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Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive Representation of Vestibular and Visual Cues to Self-Motion

Summary: Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive
Representation of Vestibular and Visual Cues to Self-Motion
in Ventral Intraparietal Cortex
Aihua Chen,1 Gregory C. DeAngelis,2 and Dora E. Angelaki1
1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, and 2Department of Brain and Cognitive
Sciences, Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14627
Convergence of vestibular and visual motion information is important for self-motion perception. One cortical area that combines
vestibular and optic flow signals is the ventral intraparietal area (VIP). We characterized unisensory and multisensory responses of
selectivity in response to optic flow, one-half show tuning to vestibular stimuli, and one-third show multisensory responses. Visual and
vestibular direction preferences of multisensory VIP neurons could be congruent or opposite. When visual and vestibular stimuli were
combined, VIP responses could be dominated by either input, unlike the medial superior temporal area (MSTd) where optic flow tuning
than in MSTd but stronger than in VPS. In contrast, vestibular tuning for translation was strongest in VPS, intermediate in VIP, and
weakest in MSTd. To characterize response dynamics, direction­time data were fit with a spatiotemporal model in which temporal
responses were modeled as weighted sums of velocity, acceleration, and position components. Vestibular responses in VIP reflected
in VIP was significantly faster than in MSTd, whereas timing of optic flow responses did not differ significantly among areas. These
findings suggest that VIP may be proximal to MSTd in terms of vestibular processing but hierarchically similar to MSTd in terms of optic
flow processing.


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