Chang, Li-Hung; Yotsumoto, Yuko; Salat, David H; Andersen, George J; Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka
Although normal aging is known to reduce cortical structures globally, the effects of aging on local structures and functions of early visual cortex are less understood. Here, using standard retinotopic mapping and magnetic resonance imaging morphologic analyses, we investigated whether aging affects areal size of the early visual cortex, which were retinotopically localized, and whether those morphologic measures were associated with individual performance on visual perceptual learning. First, significant age-associated reduction was found in the areal size of V1, V2, and V3. Second, individual ability of visual perceptual learning was significantly correlated with areal size of V3 in older adults. These results demonstrate that aging changes local structures of the early visual cortex, and the degree of change may be associated with individual visual plasticity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Roseman, Leor; Sereno, Martin I; Leech, Robert; Kaelen, Mendel; Orban, Csaba; McGonigle, John; Feilding, Amanda; Nutt, David J; Carhart-Harris, Robin L
The question of how spatially organized activity in the visual cortex behaves during eyes-closed, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)-induced "psychedelic imagery" (e.g., visions of geometric patterns and more complex phenomena) has never been empirically addressed, although it has been proposed that under psychedelics, with eyes-closed, the brain may function "as if" there is visual input when there is none. In this work, resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) data was analyzed from 10 healthy subjects under the influence of LSD and, separately, placebo. It was suspected that eyes-closed psychedelic imagery might involve transient local retinotopic activation, of the sort typically associated with visual stimulation. To test this, it was hypothesized that, under LSD, patches of the visual cortex with congruent retinotopic representations would show greater RSFC than incongruent patches. Using a retinotopic localizer performed during a nondrug baseline condition, nonadjacent patches of V1 and V3 that represent the vertical or the horizontal meridians of the visual field were identified. Subsequently, RSFC between V1 and V3 was measured with respect to these a priori identified patches. Consistent with our prior hypothesis, the difference between RSFC of patches with congruent retinotopic specificity (horizontal-horizontal and vertical-vertical) and those with incongruent specificity (horizontal-vertical and vertical-horizontal) increased significantly under LSD relative to placebo, suggesting that activity within the visual cortex becomes more dependent on its intrinsic retinotopic organization in the drug condition. This result may indicate that under LSD, with eyes-closed, the early visual system behaves as if it were seeing spatially localized visual inputs. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3031-3040, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The crux of vision is to identify objects and determine their locations in the environment. Although initial visual representations are necessarily retinotopic (eye centered), interaction with the real world requires spatiotopic (absolute) location information. We asked whether higher level human visual cortex—important for stable object recognition and action—contains information about retinotopic and/or spatiotopic object position. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging multivariate pattern analysis techniques, we found information about both object category and object location in each of the ventral, dorsal, and early visual regions tested, replicating previous reports. By manipulating fixation position and stimulus position, we then tested whether these location representations were retinotopic or spatiotopic. Crucially, all location information was purely retinotopic. This pattern persisted when location information was irrelevant to the task, and even when spatiotopic (not retinotopic) stimulus position was explicitly emphasized. We also conducted a “searchlight” analysis across our entire scanned volume to explore additional cortex but again found predominantly retinotopic representations. The lack of explicit spatiotopic representations suggests that spatiotopic object position may instead be computed indirectly and continually reconstructed with each eye movement. Thus, despite our subjective impression that visual information is spatiotopic, even in higher level visual cortex, object location continues to be represented in retinotopic coordinates. PMID:22190434
ffytche, Dominic H; Pins, Delphine
Some visual neurons code what we see, their defining characteristic being a response profile which mirrors conscious percepts rather than veridical sensory attributes. One issue yet to be resolved is whether, within a given cortical area, conscious visual perception relates to diffuse activity across the entire population of such cells or focal activity within the sub-population mapping the location of the perceived stimulus. Here we investigate the issue in the human brain with fMRI, using a threshold stimulation technique to dissociate perceptual from non-perceptual activity. Our results point to a retinotopic organisation of perceptual activity in early visual areas, with independent perceptual activations for different regions of visual space.
Cheung, Sing-Hang; Fang, Fang; He, Sheng; Legge, Gordon E.
Although previous studies have shown that Braille reading and other tactile-discrimination tasks activate the visual cortex of blind and sighted people [1–5], it is not known whether this kind of cross-modal reorganization is influenced by retinotopic organization. We have addressed this question by studying S, a visually impaired adult with the rare ability to read print visually and Braille by touch. S had normal visual development until age six years, and thereafter severe acuity reduction due to corneal opacification, but no evidence of visual-field loss. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) revealed that, in S’s early visual areas, tactile information processing activated what would be the foveal representation for normally-sighted individuals, and visual information processing activated what would be the peripheral representation. Control experiments showed that this activation pattern was not due to visual imagery. S’s high-level visual areas which correspond to shape- and object-selective areas in normally-sighted individuals were activated by both visual and tactile stimuli. The retinotopically specific reorganization in early visual areas suggests an efficient redistribution of neural resources in the visual cortex. PMID:19361999
Binda, Paola; Benson, Noah C.; Bridge, Holly; Watkins, Kate E.
Early visual areas have neuronal receptive fields that form a sampling mosaic of visual space, resulting in a series of retinotopic maps in which the same region of space is represented in multiple visual areas. It is not clear to what extent the development and maintenance of this retinotopic organization in humans depend on retinal waves and/or visual experience. We examined the corticocortical receptive field organization of resting-state BOLD data in normally sighted, early blind, and anophthalmic (in which both eyes fail to develop) individuals and found that resting-state correlations between V1 and V2/V3 were retinotopically organized for all subject groups. These results show that the gross retinotopic pattern of resting-state connectivity across V1-V3 requires neither retinal waves nor visual experience to develop and persist into adulthood. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Evidence from resting-state BOLD data suggests that the connections between early visual areas develop and are maintained even in the absence of retinal waves and visual experience. PMID:26354906
Vul, E.; Kanwisher, N.
Early retinotopic cortex has traditionally been viewed as containing a veridical representation of the low-level properties of the image, not imbued by high-level interpretation and meaning. Yet several recent results indicate that neural representations in early retinotopic cortex reflect not just the sensory properties of the image, but also the perceived size and brightness of image regions. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging pattern analyses to ask whether the representation of an object in early retinotopic cortex changes when the object is recognized compared with when the same stimulus is presented but not recognized. Our data confirmed this hypothesis: the pattern of response in early retinotopic visual cortex to a two-tone “Mooney” image of an object was more similar to the response to the full grayscale photo version of the same image when observers knew what the two-tone image represented than when they did not. Further, in a second experiment, high-level interpretations actually overrode bottom-up stimulus information, such that the pattern of response in early retinotopic cortex to an identified two-tone image was more similar to the response to the photographic version of that stimulus than it was to the response to the identical two-tone image when it was not identified. Our findings are consistent with prior results indicating that perceived size and brightness affect representations in early retinotopic visual cortex and, further, show that even higher-level information—knowledge of object identity—also affects the representation of an object in early retinotopic cortex. PMID:20071627
Cicmil, Nela; Bridge, Holly; Parker, Andrew J.; Woolrich, Mark W.; Krug, Kristine
Magnetoencephalography (MEG) allows the physiological recording of human brain activity at high temporal resolution. However, spatial localization of the source of the MEG signal is an ill-posed problem as the signal alone cannot constrain a unique solution and additional prior assumptions must be enforced. An adequate source reconstruction method for investigating the human visual system should place the sources of early visual activity in known locations in the occipital cortex. We localized sources of retinotopic MEG signals from the human brain with contrasting reconstruction approaches (minimum norm, multiple sparse priors, and beamformer) and compared these to the visual retinotopic map obtained with fMRI in the same individuals. When reconstructing brain responses to visual stimuli that differed by angular position, we found reliable localization to the appropriate retinotopic visual field quadrant by a minimum norm approach and by beamforming. Retinotopic map eccentricity in accordance with the fMRI map could not consistently be localized using an annular stimulus with any reconstruction method, but confining eccentricity stimuli to one visual field quadrant resulted in significant improvement with the minimum norm. These results inform the application of source analysis approaches for future MEG studies of the visual system, and indicate some current limits on localization accuracy of MEG signals. PMID:24904268
Paik, Se-Bum; Ringach, Dario L.
Maps representing the preference of neurons for the location and orientation of a stimulus on the visual field are a hallmark of primary visual cortex. It is not yet known how these maps develop and what function they play in visual processing. One hypothesis postulates that orientation maps are initially seeded by the spatial interference of ON- and OFF-center retinal receptive field mosaics. Here we show that such a mechanism predicts a link between the layout of orientation preferences around singularities of different signs and the cardinal axes of the retinotopic map. Moreover, we confirm the predicted relationship holds in tree shrew primary visual cortex. These findings provide additional support for the notion that spatially structured input from the retina may provide a blueprint for the early development of cortical maps and receptive fields. More broadly, it raises the possibility that spatially structured input from the periphery may shape the organization of primary sensory cortex of other modalities as well. PMID:22509015
Conner, Ian P; Odom, J Vernon; Schwartz, Terry L; Mendola, Janine D
Amblyopia is a developmental visual disorder associated with loss of monocular acuity and sensitivity as well as profound alterations in binocular integration. Abnormal connections in visual cortex are known to underlie this loss, but the extent to which these abnormalities are regionally or retinotopically specific has not been fully determined. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study compared the retinotopic maps in visual cortex produced by each individual eye in 19 adults (7 esotropic strabismics, 6 anisometropes and 6 controls). In our standard viewing condition, the non-tested eye viewed a dichoptic homogeneous mid-level grey stimulus, thereby permitting some degree of binocular interaction. Regions-of-interest analysis was performed for extrafoveal V1, extrafoveal V2 and the foveal representation at the occipital pole. In general, the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal was reduced for the amblyopic eye. At the occipital pole, population receptive fields were shifted to represent more parafoveal locations for the amblyopic eye, compared with the fellow eye, in some subjects. Interestingly, occluding the fellow eye caused an expanded foveal representation for the amblyopic eye in one early-onset strabismic subject with binocular suppression, indicating real-time cortical remapping. In addition, a few subjects actually showed increased activity in parietal and temporal cortex when viewing with the amblyopic eye. We conclude that, even in a heterogeneous population, abnormal early visual experience commonly leads to regionally specific cortical adaptations.
Conner, Ian P; Odom, J Vernon; Schwartz, Terry L; Mendola, Janine D
Amblyopia is a developmental visual disorder associated with loss of monocular acuity and sensitivity as well as profound alterations in binocular integration. Abnormal connections in visual cortex are known to underlie this loss, but the extent to which these abnormalities are regionally or retinotopically specific has not been fully determined. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study compared the retinotopic maps in visual cortex produced by each individual eye in 19 adults (7 esotropic strabismics, 6 anisometropes and 6 controls). In our standard viewing condition, the non-tested eye viewed a dichoptic homogeneous mid-level grey stimulus, thereby permitting some degree of binocular interaction. Regions-of-interest analysis was performed for extrafoveal V1, extrafoveal V2 and the foveal representation at the occipital pole. In general, the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal was reduced for the amblyopic eye. At the occipital pole, population receptive fields were shifted to represent more parafoveal locations for the amblyopic eye, compared with the fellow eye, in some subjects. Interestingly, occluding the fellow eye caused an expanded foveal representation for the amblyopic eye in one early–onset strabismic subject with binocular suppression, indicating real-time cortical remapping. In addition, a few subjects actually showed increased activity in parietal and temporal cortex when viewing with the amblyopic eye. We conclude that, even in a heterogeneous population, abnormal early visual experience commonly leads to regionally specific cortical adaptations. PMID:17627994
Geng, Joy J.; Ruff, Christian C.; Driver, Jon
The possible impact upon human visual cortex from saccades to remembered target locations was investigated using fMRI. A specific location in the upper-right or upper-left visual quadrant served as the saccadic target. After a delay of 2400 msecs, an auditory signal indicated whether to execute a saccade to that location (go trial) or to cancel the saccade and remain centrally fixated (no-go). Group fMRI analysis revealed activation specific to the remembered target location for executed saccades, in contralateral lingual gyrus. No-go trials produced similar, albeit significantly reduced effects. Individual retinotopic mapping confirmed that on go trials, quadrant-specific activations arose in those parts of ventral V1, V2, and V3 that coded the target location for the saccade, whereas on no-go trials only the corresponding parts of V2 and V3 were significantly activated. These results indicate that a spatial-motor saccadic task (i.e. making an eye-movement to a remembered location) is sufficient to activate retinotopic visual cortex spatially corresponding to the target location, and that this activation is also present (though reduced) when no saccade is executed. We discuss the implications of finding that saccades to remembered locations can affect early visual cortex, not just those structures conventionally associated with eye-movements, in relation to recent ideas about attention, spatial working memory, and the notion that recently activated representations can be ‘refreshed’ when needed. PMID:18510442
Sneve, Markus H; Alnæs, Dag; Endestad, Tor; Greenlee, Mark W; Magnussen, Svein
Recent studies have demonstrated that retinotopic cortex maintains information about visual stimuli during retention intervals. However, the process by which transient stimulus-evoked sensory responses are transformed into enduring memory representations is unknown. Here, using fMRI and short-term visual memory tasks optimized for univariate and multivariate analysis approaches, we report differential involvement of human retinotopic areas during memory encoding of the low-level visual feature orientation. All visual areas show weaker responses when memory encoding processes are interrupted, possibly due to effects in orientation-sensitive primary visual cortex (V1) propagating across extrastriate areas. Furthermore, intermediate areas in both dorsal (V3a/b) and ventral (LO1/2) streams are significantly more active during memory encoding compared with non-memory (active and passive) processing of the same stimulus material. These effects in intermediate visual cortex are also observed during memory encoding of a different stimulus feature (spatial frequency), suggesting that these areas are involved in encoding processes on a higher level of representation. Using pattern-classification techniques to probe the representational content in visual cortex during delay periods, we further demonstrate that simply initiating memory encoding is not sufficient to produce long-lasting memory traces. Rather, active maintenance appears to underlie the observed memory-specific patterns of information in retinotopic cortex. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Konstantinou, Nikos; Bahrami, Bahador; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli
Load Theory of attention suggests that high perceptual load in a task leads to reduced sensory visual cortex response to task-unrelated stimuli resulting in "load-induced blindness" [e.g., Lavie, N. Attention, distraction and cognitive control under load. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 143-148, 2010; Lavie, N. Distracted and confused?: Selective attention under load. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 75-82, 2005]. Consideration of the findings that visual STM (VSTM) involves sensory recruitment [e.g., Pasternak, T., & Greenlee, M. Working memory in primate sensory systems. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 6, 97-107, 2005] within Load Theory led us to a new hypothesis regarding the effects of VSTM load on visual processing. If VSTM load draws on sensory visual capacity, then similar to perceptual load, high VSTM load should also reduce visual cortex response to incoming stimuli leading to a failure to detect them. We tested this hypothesis with fMRI and behavioral measures of visual detection sensitivity. Participants detected the presence of a contrast increment during the maintenance delay in a VSTM task requiring maintenance of color and position. Increased VSTM load (manipulated by increased set size) led to reduced retinotopic visual cortex (V1-V3) responses to contrast as well as reduced detection sensitivity, as we predicted. Additional visual detection experiments established a clear tradeoff between the amount of information maintained in VSTM and detection sensitivity, while ruling out alternative accounts for the effects of VSTM load in terms of differential spatial allocation strategies or task difficulty. These findings extend Load Theory to demonstrate a new form of competitive interactions between early visual cortex processing and visual representations held in memory under load and provide a novel line of support for the sensory recruitment hypothesis of VSTM.
Striem-Amit, Ella; Ovadia-Caro, Smadar; Caramazza, Alfonso; Margulies, Daniel S; Villringer, Arno; Amedi, Amir
Is visual input during critical periods of development crucial for the emergence of the fundamental topographical mapping of the visual cortex? And would this structure be retained throughout life-long blindness or would it fade as a result of plastic, use-based reorganization? We used functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging based on intrinsic blood oxygen level-dependent fluctuations to investigate whether significant traces of topographical mapping of the visual scene in the form of retinotopic organization, could be found in congenitally blind adults. A group of 11 fully and congenitally blind subjects and 18 sighted controls were studied. The blind demonstrated an intact functional connectivity network structural organization of the three main retinotopic mapping axes: eccentricity (centre-periphery), laterality (left-right), and elevation (upper-lower) throughout the retinotopic cortex extending to high-level ventral and dorsal streams, including characteristic eccentricity biases in face- and house-selective areas. Functional connectivity-based topographic organization in the visual cortex was indistinguishable from the normally sighted retinotopic functional connectivity structure as indicated by clustering analysis, and was found even in participants who did not have a typical retinal development in utero (microphthalmics). While the internal structural organization of the visual cortex was strikingly similar, the blind exhibited profound differences in functional connectivity to other (non-visual) brain regions as compared to the sighted, which were specific to portions of V1. Central V1 was more connected to language areas but peripheral V1 to spatial attention and control networks. These findings suggest that current accounts of critical periods and experience-dependent development should be revisited even for primary sensory areas, in that the connectivity basis for visual cortex large-scale topographical organization can develop without any
Ovadia-Caro, Smadar; Caramazza, Alfonso; Margulies, Daniel S.; Villringer, Arno
Is visual input during critical periods of development crucial for the emergence of the fundamental topographical mapping of the visual cortex? And would this structure be retained throughout life-long blindness or would it fade as a result of plastic, use-based reorganization? We used functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging based on intrinsic blood oxygen level-dependent fluctuations to investigate whether significant traces of topographical mapping of the visual scene in the form of retinotopic organization, could be found in congenitally blind adults. A group of 11 fully and congenitally blind subjects and 18 sighted controls were studied. The blind demonstrated an intact functional connectivity network structural organization of the three main retinotopic mapping axes: eccentricity (centre-periphery), laterality (left-right), and elevation (upper-lower) throughout the retinotopic cortex extending to high-level ventral and dorsal streams, including characteristic eccentricity biases in face- and house-selective areas. Functional connectivity-based topographic organization in the visual cortex was indistinguishable from the normally sighted retinotopic functional connectivity structure as indicated by clustering analysis, and was found even in participants who did not have a typical retinal development in utero (microphthalmics). While the internal structural organization of the visual cortex was strikingly similar, the blind exhibited profound differences in functional connectivity to other (non-visual) brain regions as compared to the sighted, which were specific to portions of V1. Central V1 was more connected to language areas but peripheral V1 to spatial attention and control networks. These findings suggest that current accounts of critical periods and experience-dependent development should be revisited even for primary sensory areas, in that the connectivity basis for visual cortex large-scale topographical organization can develop without any
Hoffmann, M B; Kaule, F; Grzeschik, R; Behrens-Baumann, W; Wolynski, B
Since its initial introduction in the mid-1990 s, retinotopic mapping of the human visual cortex, based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), has contributed greatly to our understanding of the human visual system. Multiple cortical visual field representations have been demonstrated and thus numerous visual areas identified. The organisation of specific areas has been detailed and the impact of pathophysiologies of the visual system on the cortical organisation uncovered. These results are based on investigations at a magnetic field strength of 3 Tesla or less. In a field-strength comparison between 3 and 7 Tesla, it was demonstrated that retinotopic mapping benefits from a magnetic field strength of 7 Tesla. Specifically, the visual areas can be mapped with high spatial resolution for a detailed analysis of the visual field maps. Applications of fMRI-based retinotopic mapping in ophthalmological research hold promise to further our understanding of plasticity in the human visual cortex. This is highlighted by pioneering studies in patients with macular dysfunction or misrouted optic nerves. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
Hakim, Richard; Shamardani, Kiarash
Cortical gamma oscillations have been implicated in a variety of cognitive, behavioral, and circuit-level phenomena. However, the circuit mechanisms of gamma-band generation and synchronization across cortical space remain uncertain. Using optogenetic patterned illumination in acute brain slices of mouse visual cortex, we define a circuit composed of layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal cells and somatostatin (SOM) interneurons that phase-locks ensembles across the retinotopic map. The network oscillations generated here emerge from non-periodic stimuli, and are stimulus size-dependent, coherent across cortical space, narrow band (30 Hz), and depend on SOM neuron but not parvalbumin (PV) neuron activity; similar to visually induced gamma oscillations observed in vivo. Gamma oscillations generated in separate cortical locations exhibited high coherence as far apart as 850 μm, and lateral gamma entrainment depended on SOM neuron activity. These data identify a circuit that is sufficient to mediate long-range gamma-band coherence in the primary visual cortex. PMID:29480803
Sengupta, Ayan; Kaule, Falko R.; Guntupalli, J. Swaroop; Hoffmann, Michael B.; Häusler, Christian; Stadler, Jörg; Hanke, Michael
The studyforrest (http://studyforrest.org) dataset is likely the largest neuroimaging dataset on natural language and story processing publicly available today. In this article, along with a companion publication, we present an update of this dataset that extends its scope to vision and multi-sensory research. 15 participants of the original cohort volunteered for a series of additional studies: a clinical examination of visual function, a standard retinotopic mapping procedure, and a localization of higher visual areas—such as the fusiform face area. The combination of this update, the previous data releases for the dataset, and the companion publication, which includes neuroimaging and eye tracking data from natural stimulation with a motion picture, form an extremely versatile and comprehensive resource for brain imaging research—with almost six hours of functional neuroimaging data across five different stimulation paradigms for each participant. Furthermore, we describe employed paradigms and present results that document the quality of the data for the purpose of characterising major properties of participants’ visual processing stream. PMID:27779618
Michael, Neethu; Löwel, Siegrid; Bischof, Hans-Joachim
The visual wulst of the zebra finch comprises at least two retinotopic maps of the contralateral eye. As yet, it is not known how much of the visual field is represented in the wulst neuronal maps, how the organization of the maps is related to the retinal architecture, and how information from the ipsilateral eye is involved in the activation of the wulst. Here, we have used autofluorescent flavoprotein imaging and classical anatomical methods to investigate such characteristics of the most posterior map of the multiple retinotopic representations. We found that the visual wulst can be activated by visual stimuli from a large part of the visual field of the contralateral eye. Horizontally, the visual field representation extended from -5° beyond the beak tip up to +125° laterally. Vertically, a small strip from -10° below to about +25° above the horizon activated the visual wulst. Although retinal ganglion cells had a much higher density around the fovea and along a strip extending from the fovea towards the beak tip, these areas were not overrepresented in the wulst map. The wulst area activated from the foveal region of the ipsilateral eye, overlapped substantially with the middle of the three contralaterally activated regions in the visual wulst, and partially with the other two. Visual wulst activity evoked by stimulation of the frontal visual field was stronger with contralateral than with binocular stimulation. This confirms earlier electrophysiological studies indicating an inhibitory influence of the activation of the ipsilateral eye on wulst activity elicited by stimulating the contralateral eye. The lack of a foveal overrepresentation suggests that identification of objects may not be the primary task of the zebra finch visual wulst. Instead, this brain area may be involved in the processing of visual information necessary for spatial orientation. PMID:25853253
Henriksson, Linda; Karvonen, Juha; Salminen-Vaparanta, Niina; Railo, Henry; Vanni, Simo
The localization of visual areas in the human cortex is typically based on mapping the retinotopic organization with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The most common approach is to encode the response phase for a slowly moving visual stimulus and to present the result on an individual's reconstructed cortical surface. The main aims of this study were to develop complementary general linear model (GLM)-based retinotopic mapping methods and to characterize the inter-individual variability of the visual area positions on the cortical surface. We studied 15 subjects with two methods: a 24-region multifocal checkerboard stimulus and a blocked presentation of object stimuli at different visual field locations. The retinotopic maps were based on weighted averaging of the GLM parameter estimates for the stimulus regions. In addition to localizing visual areas, both methods could be used to localize multiple retinotopic regions-of-interest. The two methods yielded consistent retinotopic maps in the visual areas V1, V2, V3, hV4, and V3AB. In the higher-level areas IPS0, VO1, LO1, LO2, TO1, and TO2, retinotopy could only be mapped with the blocked stimulus presentation. The gradual widening of spatial tuning and an increase in the responses to stimuli in the ipsilateral visual field along the hierarchy of visual areas likely reflected the increase in the average receptive field size. Finally, after registration to Freesurfer's surface-based atlas of the human cerebral cortex, we calculated the mean and variability of the visual area positions in the spherical surface-based coordinate system and generated probability maps of the visual areas on the average cortical surface. The inter-individual variability in the area locations decreased when the midpoints were calculated along the spherical cortical surface compared with volumetric coordinates. These results can facilitate both analysis of individual functional anatomy and comparisons of visual cortex topology
Zhuang, Jun; Ng, Lydia; Williams, Derric; Valley, Matthew; Li, Yang; Garrett, Marina; Waters, Jack
Visual perception and behavior are mediated by cortical areas that have been distinguished using architectonic and retinotopic criteria. We employed fluorescence imaging and GCaMP6 reporter mice to generate retinotopic maps, revealing additional regions of retinotopic organization that extend into barrel and retrosplenial cortices. Aligning retinotopic maps to architectonic borders, we found a mismatch in border location, indicating that architectonic borders are not aligned with the retinotopic transition at the vertical meridian. We also assessed the representation of visual space within each region, finding that four visual areas bordering V1 (LM, P, PM and RL) display complementary representations, with overlap primarily at the central hemifield. Our results extend our understanding of the organization of mouse cortex to include up to 16 distinct retinotopically organized regions. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18372.001 PMID:28059700
Dawson, Debra Ann; Lam, Jack; Lewis, Lindsay B.; Carbonell, Felix; Mendola, Janine D.
Abstract Numerous studies have demonstrated functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-based resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) between cortical areas. Recent evidence suggests that synchronous fluctuations in blood oxygenation level-dependent fMRI reflect functional organization at a scale finer than that of visual areas. In this study, we investigated whether RSFCs within and between lower visual areas are retinotopically organized and whether retinotopically organized RSFC merely reflects cortical distance. Subjects underwent retinotopic mapping and separately resting-state fMRI. Visual areas V1, V2, and V3, were subdivided into regions of interest (ROIs) according to quadrants and visual field eccentricity. Functional connectivity (FC) was computed based on Pearson's linear correlation (correlation), and Pearson's linear partial correlation (correlation between two time courses after the time courses from all other regions in the network are regressed out). Within a quadrant, within visual areas, all correlation and nearly all partial correlation FC measures showed statistical significance. Consistently in V1, V2, and to a lesser extent in V3, correlation decreased with increasing eccentricity separation. Consistent with previously reported monkey anatomical connectivity, correlation/partial correlation values between regions from adjacent areas (V1-V2 and V2-V3) were higher than those between nonadjacent areas (V1-V3). Within a quadrant, partial correlation showed consistent significance between regions from two different areas with the same or adjacent eccentricities. Pairs of ROIs with similar eccentricity showed higher correlation/partial correlation than pairs distant in eccentricity. Between dorsal and ventral quadrants, partial correlation between common and adjacent eccentricity regions within a visual area showed statistical significance; this extended to more distant eccentricity regions in V1. Within and between quadrants, correlation
Dawson, Debra Ann; Lam, Jack; Lewis, Lindsay B; Carbonell, Felix; Mendola, Janine D; Shmuel, Amir
Numerous studies have demonstrated functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-based resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) between cortical areas. Recent evidence suggests that synchronous fluctuations in blood oxygenation level-dependent fMRI reflect functional organization at a scale finer than that of visual areas. In this study, we investigated whether RSFCs within and between lower visual areas are retinotopically organized and whether retinotopically organized RSFC merely reflects cortical distance. Subjects underwent retinotopic mapping and separately resting-state fMRI. Visual areas V1, V2, and V3, were subdivided into regions of interest (ROIs) according to quadrants and visual field eccentricity. Functional connectivity (FC) was computed based on Pearson's linear correlation (correlation), and Pearson's linear partial correlation (correlation between two time courses after the time courses from all other regions in the network are regressed out). Within a quadrant, within visual areas, all correlation and nearly all partial correlation FC measures showed statistical significance. Consistently in V1, V2, and to a lesser extent in V3, correlation decreased with increasing eccentricity separation. Consistent with previously reported monkey anatomical connectivity, correlation/partial correlation values between regions from adjacent areas (V1-V2 and V2-V3) were higher than those between nonadjacent areas (V1-V3). Within a quadrant, partial correlation showed consistent significance between regions from two different areas with the same or adjacent eccentricities. Pairs of ROIs with similar eccentricity showed higher correlation/partial correlation than pairs distant in eccentricity. Between dorsal and ventral quadrants, partial correlation between common and adjacent eccentricity regions within a visual area showed statistical significance; this extended to more distant eccentricity regions in V1. Within and between quadrants, correlation decreased
Arcaro, Michael J; Livingstone, Margaret S
The adult primate visual system comprises a series of hierarchically organized areas. Each cortical area contains a topographic map of visual space, with different areas extracting different kinds of information from the retinal input. Here we asked to what extent the newborn visual system resembles the adult organization. We find that hierarchical, topographic organization is present at birth and therefore constitutes a proto-organization for the entire primate visual system. Even within inferior temporal cortex, this proto-organization was already present, prior to the emergence of category selectivity (e.g., faces or scenes). We propose that this topographic organization provides the scaffolding for the subsequent development of visual cortex that commences at the onset of visual experience DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.26196.001 PMID:28671063
Golomb, Julie D; Kanwisher, Nancy
Successful visually guided behavior requires information about spatiotopic (i.e., world-centered) locations, but how accurately is this information actually derived from initial retinotopic (i.e., eye-centered) visual input? We conducted a spatial working memory task in which subjects remembered a cued location in spatiotopic or retinotopic coordinates while making guided eye movements during the memory delay. Surprisingly, after a saccade, subjects were significantly more accurate and precise at reporting retinotopic locations than spatiotopic locations. This difference grew with each eye movement, such that spatiotopic memory continued to deteriorate, whereas retinotopic memory did not accumulate error. The loss in spatiotopic fidelity is therefore not a generic consequence of eye movements, but a direct result of converting visual information from native retinotopic coordinates. Thus, despite our conscious experience of an effortlessly stable spatiotopic world and our lifetime of practice with spatiotopic tasks, memory is actually more reliable in raw retinotopic coordinates than in ecologically relevant spatiotopic coordinates.
Bressler, David W.; Silver, Michael A.
Spatial attention improves visual perception and increases the amplitude of neural responses in visual cortex. In addition, spatial attention tasks and fMRI have been used to discover topographic visual field representations in regions outside visual cortex. We therefore hypothesized that requiring subjects to attend to a retinotopic mapping stimulus would facilitate the characterization of visual field representations in a number of cortical areas. In our study, subjects attended either a central fixation point or a wedge-shaped stimulus that rotated about the fixation point. Response reliability was assessed by computing coherence between the fMRI time series and a sinusoid with the same frequency as the rotating wedge stimulus. When subjects attended to the rotating wedge instead of ignoring it, the reliability of retinotopic mapping signals increased by approximately 50% in early visual cortical areas (V1, V2, V3, V3A/B, V4) and ventral occipital cortex (VO1) and by approximately 75% in lateral occipital (LO1, LO2) and posterior parietal (IPS0, IPS1 and IPS2) cortical areas. Additionally, one 5-minute run of retinotopic mapping in the attention-to-wedge condition produced responses as reliable as the average of three to five (early visual cortex) or more than five (lateral occipital, ventral occipital, and posterior parietal cortex) attention-to-fixation runs. These results demonstrate that allocating attention to the retinotopic mapping stimulus substantially reduces the amount of scanning time needed to determine the visual field representations in occipital and parietal topographic cortical areas. Attention significantly increased response reliability in every cortical area we examined and may therefore be a general mechanism for improving the fidelity of neural representations of sensory stimuli at multiple levels of the cortical processing hierarchy. PMID:20600961
Vernon, Richard J W; Gouws, André D; Lawrence, Samuel J D; Wade, Alex R; Morland, Antony B
Representations in early visual areas are organized on the basis of retinotopy, but this organizational principle appears to lose prominence in the extrastriate cortex. Nevertheless, an extrastriate region, such as the shape-selective lateral occipital cortex (LO), must still base its activation on the responses from earlier retinotopic visual areas, implying that a transition from retinotopic to "functional" organizations should exist. We hypothesized that such a transition may lie in LO-1 or LO-2, two visual areas lying between retinotopically defined V3d and functionally defined LO. Using a rapid event-related fMRI paradigm, we measured neural similarity in 12 human participants between pairs of stimuli differing along dimensions of shape exemplar and shape complexity within both retinotopically and functionally defined visual areas. These neural similarity measures were then compared with low-level and more abstract (curvature-based) measures of stimulus similarity. We found that low-level, but not abstract, stimulus measures predicted V1-V3 responses, whereas the converse was true for LO, a double dissociation. Critically, abstract stimulus measures were most predictive of responses within LO-2, akin to LO, whereas both low-level and abstract measures were predictive for responses within LO-1, perhaps indicating a transitional point between those two organizational principles. Similar transitions to abstract representations were not observed in the more ventral stream passing through V4 and VO-1/2. The transition we observed in LO-1 and LO-2 demonstrates that a more "abstracted" representation, typically considered the preserve of "category-selective" extrastriate cortex, can nevertheless emerge in retinotopic regions. Visual areas are typically identified either through retinotopy (e.g., V1-V3) or from functional selectivity [e.g., shape-selective lateral occipital complex (LOC)]. We combined these approaches to explore the nature of shape representations
Vernon, Richard J. W.; Gouws, André D.; Lawrence, Samuel J. D.; Wade, Alex R.
Representations in early visual areas are organized on the basis of retinotopy, but this organizational principle appears to lose prominence in the extrastriate cortex. Nevertheless, an extrastriate region, such as the shape-selective lateral occipital cortex (LO), must still base its activation on the responses from earlier retinotopic visual areas, implying that a transition from retinotopic to “functional” organizations should exist. We hypothesized that such a transition may lie in LO-1 or LO-2, two visual areas lying between retinotopically defined V3d and functionally defined LO. Using a rapid event-related fMRI paradigm, we measured neural similarity in 12 human participants between pairs of stimuli differing along dimensions of shape exemplar and shape complexity within both retinotopically and functionally defined visual areas. These neural similarity measures were then compared with low-level and more abstract (curvature-based) measures of stimulus similarity. We found that low-level, but not abstract, stimulus measures predicted V1–V3 responses, whereas the converse was true for LO, a double dissociation. Critically, abstract stimulus measures were most predictive of responses within LO-2, akin to LO, whereas both low-level and abstract measures were predictive for responses within LO-1, perhaps indicating a transitional point between those two organizational principles. Similar transitions to abstract representations were not observed in the more ventral stream passing through V4 and VO-1/2. The transition we observed in LO-1 and LO-2 demonstrates that a more “abstracted” representation, typically considered the preserve of “category-selective” extrastriate cortex, can nevertheless emerge in retinotopic regions. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Visual areas are typically identified either through retinotopy (e.g., V1–V3) or from functional selectivity [e.g., shape-selective lateral occipital complex (LOC)]. We combined these approaches to explore
Munneke, Jaap; Belopolsky, Artem V.; Theeuwes, Jan
Prior studies have shown that spatial attention modulates early visual cortex retinotopically, resulting in enhanced processing of external perceptual representations. However, it is not clear whether the same visual areas are modulated when attention is focused on, and shifted within a working memory representation. In the current fMRI study participants were asked to memorize an array containing four stimuli. After a delay, participants were presented with a verbal cue instructing them to actively maintain the location of one of the stimuli in working memory. Additionally, on a number of trials a second verbal cue instructed participants to switch attention to the location of another stimulus within the memorized representation. Results of the study showed that changes in the BOLD pattern closely followed the locus of attention within the working memory representation. A decrease in BOLD-activity (V1–V3) was observed at ROIs coding a memory location when participants switched away from this location, whereas an increase was observed when participants switched towards this location. Continuous increased activity was obtained at the memorized location when participants did not switch. This study shows that shifting attention within memory representations activates the earliest parts of visual cortex (including V1) in a retinotopic fashion. We conclude that even in the absence of visual stimulation, early visual areas support shifting of attention within memorized representations, similar to when attention is shifted in the outside world. The relationship between visual working memory and visual mental imagery is discussed in light of the current findings. PMID:22558165
Schira, Mark M; Fahle, Manfred; Donner, Tobias H; Kraft, Antje; Brandt, Stephan A
We investigated contour processing and figure-ground detection within human retinotopic areas using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 6 healthy and naïve subjects. A figure (6 degrees side length) was created by a 2nd-order texture contour. An independent and demanding foveal letter-discrimination task prevented subjects from noticing this more peripheral contour stimulus. The contour subdivided our stimulus into a figure and a ground. Using localizers and retinotopic mapping stimuli we were able to subdivide each early visual area into 3 eccentricity regions corresponding to 1) the central figure, 2) the area along the contour, and 3) the background. In these subregions we investigated the hemodynamic responses to our stimuli and compared responses with or without the contour defining the figure. No contour-related blood oxygenation level-dependent modulation in early visual areas V1, V3, VP, and MT+ was found. Significant signal modulation in the contour subregions of V2v, V2d, V3a, and LO occurred. This activation pattern was different from comparable studies, which might be attributable to the letter-discrimination task reducing confounding attentional modulation. In V3a, but not in any other retinotopic area, signal modulation corresponding to the central figure could be detected. Such contextual modulation will be discussed in light of the recurrent processing hypothesis and the role of visual awareness.
Yamashiro, Hiroyuki; Mano, Hiroaki; Umeda, Masahiro; Higuchi, Toshihiro; Saiki, Jun
When dissimilar images are presented to the two eyes, binocular rivalry (BR) occurs, and perception alternates spontaneously between the images. Although neural correlates of the oscillating perception during BR have been found in multiple sites along the visual pathway, the source of BR dynamics is unclear. Psychophysical and modeling studies suggest that both low- and high-level cortical processes underlie BR dynamics. Previous neuroimaging studies have demonstrated the involvement of high-level regions by showing that frontal and parietal cortices responded time locked to spontaneous perceptual alternation in BR. However, a potential contribution of early visual areas to BR dynamics has been overlooked, because these areas also responded to the physical stimulus alternation mimicking BR. In the present study, instead of focusing on activity during perceptual switches, we highlighted brain activity during suppression periods to investigate a potential link between activity in human early visual areas and BR dynamics. We used a strong interocular suppression paradigm called continuous flash suppression to suppress and fluctuate the visibility of a probe stimulus and measured retinotopic responses to the onset of the invisible probe using functional MRI. There were ∼130-fold differences in the median suppression durations across 12 subjects. The individual differences in suppression durations could be predicted by the amplitudes of the retinotopic activity in extrastriate visual areas (V3 and V4v) evoked by the invisible probe. Weaker responses were associated with longer suppression durations. These results demonstrate that retinotopic representations in early visual areas play a role in the dynamics of perceptual alternations during BR. PMID:24353304
Monaco, Simona; Gallivan, Jason P; Figley, Teresa D; Singhal, Anthony; Culham, Jody C
The role of the early visual cortex and higher-order occipitotemporal cortex has been studied extensively for visual recognition and to a lesser degree for haptic recognition and visually guided actions. Using a slow event-related fMRI experiment, we investigated whether tactile and visual exploration of objects recruit the same "visual" areas (and in the case of visual cortex, the same retinotopic zones) and if these areas show reactivation during delayed actions in the dark toward haptically explored objects (and if so, whether this reactivation might be due to imagery). We examined activation during visual or haptic exploration of objects and action execution (grasping or reaching) separated by an 18 s delay. Twenty-nine human volunteers (13 females) participated in this study. Participants had their eyes open and fixated on a point in the dark. The objects were placed below the fixation point and accordingly visual exploration activated the cuneus, which processes retinotopic locations in the lower visual field. Strikingly, the occipital pole (OP), representing foveal locations, showed higher activation for tactile than visual exploration, although the stimulus was unseen and location in the visual field was peripheral. Moreover, the lateral occipital tactile-visual area (LOtv) showed comparable activation for tactile and visual exploration. Psychophysiological interaction analysis indicated that the OP showed stronger functional connectivity with anterior intraparietal sulcus and LOtv during the haptic than visual exploration of shapes in the dark. After the delay, the cuneus, OP, and LOtv showed reactivation that was independent of the sensory modality used to explore the object. These results show that haptic actions not only activate "visual" areas during object touch, but also that this information appears to be used in guiding grasping actions toward targets after a delay. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Visual presentation of an object activates shape
Rademaker, Rosanne L; van de Ven, Vincent G; Tong, Frank; Sack, Alexander T
Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that activity patterns in early visual areas predict stimulus properties actively maintained in visual working memory. Yet, the mechanisms by which such information is represented remain largely unknown. In this study, observers remembered the orientations of 4 briefly presented gratings, one in each quadrant of the visual field. A 10Hz Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) triplet was applied directly at stimulus offset, or midway through a 2-second delay, targeting early visual cortex corresponding retinotopically to a sample item in the lower hemifield. Memory for one of the four gratings was probed at random, and participants reported this orientation via method of adjustment. Recall errors were smaller when the visual field location targeted by TMS overlapped with that of the cued memory item, compared to errors for stimuli probed diagonally to TMS. This implied topographic storage of orientation information, and a memory-enhancing effect at the targeted location. Furthermore, early pulses impaired performance at all four locations, compared to late pulses. Next, response errors were fit empirically using a mixture model to characterize memory precision and guess rates. Memory was more precise for items proximal to the pulse location, irrespective of pulse timing. Guesses were more probable with early TMS pulses, regardless of stimulus location. Thus, while TMS administered at the offset of the stimulus array might disrupt early-phase consolidation in a non-topographic manner, TMS also boosts the precise representation of an item at its targeted retinotopic location, possibly by increasing attentional resources or by injecting a beneficial amount of noise.
van de Ven, Vincent G.; Tong, Frank; Sack, Alexander T.
Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that activity patterns in early visual areas predict stimulus properties actively maintained in visual working memory. Yet, the mechanisms by which such information is represented remain largely unknown. In this study, observers remembered the orientations of 4 briefly presented gratings, one in each quadrant of the visual field. A 10Hz Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) triplet was applied directly at stimulus offset, or midway through a 2-second delay, targeting early visual cortex corresponding retinotopically to a sample item in the lower hemifield. Memory for one of the four gratings was probed at random, and participants reported this orientation via method of adjustment. Recall errors were smaller when the visual field location targeted by TMS overlapped with that of the cued memory item, compared to errors for stimuli probed diagonally to TMS. This implied topographic storage of orientation information, and a memory-enhancing effect at the targeted location. Furthermore, early pulses impaired performance at all four locations, compared to late pulses. Next, response errors were fit empirically using a mixture model to characterize memory precision and guess rates. Memory was more precise for items proximal to the pulse location, irrespective of pulse timing. Guesses were more probable with early TMS pulses, regardless of stimulus location. Thus, while TMS administered at the offset of the stimulus array might disrupt early-phase consolidation in a non-topographic manner, TMS also boosts the precise representation of an item at its targeted retinotopic location, possibly by increasing attentional resources or by injecting a beneficial amount of noise. PMID:28384347
Kuo, Bo-Cheng; Stokes, Mark G; Murray, Alexandra M; Nobre, Anna Christina
In the current study, we tested whether representations in visual STM (VSTM) can be biased via top-down attentional modulation of visual activity in retinotopically specific locations. We manipulated attention using retrospective cues presented during the retention interval of a VSTM task. Retrospective cues triggered activity in a large-scale network implicated in attentional control and led to retinotopically specific modulation of activity in early visual areas V1-V4. Importantly, shifts of attention during VSTM maintenance were associated with changes in functional connectivity between pFC and retinotopic regions within V4. Our findings provide new insights into top-down control mechanisms that modulate VSTM representations for flexible and goal-directed maintenance of the most relevant memoranda.
Olman, Cheryl A.; Van de Moortele, Pierre-Francois; Schumacher, Jennifer F.; Guy, Joe; Uğurbil, Kâmil; Yacoub, Essa
For blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) functional MRI experiments, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) increases with increasing field strength for both gradient echo (GE) and spin echo (SE) BOLD techniques. However, susceptibility artifacts and non-uniform coil sensitivity profiles complicate large field-of-view fMRI experiments (e.g., experiments covering multiple visual areas instead of focusing on a single cortical region). Here, we use SE BOLD to acquire retinotopic mapping data in early visual areas, testing the feasibility of SE BOLD experiments spanning multiple cortical areas at 7 Tesla. We also use a recently developed method for normalizing signal intensity in T1-weighted anatomical images to enable automated segmentation of the cortical gray matter for scans acquired at 7T with either surface or volume coils. We find that the CNR of the 7T GE data (average single-voxel, single-scan stimulus coherence: 0.41) is almost twice that of the 3T GE BOLD data (average coherence: 0.25), with the CNR of the SE BOLD data (average coherence: 0.23) comparable to that of the 3T GE data. Repeated measurements in individual subjects find that maps acquired with 1.8 mm resolution at 3T and 7T with GE BOLD and at 7T with SE BOLD show no systematic differences in either the area or the boundary locations for V1, V2 and V3, demonstrating the feasibility of high-resolution SE BOLD experiments with good sensitivity throughout multiple visual areas. PMID:20656431
De Weerd, Peter; Reithler, Joel; van de Ven, Vincent; Been, Marin; Jacobs, Christianne; Sack, Alexander T
Practice-induced improvements in skilled performance reflect "offline " consolidation processes extending beyond daily training sessions. According to visual learning theories, an early, fast learning phase driven by high-level areas is followed by a late, asymptotic learning phase driven by low-level, retinotopic areas when higher resolution is required. Thus, low-level areas would not contribute to learning and offline consolidation until late learning. Recent studies have challenged this notion, demonstrating modified responses to trained stimuli in primary visual cortex (V1) and offline activity after very limited training. However, the behavioral relevance of modified V1 activity for offline consolidation of visual skill memory in V1 after early training sessions remains unclear. Here, we used neuronavigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) directed to a trained retinotopic V1 location to test for behaviorally relevant consolidation in human low-level visual cortex. Applying TMS to the trained V1 location within 45 min of the first or second training session strongly interfered with learning, as measured by impaired performance the next day. The interference was conditional on task context and occurred only when training in the location targeted by TMS was followed by training in a second location before TMS. In this condition, high-level areas may become coupled to the second location and uncoupled from the previously trained low-level representation, thereby rendering consolidation vulnerable to interference. Our data show that, during the earliest phases of skill learning in the lowest-level visual areas, a behaviorally relevant form of consolidation exists of which the robustness is controlled by high-level, contextual factors.
Salmela, Viljami R; Vanni, Simo
Several psychophysical studies have shown that transparency can have drastic effects on brightness and lightness. However, the neural processes generating these effects have remained unresolved. Several lines of evidence suggest that the early visual cortex is important for brightness perception. While single cell recordings suggest that surface brightness is represented in the primary visual cortex, the results of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have been discrepant. In addition, the location of the neural representation of transparency is not yet known. We investigated whether the fMRI responses in areas V1, V2, and V3 correlate with brightness and transparency. To dissociate the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response to brightness from the response to local border contrast and mean luminance, we used variants of White's brightness illusion, both opaque and transparent, in which luminance increments and decrements cancel each other out. The stimuli consisted of a target surface and a surround. The surround luminance was always sinusoidally modulated at 0.5 Hz to induce brightness modulation to the target. The target luminance was constant or modulated in counterphase to null brightness modulation. The mean signal changes were calculated from the voxels in V1, V2, and V3 corresponding to the retinotopic location of the target surface. The BOLD responses were significantly stronger for modulating brightness than for stimuli with constant brightness. In addition, the responses were stronger for transparent than for opaque stimuli, but there was more individual variation. No interaction between brightness and transparency was found. The results show that the early visual areas V1-V3 are sensitive to surface brightness and transparency and suggest that brightness and transparency are represented separately.
Shafer-Skelton, Anna; Kupitz, Colin N.; Golomb, Julie D.
Despite frequent eye movements that rapidly shift the locations of objects on our retinas, our visual system creates a stable perception of the world. To do this, it must convert eye-centered (retinotopic) input to world-centered (spatiotopic) percepts. Moreover, for successful behavior we must also incorporate information about object features/identities during this updating – a fundamental challenge that remains to be understood. Here we adapted a recent behavioral paradigm, the “Spatial Congruency Bias”, to investigate object-location binding across an eye movement. In two initial baseline experiments, we showed that the Spatial Congruency Bias was present for both gabor and face stimuli in addition to the object stimuli used in the original paradigm. Then, across three main experiments, we found the bias was preserved across an eye movement, but only in retinotopic coordinates: Subjects were more likely to perceive two stimuli as having the same features/identity when they were presented in the same retinotopic location. Strikingly, there was no evidence of location binding in the more ecologically relevant spatiotopic (world-centered) coordinates; the reference frame did not update to spatiotopic even at longer post-saccade delays, nor did it transition to spatiotopic with more complex stimuli (gabors, shapes, and faces all showed a retinotopic Congruency Bias). Our results suggest that object-location binding may be tied to retinotopic coordinates, and that it may need to be re-established following each eye movement rather than being automatically updated to spatiotopic coordinates. PMID:28070793
van Lamsweerde, Amanda E; Johnson, Jeffrey S
Maintaining visual working memory (VWM) representations recruits a network of brain regions, including the frontal, posterior parietal, and occipital cortices; however, it is unclear to what extent the occipital cortex is engaged in VWM after sensory encoding is completed. Noninvasive brain stimulation data show that stimulation of this region can affect working memory (WM) during the early consolidation time period, but it remains unclear whether it does so by influencing the number of items that are stored or their precision. In this study, we investigated whether single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (spTMS) to the occipital cortex during VWM consolidation affects the quantity or quality of VWM representations. In three experiments, we disrupted VWM consolidation with either a visual mask or spTMS to retinotopic early visual cortex. We found robust masking effects on the quantity of VWM representations up to 200 msec poststimulus offset and smaller, more variable effects on WM quality. Similarly, spTMS decreased the quantity of VWM representations, but only when it was applied immediately following stimulus offset. Like visual masks, spTMS also produced small and variable effects on WM precision. The disruptive effects of both masks and TMS were greatly reduced or entirely absent within 200 msec of stimulus offset. However, there was a reduction in swap rate across all time intervals, which may indicate a sustained role of the early visual cortex in maintaining spatial information.
Huang, Yufeng; Feng, Lixia; Zhou, Yifeng
Focal visual stimulation typically results in the activation of a large portion of the early visual cortex. This spread of activity is attributed to long-range lateral interactions. Such long-range interactions may serve to stabilize a visual representation or to simply modulate incoming signals, and any associated dysfunction in long-range activation may reduce sensitivity to visual information in conditions such as amblyopia. We sought to measure the dispersion of cortical activity following local visual stimulation in a group of patients with amblyopia and matched normal. Twenty adult anisometropic amblyopes and 10 normal controls participated in this study. Using a multifocal stimulation, we simultaneously measured cluster sizes to multiple stimulation points in the visual field. We found that the functional MRI (fMRI) response cluster size that corresponded to the fellow eye was significantly larger as opposed to that corresponding to the amblyopic eye and that the fMRI response cluster size at the two more central retinotopic locations correlated with amblyopia acuity deficit. Our results suggest that the amblyopic visual cortex has a diminished long-range communication as evidenced by significantly smaller cluster of activity as measured with fMRI. These results have important implications for models of amblyopia and approaches to treatment.
Vaina, Lucia M.; Soloviev, Sergei; Calabro, Finnegan J.; Buonanno, Ferdinando; Passingham, Richard; Cowey, Alan
We studied patient JS who had a right occipital infarct that encroached on visual areas V1, V2v and VP. When tested psychophysically, he was very impaired at detecting the direction of motion in random dot displays where a variable proportion of dots moving in one direction (signal) were embedded in masking motion noise (noise dots). The impairment on this Motion Coherence task was especially marked when the display was presented to the upper left (affected) visual quadrant, contralateral to his lesion. However, with extensive training, by 11 months his threshold fell to the level of healthy subjects. Training on the Motion Coherence task generalized to another motion task, the Motion Discontinuity task, on which he had to detect the presence of an edge that was defined by the difference in the direction of the coherently moving dots (signal) within the display. He was much better at this task at 8 than 3 months, and this improvement was associated with an increase in the activation of the human MT complex (hMT+) and in the kinetic occipital region (KO) as shown by repeated fMRI scans. We also used fMRI to perform retinotopic mapping at 3, 8 and 11 months after the infarct. We quantified the retinotopy and areal shifts by measuring the distances between the center of mass of functionally defined areas, computed in spherical surface-based coordinates. The functionally defined retinotopic areas V1, V2v, V2d and VP were initially smaller in the lesioned right hemisphere, but they increased in size between 3 and 11 months. This change was not found in the normal, left hemisphere, of the patient or in either hemispheres of the healthy control subjects. We were interested in whether practice on the motion coherence task promoted the changes in the retinotopic maps. We compared the results for patient JS with those from another patient (PF) who had a comparable lesion but had not been given such practice. We found similar changes in the maps in the lesioned hemisphere of
van de Ven, Vincent; Jacobs, Christianne; Sack, Alexander T
The neural correlates for retention of visual information in visual short-term memory are considered separate from those of sensory encoding. However, recent findings suggest that sensory areas may play a role also in short-term memory. We investigated the functional relevance, spatial specificity, and temporal characteristics of human early visual cortex in the consolidation of capacity-limited topographic visual memory using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Topographically specific TMS pulses were delivered over lateralized occipital cortex at 100, 200, or 400 ms into the retention phase of a modified change detection task with low or high memory loads. For the high but not the low memory load, we found decreased memory performance for memory trials in the visual field contralateral, but not ipsilateral to the side of TMS, when pulses were delivered at 200 ms into the retention interval. A behavioral version of the TMS experiment, in which a distractor stimulus (memory mask) replaced the TMS pulses, further corroborated these findings. Our findings suggest that retinotopic visual cortex contributes to the short-term consolidation of topographic visual memory during early stages of the retention of visual information. Further, TMS-induced interference decreased the strength (amplitude) of the memory representation, which most strongly affected the high memory load trials.
Aydin, Murat; Herzog, Michael H.; Öğmen, Haluk
When objects move in the environment, their retinal images can undergo drastic changes and features of different objects can be inter-mixed in the retinal image. Notwithstanding these changes and ambiguities, the visual system is capable of establishing correctly feature-object relationships as well as maintaining individual identities of objects through space and time. Recently, by using a Ternus-Pikler display, we have shown that perceived motion correspondences serve as the medium for non-retinotopic attribution of features to objects. The purpose of the work reported in this manuscript was to assess whether perceived motion correspondences provide a sufficient condition for feature attribution. Our results show that the introduction of a static “barrier” stimulus can interfere with the feature attribution process. Our results also indicate that the barrier stops feature attribution based on interferences related to the feature attribution process itself rather than on mechanisms related to perceived motion. PMID:21767561
Torralbo, Ana; Kelley, Todd A; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli
The effects of perceptual load on visual cortex response to distractors are well established and various phenomena of 'inattentional blindness' associated with elimination of visual cortex response to unattended distractors, have been documented in tasks of high load. Here we tested an account for these effects in terms of a load-induced trade-off between target and distractor processing in retinotopic visual cortex. Participants were scanned using fMRI while performing a visual-search task and ignoring distractor checkerboards in the periphery. Retinotopic responses to target and distractors were assessed as a function of search load (comparing search set-sizes two, three and five). We found that increased load not only increased activity in frontoparietal network, but also had opposite effects on retinotopic responses to target and distractors. Target-related signals in areas V2-V3 linearly increased, while distractor response linearly decreased, with increased load. Critically, the slopes were equivalent for both load functions, thus demonstrating resource trade-off. Load effects were also found in displays with the same item number in the distractor hemisphere across different set sizes, thus ruling out local intrahemispheric interactions as the cause. Our findings provide new evidence for load theory proposals of attention resource sharing between target and distractor leading to inattentional blindness.
Torralbo, Ana; Kelley, Todd A.; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli
The effects of perceptual load on visual cortex response to distractors are well established and various phenomena of ‘inattentional blindness’ associated with elimination of visual cortex response to unattended distractors, have been documented in tasks of high load. Here we tested an account for these effects in terms of a load-induced trade-off between target and distractor processing in retinotopic visual cortex. Participants were scanned using fMRI while performing a visual-search task and ignoring distractor checkerboards in the periphery. Retinotopic responses to target and distractors were assessed as a function of search load (comparing search set-sizes two, three and five). We found that increased load not only increased activity in frontoparietal network, but also had opposite effects on retinotopic responses to target and distractors. Target-related signals in areas V2–V3 linearly increased, while distractor response linearly decreased, with increased load. Critically, the slopes were equivalent for both load functions, thus demonstrating resource trade-off. Load effects were also found in displays with the same item number in the distractor hemisphere across different set sizes, thus ruling out local intrahemispheric interactions as the cause. Our findings provide new evidence for load theory proposals of attention resource sharing between target and distractor leading to inattentional blindness. PMID:27625311
Yu, Hsin-Hao; Chaplin, Tristan A; Egan, Gregory W; Reser, David H; Worthy, Katrina H; Rosa, Marcello G P
Lesions of striate cortex [primary visual cortex (V1)] in adult primates result in blindness. In contrast, V1 lesions in neonates typically allow much greater preservation of vision, including, in many human patients, conscious perception. It is presently unknown how this marked functional difference is related to physiological changes in cortical areas that are spared by the lesions. Here we report a study of the middle temporal area (MT) of adult marmoset monkeys that received unilateral V1 lesions within 6 weeks of birth. In contrast with observations after similar lesions in adult monkeys, we found that virtually all neurons in the region of MT that was deprived of V1 inputs showed robust responses to visual stimulation. These responses were very similar to those recorded in neurons with receptive fields outside the lesion projection zones in terms of firing rate, signal-to-noise ratio, and latency. In addition, the normal retinotopic organization of MT was maintained. Nonetheless, we found evidence of a very specific functional deficit: direction selectivity, a key physiological characteristic of MT that is known to be preserved in many cells after adult V1 lesions, was absent. These results demonstrate that lesion-induced reorganization of afferent pathways is sufficient to develop robust visual function in primate extrastriate cortex, highlighting a likely mechanism for the sparing of vision after neonatal V1 lesions. However, they also suggest that interactions with V1 in early postnatal life are critical for establishing stimulus selectivity in MT.
Page, Jonathan W.; Duhamel, Paul; Crognale, Michael A.
Recent neuroimaging research suggests that early visual processing circuits are activated similarly during visualization and perception but have not demonstrated that the cortical activity is similar in character. We found functional equivalency in cortical activity by recording evoked potentials while color and luminance patterns were viewed and…
Lee, Junghee; Cohen, Mark S; Engel, Stephen A; Glahn, David; Nuechterlein, Keith H; Wynn, Jonathan K; Green, Michael F
Visual masking paradigms assess the early part of visual information processing, which may reflect vulnerability measures for schizophrenia. We examined the neural substrates of visual backward performance in unaffected sibling of schizophrenia patients using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Twenty-one unaffected siblings of schizophrenia patients and 19 healthy controls performed a backward masking task and three functional localizer tasks to identify three visual processing regions of interest (ROI): lateral occipital complex (LO), the motion-sensitive area, and retinotopic areas. In the masking task, we systematically manipulated stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs). We analyzed fMRI data in two complementary ways: 1) an ROI approach for three visual areas, and 2) a whole-brain analysis. The groups did not differ in behavioral performance. For ROI analysis, both groups increased activation as SOAs increased in LO. Groups did not differ in activation levels of the three ROIs. For whole-brain analysis, controls increased activation as a function of SOAs, compared with siblings in several regions (i.e., anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, inferior prefrontal cortex, inferior parietal lobule). The study found: 1) area LO showed sensitivity to the masking effect in both groups; 2) siblings did not differ from controls in activation of LO; and 3) groups differed significantly in several brain regions outside visual processing areas that have been related to attentional or re-entrant processes. These findings suggest that LO dysfunction may be a disease indicator rather than a risk indicator for schizophrenia. Copyright 2010 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Adelman, James S
Various phenomena in tachistoscopic word identification and priming (WRODS and LTRS are confused with and prime WORDS and LETTERS) suggest that position-specific channels are not used in the processing of letters in words. Previous approaches to this issue have sought alternative matching rules because they have assumed that these phenomena reveal which stimuli are good but imperfect matches to a particular word-such imperfect matches being taken by the word recognition system as partial evidence for that word. The new Letters in Time and Retinotopic Space model (LTRS) makes the alternative assumption that these phenomena reveal the rates at which different features of the stimulus are extracted, because the stimulus is ambiguous when some features are missing from the percept. LTRS is successfully applied to tachistoscopic identification and form priming data with manipulations of duration and target-foil and prime-target relationships. © 2011 American Psychological Association
An, Xu; Gong, Hongliang; McLoughlin, Niall; Yang, Yupeng; Wang, Wei
All moving objects generate sequential retinotopic activations representing a series of discrete locations in space and time (motion trajectory). How direction-selective neurons in mammalian early visual cortices process motion trajectory remains to be clarified. Using single-cell recording and optical imaging of intrinsic signals along with mathematical simulation, we studied response properties of cat visual areas 17 and 18 to random dots moving at various speeds. We found that, the motion trajectory at low speed was encoded primarily as a direction signal by groups of neurons preferring that motion direction. Above certain transition speeds, the motion trajectory is perceived as a spatial orientation representing the motion axis of the moving dots. In both areas studied, above these speeds, other groups of direction-selective neurons with perpendicular direction preferences were activated to encode the motion trajectory as motion-axis information. This applied to both simple and complex neurons. The average transition speed for switching between encoding motion direction and axis was about 31°/s in area 18 and 15°/s in area 17. A spatio-temporal energy model predicted the transition speeds accurately in both areas, but not the direction-selective indexes to random-dot stimuli in area 18. In addition, above transition speeds, the change of direction preferences of population responses recorded by optical imaging can be revealed using vector maximum but not vector summation method. Together, this combined processing of motion direction and axis by neurons with orthogonal direction preferences associated with speed may serve as a common principle of early visual motion processing. PMID:24682033
Offen, Shani; Schluppeck, Denis; Heeger, David J
We measured cortical activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging to probe the involvement of early visual cortex in visual short-term memory and visual attention. In four experimental tasks, human subjects viewed two visual stimuli separated by a variable delay period. The tasks placed differential demands on short-term memory and attention, but the stimuli were visually identical until after the delay period. Early visual cortex exhibited sustained responses throughout the delay when subjects performed attention-demanding tasks, but delay-period activity was not distinguishable from zero when subjects performed a task that required short-term memory. This dissociation reveals different computational mechanisms underlying the two processes.
Physiological experiments, involving recording from the visual cortex in young kittens and monkeys, have given new insight into human developmental disorders. In the visual cortex of normal cats and monkeys most neurones are selectively sensitive to the orientation of moving edges and they receive very similar signals from both eyes. Even in very young kittens without visual experience, most neurones are binocularly driven and a small proportion of them are genuinely orientation selective. There is no passive maturation of the system in the absence of visual experience, but even very brief exposure to patterned images produces rapid emergence of the adult organization. These results are compared to observations on humans who have "recovered" from early blindness. Covering one eye in a kitten or a monkey, during a sensitive period early in life, produces a virtually complete loss of input from that eye in the cortex. These results can be correlated with the production of "stimulus deprivation amblyopia" in infants who have had one eye patched. Induction of a strabismus causes a loss of binocularity in the visual cortex, and in humans it leads to a loss of stereoscopic vision and binocular fusion. Exposing kittens to lines of one orientation modifies the preferred orientations of cortical cells and there is an analogous "meridional amblyopia" in astigmatic humans. The existence of a sensitive period in human vision is discussed, as well as the possibility of designing remedial and preventive treatments for human developmental disorders.
Ritter, Markus; Hummer, Allan; Ledolter, Anna A; Holder, Graham E; Windischberger, Christian; Schmidt-Erfurth, Ursula M
The present study describes retinotopic mapping of the primary visual cortex using functional MRI (fMRI) in patients with retinal disease. It addresses the relationship between fMRI data and data obtained by conventional assessment including microperimetry (MP) and structural imaging. Initial testing involved eight patients with central retinal disease (Stargardt disease, STGD) and eight with peripheral retinal disease (retinitis pigmentosa, RP), who were examined using fMRI and MP (Nidek MP-1). All had a secure clinical diagnosis supported by electrophysiological data. fMRI used population-receptive field (pRF) mapping to provide retinotopic data that were then compared with the results of MP, optical coherence tomography and fundus autofluorescence imaging. Full analysis, following assessment of fMRI data reliability criteria, was performed in five patients with STGD and seven patients with RP; unstable fixation was responsible for unreliable pRF measurements in three patients excluded from final analysis. The macular regions in patients with STGD with central visual field defects and outer retinal atrophy (ORA) at the macula correlated well with pRF coverage maps showing reduced density of activated voxels at the occipital pole. Patients with RP exhibited peripheral ORA and concentric visual field defects both on MP and pRF mapping. Anterior V1 voxels, corresponding to peripheral regions, showed no significant activation. Correspondence between MP and pRF mapping was quantified by calculating the simple matching coefficient. Retinotopic maps acquired by fMRI provide a valuable adjunct in the assessment of retinal dysfunction. The addition of microperimetric data to pRF maps allowed better assessment of macular function than MP alone. Unlike MP, pRF mapping provides objective data independent of psychophysical perception from the patient. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No
Fornaciai, Michele; Brannon, Elizabeth M; Woldorff, Marty G; Park, Joonkoo
While parietal cortex is thought to be critical for representing numerical magnitudes, we recently reported an event-related potential (ERP) study demonstrating selective neural sensitivity to numerosity over midline occipital sites very early in the time course, suggesting the involvement of early visual cortex in numerosity processing. However, which specific brain area underlies such early activation is not known. Here, we tested whether numerosity-sensitive neural signatures arise specifically from the initial stages of visual cortex, aiming to localize the generator of these signals by taking advantage of the distinctive folding pattern of early occipital cortices around the calcarine sulcus, which predicts an inversion of polarity of ERPs arising from these areas when stimuli are presented in the upper versus lower visual field. Dot arrays, including 8-32dots constructed systematically across various numerical and non-numerical visual attributes, were presented randomly in either the upper or lower visual hemifields. Our results show that neural responses at about 90ms post-stimulus were robustly sensitive to numerosity. Moreover, the peculiar pattern of polarity inversion of numerosity-sensitive activity at this stage suggested its generation primarily in V2 and V3. In contrast, numerosity-sensitive ERP activity at occipito-parietal channels later in the time course (210-230ms) did not show polarity inversion, indicating a subsequent processing stage in the dorsal stream. Overall, these results demonstrate that numerosity processing begins in one of the earliest stages of the cortical visual stream. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Herrmann, C S; Bosch, V
We examined whether early visual processing reflects perceptual properties of a stimulus in addition to physical features. We recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) of 13 subjects in a visual classification task. We used four different stimuli which were all composed of four identical elements. One of the stimuli constituted an illusory Kanizsa square, another was composed of the same number of collinear line segments but the elements did not form a Gestalt. In addition, a target and a control stimulus were used which were arranged differently. These stimuli allow us to differentiate the processing of colinear line elements (stimulus features) and illusory figures (perceptual properties). The visual N170 in response to the illusory figure was significantly larger as compared to the other collinear stimulus. This is taken to indicate that the visual N170 reflects cognitive processes of Gestalt perception in addition to attentional processes and physical stimulus properties.
Janssens, Thomas; Orban, Guy A.
The retinotopic organization of macaque occipitotemporal cortex rostral to area V4 and caudorostral to the recently described middle temporal (MT) cluster of the monkey (Kolster et al., 2009) is not well established. The proposed number of areas within this region varies from one to four, underscoring the ambiguity concerning the functional organization in this region of extrastriate cortex. We used phase-encoded retinotopic functional MRI mapping methods to reveal the functional topography of this cortical domain. Polar-angle maps showed one complete hemifield representation bordering area V4 anteriorly, split into dorsal and ventral counterparts corresponding to the lower and upper visual field quadrants, respectively. The location of this hemifield representation corresponds to area V4A. More rostroventrally, we identified three other complete hemifield representations. Two of these correspond to the dorsal and the ventral posterior inferotemporal areas (PITd and PITv, respectively) as identified in the Felleman and Van Essen (1991) scheme. The third representation has been tentatively named dorsal occipitotemporal area (OTd). Areas V4A, PITd, PITv, and OTd share a central visual field representation, similar to the areas constituting the MT cluster. Furthermore, they vary widely in size and represent the complete contralateral visual field. Functionally, these four areas show little motion sensitivity, unlike those of the MT cluster, and two of them, OTd and PITd, displayed pronounced two-dimensional shape sensitivity. In general, these results suggest that retinotopically organized tissue extends farther into rostral occipitotemporal cortex of the monkey than generally assumed. PMID:25080580
Murphy, Aidan P; Leopold, David A; Welchman, Andrew E
The visual system exploits past experience at multiple timescales to resolve perceptual ambiguity in the retinal image. For example, perception of a bistable stimulus can be biased toward one interpretation over another when preceded by a brief presentation of a disambiguated version of the stimulus (positive priming) or through intermittent presentations of the ambiguous stimulus (stabilization). Similarly, prior presentations of unambiguous stimuli can be used to explicitly "train" a long-lasting association between a percept and a retinal location (perceptual association). These phenonema have typically been regarded as independent processes, with short-term biases attributed to perceptual memory and longer-term biases described as associative learning. Here we tested for interactions between these two forms of experience-dependent perceptual bias and demonstrate that short-term processes strongly influence long-term outcomes. We first demonstrate that the establishment of long-term perceptual contingencies does not require explicit training by unambiguous stimuli, but can arise spontaneously during the periodic presentation of brief, ambiguous stimuli. Using rotating Necker cube stimuli, we observed enduring, retinotopically specific perceptual biases that were expressed from the outset and remained stable for up to 40 min, consistent with the known phenomenon of perceptual stabilization. Further, bias was undiminished after a break period of 5 min, but was readily reset by interposed periods of continuous, as opposed to periodic, ambiguous presentation. Taken together, the results demonstrate that perceptual biases can arise naturally and may principally reflect the brain's tendency to favor recent perceptual interpretation at a given retinal location. Further, they suggest that an association between retinal location and perceptual state, rather than a physical stimulus, is sufficient to generate long-term biases in perceptual organization.
Costa, Manuel F. M.; Jorge, Jorge M.
It is of utmost importance to the development of the child's visual system that she perceives clear focused retinal images. Furthermore if the refractive problems are not corrected in due time amblyopia may occur--myopia and hyperopia can only cause important problems in the future when they are significantly large, however for the astigmatism (rather frequent in infants) and anisometropia the problems tend to be more stringent. The early evaluation of the visual status of human infants is thus of critical importance. Photorefraction is a convenient technique for this kind of subjects. Essentially a light beam is delivered into the eyes. It is refracted by the ocular media, strikes the retina, focusing or not, reflects off and is collected by a camera. The photorefraction setup we established using new technological breakthroughs on the fields of imaging devices, digital image processing and fiber optics, allows a fast noninvasive evaluation of children visual status (refractive errors, accommodation, strabismus, ...). Results of the visual screening of a group of risk' child descents of blinds or amblyopes will be presented.
Liu, Ping; Forte, Jason; Sewell, David; Carter, Olivia
Contrast-based early visual processing has largely been considered to involve autonomous processes that do not need the support of cognitive resources. However, as spatial attention is known to modulate early visual perceptual processing, we explored whether cognitive load could similarly impact contrast-based perception. We used a dual-task paradigm to assess the impact of a concurrent working memory task on the performance of three different early visual tasks. The results from Experiment 1 suggest that cognitive load can modulate early visual processing. No effects of cognitive load were seen in Experiments 2 or 3. Together, the findings provide evidence that under some circumstances cognitive load effects can penetrate the early stages of visual processing and that higher cognitive function and early perceptual processing may not be as independent as was once thought.
Yildirim, Funda; Carvalho, Joana; Cornelissen, Frans W
Visual field or retinotopic mapping is one of the most frequently used paradigms in fMRI. It uses activity evoked by position-varying high luminance contrast visual patterns presented throughout the visual field for determining the spatial organization of cortical visual areas. While the advantage of using high luminance contrast is that it tends to drive a wide range of neural populations - thus resulting in high signal-to-noise BOLD responses - this may also be a limitation, especially for approaches that attempt to squeeze more information out of the BOLD response, such as population receptive field (pRF) mapping. In that case, more selective stimulation of a subset of neurons - despite reduced signals - could result in better characterization of pRF properties. Here, we used a second-order stimulus based on local differences in orientation texture - to which we refer as orientation contrast - to perform retinotopic mapping. Participants in our experiment viewed arrays of Gabor patches composed of a foreground (a bar) and a background. These could only be distinguished on the basis of a difference in patch orientation. In our analyses, we compare the pRF properties obtained using this new orientation contrast-based retinotopy (OCR) to those obtained using classic luminance contrast-based retinotopy (LCR). Specifically, in higher order cortical visual areas such as LO, our novel approach resulted in non-trivial reductions in estimated population receptive field size of around 30%. A set of control experiments confirms that the most plausible cause for this reduction is that OCR mainly drives neurons sensitive to orientation contrast. We discuss how OCR - by limiting receptive field scatter and reducing BOLD displacement - may result in more accurate pRF localization as well. Estimation of neuronal properties is crucial for interpreting cortical function. Therefore, we conclude that using our approach, it is possible to selectively target particular neuronal
Griffis, Joseph C.; Elkhetali, Abdurahman S.; Burge, Wesley K.; Chen, Richard H.; Visscher, Kristina M.
Attention facilitates the processing of task-relevant visual information and suppresses interference from task-irrelevant information. Modulations of neural activity in visual cortex depend on attention, and likely result from signals originating in fronto-parietal and cingulo-opercular regions of cortex. Here, we tested the hypothesis that attentional facilitation of visual processing is accomplished in part by changes in how brain networks involved in attentional control interact with sectors of V1 that represent different retinal eccentricities. We measured the strength of background connectivity between fronto-parietal and cingulo-opercular regions with different eccentricity sectors in V1 using functional MRI data that were collected while participants performed tasks involving attention to either a centrally presented visual stimulus or a simultaneously presented auditory stimulus. We found that when the visual stimulus was attended, background connectivity between V1 and the left frontal eye fields (FEF), left intraparietal sulcus (IPS), and right IPS varied strongly across different eccentricity sectors in V1 so that foveal sectors were more strongly connected than peripheral sectors. This retinotopic gradient was weaker when the visual stimulus was ignored, indicating that it was driven by attentional effects. Greater task-driven differences between foveal and peripheral sectors in background connectivity to these regions were associated with better performance on the visual task and faster response times on correct trials. These findings are consistent with the notion that attention drives the configuration of task-specific functional pathways that enable the prioritized processing of task-relevant visual information, and show that the prioritization of visual information by attentional processes may be encoded in the retinotopic gradient of connectivty between V1 and fronto-parietal regions. PMID:26106320
Gatenby, J. Christopher; Gore, John C.; Tong, Frank
High-resolution functional MRI is a leading application for very high field (7 Tesla) human MR imaging. Though higher field strengths promise improvements in signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) and BOLD contrast relative to fMRI at 3 Tesla, these benefits may be partially offset by accompanying increases in geometric distortion and other off-resonance effects. Such effects may be especially pronounced with the single-shot EPI pulse sequences typically used for fMRI at standard field strengths. As an alternative, one might consider multishot pulse sequences, which may lead to somewhat lower temporal SNR than standard EPI, but which are also often substantially less susceptible to off-resonance effects. Here we consider retinotopic mapping of human visual cortex as a practical test case by which to compare examples of these sequence types for high-resolution fMRI at 7 Tesla. We performed polar angle retinotopic mapping at each of 3 isotropic resolutions (2.0, 1.7, and 1.1 mm) using both accelerated single-shot 2D EPI and accelerated multishot 3D gradient-echo pulse sequences. We found that single-shot EPI indeed led to greater temporal SNR and contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) than the multishot sequences. However, additional distortion correction in postprocessing was required in order to fully realize these advantages, particularly at higher resolutions. The retinotopic maps produced by both sequence types were qualitatively comparable, and showed equivalent test/retest reliability. Thus, when surface-based analyses are planned, or in other circumstances where geometric distortion is of particular concern, multishot pulse sequences could provide a viable alternative to single-shot EPI. PMID:22514646
Swisher, Jascha D; Sexton, John A; Gatenby, J Christopher; Gore, John C; Tong, Frank
High-resolution functional MRI is a leading application for very high field (7 Tesla) human MR imaging. Though higher field strengths promise improvements in signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) and BOLD contrast relative to fMRI at 3 Tesla, these benefits may be partially offset by accompanying increases in geometric distortion and other off-resonance effects. Such effects may be especially pronounced with the single-shot EPI pulse sequences typically used for fMRI at standard field strengths. As an alternative, one might consider multishot pulse sequences, which may lead to somewhat lower temporal SNR than standard EPI, but which are also often substantially less susceptible to off-resonance effects. Here we consider retinotopic mapping of human visual cortex as a practical test case by which to compare examples of these sequence types for high-resolution fMRI at 7 Tesla. We performed polar angle retinotopic mapping at each of 3 isotropic resolutions (2.0, 1.7, and 1.1 mm) using both accelerated single-shot 2D EPI and accelerated multishot 3D gradient-echo pulse sequences. We found that single-shot EPI indeed led to greater temporal SNR and contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) than the multishot sequences. However, additional distortion correction in postprocessing was required in order to fully realize these advantages, particularly at higher resolutions. The retinotopic maps produced by both sequence types were qualitatively comparable, and showed equivalent test/retest reliability. Thus, when surface-based analyses are planned, or in other circumstances where geometric distortion is of particular concern, multishot pulse sequences could provide a viable alternative to single-shot EPI.
Szwed, Marcin; Ventura, Paulo; Querido, Luis; Cohen, Laurent; Dehaene, Stanislas
The acquisition of reading has an extensive impact on the developing brain and leads to enhanced abilities in phonological processing and visual letter perception. Could this expertise also extend to early visual abilities outside the reading domain? Here we studied the performance of illiterate, ex-illiterate and literate adults closely matched…
Munneke, Jaap; Heslenfeld, Dirk J.; Theeuwes, Jan
The present study investigated how spatial working memory recruits early visual cortex. Participants were required to maintain a location in working memory while changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals were measured during the retention interval in which no visual stimulation was present. We show working memory effects during the…
Karmel, Bernard Z.
This document presents an analysis of the early attending responses and orienting reactions of infants which can be observed at birth and shortly thereafter. Focus is on one specific orienting reaction, the early direction and maintenance of one's eyes and head toward certain stimuli instead of others. The physical properties of stimuli that…
Rattray, Julie; Zeedyk, M. Suzanne
The ability of dyads with restricted access to the visual channel of communication to establish a reliable pre-linguistic communicative signalling system has traditionally been viewed as problematic. Such a conclusion is due in part to the emphasis that has been placed on vision as central to communication by traditional theory. The data presented…
Twomey, Katherine E; Lush, Lauren; Pearce, Ruth; Horst, Jessica S
Research demonstrates that within-category visual variability facilitates noun learning; however, the effect of visual variability on verb learning is unknown. We habituated 24-month-old children to a novel verb paired with an animated star-shaped actor. Across multiple trials, children saw either a single action from an action category (identical actions condition, for example, travelling while repeatedly changing into a circle shape) or multiple actions from that action category (variable actions condition, for example, travelling while changing into a circle shape, then a square shape, then a triangle shape). Four test trials followed habituation. One paired the habituated verb with a new action from the habituated category (e.g., 'dacking' + pentagon shape) and one with a completely novel action (e.g., 'dacking' + leg movement). The others paired a new verb with a new same-category action (e.g., 'keefing' + pentagon shape), or a completely novel category action (e.g., 'keefing' + leg movement). Although all children discriminated novel verb/action pairs, children in the identical actions condition discriminated trials that included the completely novel verb, while children in the variable actions condition discriminated the out-of-category action. These data suggest that - as in noun learning - visual variability affects verb learning and children's ability to form action categories. © 2014 The British Psychological Society.
Amano, Kaoru; Shibata, Kazuhisa; Kawato, Mitsuo; Sasaki, Yuka; Watanabe, Takeo
Associative learning is an essential neural phenomenon where the contingency of different items increases after training. Although associative learning has been found to occur in many brain regions, there is no clear evidence that associative learning of visual features occurs in early visual areas. Here, we developed an associative decoded functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) neurofeedback (A-DecNef) to determine whether associative learning of color and orientation can be induced in early visual areas. During the three days' training, A-DecNef induced fMRI signal patterns that corresponded to a specific target color (red) mostly in early visual areas while a vertical achromatic grating was simultaneously, physically presented to participants. Consequently, participants' perception of "red" was significantly more frequently than that of "green" in an achromatic vertical grating. This effect was also observed 3 to 5 months after training. These results suggest that long-term associative learning of two different visual features such as color and orientation, was induced most likely in early visual areas. This newly extended technique that induces associative learning may be used as an important tool for understanding and modifying brain function, since associations are fundamental and ubiquitous with respect to brain function.
Kapócs, Gábor; Scholkmann, Felix; Salari, Vahid; Császár, Noémi; Szőke, Henrik; Bókkon, István
Today, there is an increased interest in research on lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) because it may offer new opportunities in psychotherapy under controlled settings. The more we know about how a drug works in the brain, the more opportunities there will be to exploit it in medicine. Here, based on our previously published papers and investigations, we suggest that LSD-induced visual hallucinations/phosphenes may be due to the transient enhancement of bioluminescent photons in the early retinotopic visual system in blind as well as healthy people.
Trauer, Sophie M; Kotz, Sonja A; Müller, Matthias M
Emotional scenes and faces have shown to capture and bind visual resources at early sensory processing stages, i.e. in early visual cortex. However, emotional words have led to mixed results. In the current study ERPs were assessed simultaneously with steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) to measure attention effects on early visual activity in emotional word processing. Neutral and negative words were flickered at 12.14 Hz whilst participants performed a Lexical Decision Task. Emotional word content did not modulate the 12.14 Hz SSVEP amplitude, neither did word lexicality. However, emotional words affected the ERP. Negative compared to neutral words as well as words compared to pseudowords lead to enhanced deflections in the P2 time range indicative of lexico-semantic access. The N400 was reduced for negative compared to neutral words and enhanced for pseudowords compared to words indicating facilitated semantic processing of emotional words. LPC amplitudes reflected word lexicality and thus the task-relevant response. In line with previous ERP and imaging evidence, the present results indicate that written emotional words are facilitated in processing only subsequent to visual analysis.
Solomyak, Olla; Marantz, Alec
We employ a single-trial correlational MEG analysis technique to investigate early processing in the visual recognition of morphologically complex words. Three classes of affixed words were presented in a lexical decision task: free stems (e.g., taxable), bound roots (e.g., tolerable), and unique root words (e.g., vulnerable, the root of which…
Ashby, Jane; Martin, Andrea E.
Two experiments examined the nature of the phonological representations used during visual word recognition. We tested whether a minimality constraint (R. Frost, 1998) limits the complexity of early representations to a simple string of phonemes. Alternatively, readers might activate elaborated representations that include prosodic syllable…
Weizer, Jennifer S; Musch, David C; Niziol, Leslie M; Khan, Naheed W
To compare multifocal visual evoked potentials (mfVEP) with other detection methods in early open-angle glaucoma. Ten patients with suspected glaucoma and 5 with early open-angle glaucoma underwent mfVEP, standard automated perimetry (SAP), short-wave automated perimetry, frequency-doubling technology perimetry, and nerve fiber layer optical coherence tomography. Nineteen healthy control subjects underwent mfVEP and SAP for comparison. Comparisons between groups involving continuous variables were made using independent t tests; for categorical variables, Fisher's exact test was used. Monocular mfVEP cluster defects were associated with an increased SAP pattern standard deviation (P = .0195). Visual fields that showed interocular mfVEP cluster defects were more likely to also show superior quadrant nerve fiber layer thinning by OCT (P = .0152). Multifocal visual evoked potential cluster defects are associated with a functional and an anatomic measure that both relate to glaucomatous optic neuropathy. Copyright 2012, SLACK Incorporated.
While much is known about the specialized, parallel processing streams of low-level vision that extract primary visual cues, there is only limited knowledge about the dynamic interactions between them. How are the fragments, caught by local analyzers, assembled together to provide us with a unified percept? How are local discontinuities in texture, motion or depth evaluated with respect to object boundaries and surface properties? These questions are presented within the framework of orientation-specific spatial interactions of early vision. Key observations of psychophysics, anatomy and neurophysiology on interactions of various spatial and temporal ranges are reviewed. Aspects of the functional architecture and possible neural substrates of local orientation-specific interactions are discussed, underlining their role in the integration of information across the visual field, and particularly in contour integration. Examples are provided demonstrating that global context, such as contour closure and figure-ground assignment, affects these local interactions. It is illustrated that figure-ground assignment is realized early in visual processing, and that the pattern of early interactions also brings about an effective and sparse coding of visual shape. Finally, it is concluded that the underlying functional architecture is not only dynamic and context dependent, but the pattern of connectivity depends as much on past experience as on actual stimulation.
Sterratt, David C; Cutts, Catherine S; Willshaw, David J; Eglen, Stephen J
ABSTRACT Molecular and activity‐based cues acting together are thought to guide retinal axons to their terminal sites in vertebrate optic tectum or superior colliculus (SC) to form an ordered map of connections. The details of mechanisms involved, and the degree to which they might interact, are still not well understood. We have developed a framework within which existing computational models can be assessed in an unbiased and quantitative manner against a set of experimental data curated from the mouse retinocollicular system. Our framework facilitates comparison between models, testing new models against known phenotypes and simulating new phenotypes in existing models. We have used this framework to assess four representative models that combine Eph/ephrin gradients and/or activity‐based mechanisms and competition. Two of the models were updated from their original form to fit into our framework. The models were tested against five different phenotypes: wild type, Isl2‐EphA3 ki/ki, Isl2‐EphA3 ki/+, ephrin‐A2,A3,A5 triple knock‐out (TKO), and Math5 −/− (Atoh7). Two models successfully reproduced the extent of the Math5 −/− anteromedial projection, but only one of those could account for the collapse point in Isl2‐EphA3 ki/+. The models needed a weak anteroposterior gradient in the SC to reproduce the residual order in the ephrin‐A2,A3,A5 TKO phenotype, suggesting either an incomplete knock‐out or the presence of another guidance molecule. Our article demonstrates the importance of testing retinotopic models against as full a range of phenotypes as possible, and we have made available MATLAB software, we wrote to facilitate this process. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 75: 641–666, 2015 PMID:25367067
Jehee, Janneke F.M.; Ling, Sam; Swisher, Jascha D.; van Bergen, Ruben S.; Tong, Frank
Although practice has long been known to improve perceptual performance, the neural basis of this improvement in humans remains unclear. Using fMRI in conjunction with a novel signal detection-based analysis, we show that extensive practice selectively enhances the neural representation of trained orientations in the human visual cortex. Twelve observers practiced discriminating small changes in the orientation of a laterally presented grating over 20 or more daily one-hour training sessions. Training on average led to a two-fold improvement in discrimination sensitivity, specific to the trained orientation and the trained location, with minimal improvement found for untrained orthogonal orientations or for orientations presented in the untrained hemifield. We measured the strength of orientation-selective responses in individual voxels in early visual areas (V1–V4) using signal detection measures, both pre- and post-training. Although the overall amplitude of the BOLD response was no greater after training, practice nonetheless specifically enhanced the neural representation of the trained orientation at the trained location. This training-specific enhancement of orientation-selective responses was observed in the primary visual cortex (V1) as well as higher extrastriate visual areas V2–V4, and moreover, reliably predicted individual differences in the behavioral effects of perceptual learning. These results demonstrate that extensive training can lead to targeted functional reorganization of the human visual cortex, refining the cortical representation of behaviorally relevant information. PMID:23175828
Jehee, Janneke F M; Ling, Sam; Swisher, Jascha D; van Bergen, Ruben S; Tong, Frank
Although practice has long been known to improve perceptual performance, the neural basis of this improvement in humans remains unclear. Using fMRI in conjunction with a novel signal detection-based analysis, we show that extensive practice selectively enhances the neural representation of trained orientations in the human visual cortex. Twelve observers practiced discriminating small changes in the orientation of a laterally presented grating over 20 or more daily 1 h training sessions. Training on average led to a twofold improvement in discrimination sensitivity, specific to the trained orientation and the trained location, with minimal improvement found for untrained orthogonal orientations or for orientations presented in the untrained hemifield. We measured the strength of orientation-selective responses in individual voxels in early visual areas (V1-V4) using signal detection measures, both before and after training. Although the overall amplitude of the BOLD response was no greater after training, practice nonetheless specifically enhanced the neural representation of the trained orientation at the trained location. This training-specific enhancement of orientation-selective responses was observed in the primary visual cortex (V1) as well as higher extrastriate visual areas V2-V4, and moreover, reliably predicted individual differences in the behavioral effects of perceptual learning. These results demonstrate that extensive training can lead to targeted functional reorganization of the human visual cortex, refining the cortical representation of behaviorally relevant information.
Thigpen, Nina N; Bartsch, Felix; Keil, Andreas
Emotional experience changes visual perception, leading to the prioritization of sensory information associated with threats and opportunities. These emotional biases have been extensively studied by basic and clinical scientists, but their underlying mechanism is not known. The present study combined measures of brain-electric activity and autonomic physiology to establish how threat biases emerge in human observers. Participants viewed stimuli designed to differentially challenge known properties of different neuronal populations along the visual pathway: location, eye, and orientation specificity. Biases were induced using aversive conditioning with only 1 combination of eye, orientation, and location predicting a noxious loud noise and replicated in a separate group of participants. Selective heart rate-orienting responses for the conditioned threat stimulus indicated bias formation. Retinotopic visual brain responses were persistently and selectively enhanced after massive aversive learning for only the threat stimulus and dissipated after extinction training. These changes were location-, eye-, and orientation-specific, supporting the hypothesis that short-term plasticity in primary visual neurons mediates the formation of perceptual biases to threat. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Müller, Thomas; Knoll, Alois
Early visual processing as a method to speed up computations on visual input data has long been discussed in the computer vision community. The general target of a such approaches is to filter nonrelevant information from the costly higher-level visual processing algorithms. By insertion of this additional filter layer the overall approach can be speeded up without actually changing the visual processing methodology. Being inspired by the layered architecture of the human visual processing apparatus, several approaches for early visual processing have been recently proposed. Most promising in this field is the extraction of a saliency map to determine regions of current attention in the visual field. Such saliency can be computed in a bottom-up manner, i.e. the theory claims that static regions of attention emerge from a certain color footprint, and dynamic regions of attention emerge from connected blobs of textures moving in a uniform way in the visual field. Top-down saliency effects are either unconscious through inherent mechanisms like inhibition-of-return, i.e. within a period of time the attention level paid to a certain region automatically decreases if the properties of that region do not change, or volitional through cognitive feedback, e.g. if an object moves consistently in the visual field. These bottom-up and top-down saliency effects have been implemented and evaluated in a previous computer vision system for the project JAST. In this paper an extension applying evolutionary processes is proposed. The prior vision system utilized multiple threads to analyze the regions of attention delivered from the early processing mechanism. Here, in addition, multiple saliency units are used to produce these regions of attention. All of these saliency units have different parameter-sets. The idea is to let the population of saliency units create regions of attention, then evaluate the results with cognitive feedback and finally apply the genetic mechanism
Roux, Sylvie; Batty, Magali
Processing information from faces is crucial to understanding others and to adapting to social life. Many studies have investigated responses to facial emotions to provide a better understanding of the processes and the neural networks involved. Moreover, several studies have revealed abnormalities of emotional face processing and their neural correlates in affective disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate whether early visual event-related potentials (ERPs) are affected by the emotional skills of healthy adults. Unfamiliar faces expressing the six basic emotions were presented to 28 young adults while recording visual ERPs. No specific task was required during the recording. Participants also completed the Social Skills Inventory (SSI) which measures social and emotional skills. The results confirmed that early visual ERPs (P1, N170) are affected by the emotions expressed by a face and also demonstrated that N170 and P2 are correlated to the emotional skills of healthy subjects. While N170 is sensitive to the subject’s emotional sensitivity and expressivity, P2 is modulated by the ability of the subjects to control their emotions. We therefore suggest that N170 and P2 could be used as individual markers to assess strengths and weaknesses in emotional areas and could provide information for further investigations of affective disorders. PMID:23720573
Meaux, Emilie; Roux, Sylvie; Batty, Magali
Processing information from faces is crucial to understanding others and to adapting to social life. Many studies have investigated responses to facial emotions to provide a better understanding of the processes and the neural networks involved. Moreover, several studies have revealed abnormalities of emotional face processing and their neural correlates in affective disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate whether early visual event-related potentials (ERPs) are affected by the emotional skills of healthy adults. Unfamiliar faces expressing the six basic emotions were presented to 28 young adults while recording visual ERPs. No specific task was required during the recording. Participants also completed the Social Skills Inventory (SSI) which measures social and emotional skills. The results confirmed that early visual ERPs (P1, N170) are affected by the emotions expressed by a face and also demonstrated that N170 and P2 are correlated to the emotional skills of healthy subjects. While N170 is sensitive to the subject's emotional sensitivity and expressivity, P2 is modulated by the ability of the subjects to control their emotions. We therefore suggest that N170 and P2 could be used as individual markers to assess strengths and weaknesses in emotional areas and could provide information for further investigations of affective disorders. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Messa, Alcione Aparecida; Nakanami, Célia Regina; Lopes, Marcia Caires Bestilleiro
To evaluate the quality of life in visually impaired children followed in the Early Visual Stimulation Ambulatory of Unifesp in two moments, before and after rehabilitational intervention of multiprofessional team. A CVFQ quality of life questionnaire was used. This instrument has a version for less than three years old children and another one for children older than three years (three to seven years) divided in six subscales: General health, General vision health, Competence, Personality, Family impact and Treatment. The correlation between the subscales on two moments was significant. There was a statistically significant difference in general vision health (p=0,029) and other important differences obtained in general health, family impact and quality of life general score. The questionnaire showed to be effective in order to measure the quality of life related to vision on families followed on this ambulatory. The multidisciplinary interventions provided visual function and familiar quality of life improvement. The quality of life related to vision in children followed in Early Visual Stimulation Ambulatory of Unifesp showed a significant improvement on general vision health.
Van der Burg, Erik; Talsma, Durk; Olivers, Christian N L; Hickey, Clayton; Theeuwes, Jan
In dynamic cluttered environments, audition and vision may benefit from each other in determining what deserves further attention and what does not. We investigated the underlying neural mechanisms responsible for attentional guidance by audiovisual stimuli in such an environment. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were measured during visual search through dynamic displays consisting of line elements that randomly changed orientation. Search accuracy improved when a target orientation change was synchronized with an auditory signal as compared to when the auditory signal was absent or synchronized with a distractor orientation change. The ERP data show that behavioral benefits were related to an early multisensory interaction over left parieto-occipital cortex (50-60 ms post-stimulus onset), which was followed by an early positive modulation (80-100 ms) over occipital and temporal areas contralateral to the audiovisual event, an enhanced N2pc (210-250 ms), and a contralateral negative slow wave (CNSW). The early multisensory interaction was correlated with behavioral search benefits, indicating that participants with a strong multisensory interaction benefited the most from the synchronized auditory signal. We suggest that an auditory signal enhances the neural response to a synchronized visual event, which increases the chances of selection in a multiple object environment. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Schindler, Sebastian; Kissler, Johanna
Human brains spontaneously differentiate between various emotional and neutral stimuli, including written words whose emotional quality is symbolic. In the electroencephalogram (EEG), emotional-neutral processing differences are typically reflected in the early posterior negativity (EPN, 200-300 ms) and the late positive potential (LPP, 400-700 ms). These components are also enlarged by task-driven visual attention, supporting the assumption that emotional content naturally drives attention. Still, the spatio-temporal dynamics of interactions between emotional stimulus content and task-driven attention remain to be specified. Here, we examine this issue in visual word processing. Participants attended to negative, neutral, or positive nouns while high-density EEG was recorded. Emotional content and top-down attention both amplified the EPN component in parallel. On the LPP, by contrast, emotion and attention interacted: Explicit attention to emotional words led to a substantially larger amplitude increase than did explicit attention to neutral words. Source analysis revealed early parallel effects of emotion and attention in bilateral visual cortex and a later interaction of both in right visual cortex. Distinct effects of attention were found in inferior, middle and superior frontal, paracentral, and parietal areas, as well as in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Results specify separate and shared mechanisms of emotion and attention at distinct processing stages. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3575-3587, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Pitzalis, Sabrina; Strappini, Francesca; De Gasperis, Marco; Bultrini, Alessandro; Di Russo, Francesco
Neuroimaging studies have identified several motion-sensitive visual areas in the human brain, but the time course of their activation cannot be measured with these techniques. In the present study, we combined electrophysiological and neuroimaging methods (including retinotopic brain mapping) to determine the spatio-temporal profile of motion-onset visual evoked potentials for slow and fast motion stimuli and to localize its neural generators. We found that cortical activity initiates in the primary visual area (V1) for slow stimuli, peaking 100 ms after the onset of motion. Subsequently, activity in the mid-temporal motion-sensitive areas, MT+, peaked at 120 ms, followed by peaks in activity in the more dorsal area, V3A, at 160 ms and the lateral occipital complex at 180 ms. Approximately 250 ms after stimulus onset, activity fast motion stimuli was predominant in area V6 along the parieto-occipital sulcus. Finally, at 350 ms (100 ms after the motion offset) brain activity was visible again in area V1. For fast motion stimuli, the spatio-temporal brain pattern was similar, except that the first activity was detected at 70 ms in area MT+. Comparing functional magnetic resonance data for slow vs. fast motion, we found signs of slow-fast motion stimulus topography along the posterior brain in at least three cortical regions (MT+, V3A and LOR). PMID:22558222
Moving stimuli are less effectively masked using traditional continuous flash suppression (CFS) compared to a moving Mondrian mask (MMM): a test case for feature-selective suppression and retinotopic adaptation.
Moors, Pieter; Wagemans, Johan; de-Wit, Lee
Continuous flash suppression (CFS) is a powerful interocular suppression technique, which is often described as an effective means to reliably suppress stimuli from visual awareness. Suppression through CFS has been assumed to depend upon a reduction in (retinotopically specific) neural adaptation caused by the continual updating of the contents of the visual input to one eye. In this study, we started from the observation that suppressing a moving stimulus through CFS appeared to be more effective when using a mask that was actually more prone to retinotopically specific neural adaptation, but in which the properties of the mask were more similar to those of the to-be-suppressed stimulus. In two experiments, we find that using a moving Mondrian mask (i.e., one that includes motion) is more effective in suppressing a moving stimulus than a regular CFS mask. The observed pattern of results cannot be explained by a simple simulation that computes the degree of retinotopically specific neural adaptation over time, suggesting that this kind of neural adaptation does not play a large role in predicting the differences between conditions in this context. We also find some evidence consistent with the idea that the most effective CFS mask is the one that matches the properties (speed) of the suppressed stimulus. These results question the general importance of retinotopically specific neural adaptation in CFS, and potentially help to explain an implicit trend in the literature to adapt one's CFS mask to match one's to-be-suppressed stimuli. Finally, the results should help to guide the methodological development of future research where continuous suppression of moving stimuli is desired.
Ming, Wendy; Palidis, Dimitrios J; Spering, Miriam; McKeown, Martin J
Visual impairments are frequent in Parkinson's disease (PD) and impact normal functioning in daily activities. Visual contrast sensitivity is a powerful nonmotor sign for discriminating PD patients from controls. However, it is usually assessed with static visual stimuli. Here we examined the interaction between perception and eye movements in static and dynamic contrast sensitivity tasks in a cohort of mildly impaired, early-stage PD patients. Patients (n = 13) and healthy age-matched controls (n = 12) viewed stimuli of various spatial frequencies (0-8 cyc/deg) and speeds (0°/s, 10°/s, 30°/s) on a computer monitor. Detection thresholds were determined by asking participants to adjust luminance contrast until they could just barely see the stimulus. Eye position was recorded with a video-based eye tracker. Patients' static contrast sensitivity was impaired in the intermediate spatial-frequency range and this impairment correlated with fixational instability. However, dynamic contrast sensitivity and patients' smooth pursuit were relatively normal. An independent component analysis revealed contrast sensitivity profiles differentiating patients and controls. Our study simultaneously assesses perceptual contrast sensitivity and eye movements in PD, revealing a possible link between fixational instability and perceptual deficits. Spatiotemporal contrast sensitivity profiles may represent an easily measurable metric as a component of a broader combined biometric for nonmotor features observed in PD.
Gopalakrishnan, Raghavan; Burgess, Richard C; Plow, Ela B; Floden, Darlene P; Machado, Andre G
Pain experience is not only a function of somatosensory inputs. Rather, it is strongly influenced by cognitive and affective pathways. Pain anticipatory phenomena, an important limitation to rehabilitative efforts in the chronic state, are processed by associative and limbic networks, along with primary sensory cortices. Characterization of neurophysiological correlates of pain anticipation, particularly during very early stages of neural processing is critical for development of therapeutic interventions. Here, we utilized magnetoencephalography to study early event-related fields (ERFs) in healthy subjects exposed to a 3 s visual countdown task that preceded a painful stimulus, a non-painful stimulus or no stimulus. We found that the first countdown cue, but not the last cue, evoked critical ERFs signaling anticipation, attention and alertness to the noxious stimuli. Further, we found that P2 and N2 components were significantly different in response to first-cues that signaled incoming painful stimuli when compared to non-painful or no stimuli. The findings indicate that early ERFs are relevant neural substrates of pain anticipatory phenomena and could be potentially serve as biomarkers. These measures could assist in the development of neurostimulation approaches aimed at curbing the negative effects of pain anticipation during rehabilitation. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Dhruv, Neel T.; Tailby, Chris; Sokol, Sach H.; Lennie, Peter
We describe experiments that isolate and characterize multiple adaptable mechanisms that influence responses of orientation-selective neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) of anesthetized macaque (Macaca fascicularis). The results suggest that three adaptable stages of machinery shape neural responses in V1: a broadly-tuned early stage and a spatio-temporally tuned later stage, both of which provide excitatory input, and a normalization pool that is also broadly tuned. The early stage and the normalization pool are revealed by adapting gratings that themselves fail to evoke a response from the neuron: either low temporal frequency gratings at the null orientation or gratings of any orientation drifting at high temporal frequencies. When effective, adapting stimuli that altered the sensitivity of these two mechanisms caused reductions of contrast gain and often brought about a paradoxical increase in response gain due to a relatively greater desensitization of the normalization pool. The tuned mechanism is desensitized only by stimuli well-matched to a neuron’s receptive field. We could thus infer desensitization of the tuned mechanism by comparing effects obtained with adapting gratings of preferred and null orientation modulated at low temporal frequencies. PMID:22016535
Classon, Elisabet; Rudner, Mary; Johansson, Mikael; Rönnberg, Jerker
Postlingually acquired hearing impairment (HI) is associated with changes in the representation of sound in semantic long-term memory. An indication of this is the lower performance on visual rhyme judgment tasks in conditions where phonological and orthographic cues mismatch, requiring high reliance on phonological representations. In this study, event-related potentials (ERPs) were used for the first time to investigate the neural correlates of phonological processing in visual rhyme judgments in participants with acquired HI and normal hearing (NH). Rhyme task word pairs rhymed or not and had matching or mismatching orthography. In addition, the inter-stimulus interval (ISI) was manipulated to be either long (800 ms) or short (50 ms). Long ISIs allow for engagement of explicit, top-down processes, while short ISIs limit the involvement of such mechanisms. We hypothesized lower behavioral performance and N400 and N2 deviations in HI in the mismatching rhyme judgment conditions, particularly in short ISI. However, the results showed a different pattern. As expected, behavioral performance in the mismatch conditions was lower in HI than in NH in short ISI, but ERPs did not differ across groups. In contrast, HI performed on a par with NH in long ISI. Further, HI, but not NH, showed an amplified N2-like response in the non-rhyming, orthographically mismatching condition in long ISI. This was also the rhyme condition in which participants in both groups benefited the most from the possibility to engage top-down processes afforded with the longer ISI. Taken together, these results indicate an early ERP signature of HI in this challenging phonological task, likely reflecting use of a compensatory strategy. This strategy is suggested to involve increased reliance on explicit mechanisms such as articulatory recoding and grapheme-to-phoneme conversion. PMID:23653613
Cappagli, Giulia; Finocchietti, Sara; Cocchi, Elena; Gori, Monica
The specific role of early visual deprivation on spatial hearing is still unclear, mainly due to the difficulty of comparing similar spatial skills at different ages and to the difficulty in recruiting young blind children from birth. In this study, the effects of early visual deprivation on the development of auditory spatial localization have been assessed in a group of seven 3–5 years old children with congenital blindness (n = 2; light perception or no perception of light) or low vision (n = 5; visual acuity range 1.1–1.7 LogMAR), with the main aim to understand if visual experience is fundamental to the development of specific spatial skills. Our study led to three main findings: firstly, totally blind children performed overall more poorly compared sighted and low vision children in all the spatial tasks performed; secondly, low vision children performed equally or better than sighted children in the same auditory spatial tasks; thirdly, higher residual levels of visual acuity are positively correlated with better spatial performance in the dynamic condition of the auditory localization task indicating that the more residual vision the better spatial performance. These results suggest that early visual experience has an important role in the development of spatial cognition, even when the visual input during the critical period of visual calibration is partially degraded like in the case of low vision children. Overall these results shed light on the importance of early assessment of spatial impairments in visually impaired children and early intervention to prevent the risk of isolation and social exclusion. PMID:28443040
Lenz, Daniel; Krauel, Kerstin; Flechtner, Hans-Henning; Schadow, Jeanette; Hinrichs, Hermann; Herrmann, Christoph S.
Neurophysiological studies yield contrary results whether attentional problems of patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are related to early visual processing deficits or not. Evoked gamma-band responses (GBRs), being among the first cortical responses occurring as early as 90 ms after visual stimulation in human EEG, have…
Kesiktas, A. Dolunay
Studies showing developmental delays in infants and children with visual impairments have triggered early childhood special education studies for this population. Early childhood special education guidelines for visually impaired infants and children range from individualized services to personnel preparation issues while all display certain…
Here, we put forward a redox molecular hypothesis about the natural biophysical substrate of visual perception and visual imagery. This hypothesis is based on the redox and bioluminescent processes of neuronal cells in retinotopically organized cytochrome oxidase-rich visual areas. Our hypothesis is in line with the functional roles of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in living cells that are not part of haphazard process, but rather a very strict mechanism used in signaling pathways. We point out that there is a direct relationship between neuronal activity and the biophoton emission process in the brain. Electrical and biochemical processes in the brain represent sensory information from the external world. During encoding or retrieval of information, electrical signals of neurons can be converted into synchronized biophoton signals by bioluminescent radical and non-radical processes. Therefore, information in the brain appears not only as an electrical (chemical) signal but also as a regulated biophoton (weak optical) signal inside neurons. During visual perception, the topological distribution of photon stimuli on the retina is represented by electrical neuronal activity in retinotopically organized visual areas. These retinotopic electrical signals in visual neurons can be converted into synchronized biophoton signals by radical and non-radical processes in retinotopically organized mitochondria-rich areas. As a result, regulated bioluminescent biophotons can create intrinsic pictures (depictive representation) in retinotopically organized cytochrome oxidase-rich visual areas during visual imagery and visual perception. The long-term visual memory is interpreted as epigenetic information regulated by free radicals and redox processes. This hypothesis does not claim to solve the secret of consciousness, but proposes that the evolution of higher levels of complexity made the intrinsic picture representation of the external visual world possible by regulated
Murphy, Jeanne Lovo; Hatton, Deborah; Erickson, Karen A.
Practices endorsed by 192 teachers of young children with visual impairments who completed an online early literacy survey included facilitating early attachment (70%), providing early literacy support to families (74%), and providing adaptations to increase accessibility (55%). Few teachers reported using assistive technology, providing…
Velarde, Carla; Perelstein, Elizabeth; Ressmann, Wendy; Duffy, Charles J.
We tested whether visual processing impairments in aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) reflect uniform posterior cortical decline, or independent disorders of visual processing for reading and navigation. Young and older normal controls were compared to early AD patients using psychophysical measures of visual word and motion processing. We find elevated perceptual thresholds for letters and word discrimination from young normal controls, to older normal controls, to early AD patients. Across subject groups, visual motion processing showed a similar pattern of increasing thresholds, with the greatest impact on radial pattern motion perception. Combined analyses show that letter, word, and motion processing impairments are independent of each other. Aging and AD may be accompanied by independent impairments of visual processing for reading and navigation. This suggests separate underlying disorders and highlights the need for comprehensive evaluations to detect early deficits. PMID:22647256
Brown, Cherylee M.; Packer, Tanya L.; Passmore, Anne
This study describes the classroom environment that students with visual impairment typically experience in regular Australian early education. Adequacy of the classroom environment (teacher training and experience, teacher support, parent involvement, adult involvement, inclusive attitude, individualization of the curriculum, physical…
Smith, Fraser W; Goodale, Melvyn A
Neurons, even in the earliest sensory areas of cortex, are subject to a great deal of contextual influence from both within and across modality connections. In the present work, we investigated whether the earliest regions of somatosensory cortex (S1 and S2) would contain content-specific information about visual object categories. We reasoned that this might be possible due to the associations formed through experience that link different sensory aspects of a given object. Participants were presented with visual images of different object categories in 2 fMRI experiments. Multivariate pattern analysis revealed reliable decoding of familiar visual object category in bilateral S1 (i.e., postcentral gyri) and right S2. We further show that this decoding is observed for familiar but not unfamiliar visual objects in S1. In addition, whole-brain searchlight decoding analyses revealed several areas in the parietal lobe that could mediate the observed context effects between vision and somatosensation. These results demonstrate that even the first cortical stages of somatosensory processing carry information about the category of visually presented familiar objects. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press.
Smith, Fraser W.; Goodale, Melvyn A.
Neurons, even in the earliest sensory areas of cortex, are subject to a great deal of contextual influence from both within and across modality connections. In the present work, we investigated whether the earliest regions of somatosensory cortex (S1 and S2) would contain content-specific information about visual object categories. We reasoned that this might be possible due to the associations formed through experience that link different sensory aspects of a given object. Participants were presented with visual images of different object categories in 2 fMRI experiments. Multivariate pattern analysis revealed reliable decoding of familiar visual object category in bilateral S1 (i.e., postcentral gyri) and right S2. We further show that this decoding is observed for familiar but not unfamiliar visual objects in S1. In addition, whole-brain searchlight decoding analyses revealed several areas in the parietal lobe that could mediate the observed context effects between vision and somatosensation. These results demonstrate that even the first cortical stages of somatosensory processing carry information about the category of visually presented familiar objects. PMID:24122136
Yildiz, Mehmet Ali; Duy, Baki
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of an interpersonal communication skills psycho-education program to improve empathy and communication skills of visually impaired adolescents. Participants of the study were sixteen early adolescents schooling in an elementary school for visually impaired youth in Diyarbakir. The…
Lusk, Bethany R; Carr, Andrea R; Ranson, Valerie A; Bryant, Richard A; Felmingham, Kim L
Event-related potential (ERP) studies have revealed an early attentional bias in processing unpleasant emotional images in women. Recent neuroimaging data suggests there are significant differences in cortical emotional processing according to menstrual phase. This study examined the impact of menstrual phase on visual emotional processing in women compared to men. ERPs were recorded from 28 early follicular women, 29 midluteal women, and 27 men while they completed a passive viewing task of neutral and low- and high- arousing pleasant and unpleasant images. There was a significant effect of menstrual phase in early visual processing, as midluteal women displayed significantly greater P1 amplitude at occipital regions to all visual images compared to men. Both midluteal and early follicular women displayed larger N1 amplitudes than men (although this only reached significance for the midluteal group) to the visual images. No sex or menstrual phase differences were apparent in later N2, P3, or LPP. A condition effect demonstrated greater P3 and LPP amplitude to highly-arousing unpleasant images relative to all other stimuli conditions. These results indicate that women have greater early automatic visual processing compared to men, and suggests that this effect is particularly strong in women in the midluteal phase at the earliest stage of visual attention processing. Our findings highlight the importance of considering menstrual phase when examining sex differences in the cortical processing of visual stimuli. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Collignon, Olivier; Charbonneau, Genevieve; Lassonde, Maryse; Lepore, Franco
Multisensory peripersonal space develops in a maturational process that is thought to be influenced by early sensory experience. We investigated the role of vision in the effective development of audiotactile interactions in peripersonal space. Early blind (EB), late blind (LB) and sighted control (SC) participants were asked to lateralize…
Zimmermann, Eckart; Weidner, Ralph; Fink, Gereon R
Saccades shift the retina with high-speed motion. In order to compensate for the sudden displacement, the visuomotor system needs to combine saccade-related information and visual metrics. Many neurons in oculomotor but also in visual areas shift their receptive field shortly before the execution of a saccade (Duhamel, Colby, & Goldberg, 1992; Nakamura & Colby, 2002). These shifts supposedly enable the binding of information from before and after the saccade. It is a matter of current debate whether these shifts are merely location based (i.e., involve remapping of abstract spatial coordinates) or also comprise information about visual features. We have recently presented fMRI evidence for a feature-based remapping mechanism in visual areas V3, V4, and VO (Zimmermann, Weidner, Abdollahi, & Fink, 2016). In particular, we found fMRI adaptation in cortical regions representing a stimulus' retinotopic as well as its spatiotopic position. Here, we asked whether spatiotopic adaptation exists independently from retinotopic adaptation and which type of information is behaviorally more relevant after saccade execution. We first adapted at the saccade target location only and found a spatiotopic tilt aftereffect. Then, we simultaneously adapted both the fixation and the saccade target location but with opposite tilt orientations. As a result, adaptation from the fixation location was carried retinotopically to the saccade target position. The opposite tilt orientation at the retinotopic location altered the effects induced by spatiotopic adaptation. More precisely, it cancelled out spatiotopic adaptation at the saccade target location. We conclude that retinotopic and spatiotopic visual adaptation are independent effects.
Emmanouil, Tatiana Aloi; Avigan, Philip; Persuh, Marjan; Ro, Tony
Early visual cortex activity is influenced by both bottom-up and top-down factors. To investigate the influences of bottom-up (saliency) and top-down (task) factors on different stages of visual processing, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of areas V1/V2 to induce visual suppression at varying temporal intervals. Subjects were asked to detect and discriminate the color or the orientation of briefly-presented small lines that varied on color saliency based on color contrast with the surround. Regardless of task, color saliency modulated the magnitude of TMS-induced visual suppression, especially at earlier temporal processing intervals that reflect the feedforward stage of visual processing in V1/V2. In a second experiment we found that our color saliency effects were also influenced by an inherent advantage of the color red relative to other hues and that color discrimination difficulty did not affect visual suppression. These results support the notion that early visual processing is stimulus driven and that feedforward and feedback processing encode different types of information about visual scenes. They further suggest that certain hues can be prioritized over others within our visual systems by being more robustly represented during early temporal processing intervals. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hagler, Donald J.; Dale, Anders M.
Retinotopy constrained source estimation (RCSE) is a method for non-invasively measuring the time courses of activation in early visual areas using magnetoencephalography (MEG) or electroencephalography (EEG). Unlike conventional equivalent current dipole or distributed source models, the use of multiple, retinotopically-mapped stimulus locations to simultaneously constrain the solutions allows for the estimation of independent waveforms for visual areas V1, V2, and V3, despite their close proximity to each other. We describe modifications that improve the reliability and efficiency of this method. First, we find that increasing the number and size of visual stimuli results in source estimates that are less susceptible to noise. Second, to create a more accurate forward solution, we have explicitly modeled the cortical point spread of individual visual stimuli. Dipoles are represented as extended patches on the cortical surface, which take into account the estimated receptive field size at each location in V1, V2, and V3 as well as the contributions from contralateral, ipsilateral, dorsal, and ventral portions of the visual areas. Third, we implemented a map fitting procedure to deform a template to match individual subject retinotopic maps derived from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This improves the efficiency of the overall method by allowing automated dipole selection, and it makes the results less sensitive to physiological noise in fMRI retinotopy data. Finally, the iteratively reweighted least squares (IRLS) method was used to reduce the contribution from stimulus locations with high residual error for robust estimation of visual evoked responses. PMID:22102418
Simmering, Vanessa R.
The change detection task has been used in dozens of studies with adults to measure visual working memory capacity. Two studies have recently tested children in this task, suggesting a gradual increase in capacity from 5 years to adulthood. These results contrast with findings from an infant looking paradigm suggesting that capacity reaches…
Schnaitmann, Christopher; Haikala, Väinö; Abraham, Eva; Oberhauser, Vitus; Thestrup, Thomas; Griesbeck, Oliver; Reiff, Dierk F
Color vision extracts spectral information by comparing signals from photoreceptors with different visual pigments. Such comparisons are encoded by color-opponent neurons that are excited at one wavelength and inhibited at another. Here, we examine the circuit implementation of color-opponent processing in the Drosophila visual system by combining two-photon calcium imaging with genetic dissection of visual circuits. We report that color-opponent processing of UV short /blue and UV long /green is already implemented in R7/R8 inner photoreceptor terminals of "pale" and "yellow" ommatidia, respectively. R7 and R8 photoreceptors of the same type of ommatidia mutually inhibit each other directly via HisCl1 histamine receptors and receive additional feedback inhibition that requires the second histamine receptor Ort. Color-opponent processing at the first visual synapse represents an unexpected commonality between Drosophila and vertebrates; however, the differences in the molecular and cellular implementation suggest that the same principles evolved independently. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Clifton, Rachel K.; And Others
Seven infants were tested between the ages of 6 and 25 weeks to see how they would grasp objects presented in full light and glowing or sounding objects presented in total darkness. In all three conditions, the infants first grasped the objects at nearly the same time, suggesting that internal stimuli, not visual guidance, directed their actions.…
Störmer, Viola S.; McDonald, John J.; Hillyard, Steven A.
The question of whether attention makes sensory impressions appear more intense has been a matter of debate for over a century. Recent psychophysical studies have reported that attention increases apparent contrast of visual stimuli, but the issue continues to be debated. We obtained converging neurophysiological evidence from human observers as they judged the relative contrast of visual stimuli presented to the left and right visual fields following a lateralized auditory cue. Cross-modal cueing of attention boosted the apparent contrast of the visual target in association with an enlarged neural response in the contralateral visual cortex that began within 100 ms after target onset. The magnitude of the enhanced neural response was positively correlated with perceptual reports of the cued target being higher in contrast. The results suggest that attention increases the perceived contrast of visual stimuli by boosting early sensory processing in the visual cortex. PMID:20007778
Störmer, Viola S; McDonald, John J; Hillyard, Steven A
The question of whether attention makes sensory impressions appear more intense has been a matter of debate for over a century. Recent psychophysical studies have reported that attention increases apparent contrast of visual stimuli, but the issue continues to be debated. We obtained converging neurophysiological evidence from human observers as they judged the relative contrast of visual stimuli presented to the left and right visual fields following a lateralized auditory cue. Cross-modal cueing of attention boosted the apparent contrast of the visual target in association with an enlarged neural response in the contralateral visual cortex that began within 100 ms after target onset. The magnitude of the enhanced neural response was positively correlated with perceptual reports of the cued target being higher in contrast. The results suggest that attention increases the perceived contrast of visual stimuli by boosting early sensory processing in the visual cortex.
Bola, Łukasz; Siuda-Krzywicka, Katarzyna; Paplińska, Małgorzata; Sumera, Ewa; Zimmermann, Maria; Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Marchewka, Artur; Szwed, Marcin
Training can induce cross-modal plasticity in the human cortex. A well-known example of this phenomenon is the recruitment of visual areas for tactile and auditory processing. It remains unclear to what extent such plasticity is associated with changes in anatomy. Here we enrolled 29 sighted adults into a nine-month tactile Braille-reading training, and used voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging to describe the resulting anatomical changes. In addition, we collected resting-state fMRI data to relate these changes to functional connectivity between visual and somatosensory-motor cortices. Following Braille-training, we observed substantial grey and white matter reorganization in the anterior part of early visual cortex (peripheral visual field). Moreover, relative to its posterior, foveal part, the peripheral representation of early visual cortex had stronger functional connections to somatosensory and motor cortices even before the onset of training. Previous studies show that the early visual cortex can be functionally recruited for tactile discrimination, including recognition of Braille characters. Our results demonstrate that reorganization in this region induced by tactile training can also be anatomical. This change most likely reflects a strengthening of existing connectivity between the peripheral visual cortex and somatosensory cortices, which suggests a putative mechanism for cross-modal recruitment of visual areas.
Cupps, Kim C.
This report documents the fact that an early user has run successfully on Max, the Sequoia visualization cluster, ASC L2 milestone 4797: Early Users on Sequoia Visualization System (Max), due December 31, 2013. The Max visualization and data analysis cluster will provide Sequoia users with compute cycles and an interactive option for data exploration and analysis. The system will be integrated in the first quarter of FY14 and the system is expected to be moved to the classified network by the second quarter of FY14. The goal of this milestone is to have early users running their visualization and datamore » analysis work on the Max cluster on the classified network.« less
Kruk, Richard S.; Luther Ruban, Cassia
Visual processes in Grade 1 were examined for their predictive influences in nonalphanumeric and alphanumeric rapid naming (RAN) in 51 poor early and 69 typical readers. In a lagged design, children were followed longitudinally from Grade 1 to Grade 3 over 5 testing occasions. RAN outcomes in early Grade 2 were predicted by speeded and nonspeeded…
Ely, Mindy S.; Gullifor, Kateri; Hollinshead, Tara
Early intervention visual impairment services are built on a model that values family. Matrix session planning pulls together parent priorities, family routines, and identified strategies in a way that helps families and early intervention professionals outline a plan that can both highlight long-term goals and focus on what can be done today.…
Dale, Naomi; Salt, Alison
This article explores how visual impairment might impact on early social and emotional development including self-awareness and communication with others. Some children show a "developmental setback" and other worrying developmental trajectories in the early years, including autistic related behaviours and autistic spectrum disorders.…
White, Alex L.; Runeson, Erik; Palmer, John; Ernst, Zachary R.; Boynton, Geoffrey M.
Performance in many visual tasks is impaired when observers attempt to divide spatial attention across multiple visual field locations. Correspondingly, neuronal response magnitudes in visual cortex are often reduced during divided compared with focused spatial attention. This suggests that early visual cortex is the site of capacity limits, where finite processing resources must be divided among attended stimuli. However, behavioral research demonstrates that not all visual tasks suffer such capacity limits: The costs of divided attention are minimal when the task and stimulus are simple, such as when searching for a target defined by orientation or contrast. To date, however, every neuroimaging study of divided attention has used more complex tasks and found large reductions in response magnitude. We bridged that gap by using functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure responses in the human visual cortex during simple feature detection. The first experiment used a visual search task: Observers detected a low-contrast Gabor patch within one or four potentially relevant locations. The second experiment used a dual-task design, in which observers made independent judgments of Gabor presence in patches of dynamic noise at two locations. In both experiments, blood-oxygen level–dependent (BOLD) signals in the retinotopic cortex were significantly lower for ignored than attended stimuli. However, when observers divided attention between multiple stimuli, BOLD signals were not reliably reduced and behavioral performance was unimpaired. These results suggest that processing of simple features in early visual cortex has unlimited capacity. PMID:28654964
Keitel, Christian; Müller, Matthias M
Our brain relies on neural mechanisms of selective attention and converging sensory processing to efficiently cope with rich and unceasing multisensory inputs. One prominent assumption holds that audio-visual synchrony can act as a strong attractor for spatial attention. Here, we tested for a similar effect of audio-visual synchrony on feature-selective attention. We presented two superimposed Gabor patches that differed in colour and orientation. On each trial, participants were cued to selectively attend to one of the two patches. Over time, spatial frequencies of both patches varied sinusoidally at distinct rates (3.14 and 3.63 Hz), giving rise to pulse-like percepts. A simultaneously presented pure tone carried a frequency modulation at the pulse rate of one of the two visual stimuli to introduce audio-visual synchrony. Pulsed stimulation elicited distinct time-locked oscillatory electrophysiological brain responses. These steady-state responses were quantified in the spectral domain to examine individual stimulus processing under conditions of synchronous versus asynchronous tone presentation and when respective stimuli were attended versus unattended. We found that both, attending to the colour of a stimulus and its synchrony with the tone, enhanced its processing. Moreover, both gain effects combined linearly for attended in-sync stimuli. Our results suggest that audio-visual synchrony can attract attention to specific stimulus features when stimuli overlap in space.
Booth, Ashley J; Elliott, Mark T
The ease of synchronizing movements to a rhythmic cue is dependent on the modality of the cue presentation: timing accuracy is much higher when synchronizing with discrete auditory rhythms than an equivalent visual stimulus presented through flashes. However, timing accuracy is improved if the visual cue presents spatial as well as temporal information (e.g., a dot following an oscillatory trajectory). Similarly, when synchronizing with an auditory target metronome in the presence of a second visual distracting metronome, the distraction is stronger when the visual cue contains spatial-temporal information rather than temporal only. The present study investigates individuals' ability to synchronize movements to a temporal-spatial visual cue in the presence of same-modality temporal-spatial distractors. Moreover, we investigated how increasing the number of distractor stimuli impacted on maintaining synchrony with the target cue. Participants made oscillatory vertical arm movements in time with a vertically oscillating white target dot centered on a large projection screen. The target dot was surrounded by 2, 8, or 14 distractor dots, which had an identical trajectory to the target but at a phase lead or lag of 0, 100, or 200 ms. We found participants' timing performance was only affected in the phase-lead conditions and when there were large numbers of distractors present (8 and 14). This asymmetry suggests participants still rely on salient events in the stimulus trajectory to synchronize movements. Subsequently, distractions occurring in the window of attention surrounding those events have the maximum impact on timing performance.
threat (M 6.5, SD 20.0) than during safety (M 19.3, SD 11.6), t(31) 6.7, p 0.001. They also expressed more intense negative emotion on their...threats increase risk assessment (Kava- liers and Choleris, 2001), and fearful facial expressions enhance sensory intake (Susskind et al., 2008). These...visual analog scales to rate the intensity of their emotional experience (anxious, happy, safe, or stressed) during safety and threat blocks. To minimize
Akuffo, Kwadwo Owusu; Nolan, John M; Peto, Tunde; Stack, Jim; Leung, Irene; Corcoran, Laura; Beatty, Stephen
To investigate the relationship between macular pigment (MP) and visual function in subjects with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD). 121 subjects with early AMD enrolled as part of the Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trial (CREST; ISRCTN13894787) were assessed using a range of psychophysical measures of visual function, including best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), letter contrast sensitivity (CS), mesopic and photopic CS, mesopic and photopic glare disability (GD), photostress recovery time (PRT), reading performance and subjective visual function, using the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire-25 (NEI VFQ-25). MP was measured using customised heterochromatic flicker photometry. Letter CS, mesopic and photopic CS, photopic GD and mean reading speed were each significantly (p<0.05) associated with MP across a range of retinal eccentricities, and these statistically significant relationships persisted after controlling for age, sex and cataract grade. BCVA, NEI VFQ-25 score, PRT and mesopic GD were unrelated to MP after controlling for age, sex and cataract grade (p>0.05, for all). MP relates positively to many measures of visual function in unsupplemented subjects with early AMD. The CREST trial will investigate whether enrichment of MP influences visual function among those afflicted with this condition. ISRCTN13894787. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.
This paper traces the history of the visual receptive field (RF) from Hartline to Hubel and Wiesel. Hartline (1938, 1940) found that an isolated optic nerve fiber in the frog could be excited by light falling on a small circular area of the retina. He called this area the RF, using a term first introduced by Sherrington (1906) in the tactile domain. In 1953 Kuffler discovered the antagonistic center-surround organization of cat RFs, and Barlow, Fitzhugh, and Kuffler (1957) extended this work to stimulus size and state of adaptation. Shortly thereafter, Lettvin and colleagues (1959) in an iconic paper asked "what the frog's eye tells the frog's brain". Meanwhile, Jung and colleagues (1952-1973) searched for the perceptual correlates of neuronal responses, and Jung and Spillmann (1970) proposed the term perceptive field (PF) as a psychophysical correlate of the RF. The Westheimer function (1967) enabled psychophysical measurements of the PF center and surround in human and monkey, which correlated closely with the underlying RF organization. The sixties and seventies were marked by rapid progress in RF research. Hubel and Wiesel (1959-1974), recording from neurons in the visual cortex of the cat and monkey, found elongated RFs selective for the shape, orientation, and position of the stimulus, as well as for movement direction and ocularity. These findings prompted the emergence in visual psychophysics of the concept of feature detectors selective for lines, bars, and edges, and contributed to a model of the RF in terms of difference of Gaussians (DOG) and Fourier channels. The distinction between simple, complex, and hypercomplex neurons followed. Although RF size increases towards the peripheral retina, its cortical representation remains constant due to the reciprocal relationship with the cortical magnification factor (M). This constitutes a uniform yardstick for M-scaled stimuli across the retina. Developmental studies have shown that RF properties are not fixed
Park, Joonkoo; Chiang, Crystal; Brannon, Elizabeth M; Woldorff, Marty G
Recent fMRI research has demonstrated that letters and numbers are preferentially processed in distinct regions and hemispheres in the visual cortex. In particular, the left visual cortex preferentially processes letters compared with numbers, whereas the right visual cortex preferentially processes numbers compared with letters. Because letters and numbers are cultural inventions and are otherwise physically arbitrary, such a double dissociation is strong evidence for experiential effects on neural architecture. Here, we use the high temporal resolution of ERPs to investigate the temporal dynamics of the neural dissociation between letters and numbers. We show that the divergence between ERP traces to letters and numbers emerges very early in processing. Letters evoked greater N1 waves (latencies 140-170 msec) than did numbers over left occipital channels, whereas numbers evoked greater N1s than letters over the right, suggesting letters and numbers are preferentially processed in opposite hemispheres early in visual encoding. Moreover, strings of letters, but not single letters, elicited greater P2 ERP waves (starting around 250 msec) than numbers did over the left hemisphere, suggesting that the visual cortex is tuned to selectively process combinations of letters, but not numbers, further along in the visual processing stream. Additionally, the processing of both of these culturally defined stimulus types differentiated from similar but unfamiliar visual stimulus forms (false fonts) even earlier in the processing stream (the P1 at 100 msec). These findings imply major cortical specialization processes within the visual system driven by experience with reading and mathematics.
Mathôt, Sebastiaan; Theeuwes, Jan
In the present review, we address the relationship between attention and visual stability. Even though with each eye, head and body movement the retinal image changes dramatically, we perceive the world as stable and are able to perform visually guided actions. However, visual stability is not as complete as introspection would lead us to believe. We attend to only a few items at a time and stability is maintained only for those items. There appear to be two distinct mechanisms underlying visual stability. The first is a passive mechanism: the visual system assumes the world to be stable, unless there is a clear discrepancy between the pre- and post-saccadic image of the region surrounding the saccade target. This is related to the pre-saccadic shift of attention, which allows for an accurate preview of the saccade target. The second is an active mechanism: information about attended objects is remapped within retinotopic maps to compensate for eye movements. The locus of attention itself, which is also characterized by localized retinotopic activity, is remapped as well. We conclude that visual attention is crucial in our perception of a stable world. PMID:21242140
Störmer, Viola S; Winther, Gesche N; Li, Shu-Chen; Andersen, Søren K
Keeping track of multiple moving objects is an essential ability of visual perception. However, the mechanisms underlying this ability are not well understood. We instructed human observers to track five or seven independent randomly moving target objects amid identical nontargets and recorded steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) elicited by these stimuli. Visual processing of moving targets, as assessed by SSVEP amplitudes, was continuously facilitated relative to the processing of identical but irrelevant nontargets. The cortical sources of this enhancement were located to areas including early visual cortex V1-V3 and motion-sensitive area MT, suggesting that the sustained multifocal attentional enhancement during multiple object tracking already operates at hierarchically early stages of visual processing. Consistent with this interpretation, the magnitude of attentional facilitation during tracking in a single trial predicted the speed of target identification at the end of the trial. Together, these findings demonstrate that attention can flexibly and dynamically facilitate the processing of multiple independent object locations in early visual areas and thereby allow for tracking of these objects.
Veser, Sandra; O'Shea, Robert P; Schröger, Erich; Trujillo-Barreto, Nelson J; Roeber, Urte
Binocular rivalry occurs when dissimilar images are presented to corresponding retinal regions of the two eyes: visibility alternates irregularly between the two images, interspersed by brief transitions when parts of both may be visible. We measured event-related potentials (ERPs) following binocular rivalry by changing the stimulus viewed by one eye to be identical to that in the other eye, eliciting binocular fusion. Because of the rivalry, observers either saw the change, when it happened to the visible stimulus, or did not see the change, when it happened to the invisible stimulus. The earliest ERP differences between visible and invisible changes occurred after about 100 ms (P1) when the rivalry was between stimuli differing in orientation, and after about 200 ms (N1) when the rivalry was between stimuli differing in colour. These differences originated from ventro-lateral temporal and prefrontal areas. We conclude that the rivalling stimulus property influences the timing of modulation of correlates of visual awareness in a property-independent cortical network.
Allen, Brian; Spiegel, Daniel P; Thompson, Benjamin; Pestilli, Franco; Rokers, Bas
Amblyopia is a visual disorder caused by poorly coordinated binocular input during development. Little is known about the impact of amblyopia on the white matter within the visual system. We studied the properties of six major visual white-matter pathways in a group of adults with amblyopia (n=10) and matched controls (n=10) using diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) and fiber tractography. While we did not find significant differences in diffusion properties in cortico-cortical pathways, patients with amblyopia exhibited increased mean diffusivity in thalamo-cortical visual pathways. These findings suggest that amblyopia may systematically alter the white matter properties of early visual pathways. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Reyes-Cerecedo, Alicia; Flores-Calderón, Judith; Villasis-Keever, Miguel Á; Chávez-Barrera, José A; Delgado-González, Elba E
Bile duct atresia (BVA) is a condition that causes obstruction to biliary flow, not corrected surgically, causes cirrhosis and death before 2 years of age. In Mexico from 2013 the visual colorimetric card (VVC) was incorporated for the timely detection of BVA to the National Health Card (NHC). The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of VCT for the detection of BVA before and after the use of NHC incorporation. Ambispective, analytical observational study. We included patients with AVB treated in two pediatric hospitals of third level care. We compared the age of reference, diagnosis and surgery before and after incorporation of the TCV. In addition, a questionnaire was made to the parents to know their perception about the TCV. In 59 children, there were no differences in age at diagnosis (75 vs 70 days) and age at surgery (84 vs 90 days) between the pre and post-implementation period of the VVC. The questionnaire showed that 10 (30%) of the parents received information about the use of the VVC and 13 (38%) identified the abnormal evacuations. This study did not show changes in time for the timely detection of BVA by using VVC. Therefore, it is necessary to reinforce the program in the three levels of care in our country. La atresia de vías biliares (AVB) es una condición que provoca obstrucción al flujo biliar, y de no corregirse quirúrgicamente, provoca cirrosis y la muerte antes de los 2 años de edad. En México, a partir del año 2013 se incorporó la tarjeta colorimétrica visual (TCV) para la detección oportuna de la AVB a la Cartilla Nacional de Salud (CNS). El objetivo de este estudio fue evaluar el impacto de la TCV para la detección de AVB antes y después de su incorporación a la CNS. Estudio ambispectivo, observacional y analítico. Se incluyeron pacientes con AVB atendidos en dos hospitales pediátricos de tercer nivel de atención. Se compararon la edad de referencia, el diagnóstico y la cirugía antes y después de la incorporaci
Yahata, Izumi; Kanno, Akitake; Hidaka, Hiroshi; Sakamoto, Shuichi; Nakasato, Nobukazu; Kawashima, Ryuta; Katori, Yukio
The effects of visual speech (the moving image of the speaker’s face uttering speech sound) on early auditory evoked fields (AEFs) were examined using a helmet-shaped magnetoencephalography system in 12 healthy volunteers (9 males, mean age 35.5 years). AEFs (N100m) in response to the monosyllabic sound /be/ were recorded and analyzed under three different visual stimulus conditions, the moving image of the same speaker’s face uttering /be/ (congruent visual stimuli) or uttering /ge/ (incongruent visual stimuli), and visual noise (still image processed from speaker’s face using a strong Gaussian filter: control condition). On average, latency of N100m was significantly shortened in the bilateral hemispheres for both congruent and incongruent auditory/visual (A/V) stimuli, compared to the control A/V condition. However, the degree of N100m shortening was not significantly different between the congruent and incongruent A/V conditions, despite the significant differences in psychophysical responses between these two A/V conditions. Moreover, analysis of the magnitudes of these visual effects on AEFs in individuals showed that the lip-reading effects on AEFs tended to be well correlated between the two different audio-visual conditions (congruent vs. incongruent visual stimuli) in the bilateral hemispheres but were not significantly correlated between right and left hemisphere. On the other hand, no significant correlation was observed between the magnitudes of visual speech effects and psychophysical responses. These results may indicate that the auditory-visual interaction observed on the N100m is a fundamental process which does not depend on the congruency of the visual information. PMID:28141836
Yahata, Izumi; Kawase, Tetsuaki; Kanno, Akitake; Hidaka, Hiroshi; Sakamoto, Shuichi; Nakasato, Nobukazu; Kawashima, Ryuta; Katori, Yukio
The effects of visual speech (the moving image of the speaker's face uttering speech sound) on early auditory evoked fields (AEFs) were examined using a helmet-shaped magnetoencephalography system in 12 healthy volunteers (9 males, mean age 35.5 years). AEFs (N100m) in response to the monosyllabic sound /be/ were recorded and analyzed under three different visual stimulus conditions, the moving image of the same speaker's face uttering /be/ (congruent visual stimuli) or uttering /ge/ (incongruent visual stimuli), and visual noise (still image processed from speaker's face using a strong Gaussian filter: control condition). On average, latency of N100m was significantly shortened in the bilateral hemispheres for both congruent and incongruent auditory/visual (A/V) stimuli, compared to the control A/V condition. However, the degree of N100m shortening was not significantly different between the congruent and incongruent A/V conditions, despite the significant differences in psychophysical responses between these two A/V conditions. Moreover, analysis of the magnitudes of these visual effects on AEFs in individuals showed that the lip-reading effects on AEFs tended to be well correlated between the two different audio-visual conditions (congruent vs. incongruent visual stimuli) in the bilateral hemispheres but were not significantly correlated between right and left hemisphere. On the other hand, no significant correlation was observed between the magnitudes of visual speech effects and psychophysical responses. These results may indicate that the auditory-visual interaction observed on the N100m is a fundamental process which does not depend on the congruency of the visual information.
Schindler, Andreas; Bartels, Andreas
Superimposed on the visual feed-forward pathway, feedback connections convey higher level information to cortical areas lower in the hierarchy. A prominent framework for these connections is the theory of predictive coding where high-level areas send stimulus interpretations to lower level areas that compare them with sensory input. Along these lines, a growing body of neuroimaging studies shows that predictable stimuli lead to reduced blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) responses compared with matched nonpredictable counterparts, especially in early visual cortex (EVC) including areas V1-V3. The sources of these modulatory feedback signals are largely unknown. Here, we re-examined the robust finding of relative BOLD suppression in EVC evident during processing of coherent compared with random motion. Using functional connectivity analysis, we show an optic flow-dependent increase of functional connectivity between BOLD suppressed EVC and a network of visual motion areas including MST, V3A, V6, the cingulate sulcus visual area (CSv), and precuneus (Pc). Connectivity decreased between EVC and 2 areas known to encode heading direction: entorhinal cortex (EC) and retrosplenial cortex (RSC). Our results provide first evidence that BOLD suppression in EVC for predictable stimuli is indeed mediated by specific high-level areas, in accord with the theory of predictive coding. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Melcher, David; Morrone, Maria Concetta
A basic principle in visual neuroscience is the retinotopic organization of neural receptive fields. Here, we review behavioral, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging evidence for nonretinotopic processing of visual stimuli. A number of behavioral studies have shown perception depending on object or external-space coordinate systems, in addition to retinal coordinates. Both single-cell neurophysiology and neuroimaging have provided evidence for the modulation of neural firing by gaze position and processing of visual information based on craniotopic or spatiotopic coordinates. Transient remapping of the spatial and temporal properties of neurons contingent on saccadic eye movements has been demonstrated in visual cortex, as well as frontal and parietal areas involved in saliency/priority maps, and is a good candidate to mediate some of the spatial invariance demonstrated by perception. Recent studies suggest that spatiotopic selectivity depends on a low spatial resolution system of maps that operates over a longer time frame than retinotopic processing and is strongly modulated by high-level cognitive factors such as attention. The interaction of an initial and rapid retinotopic processing stage, tied to new fixations, and a longer lasting but less precise nonretinotopic level of visual representation could underlie the perception of both a detailed and a stable visual world across saccadic eye movements.
Vlamings, Petra Hendrika Johanna Maria; Jonkman, Lisa Marthe; van Daalen, Emma; van der Gaag, Rutger Jan; Kemner, Chantal
A detailed visual processing style has been noted in autism spectrum disorder (ASD); this contributes to problems in face processing and has been directly related to abnormal processing of spatial frequencies (SFs). Little is known about the early development of face processing in ASD and the relation with abnormal SF processing. We investigated whether young ASD children show abnormalities in low spatial frequency (LSF, global) and high spatial frequency (HSF, detailed) processing and explored whether these are crucially involved in the early development of face processing. Three- to 4-year-old children with ASD (n = 22) were compared with developmentally delayed children without ASD (n = 17). Spatial frequency processing was studied by recording visual evoked potentials from visual brain areas while children passively viewed gratings (HSF/LSF). In addition, children watched face stimuli with different expressions, filtered to include only HSF or LSF. Enhanced activity in visual brain areas was found in response to HSF versus LSF information in children with ASD, in contrast to control subjects. Furthermore, facial-expression processing was also primarily driven by detail in ASD. Enhanced visual processing of detailed (HSF) information is present early in ASD and occurs for neutral (gratings), as well as for socially relevant stimuli (facial expressions). These data indicate that there is a general abnormality in visual SF processing in early ASD and are in agreement with suggestions that a fast LSF subcortical face processing route might be affected in ASD. This could suggest that abnormal visual processing is causative in the development of social problems in ASD. Copyright © 2010 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Poltoratski, Sonia; Ling, Sam; McCormack, Devin; Tong, Frank
The visual system employs a sophisticated balance of attentional mechanisms: salient stimuli are prioritized for visual processing, yet observers can also ignore such stimuli when their goals require directing attention elsewhere. A powerful determinant of visual salience is local feature contrast: if a local region differs from its immediate surround along one or more feature dimensions, it will appear more salient. We used high-resolution functional MRI (fMRI) at 7T to characterize the modulatory effects of bottom-up salience and top-down voluntary attention within multiple sites along the early visual pathway, including visual areas V1-V4 and the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). Observers viewed arrays of spatially distributed gratings, where one of the gratings immediately to the left or right of fixation differed from all other items in orientation or motion direction, making it salient. To investigate the effects of directed attention, observers were cued to attend to the grating to the left or right of fixation, which was either salient or nonsalient. Results revealed reliable additive effects of top-down attention and stimulus-driven salience throughout visual areas V1-hV4. In comparison, the LGN exhibited significant attentional enhancement but was not reliably modulated by orientation- or motion-defined salience. Our findings indicate that top-down effects of spatial attention can influence visual processing at the earliest possible site along the visual pathway, including the LGN, whereas the processing of orientation- and motion-driven salience primarily involves feature-selective interactions that take place in early cortical visual areas. NEW & NOTEWORTHY While spatial attention allows for specific, goal-driven enhancement of stimuli, salient items outside of the current focus of attention must also be prioritized. We used 7T fMRI to compare salience and spatial attentional enhancement along the early visual hierarchy. We report additive effects of
Good, William V; Hardy, Robert J; Dobson, Velma; Palmer, Earl A; Phelps, Dale L; Tung, Betty; Redford, Maryann
To compare visual acuity at 6 years of age in eyes that received early treatment for high-risk prethreshold retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) with conventionally managed eyes. Infants with symmetrical, high-risk prethreshold ROP (n = 317) had one eye randomized to earlier treatment at high-risk prethreshold disease and the other eye managed conventionally, treated if ROP progressed to threshold severity. For asymmetric cases (n = 84), the high-risk prethreshold eye was randomized to either early treatment or conventional management. The main outcome measure was ETDRS visual acuity measured at 6 years of age by masked testers. Retinal structure was assessed as a secondary outcome. Analysis of all subjects with high-risk prethreshold ROP showed no statistically significant benefit for early treatment (24.3% vs 28.6% [corrected] unfavorable outcome; P = .15). Analysis of 6-year visual acuity results according to the Type 1 and 2 clinical algorithm showed a benefit for Type 1 eyes (25.1% vs 32.8%; P = .02) treated early but not Type 2 eyes (23.6% vs 19.4%; P = .37). Early-treated eyes showed a significantly better structural outcome compared with conventionally managed eyes (8.9% vs 15.2% unfavorable outcome; P < .001), with no greater risk of ocular complications. Early treatment for Type 1 high-risk prethreshold eyes improved visual acuity outcomes at 6 years of age. Early treatment for Type 2 high-risk prethreshold eyes did not. Application to Clinical Practice Type 1 eyes, not Type 2 eyes, should be treated early. These results are particularly important considering that 52% of Type 2 high-risk prethreshold eyes underwent regression of ROP without requiring treatment. Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00027222.
Papanikolaou, Amalia; Keliris, Georgios A; Papageorgiou, T Dorina; Schiefer, Ulrich; Logothetis, Nikos K; Smirnakis, Stelios M
Damage to the primary visual cortex (V1) leads to a visual field loss (scotoma) in the retinotopically corresponding part of the visual field. Nonetheless, a small amount of residual visual sensitivity persists within the blind field. This residual capacity has been linked to activity observed in the middle temporal area complex (V5/MT+). However, it remains unknown whether the organization of hV5/MT+ changes following early visual cortical lesions. We studied the organization of area hV5/MT+ of five patients with dense homonymous defects in a quadrant of the visual field as a result of partial V1+ or optic radiation lesions. To do so, we developed a new method, which models the boundaries of population receptive fields directly from the BOLD signal of each voxel in the visual cortex. We found responses in hV5/MT+ arising inside the scotoma for all patients and identified two possible sources of activation: 1) responses might originate from partially lesioned parts of area V1 corresponding to the scotoma, and 2) responses can also originate independent of area V1 input suggesting the existence of functional V1-bypassing pathways. Apparently, visually driven activity observed in hV5/MT+ is not sufficient to mediate conscious vision. More surprisingly, visually driven activity in corresponding regions of V1 and early extrastriate areas including hV5/MT+ did not guarantee visual perception in the group of patients with post-geniculate lesions that we examined. This suggests that the fine coordination of visual activity patterns across visual areas may be an important determinant of whether visual perception persists following visual cortical lesions. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lantz, Crystal L.; Wang, Weili; Medina, Alexandre E.
There is growing evidence that deficits in neuronal plasticity underlie the cognitive problems seen in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). However, the mechanisms behind these deficits are not clear. Here we test the effects of early alcohol exposure on ocular dominance plasticity (ODP) in mice and the reversibility of these effects by phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors. Mouse pups were exposed to 5 g/kg of 25% ethanol i.p. on postnatal days (P) 5, 7 and 9. This type of alcohol exposure mimics binge drinking during the third trimester equivalent of human gestation. To assess ocular dominance plasticity animals were monocularly deprived at P21 for 10 days, and tested using optical imaging of intrinsic signals. During the period of monocular deprivation animals were treated with vinpocetine (20mg/kg; PDE1 inhibitor), rolipram (1.25 mg/Kg; PDE4 inhibitor), vardenafil (3 mg/Kg; PDE5 inhibitor) or vehicle solution. Monocular deprivation resulted in the expected shift in ocular dominance of the binocular zone in saline controls but not in the ethanol group. While vinpocetine successfully restored ODP in the ethanol group, rolipram and vardenafil did not. However, when rolipram and vardenafil were given simultaneously ODP was restored. PDE4 and PDE5 are specific to cAMP and cGMP respectively, while PDE1 acts on both of these nucleotides. Our findings suggest that the combined activation of the cAMP and cGMP cascades may be a good approach to improve neuronal plasticity in FASD models. PMID:22617459
Self, Matthew W; Peters, Judith C; Possel, Jessy K; Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C; Roelfsema, Pieter R
Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar to those reported in the macaque. We also observed pronounced gamma oscillations in the local-field potential that could be used to estimate the underlying spiking response properties. Spiking responses were modulated by visual context and attention. We observed orientation-tuned surround suppression: responses were suppressed by image regions with a uniform orientation and enhanced by orientation contrast. Additionally, responses were enhanced on regions that perceptually segregated from the background, indicating that neurons in the human visual cortex are sensitive to figure-ground structure. Spiking responses were also modulated by object-based attention. When the patient mentally traced a curve through the neurons' receptive fields, the accompanying shift of attention enhanced neuronal activity. These results demonstrate that the tuning properties of cells in the human early visual cortex are similar to those in the macaque and that responses can be modulated by both contextual factors and behavioral relevance. Our results, therefore, imply that the macaque visual system is an excellent model for the human visual cortex.
Liu, Lichan; Ioannides, Andreas A.
It is now apparent that the visual system reacts to stimuli very fast, with many brain areas activated within 100 ms. It is, however, unclear how much detail is extracted about stimulus properties in the early stages of visual processing. Here, using magnetoencephalography we show that the visual system separates different facial expressions of emotion well within 100 ms after image onset, and that this separation is processed differently depending on where in the visual field the stimulus is presented. Seven right-handed males participated in a face affect recognition experiment in which they viewed happy, fearful and neutral faces. Blocks of images were shown either at the center or in one of the four quadrants of the visual field. For centrally presented faces, the emotions were separated fast, first in the right superior temporal sulcus (STS; 35–48 ms), followed by the right amygdala (57–64 ms) and medial pre-frontal cortex (83–96 ms). For faces presented in the periphery, the emotions were separated first in the ipsilateral amygdala and contralateral STS. We conclude that amygdala and STS likely play a different role in early visual processing, recruiting distinct neural networks for action: the amygdala alerts sub-cortical centers for appropriate autonomic system response for fight or flight decisions, while the STS facilitates more cognitive appraisal of situations and links appropriate cortical sites together. It is then likely that different problems may arise when either network fails to initiate or function properly. PMID:20339549
Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.
Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar to those reported in the macaque. We also observed pronounced gamma oscillations in the local-field potential that could be used to estimate the underlying spiking response properties. Spiking responses were modulated by visual context and attention. We observed orientation-tuned surround suppression: responses were suppressed by image regions with a uniform orientation and enhanced by orientation contrast. Additionally, responses were enhanced on regions that perceptually segregated from the background, indicating that neurons in the human visual cortex are sensitive to figure-ground structure. Spiking responses were also modulated by object-based attention. When the patient mentally traced a curve through the neurons’ receptive fields, the accompanying shift of attention enhanced neuronal activity. These results demonstrate that the tuning properties of cells in the human early visual cortex are similar to those in the macaque and that responses can be modulated by both contextual factors and behavioral relevance. Our results, therefore, imply that the macaque visual system is an excellent model for the human visual cortex. PMID:27015604
Mondloch, Catherine J.; Segalowitz, Sidney J.; Lewis, Terri L.; Dywan, Jane; Le Grand, Richard; Maurer, Daphne
The expertise of adults in face perception is facilitated by their ability to rapidly detect that a stimulus is a face. In two experiments, we examined the role of early visual input in the development of face detection by testing patients who had been treated as infants for bilateral congenital cataract. Experiment 1 indicated that, at age 9 to…
Bilir-Seyhan, Gamze; Ocak-Karabay, Sakire
Purpose: Pre-service teachers start their university study with only a limited knowledge of art and aesthetics. Early childhood pre-service teachers should be equipped with visual arts education and aesthetics so they will be able to direct artistic activities. Elective courses about art and aesthetics raise pre-service teachers' awareness of…
Wokke, Martijn E; Sligte, Ilja G; Steven Scholte, H; Lamme, Victor A F
The ability to distinguish a figure from its background is crucial for visual perception. To date, it remains unresolved where and how in the visual system different stages of figure-ground segregation emerge. Neural correlates of figure border detection have consistently been found in early visual cortex (V1/V2). However, areas V1/V2 have also been frequently associated with later stages of figure-ground segregation (such as border ownership or surface segregation). To causally link activity in early visual cortex to different stages of figure-ground segregation, we briefly disrupted activity in areas V1/V2 at various moments in time using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Prior to stimulation we presented stimuli that made it possible to differentiate between figure border detection and surface segregation. We concurrently recorded electroencephalographic (EEG) signals to examine how neural correlates of figure-ground segregation were affected by TMS. Results show that disruption of V1/V2 in an early time window (96-119 msec) affected detection of figure stimuli and affected neural correlates of figure border detection, border ownership, and surface segregation. TMS applied in a relatively late time window (236-259 msec) selectively deteriorated performance associated with surface segregation. We conclude that areas V1/V2 are not only essential in an early stage of figure-ground segregation when figure borders are detected, but subsequently causally contribute to more sophisticated stages of figure-ground segregation such as surface segregation.
Wokke, Martijn E; Sligte, Ilja G; Steven Scholte, H; Lamme, Victor A F
The ability to distinguish a figure from its background is crucial for visual perception. To date, it remains unresolved where and how in the visual system different stages of figure–ground segregation emerge. Neural correlates of figure border detection have consistently been found in early visual cortex (V1/V2). However, areas V1/V2 have also been frequently associated with later stages of figure–ground segregation (such as border ownership or surface segregation). To causally link activity in early visual cortex to different stages of figure–ground segregation, we briefly disrupted activity in areas V1/V2 at various moments in time using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Prior to stimulation we presented stimuli that made it possible to differentiate between figure border detection and surface segregation. We concurrently recorded electroencephalographic (EEG) signals to examine how neural correlates of figure–ground segregation were affected by TMS. Results show that disruption of V1/V2 in an early time window (96–119 msec) affected detection of figure stimuli and affected neural correlates of figure border detection, border ownership, and surface segregation. TMS applied in a relatively late time window (236–259 msec) selectively deteriorated performance associated with surface segregation. We conclude that areas V1/V2 are not only essential in an early stage of figure–ground segregation when figure borders are detected, but subsequently causally contribute to more sophisticated stages of figure–ground segregation such as surface segregation. PMID:23170239
Moore, Vanessa; McConachie, Helen
This study investigated variables that might be associated with outcome differences in language development of 10 children (ages 10-20 months) with blindness or severe visual impairments, attending a developmental vision clinic in southern England. Subjects' early patterns of expressive language development were examined and related to observed…
Marslen-Wilson, William D.; Bozic, Mirjana; Randall, Billi
The role of morphological, semantic, and form-based factors in the early stages of visual word recognition was investigated across different SOAs in a masked priming paradigm, focusing on English derivational morphology. In a first set of experiments, stimulus pairs co-varying in morphological decomposability and in semantic and orthographic…
Toussaint, Karen A.; Tiger, Jeffrey H.
Despite the need for braille literacy, there has been little attempt to systematically evaluate braille-instruction programs. The current study evaluated an instructive procedure for teaching early braille-reading skills with 4 school-aged children with degenerative visual impairments. Following a series of pretests, braille instruction involved…
This article briefly reports on three early contributions to the understanding of visual agnosia as a syndrome sui generis. The authors of the respective papers worked in different fields such as physiology, ophthalmology, and neurology, and, although they were not in direct contact with each other, their results converged upon a consistent view of a nervous disorder that they called psychic blindness.
Salley, Brenda; Sheinkopf, Stephen J.; Neal-Beevers, A. Rebecca; Tenenbaum, Elena J.; Miller-Loncar, Cynthia L.; Tronick, Ed; Lagasse, Linda L.; Shankaran, Seetha; Bada, Henrietta; Bauer, Charles; Whitaker, Toni; Hammond, Jane; Lester, Barry M.
This study examined infants' early visual attention (at 1 month of age) and social engagement (4 months) as predictors of their later joint attention (12 and 18 months). The sample (n = 325), drawn from the Maternal Lifestyle Study, a longitudinal multicenter project conducted at 4 centers of the National Institute of Child Health and Human…
Trautmann-Lengsfeld, Sina Alexa; Herrmann, Christoph Siegfried
In a previous study, we showed that virtually simulated social group pressure could influence early stages of perception after only 100 ms. In the present EEG study, we investigated the influence of social pressure on visual perception in participants with high (HA) and low (LA) levels of autonomy. Ten HA and ten LA individuals were asked to accomplish a visual discrimination task in an adapted paradigm of Solomon Asch. Results indicate that LA participants adapted to the incorrect group opinion more often than HA participants (42% vs. 30% of the trials, respectively). LA participants showed a larger posterior P1 component contralateral to targets presented in the right visual field when conforming to the correct compared to conforming to the incorrect group decision. In conclusion, our ERP data suggest that the group context can have early effects on our perception rather than on conscious decision processes in LA, but not HA participants. Copyright © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
VanMeerten, Nicolaas J; Dubke, Rachel E; Stanwyck, John J; Kang, Seung Suk; Sponheim, Scott R
People with schizophrenia show deficits in processing visual stimuli but neural abnormalities underlying the deficits are unclear and it is unknown whether such functional brain abnormalities are present in other severe mental disorders or in individuals who carry genetic liability for schizophrenia. To better characterize brain responses underlying visual search deficits and test their specificity to schizophrenia we gathered behavioral and electrophysiological responses during visual search (i.e., Span of Apprehension [SOA] task) from 38 people with schizophrenia, 31 people with bipolar disorder, 58 biological relatives of people with schizophrenia, 37 biological relatives of people with bipolar disorder, and 65 non-psychiatric control participants. Through subtracting neural responses associated with purely sensory aspects of the stimuli we found that people with schizophrenia exhibited reduced early posterior task-related neural responses (i.e., Span Endogenous Negativity [SEN]) while other groups showed normative responses. People with schizophrenia exhibited longer reaction times than controls during visual search but nearly identical accuracy. Those individuals with schizophrenia who had larger SENs performed more efficiently (i.e., shorter reaction times) on the SOA task suggesting that modulation of early visual cortical responses facilitated their visual search. People with schizophrenia also exhibited a diminished P300 response compared to other groups. Unaffected first-degree relatives of people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia showed an amplified N1 response over posterior brain regions in comparison to other groups. Diminished early posterior brain responses are associated with impaired visual search in schizophrenia and appear to be specifically associated with the neuropathology of schizophrenia. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Müller, M M; Andersen, S; Trujillo, N J; Valdés-Sosa, P; Malinowski, P; Hillyard, S A
We used an electrophysiological measure of selective stimulus processing (the steady-state visual evoked potential, SSVEP) to investigate feature-specific attention to color cues. Subjects viewed a display consisting of spatially intermingled red and blue dots that continually shifted their positions at random. The red and blue dots flickered at different frequencies and thereby elicited distinguishable SSVEP signals in the visual cortex. Paying attention selectively to either the red or blue dot population produced an enhanced amplitude of its frequency-tagged SSVEP, which was localized by source modeling to early levels of the visual cortex. A control experiment showed that this selection was based on color rather than flicker frequency cues. This signal amplification of attended color items provides an empirical basis for the rapid identification of feature conjunctions during visual search, as proposed by "guided search" models.
Aoyama, Atsushi; Haruyama, Tomohiro; Kuriki, Shinya
Unconscious monitoring of multimodal stimulus changes enables humans to effectively sense the external environment. Such automatic change detection is thought to be reflected in auditory and visual mismatch negativity (MMN) and mismatch negativity fields (MMFs). These are event-related potentials and magnetic fields, respectively, evoked by deviant stimuli within a sequence of standard stimuli, and both are typically studied during irrelevant visual tasks that cause the stimuli to be ignored. Due to the sensitivity of MMN/MMF to potential effects of explicit attention to vision, however, it is unclear whether multisensory co-occurring changes can purely facilitate early sensory change detection reciprocally across modalities. We adopted a tactile task involving the reading of Braille patterns as a neutral ignore condition, while measuring magnetoencephalographic responses to concurrent audiovisual stimuli that were infrequently deviated either in auditory, visual, or audiovisual dimensions; 1000-Hz standard tones were switched to 1050-Hz deviant tones and/or two-by-two standard check patterns displayed on both sides of visual fields were switched to deviant reversed patterns. The check patterns were set to be faint enough so that the reversals could be easily ignored even during Braille reading. While visual MMFs were virtually undetectable even for visual and audiovisual deviants, significant auditory MMFs were observed for auditory and audiovisual deviants, originating from bilateral supratemporal auditory areas. Notably, auditory MMFs were significantly enhanced for audiovisual deviants from about 100 ms post-stimulus, as compared with the summation responses for auditory and visual deviants or for each of the unisensory deviants recorded in separate sessions. Evidenced by high tactile task performance with unawareness of visual changes, we conclude that Braille reading can successfully suppress explicit attention and that simultaneous multisensory changes can
Park, Joonkoo; Chiang, Crystal; Brannon, Elizabeth M.; Woldorff, Marty G.
Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging research has demonstrated that letters and numbers are preferentially processed in distinct regions and hemispheres in the visual cortex. In particular, the left visual cortex preferentially processes letters compared to numbers, while the right visual cortex preferentially processes numbers compared to letters. Because letters and numbers are cultural inventions and are otherwise physically arbitrary, such a double dissociation is strong evidence for experiential effects on neural architecture. Here, we use the high temporal resolution of event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the temporal dynamics of the neural dissociation between letters and numbers. We show that the divergence between ERP traces to letters and numbers emerges very early in processing. Letters evoked greater N1 waves (latencies 140–170 ms) than did numbers over left occipital channels, while numbers evoked greater N1s than letters over the right, suggesting letters and numbers are preferentially processed in opposite hemispheres early in visual encoding. Moreover, strings of letters, but not single letters, elicited greater P2 ERP waves, (starting around 250 ms) than numbers did over the left hemisphere, suggesting that the visual cortex is tuned to selectively process combinations of letters, but not numbers, further along in the visual processing stream. Additionally, the processing of both of these culturally defined stimulus types differentiated from similar but unfamiliar visual stimulus forms (false fonts) even earlier in the processing stream (the P1 at 100 ms). These findings imply major cortical specialization processes within the visual system driven by experience with reading and mathematics. PMID:24669789
Guzman-Lopez, Jessica; Arshad, Qadeer; Schultz, Simon R; Walsh, Vincent; Yousif, Nada
Head movement imposes the additional burdens on the visual system of maintaining visual acuity and determining the origin of retinal image motion (i.e., self-motion vs. object-motion). Although maintaining visual acuity during self-motion is effected by minimizing retinal slip via the brainstem vestibular-ocular reflex, higher order visuovestibular mechanisms also contribute. Disambiguating self-motion versus object-motion also invokes higher order mechanisms, and a cortical visuovestibular reciprocal antagonism is propounded. Hence, one prediction is of a vestibular modulation of visual cortical excitability and indirect measures have variously suggested none, focal or global effects of activation or suppression in human visual cortex. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced phosphenes to probe cortical excitability, we observed decreased V5/MT excitability versus increased early visual cortex (EVC) excitability, during vestibular activation. In order to exclude nonspecific effects (e.g., arousal) on cortical excitability, response specificity was assessed using information theory, specifically response entropy. Vestibular activation significantly modulated phosphene response entropy for V5/MT but not EVC, implying a specific vestibular effect on V5/MT responses. This is the first demonstration that vestibular activation modulates human visual cortex excitability. Furthermore, using information theory, not previously used in phosphene response analysis, we could distinguish between a specific vestibular modulation of V5/MT excitability from a nonspecific effect at EVC. PMID:22291031
Hong, Sang Wook; Tong, Frank
Perceptual filling-in exemplifies the constructive nature of visual processing. Color, a prominent surface property of visual objects, can appear to spread to neighboring areas that lack any color. We investigated cortical responses to a color filling-in illusion that effectively dissociates perceived color from the retinal input (van Lier, Vergeer, & Anstis, 2009). Observers adapted to a star-shaped stimulus with alternating red- and cyan-colored points to elicit a complementary afterimage. By presenting an achromatic outline that enclosed one of the two afterimage colors, perceptual filling-in of that color was induced in the unadapted central region. Visual cortical activity was monitored with fMRI, and analyzed using multivariate pattern analysis. Activity patterns in early visual areas (V1-V4) reliably distinguished between the two color-induced filled-in conditions, but only higher extrastriate visual areas showed the predicted correspondence with color perception. Activity patterns allowed for reliable generalization between filled-in colors and physical presentations of perceptually matched colors in areas V3 and V4, but not in earlier visual areas. These findings suggest that the perception of filled-in surface color likely requires more extensive processing by extrastriate visual areas, in order for the neural representation of surface color to become aligned with perceptually matched real colors.
Tan, Yufei; Tong, Xiuhong; Chen, Wei; Weng, Xuchu; He, Sheng; Zhao, Jing
The process of reading words depends heavily on efficient visual skills, including analyzing and decomposing basic visual features. Surprisingly, previous reading-related studies have almost exclusively focused on gross aspects of visual skills, while only very few have investigated the role of finer skills. The present study filled this gap and examined the relations of two finer visual skills measured by grating acuity (the ability to resolve periodic luminance variations across space) and Vernier acuity (the ability to detect/discriminate relative locations of features) to Chinese character-processing as measured by character form-matching and lexical decision tasks in skilled adult readers. The results showed that Vernier acuity was significantly correlated with performance in character form-matching but not visual symbol form-matching, while no correlation was found between grating acuity and character processing. Interestingly, we found no correlation of the two visual skills with lexical decision performance. These findings provide for the first time empirical evidence that the finer visual skills, particularly as reflected in Vernier acuity, may directly contribute to an early stage of hierarchical word processing.
Cooper, Emily A.; Norcia, Anthony M.
The nervous system has evolved in an environment with structure and predictability. One of the ubiquitous principles of sensory systems is the creation of circuits that capitalize on this predictability. Previous work has identified predictable non-uniformities in the distributions of basic visual features in natural images that are relevant to the encoding tasks of the visual system. Here, we report that the well-established statistical distributions of visual features -- such as visual contrast, spatial scale, and depth -- differ between bright and dark image components. Following this analysis, we go on to trace how these differences in natural images translate into different patterns of cortical input that arise from the separate bright (ON) and dark (OFF) pathways originating in the retina. We use models of these early visual pathways to transform natural images into statistical patterns of cortical input. The models include the receptive fields and non-linear response properties of the magnocellular (M) and parvocellular (P) pathways, with their ON and OFF pathway divisions. The results indicate that there are regularities in visual cortical input beyond those that have previously been appreciated from the direct analysis of natural images. In particular, several dark/bright asymmetries provide a potential account for recently discovered asymmetries in how the brain processes visual features, such as violations of classic energy-type models. On the basis of our analysis, we expect that the dark/bright dichotomy in natural images plays a key role in the generation of both cortical and perceptual asymmetries. PMID:26020624
Amicuzi, Ileana; Stortini, Massimo; Petrarca, Maurizio; Di Giulio, Paola; Di Rosa, Giuseppe; Fariello, Giuseppe; Longo, Daniela; Cannatà, Vittorio; Genovese, Elisabetta; Castelli, Enrico
We report the case of a 4.6-year-old girl born pre-term with early bilateral occipital damage. It was revealed that the child had non-severely impaired basic visual abilities and ocular motility, a selective perceptual deficit of figure-ground segregation, impaired visual recognition and abnormal navigating through space. Even if the child's visual functioning was not optimal, this was the expression of adaptive anatomic and functional brain modifications that occurred following the early lesion. Anatomic brain structure was studied with anatomic MRI and Diffusor Tensor Imaging (DTI)-MRI. This behavioral study may provide an important contribution to understanding the impact of an early lesion of the visual system on the development of visual functions and on the immature brain's potential for reorganisation related to when the damage occurred.
Ely, Mindy S.; Ostrosky, Michaelene M.
