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Cereb Cortex. 2008 Dec;18(12):2796-810. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhn038. Epub 2008 Mar 28.

Cortical dynamics subserving visual apparent motion.

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Brain Research, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Retzius vaeg 8, S17177 Solna, Sweden.


Motion can be perceived when static images are successively presented with a spatial shift. This type of motion is an illusion and is termed apparent motion (AM). Here we show, with a voltage sensitive dye applied to the visual cortex of the ferret, that presentation of a sequence of stationary, short duration, stimuli which are perceived to produce AM are, initially, mapped in areas 17 and 18 as separate stationary representations. But time locked to the offset of the 1st stimulus, a sequence of signals are elicited. First, an activation traverses cortical areas 19 and 21 in the direction of AM. Simultaneously, a motion dependent feedback signal from these areas activates neurons between areas 19/21 and areas 17/18. Finally, an activation is recorded, traveling always from the representation of the 1st to the representation of the next or succeeding stimuli. This activation elicits spikes from neurons situated between these stimulus representations in areas 17/18. This sequence forms a physiological mechanism of motion computation which could bind populations of neurons in the visual areas to interpret motion out of stationary stimuli.

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