2006 Jul 5.

Primary visual cortex activation on the path of apparent motion is mediated by feedback from hMT+/V5.

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Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, University College London, 12 Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK.


Apparent motion (AM) is the illusory perception of real motion created when two spatially distinct stationary visual objects are presented in alternating sequence. In common with many other illusory percepts, activation during AM can be identified in unstimulated regions of V1 representing the illusory motion path. However, little is known about the mechanisms underlying such activation and its relationship with motion-sensitive area hMT+/V5. Using fMRI and a novel AM stimulus, we replicated previous findings showing a correlate of the perceived AM path in V1. To more closely characterize the mechanisms underlying these activations, we performed analyses of effective connectivity and found that the AM-induced activations on the illusory AM path were associated with enhanced feedback (but not feedforward) connectivity from hMT+/V5. These findings provide for the first time evidence for the involvement of cortico-cortical coupling in generating an illusory percept of AM. They therefore emphasize the role of recurrent processing between visual cortical areas in human perceptual awareness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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