Introduction: Professionals working with infants and toddlers with visual impairments (that is, those who are blind or have low vision) were surveyed regarding their preservice training and their awareness and use of 29 resources related to young children who are visually impaired. Methods: Early intervention visual impairment professionals (n =…
Allen, Thomas E.; Letteri, Amy; Choi, Song Hoa; Dang, Daqian
A brief review is provided of recent research on the impact of early visual language exposure on a variety of developmental outcomes, including literacy, cognition, and social adjustment. This body of work points to the great importance of giving young deaf children early exposure to a visual language as a critical precursor to the acquisition of…
Chen, Yuanyuan; Davis, Matthew H; Pulvermüller, Friedemann; Hauk, Olaf
Visual word recognition is often described as automatic, but the functional locus of top-down effects is still a matter of debate. Do task demands modulate how information is retrieved, or only how it is used? We used EEG/MEG recordings to assess whether, when, and how task contexts modify early retrieval of specific psycholinguistic information in occipitotemporal cortex, an area likely to contribute to early stages of visual word processing. Using a parametric approach, we analyzed the spatiotemporal response patterns of occipitotemporal cortex for orthographic, lexical, and semantic variables in three psycholinguistic tasks: silent reading, lexical decision, and semantic decision. Task modulation of word frequency and imageability effects occurred simultaneously in ventral occipitotemporal regions-in the vicinity of the putative visual word form area-around 160 msec, following task effects on orthographic typicality around 100 msec. Frequency and typicality also produced task-independent effects in anterior temporal lobe regions after 200 msec. The early task modulation for several specific psycholinguistic variables indicates that occipitotemporal areas integrate perceptual input with prior knowledge in a task-dependent manner. Still, later task-independent effects in anterior temporal lobes suggest that word recognition eventually leads to retrieval of semantic information irrespective of task demands. We conclude that even a highly overlearned visual task like word recognition should be described as flexible rather than automatic.
Singh, Sumit; Behari, Madhuri
The effect of initiation of levodopa therapy on the memory functions in patients with Parkinson's disease remains poorly understood. To evaluate the effect of initiation of levodopa therapy on memory, in patients with early Parkinson's disease. Prospective case control study. Seventeen patients with early Parkinson's disease were evaluated for verbal memory using Rey's auditory verbal learning test, and visual memory using the Benton's visual retention test and Form sequence learning test. UPDRS scores, Hoehn and Yahr's Staging and Schwab and England scores of Activities of daily living. Hamilton's depression rating scale and MMSE were also evaluated. Six controls were also evaluated according to similar study protocol. Levodopa was then prescribed to the cases. Same tests were repeated on all the subjects after 12 weeks. The mean age of the patients was 59.8 (+ 12.9 yrs); mean disease duration of 3.26 (+ 2.06 yrs). The mean UPDRS scores of patients were 36.52 (+ 15.84). Controls were of a similar age and sex distribution. A statistically significant improvement in the scores on the UPDRS, Hamilton's depression scale, Schwab and England scale, and a statistically significant deterioration in the scores of visual memory was observed in patients with PD after starting levodopa, as compared to their baseline scores. There was no correlation between degree of deterioration and the dose of levodopa. Initiation of levodopa therapy in patients with early and stable Parkinson's disease is associated with deterioration in visual memory functions, with relative preservation of the verbal memory.
He, Hui; Fan, Guotao; Ye, Jianwei; Zhang, Weizhe
It is of great significance to research the early warning system for large-scale network security incidents. It can improve the network system's emergency response capabilities, alleviate the cyber attacks' damage, and strengthen the system's counterattack ability. A comprehensive early warning system is presented in this paper, which combines active measurement and anomaly detection. The key visualization algorithm and technology of the system are mainly discussed. The large-scale network system's plane visualization is realized based on the divide and conquer thought. First, the topology of the large-scale network is divided into some small-scale networks by the MLkP/CR algorithm. Second, the sub graph plane visualization algorithm is applied to each small-scale network. Finally, the small-scale networks' topologies are combined into a topology based on the automatic distribution algorithm of force analysis. As the algorithm transforms the large-scale network topology plane visualization problem into a series of small-scale network topology plane visualization and distribution problems, it has higher parallelism and is able to handle the display of ultra-large-scale network topology.
Störmer, Viola S; Li, Shu-Chen; Heekeren, Hauke R; Lindenberger, Ulman
Declines in selective attention are one of the sources contributing to age-related impairments in a broad range of cognitive functions. Most previous research on mechanisms underlying older adults' selection deficits has studied the deployment of visual attention to static objects and features. Here we investigate neural correlates of age-related differences in spatial attention to multiple objects as they move. We used a multiple object tracking task, in which younger and older adults were asked to keep track of moving target objects that moved randomly in the visual field among irrelevant distractor objects. By recording the brain's electrophysiological responses during the tracking period, we were able to delineate neural processing for targets and distractors at early stages of visual processing (~100-300 msec). Older adults showed less selective attentional modulation in the early phase of the visual P1 component (100-125 msec) than younger adults, indicating that early selection is compromised in old age. However, with a 25-msec delay relative to younger adults, older adults showed distinct processing of targets (125-150 msec), that is, a delayed yet intact attentional modulation. The magnitude of this delayed attentional modulation was related to tracking performance in older adults. The amplitude of the N1 component (175-210 msec) was smaller in older adults than in younger adults, and the target amplification effect of this component was also smaller in older relative to younger adults. Overall, these results indicate that normal aging affects the efficiency and timing of early visual processing during multiple object tracking.
Yee, Meagan; Jones, Susan S.; Smith, Linda B.
Two of the most formidable skills that characterize human beings are language and our prowess in visual object recognition. They may also be developmentally intertwined. Two experiments, a large sample cross-sectional study and a smaller sample 6-month longitudinal study of 18- to 24-month-olds, tested a hypothesized developmental link between changes in visual object representation and noun learning. Previous findings in visual object recognition indicate that children’s ability to recognize common basic level categories from sparse structural shape representations of object shape emerges between the ages of 18 and 24 months, is related to noun vocabulary size, and is lacking in children with language delay. Other research shows in artificial noun learning tasks that during this same developmental period, young children systematically generalize object names by shape, that this shape bias predicts future noun learning, and is lacking in children with language delay. The two experiments examine the developmental relation between visual object recognition and the shape bias for the first time. The results show that developmental changes in visual object recognition systematically precede the emergence of the shape bias. The results suggest a developmental pathway in which early changes in visual object recognition that are themselves linked to category learning enable the discovery of higher-order regularities in category structure and thus the shape bias in novel noun learning tasks. The proposed developmental pathway has implications for understanding the role of specific experience in the development of both visual object recognition and the shape bias in early noun learning. PMID:23227015
Marcet, Ana; Perea, Manuel
For simplicity, contemporary models of written-word recognition and reading have unspecified feature/letter levels-they predict that the visually similar substituted-letter nonword PEQPLE is as effective at activating the word PEOPLE as the visually dissimilar substituted-letter nonword PEYPLE. Previous empirical evidence on the effects of visual similarly across letters during written-word recognition is scarce and nonconclusive. To examine whether visual similarity across letters plays a role early in word processing, we conducted two masked priming lexical decision experiments (stimulus-onset asynchrony = 50 ms). The substituted-letter primes were visually very similar to the target letters (u/v in Experiment 1 and i/j in Experiment 2; e.g., nevtral-NEUTRAL). For comparison purposes, we included an identity prime condition (neutral-NEUTRAL) and a dissimilar-letter prime condition (neztral-NEUTRAL). Results showed that the similar-letter prime condition produced faster word identification times than the dissimilar-letter prime condition. We discuss how models of written-word recognition should be amended to capture visual similarity effects across letters.
Sneve, Markus H; Sreenivasan, Kartik K; Alnæs, Dag; Endestad, Tor; Magnussen, Svein
Retention of features in visual short-term memory (VSTM) involves maintenance of sensory traces in early visual cortex. However, the mechanism through which this is accomplished is not known. Here, we formulate specific hypotheses derived from studies on feature-based attention to test the prediction that visual cortex is recruited by attentional mechanisms during VSTM of low-level features. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of human visual areas revealed that neural populations coding for task-irrelevant feature information are suppressed during maintenance of detailed spatial frequency memory representations. The narrow spectral extent of this suppression agrees well with known effects of feature-based attention. Additionally, analyses of effective connectivity during maintenance between retinotopic areas in visual cortex show that the observed highlighting of task-relevant parts of the feature spectrum originates in V4, a visual area strongly connected with higher-level control regions and known to convey top-down influence to earlier visual areas during attentional tasks. In line with this property of V4 during attentional operations, we demonstrate that modulations of earlier visual areas during memory maintenance have behavioral consequences, and that these modulations are a result of influences from V4. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Reinhart, Robert M G; Carlisle, Nancy B; Woodman, Geoffrey F
Current research suggests that we can watch visual working memory surrender the control of attention early in the process of learning to search for a specific object. This inference is based on the observation that the contralateral delay activity (CDA) rapidly decreases in amplitude across trials when subjects search for the same target object. Here, we tested the alternative explanation that the role of visual working memory does not actually decline across learning, but instead lateralized representations accumulate in both hemispheres across trials and wash out the lateralized CDA. We show that the decline in CDA amplitude occurred even when the target objects were consistently lateralized to a single visual hemifield. Our findings demonstrate that reductions in the amplitude of the CDA during learning are not simply due to the dilution of the CDA from interhemispheric cancellation. Copyright © 2014 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Ferreira, Fábio S; Pereira, João M S; Reis, Aldina; Sanches, Mafalda; Duarte, João V; Gomes, Leonor; Moreno, Carolina; Castelo-Branco, Miguel
It is known that diabetic patients have changes in cortical morphometry as compared to controls, but it remains to be clarified whether the visual cortex is a disease target, even when diabetes complications such as retinopathy are absent. Therefore, we compared type 2 diabetes patients without diabetic retinopathy with control subjects using magnetic resonance imaging to assess visual cortical changes when retinal damage is not yet present. We performed T1-weighted imaging in 24 type 2 diabetes patients without diabetic retinopathy and 27 age- and gender-matched controls to compare gray matter changes in the occipital cortex between groups using voxel based morphometry. Patients without diabetic retinopathy showed reduced gray matter volume in the occipital lobe when compared with controls. Reduced gray matter volume in the occipital cortex was found in diabetic patients without retinal damage. We conclude that cortical early visual processing regions may be affected in diabetic patients even before retinal damage occurs.
Butler, Pamela D.; Zemon, Vance; Schechter, Isaac; Saperstein, Alice M.; Hoptman, Matthew J.; Lim, Kelvin O.; Revheim, Nadine; Silipo, Gail; Javitt, Daniel C.
Background Patients with schizophrenia show deficits in early-stage visual processing, potentially reflecting dysfunction of the magnocellular visual pathway. The magnocellular system operates normally in a nonlinear amplification mode mediated by glutamatergic (N-methyl-d-aspartate) receptors. Investigating magnocellular dysfunction in schizophrenia therefore permits evaluation of underlying etiologic hypotheses. Objectives To evaluate magnocellular dysfunction in schizophrenia, relative to known neurochemical and neuroanatomical substrates, and to examine relationships between electrophysiological and behavioral measures of visual pathway dysfunction and relationships with higher cognitive deficits. Design, Setting, and Participants Between-group study at an inpatient state psychiatric hospital and out-patient county psychiatric facilities. Thirty-three patients met DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and 21 nonpsychiatric volunteers of similar ages composed the control group. Main Outcome Measures (1) Magnocellular and parvocellular evoked potentials, analyzed using nonlinear (Michaelis-Menten) and linear contrast gain approaches; (2) behavioral contrast sensitivity measures; (3) white matter integrity; (4) visual and nonvisual neuropsychological measures, and (5) clinical symptom and community functioning measures. Results Patients generated evoked potentials that were significantly reduced in response to magnocellular-biased, but not parvocellular-biased, stimuli (P=.001). Michaelis-Menten analyses demonstrated reduced contrast gain of the magnocellular system (P=.001). Patients showed decreased contrast sensitivity to magnocellular-biased stimuli (P<.001). Evoked potential deficits were significantly related to decreased white matter integrity in the optic radiations (P<.03). Evoked potential deficits predicted impaired contrast sensitivity (P=.002), which was in turn related to deficits in complex visual processing (P≤.04). Both
Ferrari, C; Vecchi, T; Merabet, L B; Cattaneo, Z
Investigating the impact of early visual deprivation on evaluations related to social trust has received little attention to date. This is despite consistent evidence suggesting that early onset blindness may interfere with the normal development of social skills. In this study, we investigated whether early blindness affects judgments of trustworthiness regarding the actions of an agent, with trustworthiness representing the fundamental dimension in the social evaluation. Specifically, we compared performance between a group of early blind individuals with that of sighted controls in their evaluation of trustworthiness of an agent after hearing a pair of two positive or two negative social behaviors (impression formation). Participants then repeated the same evaluation following the presentation of a third (consistent or inconsistent) behavior regarding the same agent (impression updating). Overall, blind individuals tended to give similar evaluations compared to their sighted counterparts. However, they also valued positive behaviors significantly more than sighted controls when forming their impression of an agent's trustworthiness. Moreover, when inconsistent information was provided, blind individuals were more prone to revise their initial evaluation compared to controls. These results suggest that early visual deprivation may have a dramatic effect on the evaluation of social factors such as trustworthiness. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Allen, Thomas E; Letteri, Amy; Choi, Song Hoa; Dang, Daqian
Brief review is provided of recent research on the impact of early visual language exposure on a variety of developmental outcomes, including literacy, cognition, and social adjustment. This body of work points to the great importance of giving young deaf children early exposure to a visual language as a critical precursor to the acquisition of literacy. Four analyses of data from the Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) Early Education Longitudinal Study are summarized. Each confirms findings from previously published laboratory findings and points to the positive effects of early sign language on, respectively, letter knowledge, social adaptability, sustained visual attention, and cognitive-behavioral milestones necessary for academic success. The article concludes with a consideration of the qualitative similarity hypothesis and a finding that the hypothesis is valid, but only if it can be presented as being modality independent.
Guerreiro, Maria J S; Putzar, Lisa; Röder, Brigitte
Transient congenital visual deprivation affects visual and multisensory processing. In contrast, the extent to which it affects auditory processing has not been investigated systematically. Research in permanently blind individuals has revealed brain reorganization during auditory processing, involving both intramodal and crossmodal plasticity. The present study investigated the effect of transient congenital visual deprivation on the neural bases of auditory processing in humans. Cataract-reversal individuals and normally sighted controls performed a speech-in-noise task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. Although there were no behavioral group differences, groups differed in auditory cortical responses: in the normally sighted group, auditory cortex activation increased with increasing noise level, whereas in the cataract-reversal group, no activation difference was observed across noise levels. An auditory activation of visual cortex was not observed at the group level in cataract-reversal individuals. The present data suggest prevailing auditory processing advantages after transient congenital visual deprivation, even many years after sight restoration. The present study demonstrates that people whose sight was restored after a transient period of congenital blindness show more efficient cortical processing of auditory stimuli (here speech), similarly to what has been observed in congenitally permanently blind individuals. These results underscore the importance of early sensory experience in permanently shaping brain function. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/361620-11$15.00/0.
Perea, Manuel; Mallouh, Reem Abu; Carreiras, Manuel
A commonly shared assumption in the field of visual-word recognition is that retinotopic representations are rapidly converted into abstract representations. Here we examine the role of visual form vs. abstract representations during the early stages of word processing - as measured by masked priming - in young children (3rd and 6th Graders) and adult readers. To maximize the chances of detecting an effect of visual form, we employed a language with a very intricate orthography, Arabic. If visual form plays a role in the early stages of processing, greater benefit would be expected from related primes that have the same visual form (in terms of the ligation pattern between a word's letters) as the target word (e.g.- [ktz b-ktA b] - note that the three initial letters are connected in prime and target) than for those that do not (- [ktxb-ktA b]). Results showed that the magnitude of priming effect relative to an unrelated condition (e.g. -) was remarkably similar for both types of prime. Thus, despite the visual complexity of Arabic orthography, there is fast access to the abstract letter representations not only in adult readers by also in developing readers. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Perea, Manuel; Abu Mallouh, Reem; Carreiras, Manuel
A commonly shared assumption in the field of visual-word recognition is that retinotopic representations are rapidly converted into abstract representations. Here we examine the role of visual form vs. abstract representations during the early stages of word processing –as measured by masked priming– in young children (3rd and 6th graders) and adult readers. To maximize the chances of detecting an effect of visual form, we employed a language with a very intricate orthography, Arabic. If visual form plays a role in the early moments of processing, greater benefit would be expected from related primes that have the same visual form (in terms of the ligation pattern between a word’s letters) as the target word (e.g., - [ktzb-ktAb] –note that the three initial letters are connected in prime and target) than for those that do not ( [ktxb-ktAb]). Results showed that the magnitude of priming effect relative to an unrelated condition (e.g., ) was remarkably similar for both types of primes. Thus, despite the visual complexity of Arabic orthography, there is fast access to the abstract letter representations not only in adult readers by also in developing readers. PMID:23786474
McClure, Marissa; Tarr, Patricia; Thompson, Christine Marmé; Eckhoff, Angela
This article reflects the collective voices of four early childhood visual arts educators, each of whom is a member of the Early Childhood Art Educators (ECAE) Issues Group of the National Arts Educators Association. The authors frame the article around the ECAE position statement, "Art: Essential for Early Learning" (2016), which…
Tremblay, Emmanuel; Vannasing, Phetsamone; Roy, Marie-Sylvie; Lefebvre, Francine; Kombate, Damelan; Lassonde, Maryse; Lepore, Franco; McKerral, Michelle; Gallagher, Anne
In the past decades, multiple studies have been interested in developmental patterns of the visual system in healthy infants. During the first year of life, differential maturational changes have been observed between the Magnocellular (P) and the Parvocellular (P) visual pathways. However, few studies investigated P and M system development in infants born prematurely. The aim of the present study was to characterize P and M system maturational differences between healthy preterm and fullterm infants through a critical period of visual maturation: the first year of life. Using a cross-sectional design, high-density electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded in 31 healthy preterms and 41 fullterm infants of 3, 6, or 12 months (corrected age for premature babies). Three visual stimulations varying in contrast and spatial frequency were presented to stimulate preferentially the M pathway, the P pathway, or both systems simultaneously during EEG recordings. Results from early visual evoked potentials in response to the stimulation that activates simultaneously both systems revealed longer N1 latencies and smaller P1 amplitudes in preterm infants compared to fullterms. Moreover, preterms showed longer N1 and P1 latencies in response to stimuli assessing the M pathway at 3 months. No differences between preterms and fullterms were found when using the preferential P system stimulation. In order to identify the cerebral generator of each visual response, distributed source analyses were computed in 12-month-old infants using LORETA. Source analysis demonstrated an activation of the parietal dorsal region in fullterm infants, in response to the preferential M pathway, which was not seen in the preterms. Overall, these findings suggest that the Magnocellular pathway development is affected in premature infants. Although our VEP results suggest that premature children overcome, at least partially, the visual developmental delay with time, source analyses reveal abnormal brain
Bosking, William H; Sun, Ping; Ozker, Muge; Pei, Xiaomei; Foster, Brett L; Beauchamp, Michael S; Yoshor, Daniel
Electrically stimulating early visual cortex results in a visual percept known as a phosphene. Although phosphenes can be evoked by a wide range of electrode sizes and current amplitudes, they are invariably described as small. To better understand this observation, we electrically stimulated 93 electrodes implanted in the visual cortex of 13 human subjects who reported phosphene size while stimulation current was varied. Phosphene size increased as the stimulation current was initially raised above threshold, but then rapidly reached saturation. Phosphene size also depended on the location of the stimulated site, with size increasing with distance from the foveal representation. We developed a model relating phosphene size to the amount of activated cortex and its location within the retinotopic map. First, a sigmoidal curve was used to predict the amount of activated cortex at a given current. Second, the amount of active cortex was converted to degrees of visual angle by multiplying by the inverse cortical magnification factor for that retinotopic location. This simple model accurately predicted phosphene size for a broad range of stimulation currents and cortical locations. The unexpected saturation in phosphene sizes suggests that the functional architecture of cerebral cortex may impose fundamental restrictions on the spread of artificially evoked activity and this may be an important consideration in the design of cortical prosthetic devices. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding the neural basis for phosphenes, the visual percepts created by electrical stimulation of visual cortex, is fundamental to the development of a visual cortical prosthetic. Our experiments in human subjects implanted with electrodes over visual cortex show that it is the activity of a large population of cells spread out across several millimeters of tissue that supports the perception of a phosphene. In addition, we describe an important feature of the production of phosphenes by
Mo, Ce; He, Dongjun; Fang, Fang
Attention priority maps are topographic representations that are used for attention selection and guidance of task-related behavior during visual processing. Previous studies have identified attention priority maps of simple artificial stimuli in multiple cortical and subcortical areas, but investigating neural correlates of priority maps of natural stimuli is complicated by the complexity of their spatial structure and the difficulty of behaviorally characterizing their priority map. To overcome these challenges, we reconstructed the topographic representations of upright/inverted face images from fMRI BOLD signals in human early visual areas primary visual cortex (V1) and the extrastriate cortex (V2 and V3) based on a voxelwise population receptive field model. We characterized the priority map behaviorally as the first saccadic eye movement pattern when subjects performed a face-matching task relative to the condition in which subjects performed a phase-scrambled face-matching task. We found that the differential first saccadic eye movement pattern between upright/inverted and scrambled faces could be predicted from the reconstructed topographic representations in V1-V3 in humans of either sex. The coupling between the reconstructed representation and the eye movement pattern increased from V1 to V2/3 for the upright faces, whereas no such effect was found for the inverted faces. Moreover, face inversion modulated the coupling in V2/3, but not in V1. Our findings provide new evidence for priority maps of natural stimuli in early visual areas and extend traditional attention priority map theories by revealing another critical factor that affects priority maps in extrastriate cortex in addition to physical salience and task goal relevance: image configuration. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Prominent theories of attention posit that attention sampling of visual information is mediated by a series of interacting topographic representations of visual space known as
Merkel, Nina; Wibral, Michael; Bland, Gareth; Singer, Wolf
Human subjects were trained with neurofeedback (NFB) to enhance the power of narrow-band gamma oscillations in circumscribed regions of early visual cortex. To select the region and the oscillation frequency for NFB training, gamma oscillations were induced with locally presented drifting gratings. The source and frequency of these induced oscillations were determined using beamforming methods. During NFB training the power of narrow band gamma oscillations was continuously extracted from this source with online beamforming and converted into the pitch of a tone signal. We found that seven out of ten subjects were able to selectively increase the amplitude of gamma oscillations in the absence of visual stimulation. One subject however failed completely and two subjects succeeded to manipulate the feedback signal by contraction of muscles. In all subjects the attempts to enhance visual gamma oscillations were associated with an increase of beta oscillations over precentral/frontal regions. Only successful subjects exhibited an additional marked increase of theta oscillations over precentral/prefrontal and temporal regions whereas unsuccessful subjects showed an increase of alpha band oscillations over occipital regions. We argue that spatially confined networks in early visual cortex can be entrained to engage in narrow band gamma oscillations not only by visual stimuli but also by top down signals. We interpret the concomitant increase in beta oscillations as indication for an engagement of the fronto-parietal attention network and the increase of theta oscillations as a correlate of imagery. Our finding support the application of NFB in disease conditions associated with impaired gamma synchronization. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Papaconstantinou, Dimitris; Georgalas, Ilias; Kalantzis, George; Karmiris, Efthimios; Koutsandrea, Chrysanthi; Diagourtas, Andreas; Ladas, Ioannis; Georgopoulos, Gerasimos
Purpose: To study acquired color vision and visual field defects in patients with ocular hypertension (OH) and early glaucoma. Methods: In a prospective study we evaluated 99 eyes of 56 patients with OH without visual field defects and no hereditary color deficiencies, followed up for 4 to 6 years (mean = 4.7 ± 0.6 years). Color vision defects were studied using a special computer program for Farnsworth–Munsell 100 hue test and visual field tests were performed with Humphrey analyzer using program 30–2. Both tests were repeated every six months. Results: In fifty-six eyes, glaucomatous defects were observed during the follow-up period. There was a statistically significant difference in total error score (TES) between eyes that eventually developed glaucoma (157.89 ± 31.79) and OH eyes (75.51 ± 31.57) at the first examination (t value 12.816, p < 0.001). At the same time visual field indices were within normal limits in both groups. In the glaucomatous eyes the earliest statistical significant change in TES was identified at the first year of follow-up and was −20.62 ± 2.75 (t value 9.08, p < 0.001) while in OH eyes was −2.11 ± 4.36 (t value 1.1, p = 0.276). Pearson’s coefficient was high in all examinations and showed a direct correlation between TES and mean deviation and corrected pattern standard deviation in both groups. Conclusion: Quantitative analysis of color vision defects provides the possibility of follow-up and can prove a useful means for detecting early glaucomatous changes in patients with normal visual fields. PMID:19668575
Papaconstantinou, Dimitris; Georgalas, Ilias; Kalantzis, George; Karmiris, Efthimios; Koutsandrea, Chrysanthi; Diagourtas, Andreas; Ladas, Ioannis; Georgopoulos, Gerasimos
To study acquired color vision and visual field defects in patients with ocular hypertension (OH) and early glaucoma. In a prospective study we evaluated 99 eyes of 56 patients with OH without visual field defects and no hereditary color deficiencies, followed up for 4 to 6 years (mean = 4.7 +/- 0.6 years). Color vision defects were studied using a special computer program for Farnsworth-Munsell 100 hue test and visual field tests were performed with Humphrey analyzer using program 30-2. Both tests were repeated every six months. In fifty-six eyes, glaucomatous defects were observed during the follow-up period. There was a statistically significant difference in total error score (TES) between eyes that eventually developed glaucoma (157.89 +/- 31.79) and OH eyes (75.51 +/- 31.57) at the first examination (t value 12.816, p < 0.001). At the same time visual field indices were within normal limits in both groups. In the glaucomatous eyes the earliest statistical significant change in TES was identified at the first year of follow-up and was -20.62 +/- 2.75 (t value 9.08, p < 0.001) while in OH eyes was -2.11 +/- 4.36 (t value 1.1, p = 0.276). Pearson's coefficient was high in all examinations and showed a direct correlation between TES and mean deviation and corrected pattern standard deviation in both groups. Quantitative analysis of color vision defects provides the possibility of follow-up and can prove a useful means for detecting early glaucomatous changes in patients with normal visual fields.
Amano, Kaoru; Shibata, Kazuhisa; Kawato, Mitsuo; Sasaki, Yuka; Watanabe, Takeo
Associative learning is an essential brain process where the contingency of different items increases after training. Associative learning has been found to occur in many brain regions [1-4]. However, there is no clear evidence that associative learning of visual features occurs in early visual areas, although a number of studies have indicated that learning of a single visual feature (perceptual learning) involves early visual areas [5-8]. Here, via decoded fMRI neurofeedback termed "DecNef" , we tested whether associative learning of orientation and color can be created in early visual areas. During 3 days of training, DecNef induced fMRI signal patterns that corresponded to a specific target color (red) mostly in early visual areas while a vertical achromatic grating was physically presented to participants. As a result, participants came to perceive "red" significantly more frequently than "green" in an achromatic vertical grating. This effect was also observed 3-5 months after the training. These results suggest that long-term associative learning of two different visual features such as orientation and color was created, most likely in early visual areas. This newly extended technique that induces associative learning is called "A-DecNef," and it may be used as an important tool for understanding and modifying brain functions because associations are fundamental and ubiquitous functions in the brain. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Amano, Kaoru; Shibata, Kazuhisa; Kawato, Mitsuo; Sasaki, Yuka; Watanabe, Takeo
Summary Associative learning is an essential brain process where the contingency of different items increases after training. Associative learning has been found to occur in many brain regions [1-4]. However, there is no clear evidence that associative learning of visual features occurs in early visual areas, although a number of studies have indicated that learning of a single visual feature (perceptual learning) involves early visual areas [5-8]. Here, via decoded functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) neurofeedback, termed “DecNef” , we tested whether associative learning of color and orientation can be created in early visual areas. During three days' training, DecNef induced fMRI signal patterns that corresponded to a specific target color (red) mostly in early visual areas while a vertical achromatic grating was physically presented to participants. As a result, participants came to perceive “red” significantly more frequently than “green” in an achromatic vertical grating. This effect was also observed 3 to 5 months after the training. These results suggest that long-term associative learning of the two different visual features such as color and orientation was created most likely in early visual areas. This newly extended technique that induces associative learning is called “A(ssociative)-DecNef” and may be used as an important tool for understanding and modifying brain functions, since associations are fundamental and ubiquitous functions in the brain. PMID:27374335
Voluntary and stimulus-driven shifts of attention can modulate the representation of behaviorally relevant stimuli in early areas of visual cortex. In turn, attended items are processed faster and more accurately, facilitating the selection of appropriate behavioral responses. Information processing is also strongly influenced by past experience and recent studies indicate that the learned value of a stimulus can influence relatively late stages of decision making such as the process of selecting a motor response. However, the learned value of a stimulus can also influence the magnitude of cortical responses in early sensory areas such as V1 and S1. These early effects of stimulus value are presumed to improve the quality of sensory representations; however, the nature of these modulations is not clear. They could reflect nonspecific changes in response amplitude associated with changes in general arousal or they could reflect a bias in population responses so that high-value features are represented more robustly. To examine this issue, subjects performed a two-alternative forced choice paradigm with a variable-interval payoff schedule to dynamically manipulate the relative value of two stimuli defined by their orientation (one was rotated clockwise from vertical, the other counterclockwise). Activation levels in visual cortex were monitored using functional MRI and feature-selective voxel tuning functions while subjects performed the behavioral task. The results suggest that value not only modulates the relative amplitude of responses in early areas of human visual cortex, but also sharpens the response profile across the populations of feature-selective neurons that encode the critical stimulus feature (orientation). Moreover, changes in space- or feature-based attention cannot easily explain the results because representations of both the selected and the unselected stimuli underwent a similar feature-selective modulation. This sharpening in the population
Angoff, Ronald; Wood, Jillian; Chernock, Maria C; Tipping, Diane
The aim of this study was to determine whether the use of visual freeze indicators on vaccines would assist health care providers in identifying vaccines that may have been exposed to potentially damaging temperatures. Twenty-seven sites in Connecticut involved in the Vaccine for Children Program participated. In addition to standard procedures, visual freeze indicators (FREEZEmarker ® L; Temptime Corporation, Morris Plains, NJ) were affixed to each box of vaccine that required refrigeration but must not be frozen. Temperatures were monitored twice daily. During the 24 weeks, all 27 sites experienced triggered visual freeze indicator events in 40 of the 45 refrigerators. A total of 66 triggered freeze indicator events occurred in all 4 types of refrigerators used. Only 1 of the freeze events was identified by a temperature-monitoring device. Temperatures recorded on vaccine data logs before freeze indicator events were within the 35°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) range in all but 1 instance. A total of 46,954 doses of freeze-sensitive vaccine were stored at the time of a visual freeze indicator event. Triggered visual freeze indicators were found on boxes containing 6566 doses (14.0% of total doses). Of all doses stored, 14,323 doses (30.5%) were of highly freeze-sensitive vaccine; 1789 of these doses (12.5%) had triggered indicators on the boxes. Visual freeze indicators are useful in the early identification of freeze events involving vaccines. Consideration should be given to including these devices as a component of the temperature-monitoring system for vaccines.
Sowden, Paul T.; Davies, Ian R. L.; Roling, Penny; Watt, Simon J.
Acquisition of the skill of medical image inspection could be due to changes in visual search processes, 'low-level' sensory learning, and higher level 'conceptual learning.' Here, we report two studies that investigate the extent to which learning in medical image inspection involves low- level learning. Early in the visual processing pathway cells are selective for direction of luminance contrast. We exploit this in the present studies by using transfer across direction of contrast as a 'marker' to indicate the level of processing at which learning occurs. In both studies twelve observers trained for four days at detecting features in x- ray images (experiment one equals discs in the Nijmegen phantom, experiment two equals micro-calcification clusters in digitized mammograms). Half the observers examined negative luminance contrast versions of the images and the remainder examined positive contrast versions. On the fifth day, observers swapped to inspect their respective opposite contrast images. In both experiments leaning occurred across sessions. In experiment one, learning did not transfer across direction of luminance contrast, while in experiment two there was only partial transfer. These findings are consistent with the contention that some of the leaning was localized early in the visual processing pathway. The implications of these results for current medical image inspection training schedules are discussed.
Luft, Caroline D B; Meeson, Alan; Welchman, Andrew E; Kourtzi, Zoe
Learning the structure of the environment is critical for interpreting the current scene and predicting upcoming events. However, the brain mechanisms that support our ability to translate knowledge about scene statistics to sensory predictions remain largely unknown. Here we provide evidence that learning of temporal regularities shapes representations in early visual cortex that relate to our ability to predict sensory events. We tested the participants' ability to predict the orientation of a test stimulus after exposure to sequences of leftward- or rightward-oriented gratings. Using fMRI decoding, we identified brain patterns related to the observers' visual predictions rather than stimulus-driven activity. Decoding of predicted orientations following structured sequences was enhanced after training, while decoding of cued orientations following exposure to random sequences did not change. These predictive representations appear to be driven by the same large-scale neural populations that encode actual stimulus orientation and to be specific to the learned sequence structure. Thus our findings provide evidence that learning temporal structures supports our ability to predict future events by reactivating selective sensory representations as early as in primary visual cortex. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
Carvalho, Paulo S. M.; Noltie, Douglas B.; Tillitt, D.E.
Retinal structure and concentration of retinoids involved in phototransduction changed during early development of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, correlating with improvements in visual function. A test chamber was used to evaluate the presence of optokinetic or optomotor responses and to assess the functionality of the integrated cellular, physiological and biochemical components of the visual system. The results indicated that in rainbow trout optomotor responses start at 10 days post-hatch, and demonstrated for the first time that increases in acuity, sensitivity to low light as well as in motion detection abilities occur from this stage until exogenous feeding starts. The structure of retinal cells such as cone ellipsoids increased in length as photopic visual acuity improved, and rod densities increased concurrently with improvements in scotopic thresholds (2.2 log10 units). An increase in the concentrations of the chromophore all-trans-retinal correlated with improvements of all behavioural measures of visual function during the same developmental phase. ?? 2004 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
Avey, Marc T; Phillmore, Leslie S; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A
Sensory driven immediate early gene expression (IEG) has been a key tool to explore auditory perceptual areas in the avian brain. Most work on IEG expression in songbirds such as zebra finches has focused on playback of acoustic stimuli and its effect on auditory processing areas such as caudal medial mesopallium (CMM) caudal medial nidopallium (NCM). However, in a natural setting, the courtship displays of songbirds (including zebra finches) include visual as well as acoustic components. To determine whether the visual stimulus of a courting male modifies song-induced expression of the IEG ZENK in the auditory forebrain we exposed male and female zebra finches to acoustic (song) and visual (dancing) components of courtship. Birds were played digital movies with either combined audio and video, audio only, video only, or neither audio nor video (control). We found significantly increased levels of Zenk response in the auditory region CMM in the two treatment groups exposed to acoustic stimuli compared to the control group. The video only group had an intermediate response, suggesting potential effect of visual input on activity in these auditory brain regions. Finally, we unexpectedly found a lateralization of Zenk response that was independent of sex, brain region, or treatment condition, such that Zenk immunoreactivity was consistently higher in the left hemisphere than in the right and the majority of individual birds were left-hemisphere dominant.
Richter, Craig G; Coppola, Richard; Bressler, Steven L
Top-down modulation of sensory processing is a critical neural mechanism subserving numerous important cognitive roles, one of which may be to inform lower-order sensory systems of the current 'task at hand' by conveying behavioral context to these systems. Accumulating evidence indicates that top-down cortical influences are carried by directed interareal synchronization of oscillatory neuronal populations, with recent results pointing to beta-frequency oscillations as particularly important for top-down processing. However, it remains to be determined if top-down beta-frequency oscillations indeed convey behavioral context. We measured spectral Granger Causality (sGC) using local field potentials recorded from microelectrodes chronically implanted in visual areas V1/V2, V4, and TEO of two rhesus macaque monkeys, and applied multivariate pattern analysis to the spatial patterns of top-down sGC. We decoded behavioral context by discriminating patterns of top-down (V4/TEO-to-V1/V2) beta-peak sGC for two different task rules governing correct responses to identical visual stimuli. The results indicate that top-down directed influences are carried to visual cortex by beta oscillations, and differentiate task demands even before visual stimulus processing. They suggest that top-down beta-frequency oscillatory processes coordinate processing of sensory information by conveying global knowledge states to early levels of the sensory cortical hierarchy independently of bottom-up stimulus-driven processing.
Headley, Drew B.; Weinberger, Norman M.
Neurobiological theories of memory posit that the neocortex is a storage site of declarative memories, a hallmark of which is the association of two arbitrary neutral stimuli. Early sensory cortices, once assumed uninvolved in memory storage, recently have been implicated in associations between neutral stimuli and reward or punishment. We asked whether links between neutral stimuli also could be formed in early visual or auditory cortices. Rats were presented with a tone paired with a light using a sensory preconditioning paradigm that enabled later evaluation of successful association. Subjects that acquired this association developed enhanced sound evoked potentials in their primary and secondary visual cortices. Laminar recordings localized this potential to cortical Layers 5 and 6. A similar pattern of activation was elicited by microstimulation of primary auditory cortex in the same subjects, consistent with a cortico-cortical substrate of association. Thus, early sensory cortex has the capability to form neutral stimulus associations. This plasticity may constitute a declarative memory trace between sensory cortices. PMID:24275832
Baharom, Faezzah; Thomas, Oliver S; Lepzien, Rico; Mellman, Ira; Chalouni, Cécile; Smed-Sörensen, Anna
Influenza A viruses (IAV) primarily target respiratory epithelial cells, but can also replicate in immune cells, including human dendritic cells (DCs). Super-resolution microscopy provides a novel method of visualizing viral trafficking by overcoming the resolution limit imposed by conventional light microscopy, without the laborious sample preparation of electron microscopy. Using three-color Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscopy, we visualized input IAV nucleoprotein (NP), early and late endosomal compartments (EEA1 and LAMP1 respectively), and HLA-DR (DC membrane/cytosol) by immunofluorescence in human DCs. Surface bound IAV were internalized within 5 min of infection. The association of virus particles with early endosomes peaked at 5 min when 50% of NP+ signals were also EEA1+. Peak association with late endosomes occurred at 15 min when 60% of NP+ signals were LAMP1+. At 30 min of infection, the majority of NP signals were in the nucleus. Our findings illustrate that early IAV trafficking in human DCs proceeds via the classical endocytic pathway.
Russo-Zimet, Gila; Segel, Sarit
This research was designed to examine how early-childhood educators pursuing their graduate degrees perceive the concept of happiness, as conveyed in visual representations. The research methodology combines qualitative and quantitative paradigms using the metaphoric collage, a tool used to analyze visual and verbal aspects. The research…
Salley, Brenda; Sheinkopf, Stephen J.; Neal-Beevers, A. Rebecca; Tenenbaum, Elena J.; Miller-Loncar, Cynthia L.; Tronick, Ed; Lagasse, Linda L.; Shankaran, Seetha; Bada, Henrietta; Bauer, Charles; Whitaker, Toni; Hammond, Jane; Lester, Barry M.
This study examined infants’ early visual attention (at 1 month of age) and social engagement (4 months) as predictors of their later joint attention (12 and 18 months). The sample (n=325), drawn from the Maternal Lifestyle Study, a longitudinal multicenter project conducted at four centers of the NICHD Neonatal Research Network, included high-risk (cocaine exposed) and matched non-cocaine exposed infants. Hierarchical regressions revealed that infants’ attention orienting at 1 month significantly predicted more frequent initiating joint attention at 12 (but not 18) months of age. Social engagement at 4 months predicted initiating joint attention at 18 months. Results provide the first empirical evidence for the role of visual attention and social engagement behaviors as developmental precursors for later joint attention outcome. PMID:27786527
Klistorner, Alexander; Graham, Stuart L; Martins, Alessandra; Grigg, John R; Arvind, Hemamalini; Kumar, Rajesh S; James, Andrew C; Billson, Francis A
To determine the sensitivity and specificity of blue-on-yellow multifocal visual evoked potentials (mfVEPs) in early glaucoma. Cross-sectional study. Fifty patients with a confirmed diagnosis of early glaucoma and 60 normal participants. Black-and-white mfVEPs and blue-on-yellow mfVEPs were recorded using the Accumap version 2.0 (ObjectiVision Pty. Ltd., Sydney, Australia). All patients also underwent achromatic standard automated perimetry (SAP). Multifocal VEP amplitude and latency values in glaucoma patients were analyzed and compared with those of the normal controls. Based on the definition of visual field defect, in the group of glaucomatous eyes with SAP defects, amplitude of blue-on-yellow mfVEP was abnormal in all 64 cases (100% sensitivity), whereas black-and-white mfVEP missed 5 cases (92.2% sensitivity). Generally, larger scotomata were noted on blue-on-yellow mfVEP compared with black-and-white mfVEP for the same eyes. There was high topographic correspondence between SAP and amplitude of blue-on-yellow mfVEP and significant (P<0.0001) correlation between them (correlation coefficient, 0.73). Abnormal amplitude was detected in 3 of 60 eyes of control subjects (95% specificity). There was, however, no correlation between visual field defect and latency delay in glaucoma patients. Although there was a significant difference between averaged latency of control and glaucoma eyes, values considerably overlapped. The blue-on-yellow mfVEP is a sensitive and specific tool for detecting early glaucoma based on amplitude analysis.
Robertson, Caroline E; Thomas, Cibu; Kravitz, Dwight J; Wallace, Gregory L; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Martin, Alex; Baker, Chris I
Individuals with autism are often characterized as 'seeing the trees, but not the forest'-attuned to individual details in the visual world at the expense of the global percept they compose. Here, we tested the extent to which global processing deficits in autism reflect impairments in (i) primary visual processing; or (ii) decision-formation, using an archetypal example of global perception, coherent motion perception. In an event-related functional MRI experiment, 43 intelligence quotient and age-matched male participants (21 with autism, age range 15-27 years) performed a series of coherent motion perception judgements in which the amount of local motion signals available to be integrated into a global percept was varied by controlling stimulus viewing duration (0.2 or 0.6 s) and the proportion of dots moving in the correct direction (coherence: 4%, 15%, 30%, 50%, or 75%). Both typical participants and those with autism evidenced the same basic pattern of accuracy in judging the direction of motion, with performance decreasing with reduced coherence and shorter viewing durations. Critically, these effects were exaggerated in autism: despite equal performance at the long duration, performance was more strongly reduced by shortening viewing duration in autism (P < 0.015) and decreasing stimulus coherence (P < 0.008). To assess the neural correlates of these effects we focused on the responses of primary visual cortex and the middle temporal area, critical in the early visual processing of motion signals, as well as a region in the intraparietal sulcus thought to be involved in perceptual decision-making. The behavioural results were mirrored in both primary visual cortex and the middle temporal area, with a greater reduction in response at short, compared with long, viewing durations in autism compared with controls (both P < 0.018). In contrast, there was no difference between the groups in the intraparietal sulcus (P > 0.574). These findings suggest that reduced
Thomas, Cibu; Kravitz, Dwight J.; Wallace, Gregory L.; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Martin, Alex; Baker, Chris I.
