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Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive Multimodal Coding of Three-Dimensional Rotation and
 

Summary: Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive
Multimodal Coding of Three-Dimensional Rotation and
Translation in Area MSTd: Comparison of Visual and
Vestibular Selectivity
Katsumasa Takahashi,1 Yong Gu,1 Paul J. May,2 Shawn D. Newlands,3 Gregory C. DeAngelis,1* and Dora E. Angelaki1*
1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, 2Departments of Anatomy,
Ophthalmology, and Neurology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi 39216, and 3Department of Otolaryngology, University of
Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77550
Recent studies have shown that most neurons in the dorsal medial superior temporal area (MSTd) signal the direction of self-translation
(i.e., heading) in response to both optic flow and inertial motion. Much less is currently known about the response properties of MSTd
neurons during self-rotation. We have characterized the three-dimensional tuning of MSTd neurons while monkeys passively fixated a
central,head-fixedtarget.Rotationalstimuliwereeitherpresentedusingamotionplatformorsimulatedvisuallyusingopticflow.Nearly
all MSTd cells were significantly tuned for the direction of rotation in the absence of optic flow, with more neurons preferring roll than
pitch or yaw rotations. The preferred rotation axis in response to optic flow was generally the opposite of that during physical rotation.
This result differs sharply from our findings for translational motion, where approximately half of MSTd neurons have congruent visual
and vestibular preferences. By testing a subset of neurons with combined visual and vestibular stimulation, we also show that the
contributionsofvisualandvestibularcuestoMSTdresponsesdependontherelativereliabilitiesofthetwostimulusmodalities.Previous
studiesofMSTdresponsestomotionindarknesshaveassumedavestibularoriginfortheactivityobserved.Wehavedirectlyverifiedthis
assumptionbyrecordingfromMSTdneuronsafterbilaterallabyrinthectomy.Selectivityforphysicalrotationandtranslationstimuliwas
eliminated after labyrinthectomy, whereas selectivity to optic flow was unaffected. Overall, the lack of MSTd neurons with congruent

  

Source: Angelaki, Dora - Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University in St. Louis
DeAngelis, Gregory - Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine