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Keywords:

  • primary visual area;
  • V1;
  • eye position;
  • humans;
  • fMRI

Abstract

Internal senses of the position of the eye in the orbit may influence the cognitive processes that take into account gaze and limb positioning for movement or guiding actions. Neuroimaging studies have revealed eye position-dependent activity in the extrastriate visual, parietal, and frontal areas, but, at the earliest vision stage, the role of the primary visual area (V1) in these processes remains unclear. Functional MRI (fMRI) was used to investigate the effect of eye position on V1 activity evoked by a quarter-field stimulation using a visual checkerboard. We showed that the amplitude of V1 activity was modulated by the position of the eye, the activity being maximal when both the eye and head positions were aligned. Previous studies gave impetus to the emerging view that V1 activity is a cortical area in which contextual influences take place. The present study suggests that eye position may affect an early stage of visual processing. Hum Brain Mapp, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.