Individuals with autism are often characterized as ‘seeing the trees, but not the forest’—attuned to individual details in the visual world at the expense of the global percept they compose. Here, we tested the extent to which global processing deficits in autism reflect impairments in (i) primary visual processing; or (ii) decision-formation, using an archetypal example of global perception, coherent motion perception. In an event-related functional MRI experiment, 43 intelligence quotient and age-matched male participants (21 with autism, age range 15–27 years) performed a series of coherent motion perception judgements in which the amount of local motion signals available to be integrated into a global percept was varied by controlling stimulus viewing duration (0.2 or 0.6 s) and the proportion of dots moving in the correct direction (coherence: 4%, 15%, 30%, 50%, or 75%). Both typical participants and those with autism evidenced the same basic pattern of accuracy in judging the direction of motion, with performance decreasing with reduced coherence and shorter viewing durations. Critically, these effects were exaggerated in autism: despite equal performance at the long duration, performance was more strongly reduced by shortening viewing duration in autism (P < 0.015) and decreasing stimulus coherence (P < 0.008). To assess the neural correlates of these effects we focused on the responses of primary visual cortex and the middle temporal area, critical in the early visual processing of motion signals, as well as a region in the intraparietal sulcus thought to be involved in perceptual decision-making. The behavioural results were mirrored in both primary visual cortex and the middle temporal area, with a greater reduction in response at short, compared with long, viewing durations in autism compared with controls (both P < 0.018). In contrast, there was no difference between the groups in the intraparietal sulcus (P > 0.574). These findings suggest that
Toussaint, Karen A; Tiger, Jeffrey H
Despite the need for braille literacy, there has been little attempt to systematically evaluate braille-instruction programs. The current study evaluated an instructive procedure for teaching early braille-reading skills with 4 school-aged children with degenerative visual impairments. Following a series of pretests, braille instruction involved providing a sample braille letter and teaching the selection of the corresponding printed letter from a comparison array. Concomitant with increases in the accuracy of this skill, we assessed and captured the formation of equivalence classes through tests of symmetry and transitivity among the printed letters, the corresponding braille letters, and their spoken names. PMID:21119894
Toussaint, Karen A; Tiger, Jeffrey H
Despite the need for braille literacy, there has been little attempt to systematically evaluate braille-instruction programs. The current study evaluated an instructive procedure for teaching early braille-reading skills with 4 school-aged children with degenerative visual impairments. Following a series of pretests, braille instruction involved providing a sample braille letter and teaching the selection of the corresponding printed letter from a comparison array. Concomitant with increases in the accuracy of this skill, we assessed and captured the formation of equivalence classes through tests of symmetry and transitivity among the printed letters, the corresponding braille letters, and their spoken names.
Leporé, Natasha; Voss, Patrice; Lepore, Franco; Chou, Yi-Yu; Fortin, Madeleine; Gougoux, Frédéric; Lee, Agatha D.; Brun, Caroline; Lassonde, Maryse; Madsen, Sarah K.; Toga, Arthur W.; Thompson, Paul M.
We examine 3D patterns of volume differences in the brain associated with blindness, in subjects grouped according to early and late onset. Using tensor-based morphometry, we map volume reductions and gains in 16 early-onset (EB) and 16 late-onset (LB) blind adults (onset <5 and >14 years old, respectively) relative to 16 matched sighted controls. Each subject’s structural MRI was fluidly registered to a common template. Anatomical differences between groups were mapped based on statistical analysis of the resulting deformation fields revealing profound deficits in primary and secondary visual cortices for both blind groups. Regions outside the occipital lobe showed significant hypertrophy, suggesting widespread compensatory adaptations. EBs but not LBs showed deficits in the splenium and hypertrophy in the isthmus. Gains in the isthmus and non-occipital white matter were more widespread in the EBs. These differences may reflect regional alterations in late neurodevelopmental processes, such as myelination, that continue into adulthood. PMID:19643183
Polosa, Anna; Liu, Wenwen; Lachapelle, Pierre
In the present study, we aimed at better understanding the short (acute) and long term (chronic) degenerative processes characterizing the juvenile rat model of light-induced retinopathy. Electroretinograms, visual evoked potentials (VEP), retinal histology and western blots were obtained from juvenile albino Sprague-Dawley rats at preselected postnatal ages (from P30 to P400) following exposure to 10,000 lux from P14 to P28. Our results show that while immediately following the cessation of exposure, photoreceptor degeneration was concentrated within a well delineated area of the superior retina (i.e. the photoreceptor hole), with time, this hole continued to expand to form an almost photoreceptor-free region covering most of superior-inferior axis. By the end of the first year of life, only few photoreceptors remained in the far periphery of the superior hemiretina. Interestingly, despite a significant impairment of the outer retinal function, the retinal output (VEP) was maintained in the early phase of this retinopathy. Our findings thus suggest that postnatal exposure to a bright luminous environment triggers a degenerative process that continues to impair the retinal structure and function (mostly at the photoreceptor level) long after the cessation of the exposure regimen (more than 1 year documented herein). Given the slow degenerative process triggered following postnatal bright light exposure, we believe that our model represents an attractive alternative (to other more genetic models) to study the pathophysiology of photoreceptor-induced retinal degeneration as well as therapeutic strategies to counteract it. PMID:26784954
Melzer, P; Morgan, V L; Pickens, D R; Price, R R; Wall, R S; Ebner, F F
Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed on blind adults resting and reading Braille. The strongest activation was found in primary somatic sensory/motor cortex on both cortical hemispheres. Additional foci of activation were situated in the parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes where visual information is processed in sighted persons. The regions were differentiated most in the correlation of their time courses of activation with resting and reading. Differences in magnitude and expanse of activation were substantially less significant. Among the traditionally visual areas, the strength of correlation was greatest in posterior parietal cortex and moderate in occipitotemporal, lateral occipital, and primary visual cortex. It was low in secondary visual cortex as well as in dorsal and ventral inferior temporal cortex and posterior middle temporal cortex. Visual experience increased the strength of correlation in all regions except dorsal inferior temporal and posterior parietal cortex. The greatest statistically significant increase, i.e., approximately 30%, was in ventral inferior temporal and posterior middle temporal cortex. In these regions, words are analyzed semantically, which may be facilitated by visual experience. In contrast, visual experience resulted in a slight, insignificant diminution of the strength of correlation in dorsal inferior temporal cortex where language is analyzed phonetically. These findings affirm that posterior temporal regions are engaged in the processing of written language. Moreover, they suggest that this function is modified by early visual experience. Furthermore, visual experience significantly strengthened the correlation of activation and Braille reading in occipital regions traditionally involved in the processing of visual features and object recognition suggesting a role for visual imagery. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Signals in the environment are rarely specified exactly: our visual system may know what to look for (e.g., a specific face), but not its exact configuration (e.g., where in the room, or in what orientation). Uncertainty, and the ability to deal with it, is a fundamental aspect of visual processing. The MAX model is the current gold standard for describing how human vision handles uncertainty: of all possible configurations for the signal, the observer chooses the one corresponding to the template associated with the largest response. We propose an alternative model in which the MAX operation, which is a dynamic non-linearity (depends on multiple inputs from several stimulus locations) and happens after the input stimulus has been matched to the possible templates, is replaced by an early static non-linearity (depends only on one input corresponding to one stimulus location) which is applied before template matching. By exploiting an integrated set of analytical and experimental tools, we show that this model is able to account for a number of empirical observations otherwise unaccounted for by the MAX model, and is more robust with respect to the realistic limitations imposed by the available neural hardware. We then discuss how these results, currently restricted to a simple visual detection task, may extend to a wider range of problems in sensory processing. PMID:21212835
Howsley, Philippa; Jordan, Jeff; Johnston, Pat
The reinforcing effects of aversive outcomes on avoidance behaviour are well established. However, their influence on perceptual processes is less well explored, especially during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Using electroencephalography, we examined whether learning to actively or passively avoid harm can modulate early visual responses in adolescents and adults. The task included two avoidance conditions, active and passive, where two different warning stimuli predicted the imminent, but avoidable, presentation of an aversive tone. To avoid the aversive outcome, participants had to learn to emit an action (active avoidance) for one of the warning stimuli and omit an action for the other (passive avoidance). Both adults and adolescents performed the task with a high degree of accuracy. For both adolescents and adults, increased N170 event-related potential amplitudes were found for both the active and the passive warning stimuli compared with control conditions. Moreover, the potentiation of the N170 to the warning stimuli was stable and long lasting. Developmental differences were also observed; adolescents showed greater potentiation of the N170 component to danger signals. These findings demonstrate, for the first time, that learned danger signals in an instrumental avoidance task can influence early visual sensory processes in both adults and adolescents. PMID:24652856
Vingilis-Jaremko, Larissa; Maurer, Daphne; Rhodes, Gillian; Jeffery, Linda
Adults who missed early visual input because of congenital cataracts later have deficits in many aspects of face processing. Here we investigated whether they make normal judgments of facial attractiveness. In particular, we studied whether their perceptions are affected normally by a face's proximity to the population mean, as is true of typically developing adults, who find average faces to be more attractive than most other faces. We compared the judgments of facial attractiveness of 12 cataract-reversal patients to norms established from 36 adults with normal vision. Participants viewed pairs of adult male and adult female faces that had been transformed 50% toward and 50% away from their respective group averages, and selected which face was more attractive. Averageness influenced patients' judgments of attractiveness, but to a lesser extent than controls. The results suggest that cataract-reversal patients are able to develop a system for representing faces with a privileged position for an average face, consistent with evidence from identity aftereffects. However, early visual experience is necessary to set up the neural architecture necessary for averageness to influence perceptions of attractiveness with its normal potency. © The Author(s) 2016.
Knebel, Jean-François; Javitt, Daniel C.; Murray, Micah M.
Early visual processing stages have been demonstrated to be impaired in schizophrenia patients and their first-degree relatives. The amplitude and topography of the P1 component of the visual evoked potential (VEP) are both affected; the latter of which indicates alterations in active brain networks between populations. At least two issues remain unresolved. First, the specificity of this deficit (and suitability as an endophenotype) has yet to be established, with evidence for impaired P1 responses in other clinical populations. Second, it remains unknown whether schizophrenia patients exhibit intact functional modulation of the P1 VEP component; an aspect that may assist in distinguishing effects specific to schizophrenia. We applied electrical neuroimaging analyses to VEPs from chronic schizophrenia patients and healthy controls in response to variation in the parafoveal spatial extent of stimuli. Healthy controls demonstrated robust modulation of the VEP strength and topography as a function of the spatial extent of stimuli during the P1 component. By contrast, no such modulations were evident at early latencies in the responses from patients with schizophrenia. Source estimations localized these deficits to the left precuneus and medial inferior parietal cortex. These findings provide insights on potential underlying low-level impairments in schizophrenia. PMID:21764264
Kim, Chul-Gyu; Park, Seungmi; Ko, Ji Woon; Jo, Sungho
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of subepidermal moisture and early stage pressure injury by visual skin assessment in elderly Korean. Twenty-nine elderly participated at a particular nursing home. Data were collected for 12 weeks by one wound care nurse. Visual skin assessment and subepidermal moisture value were measured at both buttocks, both ischia, both trochanters, sacrum, and coccyx of each subject once a week. Subepidermal moisture value of stage 1 pressure injury was significantly higher than that of no injury and blanching erythema. After adjustment with covariates, odds ratios of blanching erythema to normal skin and stage 1 pressure injury to blanching erythema/normal skin were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Odds ratio of blanching erythema to normal skin was 1.003 (p = .047) by 1-week prior subepidermal moisture value, and that of concurrent subepidermal moisture value was 1.004 (p = .011). Odds ratio of stage 1 pressure injury to normal skin/blanching erythema was 1.003 (p = .005) by 1-week prior subepidermal moisture value, and that for concurrent subepidermal moisture value was 1.007 (p = .030). Subepidermal moisture was associated with concurrent and future (1 week later) skin damage at both trochanters. Subepidermal moisture would be used to predict early skin damage in clinical nursing field for the effective pressure injury prevention. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Trautmann-Lengsfeld, Sina Alexa; Herrmann, Christoph Siegfried
Humans are social beings and often have to perceive and perform within groups. In conflict situations, this puts them under pressure to either adhere to the group opinion or to risk controversy with the group. Psychological experiments have demonstrated that study participants adapt to erroneous group opinions in visual perception tasks, which they can easily solve correctly when performing on their own. Until this point, however, it is unclear whether this phenomenon of social conformity influences early stages of perception that might not even reach awareness or later stages of conscious decision-making. Using electroencephalography, this study has revealed that social conformity to the wrong group opinion resulted in a decrease of the posterior-lateral P1 in line with a decrease of the later centro-parietal P3. These results suggest that group pressure situations impact early unconscious visual perceptual processing, which results in a later diminished stimulus discrimination and an adaptation even to the wrong group opinion. These findings might have important implications for understanding social behavior in group settings and are discussed within the framework of social influence on eyewitness testimony.
Lanska, Douglas J
As a result of the wars in the early 20th century, elaboration of the visual pathways was greatly facilitated by the meticulous study of visual defects in soldiers who had suffered focal injuries to the visual cortex. Using relatively crude techniques, often under difficult wartime circumstances, investigators successfully mapped key features of the visual pathways. Studies during the Russo- Japanese War (1904-1905) by Tatsuji Inouye (1881-1976) and during World War I by Gordon Holmes (1876-1965), William Lister (1868-1944), and others produced increasingly refined retinotopic maps of the primary visual cortex, which were later supported and refined by studies during and after World War II. Studies by George Riddoch (1888-1947) during World War I also demonstrated that some patients could still perceive motion despite blindness caused by damage to their visual cortex and helped to establish the concept of functional partitioning of visual processes in the occipital cortex. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Chernyshev, Boris V; Pronko, Platon K; Stroganova, Tatiana A
Detection of illusory contours (ICs) such as Kanizsa figures is known to depend primarily upon the lateral occipital complex. Yet there is no universal agreement on the role of the primary visual cortex in this process; some existing evidence hints that an early stage of the visual response in V1 may involve relative suppression to Kanizsa figures compared with controls. Iso-oriented luminance borders, which are responsible for Kanizsa illusion, may evoke surround suppression in V1 and adjacent areas leading to the reduction in the initial response to Kanizsa figures. We attempted to test the existence, as well as to find localization and timing of the early suppression effect produced by Kanizsa figures in adult nonclinical human participants. We used two sizes of visual stimuli (4.5 and 9.0°) in order to probe the effect at two different levels of eccentricity; the stimuli were presented centrally in passive viewing conditions. We recorded magnetoencephalogram, which is more sensitive than electroencephalogram to activity originating from V1 and V2 areas. We restricted our analysis to the medial occipital area and the occipital pole, and to a 40-120 ms time window after the stimulus onset. By applying threshold-free cluster enhancement technique in combination with permutation statistics, we were able to detect the inverted IC effect-a relative suppression of the response to the Kanizsa figures compared with the control stimuli. The current finding is highly compatible with the explanation involving surround suppression evoked by iso-oriented collinear borders. The effect may be related to the principle of sparse coding, according to which V1 suppresses representations of inner parts of collinear assemblies as being informationally redundant. Such a mechanism is likely to be an important preliminary step preceding object contour detection.
Scharnowski, Frank; Hutton, Chloe; Josephs, Oliver; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Rees, Geraint
Perception depends on the interplay of ongoing spontaneous activity and stimulus-evoked activity in sensory cortices. This raises the possibility that training ongoing spontaneous activity alone might be sufficient for enhancing perceptual sensitivity. To test this, we trained human participants to control ongoing spontaneous activity in circumscribed regions of retinotopic visual cortex using real-time functional MRI based neurofeedback. After training, we tested participants using a new and previously untrained visual detection task that was presented at the visual field location corresponding to the trained region of visual cortex. Perceptual sensitivity was significantly enhanced only when participants who had previously learned control over ongoing activity were now exercising control, and only for that region of visual cortex. Our new approach allows us to non-invasively and non-pharmacologically manipulate regionally specific brain activity, and thus provide ‘brain training’ to deliver particular perceptual enhancements. PMID:23223302
Dobson, Velma; Quinn, Graham E; Summers, C Gail; Hardy, Robert J; Tung, Betty; Good, William V
To compare grating (resolution) visual acuity at 6 years of age in eyes that received early treatment (ET) for high-risk prethreshold retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) with that in eyes that underwent conventional management (CM). In a randomized clinical trial, infants with bilateral, high-risk prethreshold ROP (n = 317) had one eye undergo ET and the other eye undergo CM, with treatment only if ROP progressed to threshold severity. For asymmetric cases (n = 84), the high-risk prethreshold eye was randomized to ET or CM. Grating visual acuity measured at 6 years of age by masked testers using Teller acuity cards. Monocular grating acuity results were obtained from 317 of 370 surviving children (85.6%). Analysis of grating acuity results for all study participants with high-risk prethreshold ROP showed no statistically significant overall benefit of ET (18.1% vs 22.8% unfavorable outcomes; P = .08). When the 6-year grating acuity results were analyzed according to a clinical algorithm (high-risk types 1 and 2 prethreshold ROP), a benefit was seen in type 1 eyes (16.4% vs 25.2%; P = .004) undergoing ET, but not in type 2 eyes (21.3% vs 15.9%; P = .29). Early treatment of eyes with type 1 ROP improves grating acuity outcomes, but ET for eyes with type 2 ROP does not. APPLICATION TO CLINICAL MEDICINE: Type 1 eyes should be treated early; however, based on acuity results at 6 years of age, type 2 eyes should be cautiously monitored for progression to type 1 ROP. Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00027222.
Griffis, Joseph C.; Elkhetali, Abdurahman S.; Burge, Wesley K.; Chen, Richard H.; Bowman, Anthony D.; Szaflarski, Jerzy P.; Visscher, Kristina M.
Psychophysical and neurobiological evidence suggests that central and peripheral vision are specialized for different functions. This specialization of function might be expected to lead to differences in the large-scale functional interactions of early cortical areas that represent central and peripheral visual space. Here, we characterize differences in whole-brain functional connectivity among sectors in primary visual cortex (V1) corresponding to central, near-peripheral, and far-peripheral vision during resting fixation. Importantly, our analyses reveal that eccentricity sectors in V1 have different functional connectivity with non-visual areas associated with large-scale brain networks. Regions associated with the fronto-parietal control network are most strongly connected with central sectors of V1, regions associated with the cingulo-opercular control network are most strongly connected with near-peripheral sectors of V1, and regions associated with the default mode and auditory networks are most strongly connected with far-peripheral sectors of V1. Additional analyses suggest that similar patterns are present during eyes-closed rest. These results suggest that different types of visual information may be prioritized by large-scale brain networks with distinct functional profiles, and provide insights into how the small-scale functional specialization within early visual regions such as V1 relates to the large-scale organization of functionally distinct whole-brain networks. PMID:27554527
Kitada, Ryo; Okamoto, Yuko; Sasaki, Akihiro T.; Kochiyama, Takanori; Miyahara, Motohide; Lederman, Susan J.; Sadato, Norihiro
Face perception is critical for social communication. Given its fundamental importance in the course of evolution, the innate neural mechanisms can anticipate the computations necessary for representing faces. However, the effect of visual deprivation on the formation of neural mechanisms that underlie face perception is largely unknown. We previously showed that sighted individuals can recognize basic facial expressions by haptics surprisingly well. Moreover, the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) in the sighted subjects are involved in haptic and visual recognition of facial expressions. Here, we conducted both psychophysical and functional magnetic-resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments to determine the nature of the neural representation that subserves the recognition of basic facial expressions in early blind individuals. In a psychophysical experiment, both early blind and sighted subjects haptically identified basic facial expressions at levels well above chance. In the subsequent fMRI experiment, both groups haptically identified facial expressions and shoe types (control). The sighted subjects then completed the same task visually. Within brain regions activated by the visual and haptic identification of facial expressions (relative to that of shoes) in the sighted group, corresponding haptic identification in the early blind activated regions in the inferior frontal and middle temporal gyri. These results suggest that the neural system that underlies the recognition of basic facial expressions develops supramodally even in the absence of early visual experience. PMID:23372547
Kitada, Ryo; Okamoto, Yuko; Sasaki, Akihiro T; Kochiyama, Takanori; Miyahara, Motohide; Lederman, Susan J; Sadato, Norihiro
Face perception is critical for social communication. Given its fundamental importance in the course of evolution, the innate neural mechanisms can anticipate the computations necessary for representing faces. However, the effect of visual deprivation on the formation of neural mechanisms that underlie face perception is largely unknown. We previously showed that sighted individuals can recognize basic facial expressions by haptics surprisingly well. Moreover, the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) in the sighted subjects are involved in haptic and visual recognition of facial expressions. Here, we conducted both psychophysical and functional magnetic-resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments to determine the nature of the neural representation that subserves the recognition of basic facial expressions in early blind individuals. In a psychophysical experiment, both early blind and sighted subjects haptically identified basic facial expressions at levels well above chance. In the subsequent fMRI experiment, both groups haptically identified facial expressions and shoe types (control). The sighted subjects then completed the same task visually. Within brain regions activated by the visual and haptic identification of facial expressions (relative to that of shoes) in the sighted group, corresponding haptic identification in the early blind activated regions in the inferior frontal and middle temporal gyri. These results suggest that the neural system that underlies the recognition of basic facial expressions develops supramodally even in the absence of early visual experience.
Neely, David; Zarubina, Anna V; Clark, Mark E; Huisingh, Carrie E; Jackson, Gregory R; Zhang, Yuhua; McGwin, Gerald; Curcio, Christine A; Owsley, Cynthia
To examine the association between subretinal drusenoid deposits (SDDs) identified by multimodal retinal imaging and visual function in older eyes with normal macular health or in the earliest phases of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Age-related macular degeneration status for each eye was defined according to the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) 9-step classification system (normal = Step 1, early AMD = Steps 2-4) based on color fundus photographs. Visual functions measured were best-corrected photopic visual acuity, contrast and light sensitivity, mesopic visual acuity, low-luminance deficit, and rod-mediated dark adaptation. Subretinal drusenoid deposits were identified through multimodal imaging (color fundus photographs, infrared reflectance and fundus autofluorescence images, and spectral domain optical coherence tomography). The sample included 1,202 eyes (958 eyes with normal health and 244 eyes with early AMD). In normal eyes, SDDs were not associated with any visual function evaluated. In eyes with early AMD, dark adaptation was markedly delayed in eyes with SDDs versus no SDD (a 4-minute delay on average), P = 0.0213. However, this association diminished after age adjustment, P = 0.2645. Other visual functions in early AMD eyes were not associated with SDDs. In a study specifically focused on eyes in normal macular health and in the earliest phases of AMD, early AMD eyes with SDDs have slower dark adaptation, largely attributable to the older ages of eyes with SDD; they did not exhibit deficits in other visual functions. Subretinal drusenoid deposits in older eyes in normal macular health are not associated with any visual functions evaluated.
Carney, Thom; Ales, Justin; Klein, Stanley A.
The human brain has well over 30 cortical areas devoted to visual processing. Classical neuro-anatomical as well as fMRI studies have demonstrated that early visual areas have a retinotopic organization whereby adjacent locations in visual space are represented in adjacent areas of cortex within a visual area. At the 2006 Electronic Imaging meeting we presented a method using sprite graphics to obtain high resolution retinotopic visual evoked potential responses using multi-focal m-sequence technology (mfVEP). We have used this method to record mfVEPs from up to 192 non overlapping checkerboard stimulus patches scaled such that each patch activates about 12 mm2 of cortex in area V1 and even less in V2. This dense coverage enables us to incorporate cortical folding constraints, given by anatomical MRI and fMRI results from the same subject, to isolate the V1 and V2 temporal responses. Moreover, the method offers a simple means of validating the accuracy of the extracted V1 and V2 time functions by comparing the results between left and right hemispheres that have unique folding patterns and are processed independently. Previous VEP studies have been contradictory as to which area responds first to visual stimuli. This new method accurately separates the signals from the two areas and demonstrates that both respond with essentially the same latency. A new method is introduced which describes better ways to isolate cortical areas using an empirically determined forward model. The method includes a novel steady state mfVEP and complex SVD techniques. In addition, this evolving technology is put to use examining how stimulus attributes differentially impact the response in different cortical areas, in particular how fast nonlinear contrast processing occurs. This question is examined using both state triggered kernel estimation (STKE) and m-sequence "conditioned kernels". The analysis indicates different contrast gain control processes in areas V1 and V2. Finally we
Hilimire, Matthew R; Mienaltowski, Andrew; Blanchard-Fields, Fredda; Corballis, Paul M
With advancing age, processing resources are shifted away from negative emotional stimuli and toward positive ones. Here, we explored this 'positivity effect' using event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants identified the presence or absence of a visual probe that appeared over photographs of emotional faces. The ERPs elicited by the onsets of angry, sad, happy and neutral faces were recorded. We examined the frontocentral emotional positivity (FcEP), which is defined as a positive deflection in the waveforms elicited by emotional expressions relative to neutral faces early on in the time course of the ERP. The FcEP is thought to reflect enhanced early processing of emotional expressions. The results show that within the first 130 ms young adults show an FcEP to negative emotional expressions, whereas older adults show an FcEP to positive emotional expressions. These findings provide additional evidence that the age-related positivity effect in emotion processing can be traced to automatic processes that are evident very early in the processing of emotional facial expressions. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maloney, Ryan T; Watson, Tamara L; Clifford, Colin W G
Anisotropies in the cortical representation of various stimulus parameters can reveal the fundamental mechanisms by which sensory properties are analysed and coded by the brain. One example is the preference for motion radial to the point of fixation (i.e. centripetal or centrifugal) exhibited in mammalian visual cortex. In two experiments, this study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore the determinants of these radial biases for motion in functionally-defined areas of human early visual cortex, and in particular their dependence upon eccentricity which has been indicated in recent reports. In one experiment, the cortical response to wide-field random dot kinematograms forming 16 different complex motion patterns (including centrifugal, centripetal, rotational and spiral motion) was measured. The response was analysed according to preferred eccentricity within four different eccentricity ranges. Response anisotropies were characterised by enhanced activity for centripetal or centrifugal patterns that changed systematically with eccentricity in visual areas V1-V3 and hV4 (but not V3A/B or V5/MT+). Responses evolved from a preference for centrifugal over centripetal patterns close to the fovea, to a preference for centripetal over centrifugal at the most peripheral region stimulated, in agreement with previous work. These effects were strongest in V2 and V3. In a second experiment, the stimuli were restricted to within narrow annuli either close to the fovea (0.75-1.88°) or further in the periphery (4.82-6.28°), in a way that preserved the local motion information available in the first experiment. In this configuration a preference for radial motion (centripetal or centrifugal) persisted but the dependence upon eccentricity disappeared. Again this was clearest in V2 and V3. A novel interpretation of the dependence upon eccentricity of motion anisotropies in early visual cortex is offered that takes into account the spatiotemporal
The primary visual cortex (V1) is traditionally viewed as remote from influencing brain's motor outputs. However, V1 provides the most abundant cortical inputs directly to the sensory layers of superior colliculus (SC), a midbrain structure to command visual orienting such as shifting gaze and turning heads. I will show physiological, anatomical, and behavioral data suggesting that V1 transforms visual input into a saliency map to guide a class of visual orienting that is reflexive or involuntary. In particular, V1 receives a retinotopic map of visual features, such as orientation, color, and motion direction of local visual inputs; local interactions between V1 neurons perform a local-to-global computation to arrive at a saliency map that highlights conspicuous visual locations by higher V1 responses. The conspicuous location are usually, but not always, where visual input statistics changes. The population V1 outputs to SC, which is also retinotopic, enables SC to locate, by lateral inhibition between SC neurons, the most salient location as the saccadic target. Experimental tests of this hypothesis will be shown. Variations of the neural circuit for visual orienting across animal species, with more or less V1 involvement, will be discussed. Supported by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation.
Reznick, Julia; Friedmann, Naama
This study examined whether and how the morphological structure of written words affects reading in word-based neglect dyslexia (neglexia), and what can be learned about morphological decomposition in reading from the effect of morphology on neglexia. The oral reading of 7 Hebrew-speaking participants with acquired neglexia at the word level—6 with left neglexia and 1 with right neglexia—was evaluated. The main finding was that the morphological role of the letters on the neglected side of the word affected neglect errors: When an affix appeared on the neglected side, it was neglected significantly more often than when the neglected side was part of the root; root letters on the neglected side were never omitted, whereas affixes were. Perceptual effects of length and final letter form were found for words with an affix on the neglected side, but not for words in which a root letter appeared in the neglected side. Semantic and lexical factors did not affect the participants' reading and error pattern, and neglect errors did not preserve the morpho-lexical characteristics of the target words. These findings indicate that an early morphological decomposition of words to their root and affixes occurs before access to the lexicon and to semantics, at the orthographic-visual analysis stage, and that the effects did not result from lexical feedback. The same effects of morphological structure on reading were manifested by the participants with left- and right-sided neglexia. Since neglexia is a deficit at the orthographic-visual analysis level, the effect of morphology on reading patterns in neglexia further supports that morphological decomposition occurs in the orthographic-visual analysis stage, prelexically, and that the search for the three letters of the root in Hebrew is a trigger for attention shift in neglexia. PMID:26528159
Malik, Pankhuri; Dessing, Joost C; Crawford, J Douglas
Early visual cortex (EVC) participates in visual feature memory and the updating of remembered locations across saccades, but its role in the trans-saccadic integration of object features is unknown. We hypothesized that if EVC is involved in updating object features relative to gaze, feature memory should be disrupted when saccades remap an object representation into a simultaneously perturbed EVC site. To test this, we applied transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over functional magnetic resonance imaging-localized EVC clusters corresponding to the bottom left/right visual quadrants (VQs). During experiments, these VQs were probed psychophysically by briefly presenting a central object (Gabor patch) while subjects fixated gaze to the right or left (and above). After a short memory interval, participants were required to detect the relative change in orientation of a re-presented test object at the same spatial location. Participants either sustained fixation during the memory interval (fixation task) or made a horizontal saccade that either maintained or reversed the VQ of the object (saccade task). Three TMS pulses (coinciding with the pre-, peri-, and postsaccade intervals) were applied to the left or right EVC. This had no effect when (a) fixation was maintained, (b) saccades kept the object in the same VQ, or (c) the EVC quadrant corresponding to the first object was stimulated. However, as predicted, TMS reduced performance when saccades (especially larger saccades) crossed the remembered object location and brought it into the VQ corresponding to the TMS site. This suppression effect was statistically significant for leftward saccades and followed a weaker trend for rightward saccades. These causal results are consistent with the idea that EVC is involved in the gaze-centered updating of object features for trans-saccadic memory and perception.
Matsumoto, Yukihiro; Kodama, Asako; Goto, Eiki; Kawakita, Tetsuya; Dogru, Murat; Tsubota, Kazuo
To evaluate the relation between ocular surface irregularity and visual disturbance in early stage Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). Fifteen patients with culture-proven AK underwent routine ophthalmic examinations, including best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) measurement, slitlamp biomicroscope examination, and corneal fluorescein dye staining test, in both the eyes. We also evaluated the corneal sensitivity with Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometer, tear functions by Schirmer's test, and ocular surface irregularity by corneal topography and compared the results with the contralateral healthy eyes in this study. The mean logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution BCVA (0.71±0.77) was significantly lower in the eyes with AK (P=0.002). Epithelial disorders were present in all eyes, and radial keratoneuritis in 14 eyes (93.3%). The mean corneal sensitivity (39.3±24.1 mm) was significantly lower in eyes with AK compared with the healthy eyes (P=0.005). The mean Schirmer's test value (22.5±12.0 mm) in eyes with AK was significantly higher compared with the healthy eyes (P=0.01). The ocular surface irregularity indices (the surface regularity index, 2.47±0.42; the surface asymmetry index, 3.24±1.31) were significantly higher in eyes with AK compared with contralateral healthy eyes (P<0.0001 and P<0.0001, respectively). The ocular surface disease in AK is associated with decrease in corneal sensitivity and increase in Schirmer's test value and ocular surface irregularity indices. The visual disturbance in AK may owe not only to corneal haze but also to ocular surface irregularity.
Cowell, Whitney J; Margolis, Amy; Rauh, Virginia A; Sjödin, Andreas; Jones, Richard; Wang, Ya; Garcia, Wanda; Perera, Frederica; Wang, Shuang; Herbstman, Julie B
Prenatal and childhood exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants has been inversely associated with cognitive performance, however, few studies have measured PBDE concentrations in samples collected during both prenatal and postnatal periods. We examined prenatal (cord) and childhood (ages 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9 years) plasma PBDE concentrations in relation to memory outcomes assessed between the ages of 9 and 14 years. The study sample includes a subset (n = 212) of the African American and Dominican children enrolled in the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health Mothers and Newborns birth cohort. We used multivariable linear regression to examine associations between continuous log 10 -transformed PBDE concentrations and performance on tests of visual, verbal and working memory in age-stratified models. We additionally used latent class growth analysis to estimate trajectories of exposure across early life, which we analyzed as a categorical variable in relation to memory outcomes. We examined interactions between PBDE exposure and sex using cross-product terms. Associations between prenatal exposure and working memory significantly varied by sex (p-interaction = 0.02), with inverse relations observed only among girls (i.e. β BDE-47 = -7.55, 95% CI: -13.84, -1.24). Children with sustained high concentrations of BDEs-47, 99 or 100 across childhood scored approximately 5-8 standard score points lower on tests of visual memory. Children with PBDE plasma concentrations that peaked during toddler years performed better on verbal domains, however, these associations were not statistically significant. Exposure to PBDEs during both prenatal and postnatal periods may disrupt memory domains in early adolescence. These findings contribute to a substantial body of evidence supporting the developmental neurotoxicity of PBDEs and underscore the need to reduce exposure among pregnant women and children. Copyright © 2018
Alvarez, George A.; Cavanagh, Patrick
It is much easier to divide attention across the left and right visual hemifields than within the same visual hemifield. Here we investigate whether this benefit of dividing attention across separate visual fields is evident at early cortical processing stages. We measured the steady-state visual evoked potential, an oscillatory response of the visual cortex elicited by flickering stimuli, of moving targets and distractors while human observers performed a tracking task. The amplitude of responses at the target frequencies was larger than that of the distractor frequencies when participants tracked two targets in separate hemifields, indicating that attention can modulate early visual processing when it is divided across hemifields. However, these attentional modulations disappeared when both targets were tracked within the same hemifield. These effects were not due to differences in task performance, because accuracy was matched across the tracking conditions by adjusting target speed (with control conditions ruling out effects due to speed alone). To investigate later processing stages, we examined the P3 component over central-parietal scalp sites that was elicited by the test probe at the end of the trial. The P3 amplitude was larger for probes on targets than on distractors, regardless of whether attention was divided across or within a hemifield, indicating that these higher-level processes were not constrained by visual hemifield. These results suggest that modulating early processing stages enables more efficient target tracking, and that within-hemifield competition limits the ability to modulate multiple target representations within the hemifield maps of the early visual cortex. PMID:25164651
Störmer, Viola S; Alvarez, George A; Cavanagh, Patrick
It is much easier to divide attention across the left and right visual hemifields than within the same visual hemifield. Here we investigate whether this benefit of dividing attention across separate visual fields is evident at early cortical processing stages. We measured the steady-state visual evoked potential, an oscillatory response of the visual cortex elicited by flickering stimuli, of moving targets and distractors while human observers performed a tracking task. The amplitude of responses at the target frequencies was larger than that of the distractor frequencies when participants tracked two targets in separate hemifields, indicating that attention can modulate early visual processing when it is divided across hemifields. However, these attentional modulations disappeared when both targets were tracked within the same hemifield. These effects were not due to differences in task performance, because accuracy was matched across the tracking conditions by adjusting target speed (with control conditions ruling out effects due to speed alone). To investigate later processing stages, we examined the P3 component over central-parietal scalp sites that was elicited by the test probe at the end of the trial. The P3 amplitude was larger for probes on targets than on distractors, regardless of whether attention was divided across or within a hemifield, indicating that these higher-level processes were not constrained by visual hemifield. These results suggest that modulating early processing stages enables more efficient target tracking, and that within-hemifield competition limits the ability to modulate multiple target representations within the hemifield maps of the early visual cortex. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3311526-08$15.00/0.
Müller, Matthias M; Trautmann, Mireille; Keitel, Christian
Shifting attention from one color to another color or from color to another feature dimension such as shape or orientation is imperative when searching for a certain object in a cluttered scene. Most attention models that emphasize feature-based selection implicitly assume that all shifts in feature-selective attention underlie identical temporal dynamics. Here, we recorded time courses of behavioral data and steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs), an objective electrophysiological measure of neural dynamics in early visual cortex to investigate temporal dynamics when participants shifted attention from color or orientation toward color or orientation, respectively. SSVEPs were elicited by four random dot kinematograms that flickered at different frequencies. Each random dot kinematogram was composed of dashes that uniquely combined two features from the dimensions color (red or blue) and orientation (slash or backslash). Participants were cued to attend to one feature (such as color or orientation) and respond to coherent motion targets of the to-be-attended feature. We found that shifts toward color occurred earlier after the shifting cue compared with shifts toward orientation, regardless of the original feature (i.e., color or orientation). This was paralleled in SSVEP amplitude modulations as well as in the time course of behavioral data. Overall, our results suggest different neural dynamics during shifts of attention from color and orientation and the respective shifting destinations, namely, either toward color or toward orientation.
Daig, Isolde; Mahlberg, Richard; Schroeder, Franziska; Gudlowski, Yehonala; Wrase, Jana; Wertenauer, Florian; Bschor, Tom; Esser, Guenter; Heinz, Andreas; Kienast, Thorsten
Alcohol-dependent patients in early abstinence show an impairment of cognitive functions which can be seen in poor implementation of newly learned skills for avoiding relapse. Executive dysfunction may persist during abstinence in alcohol-dependent persons, thus mitigating long-term abstinence. This study assessed visual memory function and choice of organizational strategies in alcoholics, as these are major factors necessary to implement ongoing behavior changes which are required for maintaining abstinence. We investigated 25 severely alcohol-dependent male patients between days 7 to 10 of abstinence, immediately after clinical withdrawal symptoms have ceased, compared to 15 healthy age, sex, and education matched controls. Pharmacological therapy had been terminated at least four half-lifes before inclusion into the study. Visual perceptual learning and organizational strategies were assessed with the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (R-OCF). There were no group differences in copying or recalling the figure, but time differences occurred. Alcoholics and healthy controls performed worse in recalling than in copying. But, alcoholics used less effective organizational strategies. There was a deficit in choice of organizational strategy in newly abstinent and unmedicated alcohol-dependent patients. Due to the imperfect organizational strategies, alcoholics might need auxiliary therapeutic care to strengthen their cognitive ability.
Norup, Anne; Guldberg, Anne-Mette; Friis, Claus Radmer; Deurell, Eva Maria; Forchhammer, Hysse Birgitte
To describe the work of an interdisciplinary visual team in a stroke unit providing early identification and assessment of patients with visual symptoms, and secondly to investigate frequency, type of visual deficits after stroke and self-evaluated impact on everyday life after stroke. For a period of three months, all stroke patients with visual or visuo-attentional deficits were registered, and data concerning etiology, severity and localization of the stroke and initial visual symptoms were registered. One month after discharge patients were contacted for follow-up. Of 349 acute stroke admissions, 84 (24.1%) had visual or visuo-attentional deficits initially. Of these 84 patients, informed consent was obtained from 22 patients with a mean age of 67.7 years(SD 10.1), and the majority was female (59.1%). Based on the initial neurological examination, 45.4% had some kind of visual field defect, 27.2% had some kind of oculomotor nerve palsy, and about 31.8% had some kind of inattention or visual neglect. The patients were contacted for a phone-based follow-up one month after discharge, where 85.7% reported changes in their vision since their stroke. In this consecutive sample, a quarter of all stroke patients had visual or visuo-attentional deficits initially. This emphasizes how professionals should have increased awareness of the existence of such deficits after stroke in order to provide the necessary interdisciplinary assessment and rehabilitation.
Maldarelli, Jennifer E; Kahrs, Björn A; Hunt, Sarah C; Lockman, Jeffrey J
Despite the importance of handwriting for school readiness and early academic progress, prior research on the development of handwriting has focused primarily on the product rather than the process by which young children write letters. In contrast, in the present work, early handwriting is viewed as involving a suite of perceptual, motor, and cognitive abilities, which must work in unison if children are to write letters efficiently. To study such coordination, head-mounted eye-tracking technology was used to investigate the process of visual-motor coordination while kindergarten children (N = 23) and adults (N = 11) copied individual letters and strings of letters that differed in terms of their phonemic properties. Results indicated that kindergarten children were able to copy single letters efficiently, as did adults. When the cognitive demands of the task increased and children were presented with strings of letters, however, their ability to copy letters efficiently was compromised: Children frequently interrupted their writing midletter, whereas they did not do so on single letter trials. Yet, with increasing age, children became more efficient in copying letter strings, in part by using vision more prospectively when writing. Taken together, the results illustrate how the coordination of perceptual, motor, and cognitive processes contributes to advances in the development of letter writing skill. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Pohl-Guimaraes, Fernanda; Krahe, Thomas E.; Medina, Alexandre E.
