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The Journal of Neuroscience, January 1994, 14(l): 54-67 Tuning of MST Neurons to Spiral Motions
 

Summary: The Journal of Neuroscience, January 1994, 14(l): 54-67
Tuning of MST Neurons to Spiral Motions
Michael S. A. Graziano, Richard A. Andersen, and Robert J. Snowden"
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
Cells in the dorsal division of the medial superior temporal
area (MSTd) have large receptive fields and respond to ex-
pansion/contraction, rotation, and translation motions. These
same motions are generated as we move through the en-
vironment, leading investigators to suggest that area MSTd
analyzes the optical flow. One influential idea suggests that
navigation is achieved by decomposing the optical flow into
the separate and discrete channels mentioned above, that
is, expansion/contraction, rotation, and translation. We di-
rectly tested whether MSTd neurons perform such a decom-
position by examining whether there are cells that are pref-
erentially tuned to intermediate spiral motions, which combine
both expansion/contraction and rotation components. The
finding that many cells in MSTd are preferentially selective
for spiral motions indicates that this simple three-channel
decomposition hypothesis for MSTd does not appear to be

  

Source: Andersen, Richard - Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology
Graziano, Michael - Department of Psychology, Princeton University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine