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Role of primary visual cortex in the binocular integration of plaid motion perception

Authors

  • Dave Saint-Amour,

    1. Centre de Recherche en Neuropsychologie et Cognition, Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7
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  • Vincent Walsh,

    1. Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University College London, London, UK
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  • Jean-Paul Guillemot,

    1. Centre de Recherche en Neuropsychologie et Cognition, Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7
    2. Département de Kinanthropologie, Université du Québec, Montréal, Québec
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  • Maryse Lassonde,

    1. Centre de Recherche en Neuropsychologie et Cognition, Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7
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  • Franco Lepore

    1. Centre de Recherche en Neuropsychologie et Cognition, Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7
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Dr Franco Lepore, as above.
E-mail: franco.lepore@umontreal.ca

Abstract

This study assessed the early mechanisms underlying perception of plaid motion. Thus, two superimposed gratings drifting in a rightward direction composed plaid stimuli whose global motion direction was perceived as the vector sum of the two components. The first experiment was aimed at comparing the perception of plaid motion when both components were presented to both eyes (dioptic) or separately to each eye (dichoptic). When components of the patterns had identical spatial frequencies, coherent motion was correctly perceived under dioptic and dichoptic viewing condition. However, the perceived direction deviated from the predicted direction when spatial frequency differences were introduced between components in both conditions. The results suggest that motion integration follows similar rules for dioptic and dichoptic plaids even though performance under dichoptic viewing did not reach dioptic levels. In the second experiment, the role of early cortical areas in the processing of both plaids was examined. As convergence of monocular inputs is needed for dichoptic perception, we tested the hypothesis that primary visual cortex (V1) is required for dichoptic plaid processing by delivering repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to this area. Ten minutes of magnetic stimulation disrupted subsequent dichoptic perception for approximately 15 min, whereas no significant changes were observed for dioptic plaid perception. Taken together, these findings suggest that V1 is not crucial for the processing of dioptic plaids but it is necessary for the binocular integration underlying dichoptic plaid motion perception.

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