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurologic disorders and affects 0.5 to 1% of pregnant women. The use of antiepileptic drugs, which is usually continued throughout pregnancy, can cause in offspring mild to severe sensory deficits. Neuronal selectivity to stimulus orientation is a basic functional property of the visual cortex that is crucial for perception of shapes and borders. Here we investigate the effects of early exposure to valproic acid (Val) and levetiracetam (Lev), commonly used antiepileptic drugs, on the development of cortical neuron orientation selectivity and organization of cortical orientation columns. Ferrets pups were exposed to Val (200 mg/kg), Lev (100 mg/kg) or saline every other day between postnatal day (P) 10 and P30, a period roughly equivalent to the third trimester of human gestation. Optical imaging of intrinsic signals or single-unit recordings were examined at P42–P84, when orientation selectivity in the ferret cortex has reached a mature state. Optical imaging of intrinsic signals revealed decreased contrast of orientation maps in Val-but not Lev- or saline-treated animals. Moreover, single-unit recordings revealed that early Val treatment also reduced orientation selectivity at the cellular level. These findings indicate that Val exposure during a brief period of development disrupts cortical processing of sensory information at a later age and suggest a neurobiological substrate for some types of sensory deficits in fetal anticonvulsant syndrome. PMID:21215743
Pohl-Guimaraes, Fernanda; Krahe, Thomas E; Medina, Alexandre E
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurologic disorders and affects 0.5 to 1% of pregnant women. The use of antiepileptic drugs, which is usually continued throughout pregnancy, can cause in offspring mild to severe sensory deficits. Neuronal selectivity to stimulus orientation is a basic functional property of the visual cortex that is crucial for perception of shapes and borders. Here we investigate the effects of early exposure to valproic acid (Val) and levetiracetam (Lev), commonly used antiepileptic drugs, on the development of cortical neuron orientation selectivity and organization of cortical orientation columns. Ferrets pups were exposed to Val (200mg/kg), Lev (100mg/kg) or saline every other day between postnatal day (P) 10 and P30, a period roughly equivalent to the third trimester of human gestation. Optical imaging of intrinsic signals or single-unit recordings were examined at P42-P84, when orientation selectivity in the ferret cortex has reached a mature state. Optical imaging of intrinsic signals revealed decreased contrast of orientation maps in Val- but not Lev- or saline-treated animals. Moreover, single-unit recordings revealed that early Val treatment also reduced orientation selectivity at the cellular level. These findings indicate that Val exposure during a brief period of development disrupts cortical processing of sensory information at a later age and suggest a neurobiological substrate for some types of sensory deficits in fetal anticonvulsant syndrome. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Maldarelli, Jennifer E.; Kahrs, Björn A.; Hunt, Sarah C.; Lockman, Jeffrey J.
Despite the importance of handwriting for school readiness and early academic progress, prior research on the development of handwriting has focused primarily on the product rather than the process by which young children write letters. In contrast, in the present work, early handwriting is viewed as involving a suite of perceptual, motor and cognitive abilities, which must work in unison if children are to write letters efficiently. To study such coordination, head-mounted eye-tracking technology was used to investigate the process of visual-motor coordination while kindergarten children (N=23) and adults (N=11) copied individual letters and strings of letters that differed in terms of their phonemic properties. Results indicated that kindergarten children were able to copy single letters efficiently, as did adults. When the cognitive demands of the task increased and children were presented with strings of letters, however, their ability to copy letters efficiently was compromised: children frequently interrupted their writing mid-letter, whereas they did not do so on single letter trials. Yet, with increasing age, children became more efficient in copying letter strings, in part by using vision more prospectively when writing. Taken together, the results illustrate how the coordination of perceptual, motor and cognitive processes contributes to advances in the development of letter writing skill. PMID:26029821
Horiquini-Barbosa, Everton; Gibb, Robbin; Kolb, Bryan; Bray, Douglas; Lachat, Joao-Jose
Iron deficiency has a critical impact on maturational mechanisms of the brain and the damage related to neuroanatomical parameters is not satisfactorily reversed after iron replacement. However, emerging evidence suggest that enriched early experience may offer great therapeutic efficacy in cases of nutritional disorders postnatally, since the brain is remarkably responsive to its interaction with the environment. Given the fact that tactile stimulation (TS) treatment has been previously shown to be an effective therapeutic approach and with potential application to humans, here we ask whether exposure to TS treatment, from postnatal day (P) 1 to P32 for 3min/day, could also be employed to prevent neuroanatomical changes in the optic nerve of rats maintained on an iron-deficient diet during brain development. We found that iron deficiency changed astrocyte, oligodendrocyte, damaged fiber, and myelinated fiber density, however, TS reversed the iron-deficiency-induced alteration in oligodendrocyte, damaged fiber and myelinated fiber density, but failed to reverse astrocyte density. Our results suggest that early iron deficiency may act by disrupting the timing of key steps in visual system development thereby modifying the normal progression of optic nerve maturation. However, optic nerve development is sensitive to enriching experiences, and in the current study we show that this sensitivity can be used to prevent damage from postnatal iron deficiency during the critical period. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Bui Quoc, Emmanuel; Ribot, Jérôme; Quenech’Du, Nicole; Doutremer, Suzette; Lebas, Nicolas; Grantyn, Alexej; Aushana, Yonane; Milleret, Chantal
In the mammalian primary visual cortex, the corpus callosum contributes to the unification of the visual hemifields that project to the two hemispheres. Its development depends on visual experience. When this is abnormal, callosal connections must undergo dramatic anatomical and physiological changes. However, data concerning these changes are sparse and incomplete. Thus, little is known about the impact of abnormal postnatal visual experience on the development of callosal connections and their role in unifying representation of the two hemifields. Here, the effects of early unilateral convergent strabismus (a model of abnormal visual experience) were fully characterized with respect to the development of the callosal connections in cat visual cortex, an experimental model for humans. Electrophysiological responses and 3D reconstruction of single callosal axons show that abnormally asymmetrical callosal connections develop after unilateral convergent strabismus, resulting from an extension of axonal branches of specific orders in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the deviated eye and a decreased number of nodes and terminals in the other (ipsilateral to the non-deviated eye). Furthermore this asymmetrical organization prevents the establishment of a unifying representation of the two visual hemifields. As a general rule, we suggest that crossed and uncrossed retino-geniculo-cortical pathways contribute successively to the development of the callosal maps in visual cortex. PMID:22275883
Ranganathan, Kavitha; Hong, Xiaowei; Cholok, David; Habbouche, Joe; Priest, Caitlin; Breuler, Christopher; Chung, Michael; Li, John; Kaura, Arminder; Hsieh, Hsiao Hsin Sung; Butts, Jonathan; Ucer, Serra; Schwartz, Ean; Buchman, Steven R; Stegemann, Jan P; Deng, Cheri X; Levi, Benjamin
Early treatment of heterotopic ossification (HO) is currently limited by delayed diagnosis due to limited visualization at early time points. In this study, we validate the use of spectral ultrasound imaging (SUSI) in an animal model to detect HO as early as one week after burn tenotomy. Concurrent SUSI, micro CT, and histology at 1, 2, 4, and 9weeks post-injury were used to follow the progression of HO after an Achilles tenotomy and 30% total body surface area burn (n=3-5 limbs per time point). To compare the use of SUSI in different types of injury models, mice (n=5 per group) underwent either burn/tenotomy or skin incision injury and were imaged using a 55MHz probe on VisualSonics VEVO 770 system at one week post injury to evaluate the ability of SUSI to distinguish between edema and HO. Average acoustic concentration (AAC) and average scatterer diameter (ASD) were calculated for each ultrasound image frame. Micro CT was used to calculate the total volume of HO. Histology was used to confirm bone formation. Using SUSI, HO was visualized as early as 1week after injury. HO was visualized earliest by 4weeks after injury by micro CT. The average acoustic concentration of HO was 33% more than that of the control limb (n=5). Spectroscopic foci of HO present at 1week that persisted throughout all time points correlated with the HO present at 9weeks on micro CT imaging. SUSI visualizes HO as early as one week after injury in an animal model. SUSI represents a new imaging modality with promise for early diagnosis of HO. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Fallahi Motlagh, Behzad; Sadeghi, Ali
The aim of this study was to correlate macular thickness and visual field parameters in early glaucoma. A total of 104 eyes affected with early glaucoma were examined in a cross-sectional, prospective study. Visual field testing using both standard automated perimetry (SAP) and shortwave automated perimetry (SWAP) was performed. Global visual field parameters, including mean deviation (MD) and pattern standard deviation (PSD), were recorded and correlated with spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT)-measured macular thickness and asymmetry. Average macular thickness correlated significantly with all measures of visual field including MD-SWAP (r = 0.42), MD-SAP (r = 0.41), PSD-SWAP (r = -0.23), and PSD-SAP (r = -0.21), with P-values <0.001 for all correlations. The mean MD scores (using both SWAP and SAP) were significantly higher in the eyes with thin than in those with intermediate average macular thickness. Intraeye (superior macula thickness - inferior macula thickness) asymmetries correlated significantly with both PSD-SWAP (r = 0.63, P < 0.001) and PSD-SAP (r = 0.26, P = 0.01) scores. This study revealed a significant correlation between macular thickness and visual field parameters in early glaucoma. The results of this study should make macular thickness measurements even more meaningful to glaucoma specialists.
Moro, Stefania S; Steeves, Jennifer K E
Previously, we have shown that people who have had one eye surgically removed early in life during visual development have enhanced sound localization  and lack visual dominance, commonly observed in binocular and monocular (eye-patched) viewing controls . Despite these changes, people with one eye integrate auditory and visual components of multisensory events optimally . The current study investigates how people with one eye perceive the McGurk effect, an audiovisual illusion where a new syllable is perceived when visual lip movements do not match the corresponding sound . We compared individuals with one eye to binocular and monocular viewing controls and found that they have a significantly smaller McGurk effect compared to binocular controls. Additionally, monocular controls tended to perceive the McGurk effect less often than binocular controls suggesting a small transient modulation of the McGurk effect. These results suggest altered weighting of the auditory and visual modalities with both short and long-term monocular viewing. These results indicate the presence of permanent adaptive perceptual accommodations in people who have lost one eye early in life that may serve to mitigate the loss of binocularity during early brain development. Crown Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Heideman, Simone G; van Ede, Freek; Nobre, Anna C
In daily life, temporal expectations may derive from incidental learning of recurring patterns of intervals. We investigated the incidental acquisition and utilisation of combined temporal-ordinal (spatial/effector) structure in complex visual-motor sequences using a modified version of a serial reaction time (SRT) task. In this task, not only the series of targets/responses, but also the series of intervals between subsequent targets was repeated across multiple presentations of the same sequence. Each participant completed three sessions. In the first session, only the repeating sequence was presented. During the second and third session, occasional probe blocks were presented, where a new (unlearned) spatial-temporal sequence was introduced. We first confirm that participants not only got faster over time, but that they were slower and less accurate during probe blocks, indicating that they incidentally learned the sequence structure. Having established a robust behavioural benefit induced by the repeating spatial-temporal sequence, we next addressed our central hypothesis that implicit temporal orienting (evoked by the learned temporal structure) would have the largest influence on performance for targets following short (as opposed to longer) intervals between temporally structured sequence elements, paralleling classical observations in tasks using explicit temporal cues. We found that indeed, reaction time differences between new and repeated sequences were largest for the short interval, compared to the medium and long intervals, and that this was the case, even when comparing late blocks (where the repeated sequence had been incidentally learned), to early blocks (where this sequence was still unfamiliar). We conclude that incidentally acquired temporal expectations that follow a sequential structure can have a robust facilitatory influence on visually-guided behavioural responses and that, like more explicit forms of temporal orienting, this effect is
Behbehani, Raed; Ahmed, Samar; Al-Hashel, Jasem; Rousseff, Rossen T; Alroughani, Raed
Visual evoked potentials and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography are common ancillary studies that assess the visual pathways from a functional and structural aspect, respectively. To compare prevalence of abnormalities of Visual evoked potentials (VEP) and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SDOCT) in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). A cross-sectional study of 100 eyes with disease duration of less than 5 years since the diagnosis. Correlation between retinal nerve fiber layer and ganglion-cell/inner plexiform layer with pattern-reversal visual evoked potentials amplitude and latency and contrast sensitivity was performed. The prevalence of abnormalities in pattern-reversal visual VEP was 56% while that of SOCT was 48% in all eyes. There was significant negative correlations between the average RNFL (r=-0.34, p=0.001) and GCIPL (r=-0.39, p<0.001) with VEP latency. In eyes with prior optic neuritis, a significant negative correlation was seen between average RNFL (r=-0.33, p=0.037) and GCIPL (r=-0.40, p=0.010) with VEP latency. We have found higher prevalence of VEP abnormalities than SCOCT in early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. This suggests that VEP has a higher sensitivity for detecting lesions of the visual pathway in patients with early RRMS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Korinth, Sebastian Peter; Sommer, Werner; Breznitz, Zvia
Little is known about the relationship of reading speed and early visual processes in normal readers. Here we examined the association of the early P1, N170 and late N1 component in visual event-related potentials (ERPs) with silent reading speed and a number of additional cognitive skills in a sample of 52 adult German readers utilizing a Lexical Decision Task (LDT) and a Face Decision Task (FDT). Amplitudes of the N170 component in the LDT but, interestingly, also in the FDT correlated with behavioral tests measuring silent reading speed. We suggest that reading speed performance can be at least partially accounted for by the extraction of essential structural information from visual stimuli, consisting of a domain-general and a domain-specific expertise-based portion. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Strausfeld, Nicholas J; Ma, Xiaoya; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Fortey, Richard A; Land, Michael F; Liu, Yu; Cong, Peiyun; Hou, Xianguang
Four types of eyes serve the visual neuropils of extant arthropods: compound retinas composed of adjacent facets; a visual surface populated by spaced eyelets; a smooth transparent cuticle providing inwardly directed lens cylinders; and single-lens eyes. The first type is a characteristic of pancrustaceans, the eyes of which comprise lenses arranged as hexagonal or rectilinear arrays, each lens crowning 8-9 photoreceptor neurons. Except for Scutigeromorpha, the second type typifies Myriapoda whose relatively large eyelets surmount numerous photoreceptive rhabdoms stacked together as tiers. Scutigeromorph eyes are facetted, each lens crowning some dozen photoreceptor neurons of a modified apposition-type eye. Extant chelicerate eyes are single-lensed except in xiphosurans, whose lateral eyes comprise a cuticle with a smooth outer surface and an inner one providing regular arrays of lens cylinders. This account discusses whether these disparate eye types speak for or against divergence from one ancestral eye type. Previous considerations of eye evolution, focusing on the eyes of trilobites and on facet proliferation in xiphosurans and myriapods, have proposed that the mode of development of eyes in those taxa is distinct from that of pancrustaceans and is the plesiomorphic condition from which facetted eyes have evolved. But the recent discovery of enormous regularly facetted compound eyes belonging to early Cambrian radiodontans suggests that high-resolution facetted eyes with superior optics may be the ground pattern organization for arthropods, predating the evolution of arthrodization and jointed post-protocerebral appendages. Here we provide evidence that compound eye organization in stem-group euarthropods of the Cambrian can be understood in terms of eye morphologies diverging from this ancestral radiodontan-type ground pattern. We show that in certain Cambrian groups apposition eyes relate to fixed or mobile eyestalks, whereas other groups reveal concomitant
Öztürk Yilmaztekin, Elif; Erden, Feyza Tantekin
This study investigates early childhood teachers' views about science teaching practices in an early childhood settings. It was conducted in a preschool located in Ankara, Turkey. The data of the study were collected through multiple sources of information such as interviews with early childhood teachers and observations of their practices in the…
Buss, Aaron T.; Fox, Nicholas; Boas, David A.; Spencer, John P.
Visual working memory (VWM) is a core cognitive system with a highly limited capacity. The present study is the first to examine VWM capacity limits in early development using functional neuroimaging. We recorded optical neuroimaging data while 3- and 4-year-olds completed a change detection task where they detected changes in the shapes of objects after a brief delay. Near-infrared sources and detectors were placed over the following 10–20 positions: F3 and F5 in left frontal cortex, F4 and F6 in right frontal cortex, P3 and P5 in left parietal cortex, and P4 and P6 in right parietal cortex. The first question was whether we would see robust task-specific activation of the frontal-parietal network identified in the adult fMRI literature. This was indeed the case: three left frontal channels and 11 of 12 parietal channels showed a statistically robust difference between the concentration of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin following the presentation of the sample array. Moreover, four channels in the left hemisphere near P3, P5, and F5 showed a robust increase as the working memory load increased from 1–3 items. Notably, the hemodynamic response did not asymptote at 1–2 items as expected from previous fMRI studies with adults. Finally, 4-year-olds showed a more robust parietal response relative to 3-year-olds, and an increasing sensitivity to the memory load manipulation. These results demonstrate that fNIRS is an effective tool to study the neural processes that underlie the early development of VWM capacity. PMID:23707803
Buss, Aaron T; Fox, Nicholas; Boas, David A; Spencer, John P
Visual working memory (VWM) is a core cognitive system with a highly limited capacity. The present study is the first to examine VWM capacity limits in early development using functional neuroimaging. We recorded optical neuroimaging data while 3- and 4-year-olds completed a change detection task where they detected changes in the shapes of objects after a brief delay. Near-infrared sources and detectors were placed over the following 10-20 positions: F3 and F5 in left frontal cortex, F4 and F6 in right frontal cortex, P3 and P5 in left parietal cortex, and P4 and P6 in right parietal cortex. The first question was whether we would see robust task-specific activation of the frontal-parietal network identified in the adult fMRI literature. This was indeed the case: three left frontal channels and 11 of 12 parietal channels showed a statistically robust difference between the concentration of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin following the presentation of the sample array. Moreover, four channels in the left hemisphere near P3, P5, and F5 showed a robust increase as the working memory load increased from 1 to 3 items. Notably, the hemodynamic response did not asymptote at 1-2 items as expected from previous fMRI studies with adults. Finally, 4-year-olds showed a more robust parietal response relative to 3-year-olds, and an increasing sensitivity to the memory load manipulation. These results demonstrate that fNIRS is an effective tool to study the neural processes that underlie the early development of VWM capacity. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Champion, Rebecca A; Warren, Paul A
Ground-planes have an important influence on the perception of 3D space (Gibson, 1950) and it has been shown that the assumption that a ground-plane is present in the scene plays a role in the perception of object distance (Bruno & Cutting, 1988). Here, we investigate whether this influence is exerted at an early stage of processing, to affect the rapid estimation of 3D size. Participants performed a visual search task in which they searched for a target object that was larger or smaller than distracter objects. Objects were presented against a background that contained either a frontoparallel or slanted 3D surface, defined by texture gradient cues. We measured the effect on search performance of target location within the scene (near vs. far) and how this was influenced by scene orientation (which, e.g., might be consistent with a ground or ceiling plane, etc.). In addition, we investigated how scene orientation interacted with texture gradient information (indicating surface slant), to determine how these separate cues to scene layout were combined. We found that the difference in target detection performance between targets at the front and rear of the simulated scene was maximal when the scene was consistent with a ground-plane - consistent with the use of an elevation cue to object distance. In addition, we found a significant increase in the size of this effect when texture gradient information (indicating surface slant) was present, but no interaction between texture gradient and scene orientation information. We conclude that scene orientation plays an important role in the estimation of 3D size at an early stage of processing, and suggest that elevation information is linearly combined with texture gradient information for the rapid estimation of 3D size. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Guerreiro, Maria J S; Putzar, Lisa; Röder, Brigitte
Developmental vision is deemed to be necessary for the maturation of multisensory cortical circuits. Thus far, this has only been investigated in animal studies, which have shown that congenital visual deprivation markedly reduces the capability of neurons to integrate cross-modal inputs. The present study investigated the effect of transient congenital visual deprivation on the neural mechanisms of multisensory processing in humans. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare responses of visual and auditory cortical areas to visual, auditory and audio-visual stimulation in cataract-reversal patients and normally sighted controls. The results showed that cataract-reversal patients, unlike normally sighted controls, did not exhibit multisensory integration in auditory areas. Furthermore, cataract-reversal patients, but not normally sighted controls, exhibited lower visual cortical processing within visual cortex during audio-visual stimulation than during visual stimulation. These results indicate that congenital visual deprivation affects the capability of cortical areas to integrate cross-modal inputs in humans, possibly because visual processing is suppressed during cross-modal stimulation. Arguably, the lack of vision in the first months after birth may result in a reorganization of visual cortex, including the suppression of noisy visual input from the deprived retina in order to reduce interference during auditory processing. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Vannier, J.; García-Bellido, D.C.; Hu, S.-X.; Chen, A.-L.
Exceptional fossil specimens with preserved soft parts from the Maotianshan Shale (ca 520 Myr ago) and the Burgess Shale (505 Myr ago) biotas indicate that the worldwide distributed bivalved arthropod Isoxys was probably a non-benthic visual predator. New lines of evidence come from the functional morphology of its powerful prehensile frontal appendages that, combined with large spherical eyes, are thought to have played a key role in the recognition and capture of swimming or epibenthic prey. The swimming and steering of this arthropod was achieved by the beating of multiple setose exopods and a flap-like telson. The appendage morphology of Isoxys indicates possible phylogenetical relationships with the megacheirans, a widespread group of assumed predator arthropods characterized by a pre-oral ‘great appendage’. Evidence from functional morphology and taphonomy suggests that Isoxys was able to migrate through the water column and was possibly exploiting hyperbenthic niches for food. Although certainly not unique, the case of Isoxys supports the idea that off-bottom animal interactions such as predation, associated with complex feeding strategies and behaviours (e.g. vertical migration and hunting) were established by the Early Cambrian. It also suggests that a prototype of a pelagic food chain had already started to build-up at least in the lower levels of the water column. PMID:19403536
Vannier, J; García-Bellido, D C; Hu, S-X; Chen, A-L
Exceptional fossil specimens with preserved soft parts from the Maotianshan Shale (ca 520 Myr ago) and the Burgess Shale (505 Myr ago) biotas indicate that the worldwide distributed bivalved arthropod Isoxys was probably a non-benthic visual predator. New lines of evidence come from the functional morphology of its powerful prehensile frontal appendages that, combined with large spherical eyes, are thought to have played a key role in the recognition and capture of swimming or epibenthic prey. The swimming and steering of this arthropod was achieved by the beating of multiple setose exopods and a flap-like telson. The appendage morphology of Isoxys indicates possible phylogenetical relationships with the megacheirans, a widespread group of assumed predator arthropods characterized by a pre-oral 'great appendage'. Evidence from functional morphology and taphonomy suggests that Isoxys was able to migrate through the water column and was possibly exploiting hyperbenthic niches for food. Although certainly not unique, the case of Isoxys supports the idea that off-bottom animal interactions such as predation, associated with complex feeding strategies and behaviours (e.g. vertical migration and hunting) were established by the Early Cambrian. It also suggests that a prototype of a pelagic food chain had already started to build-up at least in the lower levels of the water column.
Borkar, Aditi Narendra; Rout, Manoj Kumar; Hosur, Ramakrishna V
Protein denaturation plays a crucial role in cellular processes. In this study, denaturation of HIV-1 Protease (PR) was investigated by all-atom MD simulations in explicit solvent. The PR dimer and monomer were simulated separately in 9 M acetic acid (9 M AcOH) solution and water to study the denaturation process of PR in acetic acid environment. Direct visualization of the denaturation dynamics that is readily available from such simulations has been presented. Our simulations in 9 M AcOH reveal that the PR denaturation begins by separation of dimer into intact monomers and it is only after this separation that the monomer units start denaturing. The denaturation of the monomers is flagged off by the loss of crucial interactions between the α-helix at C-terminal and surrounding β-strands. This causes the structure to transit from the equilibrium dynamics to random non-equilibrating dynamics. Residence time calculations indicate that denaturation occurs via direct interaction of the acetic acid molecules with certain regions of the protein in 9 M AcOH. All these observations have helped to decipher a picture of the early events in acetic acid denaturation of PR and have illustrated that the α-helix and the β-sheet at the C-terminus of a native and functional PR dimer should maintain both the stability and the function of the enzyme and thus present newer targets for blocking PR function.
Metastasis, the process by which cancer cells travel from a primary tumor to establish lesions in distant organs, is the cause of most cancer-related deaths. One critical process during metastasis is the transit of cells from a primary tumor and through the vasculature or lymphatic systems to a distant site prior to metastatic colonization. However, visualization of cellular behavior in the vasculature is difficult in most model systems, where final cell destination is not known beforehand. Here, we used bone- and brain-tropic subclones of MDA-MB-231 breast adenocarcinoma cells (231BO and 231BR, respectively) injected into the circulation of embryonic zebrafish as a model xenograft system of metastasis. The zebrafish vasculature contains vessels on the scale of human capillaries. Real-time intravital imaging revealed metastatic spread to be an inefficient process, with less than 20% of cells passing through a given organ remaining there following 14 h of imaging. Additionally, there was no significant difference in the organ-specific residence time or migration speed of single 231BO and 231BR cells in the organ vasculature. Instead, cell capture was dependent on vessel topography and the function of integrin β1. Interestingly, a fraction of cells extravasated from the vasculature and survived in a perivascular position in the head and caudal venous plexus for up to two weeks. In conclusion, use of the zebrafish vasculature as a model capillary bed has revealed critical steps in early metastasis that are difficult to capture in other systems.
Sandberg, Kristian; Bahrami, Bahador; Kanai, Ryota; Barnes, Gareth Robert; Overgaard, Morten; Rees, Geraint
Previous studies indicate that conscious face perception may be related to neural activity in a large time window around 170-800ms after stimulus presentation, yet in the majority of these studies changes in conscious experience are confounded with changes in physical stimulation. Using multivariate classification on MEG data recorded when participants reported changes in conscious perception evoked by binocular rivalry between a face and a grating, we showed that only MEG signals in the 120-320ms time range, peaking at the M170 around 180ms and the P2m at around 260ms, reliably predicted conscious experience. Conscious perception could not only be decoded significantly better than chance from the sensors that showed the largest average difference, as previous studies suggest, but also from patterns of activity across groups of occipital sensors that individually were unable to predict perception better than chance. Additionally, source space analyses showed that sources in the early and late visual system predicted conscious perception more accurately than frontal and parietal sites, although conscious perception could also be decoded there. Finally, the patterns of neural activity associated with conscious face perception generalized from one participant to another around the times of maximum prediction accuracy. Our work thus demonstrates that the neural correlates of particular conscious contents (here, faces) are highly consistent in time and space within individuals and that these correlates are shared to some extent between individuals. PMID:23281780
In a recent functional magnetic resonance imaging study, Kok and de Lange (2014) observed that BOLD activity for a Kanizsa illusory shape stimulus, in which pacmen-like inducers elicit an illusory shape percept, was either enhanced or suppressed relative to a nonillusory control configuration depending on whether the spatial profile of BOLD activity in early visual cortex was related to the illusory shape or the inducers, respectively. The authors argued that these findings fit well with the predictive coding framework, because top-down predictions related to the illusory shape are not met with bottom-up sensory input and hence the feedforward error signal is enhanced. Conversely, for the inducing elements, there is a match between top-down predictions and input, leading to a decrease in error. Rather than invoking predictive coding as the explanatory framework, the suppressive effect related to the inducers might be caused by neural adaptation to perceptually stable input due to the trial sequence used in the experiment.
Castillo-Padilla, Diana V; Funke, Klaus
Early cortical critical period resembles a state of enhanced neuronal plasticity enabling the establishment of specific neuronal connections during first sensory experience. Visual performance with regard to pattern discrimination is impaired if the cortex is deprived from visual input during the critical period. We wondered how unspecific activation of the visual cortex before closure of the critical period using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) could affect the critical period and the visual performance of the experimental animals. Would it cause premature closure of the plastic state and thus worsen experience-dependent visual performance, or would it be able to preserve plasticity? Effects of intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) were compared with those of an enriched environment (EE) during dark-rearing (DR) from birth. Rats dark-reared in a standard cage showed poor improvement in a visual pattern discrimination task, while rats housed in EE or treated with iTBS showed a performance indistinguishable from rats reared in normal light/dark cycle. The behavioral effects were accompanied by correlated changes in the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and atypical PKC (PKCζ/PKMζ), two factors controlling stabilization of synaptic potentiation. It appears that not only nonvisual sensory activity and exercise but also cortical activation induced by rTMS has the potential to alleviate the effects of DR on cortical development, most likely due to stimulation of BDNF synthesis and release. As we showed previously, iTBS reduced the expression of parvalbumin in inhibitory cortical interneurons, indicating that modulation of the activity of fast-spiking interneurons contributes to the observed effects of iTBS. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Hadad, Bat-Sheva; Maurer, Daphne; Lewis, Terri L.
Patients deprived of visual experience during infancy by dense bilateral congenital cataracts later show marked deficits in the perception of global motion (dorsal visual stream) and global form (ventral visual stream). We expected that they would also show marked deficits in sensitivity to biological motion, which is normally processed in the…
Öğmen, Haluk; Herzog, Michael H
Memory is an essential component of cognition and disorders of memory have significant individual and societal costs. The Atkinson-Shiffrin "modal model" forms the foundation of our understanding of human memory. It consists of three stores: Sensory Memory (SM), whose visual component is called iconic memory, Short-Term Memory (STM; also called working memory, WM), and Long-Term Memory (LTM). Since its inception, shortcomings of all three components of the modal model have been identified. While the theories of STM and LTM underwent significant modifications to address these shortcomings, models of the iconic memory remained largely unchanged: A high capacity but rapidly decaying store whose contents are encoded in retinotopic coordinates, i.e., according to how the stimulus is projected on the retina. The fundamental shortcoming of iconic memory models is that, because contents are encoded in retinotopic coordinates, the iconic memory cannot hold any useful information under normal viewing conditions when objects or the subject are in motion. Hence, half-century after its formulation, it remains an unresolved problem whether and how the first stage of the modal model serves any useful function and how subsequent stages of the modal model receive inputs from the environment. Here, we propose a new conceptualization of human visual sensory memory by introducing an additional component whose reference-frame consists of motion-grouping based coordinates rather than retinotopic coordinates. We review data supporting this new model and discuss how it offers solutions to the paradoxes of the traditional model of sensory memory.
Jin, Hua; Xu, Guiping; Zhang, John X; Ye, Zuoer; Wang, Shufang; Zhao, Lun; Lin, Chong-De; Mo, Lei
One basic question in brain plasticity research is whether individual life experience in the normal population can affect very early sensory-perceptual processing. Athletes provide a possible model to explore plasticity of the visual cortex as athletic training in confrontational ball games is quite often accompanied by training of the visual system. We asked professional badminton players to watch video clips related to their training experience and predict where the ball would land and examined whether they differed from non-player controls in the elicited C1, a visual evoked potential indexing V1 activity. Compared with controls, the players made judgments significantly more accurately, albeit not faster. An early ERP component peaking around 65 ms post-stimulus with a scalp topography centering at the occipital pole (electrode Oz) was observed in both groups and interpreted as the C1 component. With comparable latency, amplitudes of this component were significantly enhanced for the players than for the non-players, suggesting that it can be modulated by long-term physical training. The results present a clear case of experience-induced brain plasticity in primary visual cortex for very early sensory processing. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Constable, Merryn D; Becker, Stefanie I
According to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, learned semantic categories can influence early perceptual processes. A central finding in support of this view is the lateralized category effect-namely, the finding that categorically different colors (e.g., blue and green hues) can be discriminated faster than colors within the same color category (e.g., different hues of green), especially when they are presented in the right visual field. Because the right visual field projects to the left hemisphere, this finding has been popularly couched in terms of the left-lateralization of language. However, other studies have reported bilateral category effects, which has led some researchers to question the linguistic origins of the effect. Here we examined the time course of lateralized and bilateral category effects in the classical visual search paradigm by means of eyetracking and RT distribution analyses. Our results show a bilateral category effect in the manual responses, which is combined of an early, left-lateralized category effect and a later, right-lateralized category effect. The newly discovered late, right-lateralized category effect occurred only when observers had difficulty locating the target, indicating a specialization of the right hemisphere to find categorically different targets after an initial error. The finding that early and late stages of visual search show different lateralized category effects can explain a wide range of previously discrepant findings.
The steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP), a neurophysiological marker of attentional resource allocation with its generators in early visual cortex, exhibits enhanced amplitude for emotional compared to neutral complex pictures. Emotional cue extraction for complex images is linked to the N1-EPN complex with a peak latency of ∼140–160 ms. We tested whether neural facilitation in early visual cortex with affective pictures requires emotional cue extraction of individual images, even when a stream of images of the same valence category is presented. Images were shown at either 6 Hz (167 ms, allowing for extraction) or 15 Hz (67 ms per image, causing disruption of processing by the following image). Results showed SSVEP amplitude enhancement for emotional compared to neutral images at a presentation rate of 6 Hz but no differences at 15 Hz. This was not due to featural differences between the two valence categories. Results strongly suggest that individual images need to be displayed for sufficient time allowing for emotional cue extraction to drive affective neural modulation in early visual cortex. PMID:25971598
Jonkman, L M; Kenemans, J L; Kemner, C; Verbaten, M N; van Engeland, H
This study was aimed at investigating whether attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children suffer from specific early selective attention deficits in the visual modality with the aid of event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Furthermore, brain source localization was applied to identify brain areas underlying possible deficits in selective visual processing in ADHD children. A two-channel visual color selection task was administered to 18 ADHD and 18 control subjects in the age range of 7-13 years and ERP activity was derived from 30 electrodes. ADHD children exhibited lower perceptual sensitivity scores resulting in poorer target selection. The ERP data suggested an early selective-attention deficit as manifested in smaller frontal positive activity (frontal selection positivity; FSP) in ADHD children around 200 ms whereas later occipital and fronto-central negative activity (OSN and N2b; 200-400 ms latency) appeared to be unaffected. Source localization explained the FSP by posterior-medial equivalent dipoles in control subjects, which may reflect the contribution of numerous surrounding areas. ADHD children have problems with selective visual processing that might be caused by a specific early filtering deficit (absent FSP) occurring around 200 ms. The neural sources underlying these problems have to be further identified. Source localization also suggested abnormalities in the 200-400 ms time range, pertaining to the distribution of attention-modulated activity in lateral frontal areas.
Dutca, Laura M; Stasheff, Steven F; Hedberg-Buenz, Adam; Rudd, Danielle S; Batra, Nikhil; Blodi, Frederick R; Yorek, Matthew S; Yin, Terry; Shankar, Malini; Herlein, Judith A; Naidoo, Jacinth; Morlock, Lorraine; Williams, Noelle; Kardon, Randy H; Anderson, Michael G; Pieper, Andrew A; Harper, Matthew M
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) frequently leads to chronic visual dysfunction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of TBI on retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), and to test whether treatment with the novel neuroprotective compound P7C3-S243 could prevent in vivo functional deficits in the visual system. Blast-mediated TBI was modeled using an enclosed over-pressure blast chamber. The RGC physiology was evaluated using a multielectrode array and pattern electroretinogram (PERG). Histological analysis of RGC dendritic field and cell number were evaluated at the end of the study. Visual outcome measures also were evaluated based on treatment of mice with P7C3-S243 or vehicle control. We show that deficits in neutral position PERG after blast-mediated TBI occur in a temporally bimodal fashion, with temporary recovery 4 weeks after injury followed by chronically persistent dysfunction 12 weeks later. This later time point is associated with development of dendritic abnormalities and irreversible death of RGCs. We also demonstrate that ongoing pathologic processes during the temporary recovery latent period (including abnormalities of RGC physiology) lead to future dysfunction of the visual system. We report that modification of PERG to provocative postural tilt testing elicits changes in PERG measurements that correlate with a key in vitro measures of damage: the spontaneous and light-evoked activity of RGCs. Treatment with P7C3-S243 immediately after injury and throughout the temporary recovery latent period protects mice from developing chronic visual system dysfunction. Provocative PERG testing serves as a noninvasive test in the living organism to identify early damage to the visual system, which may reflect corresponding damage in the brain that is not otherwise detectable by noninvasive means. This provides the basis for developing an earlier diagnostic test to identify patients at risk for developing chronic CNS and visual system damage after TBI at
Dutca, Laura M.; Stasheff, Steven F.; Hedberg-Buenz, Adam; Rudd, Danielle S.; Batra, Nikhil; Blodi, Frederick R.; Yorek, Matthew S.; Yin, Terry; Shankar, Malini; Herlein, Judith A.; Naidoo, Jacinth; Morlock, Lorraine; Williams, Noelle; Kardon, Randy H.; Anderson, Michael G.; Pieper, Andrew A.; Harper, Matthew M.
Purpose. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) frequently leads to chronic visual dysfunction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of TBI on retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), and to test whether treatment with the novel neuroprotective compound P7C3-S243 could prevent in vivo functional deficits in the visual system. Methods. Blast-mediated TBI was modeled using an enclosed over-pressure blast chamber. The RGC physiology was evaluated using a multielectrode array and pattern electroretinogram (PERG). Histological analysis of RGC dendritic field and cell number were evaluated at the end of the study. Visual outcome measures also were evaluated based on treatment of mice with P7C3-S243 or vehicle control. Results. We show that deficits in neutral position PERG after blast-mediated TBI occur in a temporally bimodal fashion, with temporary recovery 4 weeks after injury followed by chronically persistent dysfunction 12 weeks later. This later time point is associated with development of dendritic abnormalities and irreversible death of RGCs. We also demonstrate that ongoing pathologic processes during the temporary recovery latent period (including abnormalities of RGC physiology) lead to future dysfunction of the visual system. We report that modification of PERG to provocative postural tilt testing elicits changes in PERG measurements that correlate with a key in vitro measures of damage: the spontaneous and light-evoked activity of RGCs. Treatment with P7C3-S243 immediately after injury and throughout the temporary recovery latent period protects mice from developing chronic visual system dysfunction. Conclusions. Provocative PERG testing serves as a noninvasive test in the living organism to identify early damage to the visual system, which may reflect corresponding damage in the brain that is not otherwise detectable by noninvasive means. This provides the basis for developing an earlier diagnostic test to identify patients at risk for developing chronic
Cocce, Kimberly J; Stinnett, Sandra S; Luhmann, Ulrich F O; Vajzovic, Lejla; Horne, Anupama; Schuman, Stefanie G; Toth, Cynthia A; Cousins, Scott W; Lad, Eleonora M
To evaluate and quantify visual function metrics to be used as endpoints of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) stages and visual acuity (VA) loss in patients with early and intermediate AMD. Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a prospective study. One hundred and one patients were enrolled at Duke Eye Center: 80 patients with early AMD (Age-Related Eye Disease Study [AREDS] stage 2 [n = 33] and intermediate stage 3 [n = 47]) and 21 age-matched, normal controls. A dilated retinal examination, macular pigment optical density measurements, and several functional assessments (best-corrected visual acuity, macular integrity assessment mesopic microperimety, dark adaptometry, low-luminance visual acuity [LLVA] [standard using a log 2.0 neutral density filter and computerized method], and cone contrast test [CCT]) were performed. Low-luminance deficit (LLD) was defined as the difference in numbers of letters read at standard vs low luminance. Group comparisons were performed to evaluate differences between the control and the early and intermediate AMD groups using 2-sided significance tests. Functional measures that significantly distinguished between normal and intermediate AMD were standard and computerized (0.5 cd/m 2 ) LLVA, percent reduced threshold and average threshold on microperimetry, CCTs, and rod intercept on dark adaptation (P < .05). The intermediate group demonstrated deficits in microperimetry reduced threshhold, computerized LLD2, and dark adaptation (P < .05) relative to early AMD. Our study suggests that LLVA, microperimetry, CCT, and dark adaptation may serve as functional measures differentiating early-to-intermediate stages of dry AMD. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mishina, Masahiro; Senda, Michio; Kiyosawa, Motohiro; Ishiwata, Kiichi; De Volder, Anne G; Nakano, Hideki; Toyama, Hinako; Oda, Kei-ichi; Kimura, Yuichi; Ishii, Kenji; Sasaki, Touru; Ohyama, Masashi; Komaba, Yuichi; Kobayashi, Shirou; Kitamura, Shin; Katayama, Yasuo
Before the completion of visual development, visual deprivation impairs synaptic elimination in the visual cortex. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the distribution of central benzodiazepine receptor (BZR) is also altered in the visual cortex in subjects with early-onset blindness. Positron emission tomography was carried out with [(15)O]water and [(11)C]flumazenil on six blind subjects and seven sighted controls at rest. We found that the CBF was significantly higher in the visual cortex for the early-onset blind subjects than for the sighted control subjects. However, there was no significant difference in the BZR distribution in the visual cortex for the subject with early-onset blindness than for the sighted control subjects. These results demonstrated that early visual deprivation does not affect the distribution of GABA(A) receptors in the visual cortex with the sensitivity of our measurements. Synaptic elimination may be independent of visual experience in the GABAergic system of the human visual cortex during visual development.
Walter, Sabrina; Quigley, Cliodhna; Mueller, Matthias M
Performing a task across the left and right visual hemifields results in better performance than in a within-hemifield version of the task, termed the different-hemifield advantage. Although recent studies used transient stimuli that were presented with long ISIs, here we used a continuous objective electrophysiological (EEG) measure of competitive interactions for attentional processing resources in early visual cortex, the steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP). We frequency-tagged locations in each visual quadrant and at central fixation by flickering light-emitting diodes (LEDs) at different frequencies to elicit distinguishable SSVEPs. Stimuli were presented for several seconds, and participants were cued to attend to two LEDs either in one (Within) or distributed across left and right visual hemifields (Across). In addition, we introduced two reference measures: one for suppressive interactions between the peripheral LEDs by using a task at fixation where attention was withdrawn from the periphery and another estimating the upper bound of SSVEP amplitude by cueing participants to attend to only one of the peripheral LEDs. We found significantly greater SSVEP amplitude modulations in Across compared with Within hemifield conditions. No differences were found between SSVEP amplitudes elicited by the peripheral LEDs when participants attended to the centrally located LEDs compared with when peripheral LEDs had to be ignored in Across and Within trials. Attending to only one LED elicited the same SSVEP amplitude as Across conditions. Although behavioral data displayed a more complex pattern, SSVEP amplitudes were well in line with the predictions of the different-hemifield advantage account during sustained visuospatial attention.
