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J Neurophysiol. 2012 Oct;108(8):2160-72. doi: 10.1152/jn.00288.2012. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Different spatial frequency bands selectively signal for natural image statistics in the early visual system.

Author information

1
Dept. of Psychology, Neuroscience Program, Colgate Univ., Hamilton, NY 13346, USA. bchansen@colgate.edu

Abstract

Early visual evoked potentials (VEPs) measured in humans have recently been observed to be modulated by the image statistics of natural scene imagery. Specifically, the early VEP is dominated by a strong positivity when participants view minimally complex natural scene imagery, with the magnitude of that component being modulated by luminance contrast differences across spatial frequency (i.e., the slope of the amplitude spectrum). For scenes high in structural complexity, the early VEP is dominated by a prominent negativity that exhibits little dependency on luminance contrast. However, since natural scene imagery is broad band in terms of spatial frequency, it is not known whether the above-mentioned modulation results from a complex interaction within or between the early neural processes tuned to different bands of spatial frequency. Here, we sought to address this question by measuring early VEPs (specifically, the C1, P1, and N1 components) while human participants viewed natural scene imagery that was filtered to contain specific bands of spatial frequency information. The results show that the C1 component is largely unmodulated by the luminance statistics of natural scene imagery (being only measurable when such stimuli were made to contain high spatial frequencies). The P1 and N1, on the other hand, were observed to exhibit strong spatial frequency-dependent modulation to the luminance statistics of natural scene imagery. The results therefore suggest that the dependency of early VEPs on natural image statistics results from an interaction between the early neural processes tuned to different bands of spatial frequency.

PMID:
22832562
DOI:
10.1152/jn.00288.2012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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