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Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive Convergence of Vestibular and Visual Self-Motion Signals in
 

Summary: Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive
Convergence of Vestibular and Visual Self-Motion Signals in
an Area of the Posterior Sylvian Fissure
Aihua Chen,1 Gregory C. DeAngelis,1,2 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 visual motion information (optic flow) and vestibular signals is important for self-motion perception, and such conver-
gence has been observed in the dorsal medial superior temporal (MSTd) and ventral intraparietal areas. In contrast, the parieto-insular
vestibular cortex (PIVC), a cortical vestibular area in the sylvian fissure, is not responsive to optic flow. Here, we explore optic flow and
vestibular convergence in the visual posterior sylvian area (VPS) of macaque monkeys. This area is located at the posterior end of the
sylvian fissure, is strongly interconnected with PIVC, and receives projections from MSTd. We found robust optic flow and vestibular
tuning in more than one-third of VPS cells, with all motion directions being represented uniformly. However, visual and vestibular
direction preferences for translation were mostly opposite, unlike in area MSTd where roughly equal proportions of neurons have
visual/vestibular heading preferences that are congruent or opposite. Overall, optic flow responses in VPS were weaker than those in
MSTd, whereas vestibular responses were stronger in VPS than in MSTd. When visual and vestibular stimuli were presented together,
VPS responses were dominated by vestibular signals, in contrast to MSTd, where optic flow tuning typically dominates. These findings
suggest that VPS is proximal to MSTd in terms of vestibular processing, but distal to MSTd in terms of optic flow processing. Given the
preponderance of neurons with opposite visual/vestibular heading preferences in VPS, this area may not play a major role in multisen-
sory heading perception.
Introduction

  

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