A double dissociation between striate and extrastriate visual cortex for pattern motion perception revealed using rTMS



The neural mechanisms underlying the integration and segregation of motion signals are often studied using plaid stimuli. These stimuli consist of two spatially coincident dynamic gratings of differing orientations, which are either perceived to move in two unique directions or are integrated by the visual system to elicit the percept of a checkerboard moving in a single direction. Computations pertaining to the motion of the individual component gratings are thought to take place in striate cortex (V1) whereas motion integration is thought to involve neurons in dorsal stream extrastriate visual areas, particularly V5/MT. By combining a psychophysical task that employed plaid stimuli with 1 Hz offline repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), we demonstrated a double dissociation between striate and extrastriate visual cortex in terms of their contributions to motion integration. rTMS over striate cortex increased coherent motion percepts whereas rTMS over extrastriate cortex had the opposite effect. These effects were robust directly after the stimulation administration and gradually returned to baseline within 15 minutes. This double dissociation is consistent with previous patient data and the recent hypothesis that both coherent and transparent motion percepts are supported by the visual system simultaneously and compete for perceptual dominance. Hum Brain Mapp 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.