Nazemi, Paul P; Fink, Wolfgang; Sadun, Alfredo A; Francis, Brian; Minckler, Donald
Purpose A recently devised 3D computer‐automated threshold Amsler grid test was used to identify early and distinctive defects in people with suspected glaucoma. Further, the location, shape and depth of these field defects were characterised. Finally, the visual fields were compared with those obtained by standard automated perimetry. Patients and methods Glaucoma suspects were defined as those having elevated intraocular pressure (>21 mm Hg) or cup‐to‐disc ratio of >0.5. 33 patients and 66 eyes with risk factors for glaucoma were examined. 15 patients and 23 eyes with no risk factors were tested as controls. The recently developed 3D computer‐automated threshold Amsler grid test was used. The test exhibits a grid on a computer screen at a preselected greyscale and angular resolution, and allows patients to trace those areas on the grid that are missing in their visual field using a touch screen. The 5‐minute test required that the patients repeatedly outline scotomas on a touch screen with varied displays of contrast while maintaining their gaze on a central fixation marker. A 3D depiction of the visual field defects was then obtained that was further characterised by the location, shape and depth of the scotomas. The exam was repeated three times per eye. The results were compared to Humphrey visual field tests (ie, achromatic standard or SITA standard 30‐2 or 24‐2). Results In this pilot study 79% of the eyes tested in the glaucoma‐suspect group repeatedly demonstrated visual field loss with the 3D perimetry. The 3D depictions of visual field loss associated with these risk factors were all characteristic of or compatible with glaucoma. 71% of the eyes demonstrated arcuate defects or a nasal step. Constricted visual fields were shown in 29% of the eyes. No visual field changes were detected in the control group. Conclusions The 3D computer‐automated threshold Amsler grid test may demonstrate visual field abnormalities characteristic of
Xu, Jingping P.; He, Zijiang J.; Ooi, Teng Leng
A push-pull training protocol is applied to reduce sensory eye dominance in the foveal region. The training protocol consists of cueing the weak eye to force it to become dominant while the strong eye is suppressed when a pair of dichoptic orthogonal grating stimulus is subsequently presented to it (Ooi and He, 1999). We trained with four pairs of dichoptic orthogonal gratings (0°/90°, 90°/0°, 45°/135° and 135°/45° at 3 cpd) to affect the interocular inhibitory interaction tuned to the four trained orientations (0°, 45°, 90° and 135°). After a 10-day training session, we found a significant learning effect (reduced sensory eye dominance) at the trained orientations as well as at two other untrained orientations (22.5° and 67.5°). This suggests that the four pairs of oriented training stimuli are sufficient to produce a learning effect at any other orientation. The nearly complete transfer of the learning effect across orientation is attributed to the fact that the trained and untrained orientations are close enough to fall in the same orientation tuning function of the early visual cortical neurons (~37.5°). Applying the same notion of transfer of learning within the same feature channel, we also found a large transfer effect to an untrained spatial frequency (6 cpd), which is 1 octave higher than the trained spatial frequency (3 cpd). Furthermore, we found that stereopsis is improved, as is the competitive ability between the two eyes, after the push-pull training. Our data analysis suggests that these improvements are correlated with the reduced sensory eye dominance after the training, i.e., due to a more balanced interocular inhibition. We also found that the learning effect (reduced SED and stereo threshold) can be retained for more than a year after the termination of the push-pull training. PMID:21689673
Tandonnet, Christophe; Garry, Michael I; Summers, Jeffery J
To make a decision may rely on accumulating evidence in favor of one alternative until a threshold is reached. Sequential-sampling models differ by the way of accumulating evidence and the link with action implementation. Here, we tested a model's prediction of an early action implementation specific to potential actions. We assessed the dynamics of action implementation in go/no-go and between-hand choice tasks by transcranial magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex (single- or paired-pulse TMS; 3-ms interstimulus interval). Prior to implementation of the selected action, the amplitude of the motor evoked potential first increased whatever the visual stimulus but only for the hand potentially involved in the to-be-produced action. These findings suggest that visual stimuli can trigger an early motor activation specific to potential actions, consistent with race-like models with continuous transmission between decision making and action implementation. Copyright © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Roberts, James W; Lyons, James; Garcia, Daniel B L; Burgess, Raquel; Elliott, Digby
The multiple process model contends that there are two forms of online control for manual aiming: impulse regulation and limb-target control. This study examined the impact of visual information processing for limb-target control. We amalgamated the Gunslinger protocol (i.e., faster movements following a reaction to an external trigger compared with the spontaneous initiation of movement) and Müller-Lyer target configurations into the same aiming protocol. The results showed the Gunslinger effect was isolated at the early portions of the movement (peak acceleration and peak velocity). Reacted aims reached a longer displacement at peak deceleration, but no differences for movement termination. The target configurations manifested terminal biases consistent with the illusion. We suggest the visual information processing demands imposed by reacted aims can be adapted by integrating early feedforward information for limb-target control.
Spileers, Werner; Wagemans, Johan; Op de Beeck, Hans P.
The lower areas of the hierarchically organized visual cortex are strongly retinotopically organized, with strong responses to specific retinotopic stimuli, and no response to other stimuli outside these preferred regions. Higher areas in the ventral occipitotemporal cortex show a weak eccentricity bias, and are mainly sensitive for object category (e.g., faces versus buildings). This study investigated how the mapping of eccentricity and category sensitivity using functional magnetic resonance imaging is affected by a retinal lesion in two very different low vision patients: a patient with a large central scotoma, affecting central input to the retina (juvenile macular degeneration), and a patient where input to the peripheral retina is lost (retinitis pigmentosa). From the retinal degeneration, we can predict specific losses of retinotopic activation. These predictions were confirmed when comparing stimulus activations with a no-stimulus fixation baseline. At the same time, however, seemingly contradictory patterns of activation, unexpected given the retinal degeneration, were observed when different stimulus conditions were directly compared. These unexpected activations were due to position-specific deactivations, indicating the importance of investigating absolute activation (relative to a no-stimulus baseline) rather than relative activation (comparing different stimulus conditions). Data from two controls, with simulated scotomas that matched the lesions in the two patients also showed that retinotopic mapping results could be explained by a combination of activations at the stimulated locations and deactivations at unstimulated locations. Category sensitivity was preserved in the two patients. In sum, when we take into account the full pattern of activations and deactivations elicited in retinotopic cortex and throughout the ventral object vision pathway in low vision patients, the pattern of (de)activation is consistent with the retinal loss. PMID:24505449
Violante, Inês R; Ribeiro, Maria J; Cunha, Gil; Bernardino, Inês; Duarte, João V; Ramos, Fabiana; Saraiva, Jorge; Silva, Eduardo; Castelo-Branco, Miguel
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is one of the most common single gene disorders affecting the human nervous system with a high incidence of cognitive deficits, particularly visuospatial. Nevertheless, neurophysiological alterations in low-level visual processing that could be relevant to explain the cognitive phenotype are poorly understood. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study early cortical visual pathways in children and adults with NF1. We employed two distinct stimulus types differing in contrast and spatial and temporal frequencies to evoke relatively different activation of the magnocellular (M) and parvocellular (P) pathways. Hemodynamic responses were investigated in retinotopically-defined regions V1, V2 and V3 and then over the acquired cortical volume. Relative to matched control subjects, patients with NF1 showed deficient activation of the low-level visual cortex to both stimulus types. Importantly, this finding was observed for children and adults with NF1, indicating that low-level visual processing deficits do not ameliorate with age. Moreover, only during M-biased stimulation patients with NF1 failed to deactivate or even activated anterior and posterior midline regions of the default mode network. The observation that the magnocellular visual pathway is impaired in NF1 in early visual processing and is specifically associated with a deficient deactivation of the default mode network may provide a neural explanation for high-order cognitive deficits present in NF1, particularly visuospatial and attentional. A link between magnocellular and default mode network processing may generalize to neuropsychiatric disorders where such deficits have been separately identified.
The aim of this study was examination of academic achievement of early adolescents with visual impairments. Eighty eight children from Turkey, (age = 12.30 ± 1.22 years; height = 144.10 ± 5.51 cm; weight = 41.45 ± 4.68 kg) for twenty female athletes, (age = 12.30 ± 1.79; height = 151.04 ± 7.49 cm; weight = 48.18 ± 7.63 kg) for twenty seven male…
Kornmeier, Juergen; Wörner, Rike; Riedel, Andreas; Bach, Michael; Tebartz van Elst, Ludger
Background Asperger Autism is a lifelong psychiatric condition with highly circumscribed interests and routines, problems in social cognition, verbal and nonverbal communication, and also perceptual abnormalities with sensory hypersensitivity. To objectify both lower-level visual and cognitive alterations we looked for differences in visual event-related potentials (EEG) between Asperger observers and matched controls while they observed simple checkerboard stimuli. Methods In a balanced oddball paradigm checkerboards of two checksizes (0.6° and 1.2°) were presented with different frequencies. Participants counted the occurrence times of the rare fine or rare coarse checkerboards in different experimental conditions. We focused on early visual ERP differences as a function of checkerboard size and the classical P3b ERP component as an indicator of cognitive processing. Results We found an early (100–200 ms after stimulus onset) occipital ERP effect of checkerboard size (dominant spatial frequency). This effect was weaker in the Asperger than in the control observers. Further a typical parietal/central oddball-P3b occurred at 500 ms with the rare checkerboards. The P3b showed a right-hemispheric lateralization, which was more prominent in Asperger than in control observers. Discussion The difference in the early occipital ERP effect between the two groups may be a physiological marker of differences in the processing of small visual details in Asperger observers compared to normal controls. The stronger lateralization of the P3b in Asperger observers may indicate a stronger involvement of the right-hemispheric network of bottom-up attention. The lateralization of the P3b signal might be a compensatory consequence of the compromised early checksize effect. Higher-level analytical information processing units may need to compensate for difficulties in low-level signal analysis. PMID:24632708
Kornmeier, Juergen; Wörner, Rike; Riedel, Andreas; Bach, Michael; Tebartz van Elst, Ludger
Asperger Autism is a lifelong psychiatric condition with highly circumscribed interests and routines, problems in social cognition, verbal and nonverbal communication, and also perceptual abnormalities with sensory hypersensitivity. To objectify both lower-level visual and cognitive alterations we looked for differences in visual event-related potentials (EEG) between Asperger observers and matched controls while they observed simple checkerboard stimuli. In a balanced oddball paradigm checkerboards of two checksizes (0.6° and 1.2°) were presented with different frequencies. Participants counted the occurrence times of the rare fine or rare coarse checkerboards in different experimental conditions. We focused on early visual ERP differences as a function of checkerboard size and the classical P3b ERP component as an indicator of cognitive processing. We found an early (100-200 ms after stimulus onset) occipital ERP effect of checkerboard size (dominant spatial frequency). This effect was weaker in the Asperger than in the control observers. Further a typical parietal/central oddball-P3b occurred at 500 ms with the rare checkerboards. The P3b showed a right-hemispheric lateralization, which was more prominent in Asperger than in control observers. The difference in the early occipital ERP effect between the two groups may be a physiological marker of differences in the processing of small visual details in Asperger observers compared to normal controls. The stronger lateralization of the P3b in Asperger observers may indicate a stronger involvement of the right-hemispheric network of bottom-up attention. The lateralization of the P3b signal might be a compensatory consequence of the compromised early checksize effect. Higher-level analytical information processing units may need to compensate for difficulties in low-level signal analysis.
Giuliano, Ryan J; Karns, Christina M; Neville, Helen J; Hillyard, Steven A
A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and early attentional gating across sensory domains, hypothesizing that measures of visual WM capacity should predict an individual's capacity to allocate auditory selective attention. To address this question, auditory ERPs were recorded in a linguistic dichotic listening task, and individual differences in ERP modulations by attention were correlated with estimates of WM capacity obtained in a separate visual change detection task. Auditory selective attention enhanced ERP amplitudes at an early latency (ca. 70-90 msec), with larger P1 components elicited by linguistic probes embedded in an attended narrative. Moreover, this effect was associated with greater individual estimates of visual WM capacity. These findings support the view that domain-general attentional control mechanisms underlie the wide variation of WM capacity across individuals.
Giuliano, Ryan J.; Karns, Christina M.; Neville, Helen J.; Hillyard, Steven A.
A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and early attentional gating across sensory domains, hypothesizing that measures of visual WM capacity should predict an individual’s capacity to allocate auditory selective attention. To address this question, auditory ERPs were recorded in a linguistic dichotic listening task, and individual differences in ERP modulations by attention were correlated with estimates of WM capacity obtained in a separate visual change detection task. Auditory selective attention enhanced ERP amplitudes at an early latency (ca. 70–90 msec), with larger P1 components elicited by linguistic probes embedded in an attended narrative. Moreover, this effect was associated with greater individual estimates of visual WM capacity. These findings support the view that domain-general attentional control mechanisms underlie the wide variation of WM capacity across individuals. PMID:25000526
Mendola, Janine D.; Conner, Ian P.
There have been many attempts to define eye dominance in normal subjects, but limited consensus exists, and relevant physiological data is scarce. In this study, we consider two different behavioral methods for assignment of eye dominance, and how well they predict fMRI signals evoked by monocular stimulation. Sighting eye dominance was assessed with two standard tests, the Porta Test, and a ‘hole in hand’ variation of the Miles Test. Acuity dominance was tested with a standard eye chart and with a computerized test of grating acuity. We found limited agreement between the sighting and acuity methods for assigning dominance in our individual subjects. We then compared the fMRI response generated by dominant eye stimulation to that generated by non-dominant eye, according to both methods, in 7 normal subjects. The stimulus consisted of a high contrast hemifield stimulus alternating with no stimulus in a blocked paradigm. In separate scans, we used standard techniques to label the borders of visual areas V1, V2, V3, VP, V4, V3A, and MT. These regions of interest (ROIs) were used to analyze each visual area separately. We found that percent change in fMRI BOLD signal was stronger for the dominant eye as defined by the acuity method, and this effect was significant for areas located in the ventral occipital territory (V1v, V2v, VP, V4). In contrast, assigning dominance based on sighting produced no significant interocular BOLD differences. We conclude that interocular BOLD differences in normal subjects exist, and may be predicted by acuity measures. PMID:17194544
Li, Wu; Piëch, Valentin; Gilbert, Charles D.
SUMMARY In complex visual scenes, linking related contour elements is important for object recognition. This process, thought to be stimulus driven and hard wired, has substrates in primary visual cortex (V1). Here, however, we find contour integration in V1 to depend strongly on perceptual learning and top-down influences that are specific to contour detection. In naive monkeys the information about contours embedded in complex backgrounds is absent in V1 neuronal responses, and is independent of the locus of spatial attention. Training animals to find embedded contours induces strong contour-related responses specific to the trained retinotopic region. These responses are most robust when animals perform the contour detection task, but disappear under anesthesia. Our findings suggest that top-down influences dynamically adapt neural circuits according to specific perceptual tasks. This may serve as a general neuronal mechanism of perceptual learning, and reflect top-down mediated changes in cortical states. PMID:18255036
Pavlova, Marina; Sokolov, Alexander; Krägeloh-Mann, Ingeborg
Visual navigation in familiar and unfamiliar surroundings is an essential ingredient of adaptive daily life behavior. Recent brain imaging work helps to recognize that establishing connectivity between brain regions is of importance for successful navigation. Here, we ask whether the ability to navigate is impaired in adolescents who were born premature and suffer congenital bilateral periventricular brain damage that might affect the pathways interconnecting subcortical structures with cortex. Performance on a set of visual labyrinth tasks was significantly worse in patients with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) as compared with premature-born controls without lesions and term-born adolescents. The ability for visual navigation inversely relates to the severity of motor disability, leg-dominated bilateral spastic cerebral palsy. This agrees with the view that navigation ability substantially improves with practice and might be compromised in individuals with restrictions in active spatial exploration. Visual navigation is negatively linked to the volumetric extent of lesions over the right parietal and frontal periventricular regions. Whereas impairments of visual processing of point-light biological motion are associated in patients with PVL with bilateral parietal periventricular lesions, navigation ability is specifically linked to the frontal lesions in the right hemisphere. We suggest that more anterior periventricular lesions impair the interrelations between the right hippocampus and cortical areas leading to disintegration of neural networks engaged in visual navigation. For the first time, we show that the severity of right frontal periventricular damage and leg-dominated motor disorders can serve as independent predictors of the visual navigation disability.
Maye, Alexander; Zhang, Dan; Engel, Andreas K
In brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) that use the steady-state visual evoked response (SSVEP), the user selects a control command by directing attention overtly or covertly to one out of several flicker stimuli. The different control channels are encoded in the frequency, phase, or time domain of the flicker signals. Here, we present a new type of SSVEP BCI, which uses only a single flicker stimulus and yet affords controlling multiple channels. The approach rests on the observation that the relative position between the stimulus and the foci of overt attention result in distinct topographies of the SSVEP response on the scalp. By classifying these topographies, the computer can determine at which position the user is gazing. Offline data analysis in a study on 12 healthy volunteers revealed that 9 targets can be recognized with about 95±3% accuracy, corresponding to an information transfer rate (ITR) of 40.8 ± 3.3 b/min on average. We explored how the classification accuracy is affected by the number of control channels, the trial length, and the number of EEG channels. Our findings suggest that the EEG data from five channels over parieto-occipital brain areas are sufficient for reliably classifying the topographies and that there is a large potential to improve the ITR by optimizing the trial length. The robust performance and the simple stimulation setup suggest that this approach is a prime candidate for applications on desktop and tablet computers.
Costa, Thiago L; Costa, Marcelo F; Magalhães, Adsson; Rêgo, Gabriel G; Nagy, Balázs V; Boggio, Paulo S; Ventura, Dora F
Recent research suggests that V1 plays an active role in the judgment of size and distance. Nevertheless, no research has been performed using direct brain stimulation to address this issue. We used transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) to directly modulate the early stages of cortical visual processing while measuring size and distance perception with a psychophysical scaling method of magnitude estimation in a repeated-measures design. The subjects randomly received anodal, cathodal, and sham tDCS in separate sessions starting with size or distance judgment tasks. Power functions were fit to the size judgment data, whereas logarithmic functions were fit to distance judgment data. Slopes and R(2) were compared with separate repeated-measures analyses of variance with two factors: task (size vs. distance) and tDCS (anodal vs. cathodal vs. sham). Anodal tDCS significantly decreased slopes, apparently interfering with size perception. No effects were found for distance perception. Consistent with previous studies, the results of the size task appeared to reflect a prothetic continuum, whereas the results of the distance task seemed to reflect a metathetic continuum. The differential effects of tDCS on these tasks may support the hypothesis that different physiological mechanisms underlie judgments on these two continua. The results further suggest the complex involvement of the early visual cortex in size judgment tasks that go beyond the simple representation of low-level stimulus properties. This supports predictive coding models and experimental findings that suggest that higher-order visual areas may inhibit incoming information from the early visual cortex through feedback connections when complex tasks are performed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
To present a case of early primary open-angle glaucoma in which retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT), ganglion cell complex (GCC), and visual field progression were accompanied with significant progression of peripapillary angioflow vessel density (PAFD) measured with optical coherence tomographic angiography. A 68-year-old female patient who was under topical intraocular pressure (IOP) lowering medication for 20 years for ocular hypertension of the right and preperimetric primary open-angle glaucoma of the left eye (with reproducible inferotemporal and superotemporal neuroretinal rim and RNFL loss) was prospectively imaged with the AngioVue OCT for RNFLT, GCC thickness, and PAFD, and investigated with the Octopus Normal G2 visual field test on the same days at 6-month intervals for 18 months, while the IOP of the left eye escaped from control. IOP of the left eye fluctuated between 14 and 30 mm Hg in the study period. RNFLT, GCC thickness, and peripapillary PAFD all decreased significantly (linear regression analysis, P=0.030, 0.040, and 0.020, respectively), and a significant 2.1 dB/y progression was seen for a superior visual field cluster. The RNFLT, peripapillary PAFD, and visual field of the right eye remained normal and unchanged. In our case IOP elevation, glaucomatous visual field conversion, and structural progression were accompanied with significant progressive decrease of peripapillary PAFD. The simultaneous thinning of RNFLT and GCC and decrease of peripapillary PAFD suggest that PAFD may potentially be an additional indicator of early progression in primary open-angle glaucoma.
Jack, Bradley N; Roeber, Urte; O'Shea, Robert P
When dissimilar images are presented one to each eye, we do not see both images; rather, we see one at a time, alternating unpredictably. This is called binocular rivalry, and it has recently been used to study brain processes that correlate with visual consciousness, because perception changes without any change in the sensory input. Such studies have used various types of images, but the most popular have been gratings: sets of bright and dark lines of orthogonal orientations presented one to each eye. We studied whether using cardinal rival gratings (vertical, 0°, and horizontal, 90°) versus oblique rival gratings (left-oblique, -45°, and right-oblique, 45°) influences early neural correlates of visual consciousness, because of the oblique effect: the tendency for visual performance to be greater for cardinal gratings than for oblique gratings. Participants viewed rival gratings and pressed keys indicating which of the two gratings they perceived, was dominant. Next, we changed one of the gratings to match the grating shown to the other eye, yielding binocular fusion. Participants perceived the rivalry-to-fusion change to the dominant grating and not to the other, suppressed grating. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), we found neural correlates of visual consciousness at the P1 for both sets of gratings, as well as at the P1-N1 for oblique gratings, and we found a neural correlate of the oblique effect at the N1, but only for perceived changes. These results show that the P1 is the earliest neural activity associated with visual consciousness and that visual consciousness might be necessary to elicit the oblique effect.
Vaden, Ryan J.; Visscher, Kristina M.
Task sets are task-specific configurations of cognitive processes that facilitate task-appropriate reactions to stimuli. While it is established that the trial-by-trial deployment of visual attention to expected stimuli influences neural responses in primary visual cortex (V1) in a retinotopically specific manner, it is not clear whether the mechanisms that help maintain a task set over many trials also operate with similar retinotopic specificity. Here, we address this question by using BOLD fMRI to characterize how portions of V1 that are specialized for different eccentricities respond during distinct components of an attention-demanding discrimination task: cue-driven preparation for a trial, trial-driven processing, task-initiation at the beginning of a block of trials, and task-maintenance throughout a block of trials. Tasks required either unimodal attention to an auditory or a visual stimulus or selective intermodal attention to the visual or auditory component of simultaneously presented visual and auditory stimuli. We found that while the retinotopic patterns of trial-driven and cue-driven activity depended on the attended stimulus, the retinotopic patterns of task-initiation and task-maintenance activity did not. Further, only the retinotopic patterns of trial-driven activity were found to depend on the presence of intermodal distraction. Participants who performed well on the intermodal selective attention tasks showed strong task-specific modulations of both trial-driven and task-maintenance activity. Importantly, task-related modulations of trial-driven and task-maintenance activity were in opposite directions. Together, these results confirm that there are (at least) two different processes for top-down control of V1: One, working trial-by-trial, differently modulates activity across different eccentricity sectors—portions of V1 corresponding to different visual eccentricities. The second process works across longer epochs of task performance, and
Loots, Gerrit; Devise, Isabel; Jacquet, Wolfgang
This article presents a study that examined the impact of visual communication on the quality of the early interaction between deaf and hearing mothers and fathers and their deaf children aged between 18 and 24 months. Three communication mode groups of parent?deaf child dyads that differed by the use of signing and visual?tactile communication…
Anibarro, Luis; Cortés, Eliana; Chouza, Ana; Parafita-Fernández, Alberto; García, Juan Carlos; Pena, Alberto; Fernández-Cid, Carlos; González-Fernández, África
Diagnosis of tuberculous uveitis (TBU) is often challenging and is usually made after excluding other causes of uveitis. We analysed the characteristics of TBU and variables associated with visual outcome. A retrospective, observational analysis was performed in patients with presumptive TBU who were started on specific TB treatment between January 2006 and June 2016. Demographic, clinical, radiological, analytical and ophthalmic examination variables were studied. After completing TB treatment, a follow-up of at least 9 months was performed. A univariate and logistic regression analysis was applied to identify the variables associated with visual acuity and recurrences of uveitis. Forty affected eyes of 24 individuals were identified; 79% of patients were diagnosed during the last 3 years of the study period. Median delay from onset of symptoms to diagnosis was 12 weeks. Loss of visual acuity was the most frequent symptom (87.5%). Posterior uveitis was the most frequent localization (72.9%); 19 patients (79.2%) presented at least one of the Gupta signs predictive of TBU, but there were no confirmed diagnoses. There was improvement in visual acuity in 74.4% of the eyes, but a complete response was achieved only in 56.4%. There was recurrence in two patients. The initiation of treatment ≥ 24 weeks after onset of symptoms was significantly associated with no improvement (p = 0.026). TBU can cause permanent damage to visual acuity, particularly in patients with delayed diagnosis. A prompt initiation of systemic TB treatment is essential to improve visual prognosis.
Maldarelli, Jennifer E.; Kahrs, Björn A.; Hunt, Sarah C.; Lockman, Jeffrey J.
Despite the importance of handwriting for school readiness and early academic progress, prior research on the development of handwriting has focused primarily on the product rather than the process by which young children write letters. In contrast, in the present work, early handwriting is viewed as involving a suite of perceptual, motor, and…
Teachers can integrate discussion and writing about photographs into the early childhood curriculum to build speaking, reading, and writing skills in any language. Although little available research focuses on photography and early childhood education as related specifically to English Language Learners, several current teacher resources do focus…
Wang, Bin; Yan, Tianyi; Ohno, Seiichiro; Kanazawa, Susumu; Wu, Jinglong
Attentional modulation of the neural activities in human visual areas has been well demonstrated. However, the retinotopic activities that are driven by face and house images and attention to face and house images remain unknown. In the present study, we used images of faces and houses to estimate the retinotopic activities that were driven by both the images and attention to the images, driven by attention to the images, and driven by the images. Generally, our results show that both face and house images produced similar retinotopic activities in visual areas, which were only observed in the attention + stimulus and the attention conditions, but not in the stimulus condition. The fusiform face area (FFA) responded to faces that were presented on the horizontal meridian, whereas parahippocampal place area (PPA) rarely responded to house at any visual field. We further analyzed the amplitudes of the neural responses to the target wedge. In V1, V2, V3, V3A, lateral occipital area 1 (LO-1), and hV4, the neural responses to the attended target wedge were significantly greater than those to the unattended target wedge. However, in LO-2, ventral occipital areas 1 and 2 (VO-1 and VO-2) and FFA and PPA, the differences were not significant. We proposed that these areas likely have large fields of attentional modulation for face and house images and exhibit responses to both the target wedge and the background stimuli. In addition, we proposed that the absence of retinotopic activity in the stimulus condition might imply no perceived difference between the target wedge and the background stimuli.
Goodman-Schanz, Blythe Annette
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and describe the visual arts beliefs and practices of eight K-1 teachers in four schools and in two different school districts in a southern state. Using a phenomenological framework (Creswell, 2007; Leedy & Ormrod, 2005), the research revealed the teachers' understandings of beliefs and how…
Hunnius, Sabine; Bekkering, Harold
This study examined the developing object knowledge of infants through their visual anticipation of action targets during action observation. Infants (6, 8, 12, 14, and 16 months) and adults watched short movies of a person using 3 different everyday objects. Participants were presented with objects being brought either to a correct or to an…
Gliga, Teodora; Smith, Tim J; Likely, Noreen; Charman, Tony; Johnson, Mark H
Information foraging is atypical in both autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and ADHD; however, while ASD is associated with restricted exploration and preference for sameness, ADHD is characterized by hyperactivity and increased novelty seeking. Here, we ask whether similar biases are present in visual foraging in younger siblings of children with a diagnosis of ASD with or without additional high levels of hyperactivity and inattention. Fifty-four low-risk controls (LR) and 50 high-risk siblings (HR) took part in an eye-tracking study at 8 and 14 months and at 3 years of age. At 8 months, siblings of children with ASD and low levels of hyperactivity/inattention (HR/ASD-HI) were more likely to return to previously visited areas in the visual scene than were LR and siblings of children with ASD and high levels of hyperactivity/inattention (HR/ASD+HI). We show that visual foraging is atypical in infants at-risk for ASD. We also reveal a paradoxical effect, in that additional family risk for ADHD core symptoms mitigates the effect of ASD risk on visual information foraging. © The Author(s) 2015.
Ryles, Ruby; Bell, Edward
Seventy-three children with visual impairments aged 2-10 and their parents participated in a project that examined the children's interest in and exploration of tactile graphics. The parents reported that the children's interest in and conceptual understanding of the project's tactile workbook were high and that the children explored the…
Falter, Christine M.; Braeutigam, Sven; Nathan, Roger; Carrington, Sarah; Bailey, Anthony J.
We compared judgements of the simultaneity or asynchrony of visual stimuli in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically-developing controls using Magnetoencephalography (MEG). Two vertical bars were presented simultaneously or non-simultaneously with two different stimulus onset delays. Participants with ASD distinguished…
Shields, Roscoe, Jr.
The paper discusses the theory and implementation guidelines of a visual arts curriculum for emotionally handicapped adolescents. The author stresses the importance of expressive arts and of identification with the art experience, and suggests that a curriculum should start with themes, experiences, and ideas worth communicating. Expressive…
Vercillo, Tiziana; Burr, David; Gori, Monica
A recent study has shown that congenitally blind adults, who have never had visual experience, are impaired on an auditory spatial bisection task (Gori, Sandini, Martinoli, & Burr, 2014). In this study we investigated how thresholds for auditory spatial bisection and auditory discrimination develop with age in sighted and congenitally blind…
Abreu-Mendoza, Roberto A; Soto-Alba, Elia E; Arias-Trejo, Natalia
Current research in the number development field has focused in individual differences regarding the acuity of children's approximate number system (ANS). The most common task to evaluate children's acuity is through non-symbolic numerical comparison. Efforts have been made to prevent children from using perceptual cues by controlling the visual properties of the stimuli (e.g., density, contour length, and area); nevertheless, researchers have used these visual controls interchangeably. Studies have also tried to understand the relation between children's cardinality knowledge and their performance in a number comparison task; divergent results may in fact be rooted in the use of different visual controls. The main goal of the present study is to explore how the usage of different visual controls (density, total filled area, and correlated and anti-correlated area) affects children's performance in a number comparison task, and its relationship to children's cardinality knowledge. For that purpose, 77 preschoolers participated in three tasks: (1) counting list elicitation to test whether children could recite the counting list up to ten, (2) give a number to evaluate children's cardinality knowledge, and (3) number comparison to evaluate their ability to compare two quantities. During this last task, children were asked to point at the set with more geometric figures when two sets were displayed on a screen. Children were exposed only to one of the three visual controls. Results showed that overall, children performed above chance in the number comparison task; nonetheless, density was the easiest control, while correlated and anti-correlated area was the most difficult in most cases. Only total filled area was sensitive to discriminate cardinal principal knowers from non-cardinal principal knowers. How this finding helps to explain conflicting evidence from previous research, and how the present outcome relates to children's number word knowledge is discussed.
Abreu-Mendoza, Roberto A.; Soto-Alba, Elia E.; Arias-Trejo, Natalia
Current research in the number development field has focused in individual differences regarding the acuity of children's approximate number system (ANS). The most common task to evaluate children's acuity is through non-symbolic numerical comparison. Efforts have been made to prevent children from using perceptual cues by controlling the visual properties of the stimuli (e.g., density, contour length, and area); nevertheless, researchers have used these visual controls interchangeably. Studies have also tried to understand the relation between children's cardinality knowledge and their performance in a number comparison task; divergent results may in fact be rooted in the use of different visual controls. The main goal of the present study is to explore how the usage of different visual controls (density, total filled area, and correlated and anti-correlated area) affects children's performance in a number comparison task, and its relationship to children's cardinality knowledge. For that purpose, 77 preschoolers participated in three tasks: (1) counting list elicitation to test whether children could recite the counting list up to ten, (2) give a number to evaluate children's cardinality knowledge, and (3) number comparison to evaluate their ability to compare two quantities. During this last task, children were asked to point at the set with more geometric figures when two sets were displayed on a screen. Children were exposed only to one of the three visual controls. Results showed that overall, children performed above chance in the number comparison task; nonetheless, density was the easiest control, while correlated and anti-correlated area was the most difficult in most cases. Only total filled area was sensitive to discriminate cardinal principal knowers from non-cardinal principal knowers. How this finding helps to explain conflicting evidence from previous research, and how the present outcome relates to children's number word knowledge is discussed
Inoue, Takanobu; Iida, Atsuo; Maegawa, Shingo; Sehara-Fujisawa, Atsuko; Kinoshita, Masato
In this study, we verified nuclear transport activity of an artificial nuclear localization signal (aNLS) in medaka fish (Oryzias latipes). We generated a transgenic medaka strain expresses the aNLS tagged enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) driven by a medaka beta-actin promoter. The aNLS-EGFP was accumulated in the nuclei of somatic tissues and yolk nuclei of oocytes, but undetectable in the spermatozoa. The fluorescent signal was observed from immediately after fertilization by a maternal contribution. Furthermore, male and female pronuclei were visualized in fertilized eggs, and nuclear dynamics of pronuclear fusion and subsequent cleavage were captured by time-lapse imaging. In contrast, SV40NLS exhibited no activity of nuclear transport in early embryos. In conclusion, the aNLS possesses a strong nuclear localization activity and is a useful probe for fluorescent observation of the pronuclei and nuclei in early developmental stage of medaka. © 2016 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.
Bókkon, I; Vimal, Ram Lakhan Pandey
Although primary visual cortex (V1 or striate) activity per se is not sufficient for visual apperception (normal conscious visual experiences and conscious functions such as detection, discrimination, and recognition), the same is also true for extrastriate visual areas (such as V2, V3, V4/V8/VO, V5/M5/MST, IT, and GF). In the lack of V1 area, visual signals can still reach several extrastriate parts but appear incapable of generating normal conscious visual experiences. It is scarcely emphasized in the scientific literature that conscious perceptions and representations must have also essential energetic conditions. These energetic conditions are achieved by spatiotemporal networks of dynamic mitochondrial distributions inside neurons. However, the highest density of neurons in neocortex (number of neurons per degree of visual angle) devoted to representing the visual field is found in retinotopic V1. It means that the highest mitochondrial (energetic) activity can be achieved in mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase-rich V1 areas. Thus, V1 bear the highest energy allocation for visual representation. In addition, the conscious perceptions also demand structural conditions, presence of adequate duration of information representation, and synchronized neural processes and/or 'interactive hierarchical structuralism.' For visual apperception, various visual areas are involved depending on context such as stimulus characteristics such as color, form/shape, motion, and other features. Here, we focus primarily on V1 where specific mitochondrial-rich retinotopic structures are found; we will concisely discuss V2 where smaller riches of these structures are found. We also point out that residual brain states are not fully reflected in active neural patterns after visual perception. Namely, after visual perception, subliminal residual states are not being reflected in passive neural recording techniques, but require active stimulation to be revealed.
Rasheed, Waqas; Neoh, Yee Yik; Bin Hamid, Nor Hisham; Reza, Faruque; Idris, Zamzuri; Tang, Tong Boon
Functional neuroimaging modalities play an important role in deciding the diagnosis and course of treatment of neuronal dysfunction and degeneration. This article presents an analytical tool with visualization by exploiting the strengths of the MEG (magnetoencephalographic) neuroimaging technique. The tool automates MEG data import (in tSSS format), channel information extraction, time/frequency decomposition, and circular graph visualization (connectogram) for simple result inspection. For advanced users, the tool also provides magnitude squared coherence (MSC) values allowing personalized threshold levels, and the computation of default model from MEG data of control population. Default model obtained from healthy population data serves as a useful benchmark to diagnose and monitor neuronal recovery during treatment. The proposed tool further provides optional labels with international 10-10 system nomenclature in order to facilitate comparison studies with EEG (electroencephalography) sensor space. Potential applications in epilepsy and traumatic brain injury studies are also discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Smith, Linda B
A developmental pathway may be defined as the route, or chain of events, through which a new structure or function forms. For many human behaviors, including object name learning and visual object recognition, these pathways are often complex and multicausal and include unexpected dependencies. This article presents three principles of development that suggest the value of a developmental psychology that explicitly seeks to trace these pathways and uses empirical evidence on developmental dependencies among motor development, action on objects, visual object recognition, and object name learning in 12- to 24-month-old infants to make the case. The article concludes with a consideration of the theoretical implications of this approach. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Bartsch, Mandy V; Boehler, Carsten N; Stoppel, Christian M; Merkel, Christian; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Hopf, Jens-Max
Feature attention operates in a spatially global way, with attended feature values being prioritized for selection outside the focus of attention. Accounts of global feature attention have emphasized feature competition as a determining factor. Here, we use magnetoencephalographic recordings in humans to test whether competition is critical for global feature selection to arise. Subjects performed a color/shape discrimination task in one visual field (VF), while irrelevant color probes were presented in the other unattended VF. Global effects of color attention were assessed by analyzing the response to the probe as a function of whether or not the probe's color was a target-defining color. We find that global color selection involves a sequence of modulations in extrastriate cortex, with an initial phase in higher tier areas (lateral occipital complex) followed by a later phase in lower tier retinotopic areas (V3/V4). Importantly, these modulations appeared with and without color competition in the focus of attention. Moreover, early parts of the modulation emerged for a task-relevant color not even present in the focus of attention. All modulations, however, were eliminated during simple onset-detection of the colored target. These results indicate that global color-based attention depends on target discrimination independent of feature competition in the focus of attention. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rhodes, Gillian; Nishimura, Mayu; de Heering, Adelaide; Jeffery, Linda; Maurer, Daphne
Faces are adaptively coded relative to visual norms that are updated by experience, and this adaptive coding is linked to face recognition ability. Here we investigated whether adaptive coding of faces is disrupted in individuals (adolescents and adults) who experience face recognition difficulties following visual deprivation from congenital cataracts in infancy. We measured adaptive coding using face identity aftereffects, where smaller aftereffects indicate less adaptive updating of face-coding mechanisms by experience. We also examined whether the aftereffects increase with adaptor identity strength, consistent with norm-based coding of identity, as in typical populations, or whether they show a different pattern indicating some more fundamental disruption of face-coding mechanisms. Cataract-reversal patients showed significantly smaller face identity aftereffects than did controls (Experiments 1 and 2). However, their aftereffects increased significantly with adaptor strength, consistent with norm-based coding (Experiment 2). Thus we found reduced adaptability but no fundamental disruption of norm-based face-coding mechanisms in cataract-reversal patients. Our results suggest that early visual experience is important for the normal development of adaptive face-coding mechanisms. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Bölte, S; Hubl, D; Dierks, T; Holtmann, M; Poustka, F
Autism has been associated with enhanced local processing on visual tasks. Originally, this was based on findings that individuals with autism exhibited peak performance on the block design test (BDT) from the Wechsler Intelligence Scales. In autism, the neurofunctional correlates of local bias on this test have not yet been established, although there is evidence of alterations in the early visual cortex. Functional MRI was used to analyze hemodynamic responses in the striate and extrastriate visual cortex during BDT performance and a color counting control task in subjects with autism compared to healthy controls. In autism, BDT processing was accompanied by low blood oxygenation level-dependent signal changes in the right ventral quadrant of V2. Findings indicate that, in autism, locally oriented processing of the BDT is associated with altered responses of angle and grating-selective neurons, that contribute to shape representation, figure-ground, and gestalt organization. The findings favor a low-level explanation of BDT performance in autism.
Farivar, Reza; Thompson, Benjamin; Mansouri, Behzad; Hess, Robert F
Factors such as strabismus or anisometropia during infancy can disrupt normal visual development and result in amblyopia, characterized by reduced visual function in an otherwise healthy eye and often associated with persistent suppression of inputs from the amblyopic eye by those from the dominant eye. It has become evident from fMRI studies that the cortical response to stimulation of the amblyopic eye is also affected. We were interested to compare the hemodynamic response function (HRF) of early visual cortex to amblyopic vs. dominant eye stimulation. In the first experiment, we found that stimulation of the amblyopic eye resulted in a signal that was both attenuated and delayed in its time to peak. We postulated that this delay may be due to suppressive effects of the dominant eye and, in our second experiment, measured the cortical response of amblyopic eye stimulation under two conditions--where the dominant eye was open and seeing a static pattern (high suppression) or where the dominant eye was patched and closed (low suppression). We found that the HRF in response to amblyopic eye stimulation depended on whether the dominant eye was open. This effect was manifested as both a delayed HRF under the suppressed condition and an amplitude reduction.
Poort, Jasper; Self, Matthew W; van Vugt, Bram; Malkki, Hemi; Roelfsema, Pieter R
Segregation of images into figures and background is fundamental for visual perception. Cortical neurons respond more strongly to figural image elements than to background elements, but the mechanisms of figure-ground modulation (FGM) are only partially understood. It is unclear whether FGM in early and mid-level visual cortex is caused by an enhanced response to the figure, a suppressed response to the background, or both.We studied neuronal activity in areas V1 and V4 in monkeys performing a texture segregation task. We compared texture-defined figures with homogeneous textures and found an early enhancement of the figure representation, and a later suppression of the background. Across neurons, the strength of figure enhancement was independent of the strength of background suppression.We also examined activity in the different V1 layers. Both figure enhancement and ground suppression were strongest in superficial and deep layers and weaker in layer 4. The current-source density profiles suggested that figure enhancement was caused by stronger synaptic inputs in feedback-recipient layers 1, 2, and 5 and ground suppression by weaker inputs in these layers, suggesting an important role for feedback connections from higher level areas. These results provide new insights into the mechanisms for figure-ground organization. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.
Poort, Jasper; Self, Matthew W.; van Vugt, Bram; Malkki, Hemi; Roelfsema, Pieter R.
Segregation of images into figures and background is fundamental for visual perception. Cortical neurons respond more strongly to figural image elements than to background elements, but the mechanisms of figure–ground modulation (FGM) are only partially understood. It is unclear whether FGM in early and mid-level visual cortex is caused by an enhanced response to the figure, a suppressed response to the background, or both. We studied neuronal activity in areas V1 and V4 in monkeys performing a texture segregation task. We compared texture-defined figures with homogeneous textures and found an early enhancement of the figure representation, and a later suppression of the background. Across neurons, the strength of figure enhancement was independent of the strength of background suppression. We also examined activity in the different V1 layers. Both figure enhancement and ground suppression were strongest in superficial and deep layers and weaker in layer 4. The current–source density profiles suggested that figure enhancement was caused by stronger synaptic inputs in feedback-recipient layers 1, 2, and 5 and ground suppression by weaker inputs in these layers, suggesting an important role for feedback connections from higher level areas. These results provide new insights into the mechanisms for figure–ground organization. PMID:27522074
Klin, Ami; Shultz, Sarah; Jones, Warren
Efforts to determine and understand the causes of autism are currently hampered by a large disconnect between recent molecular genetics findings that are associated with the condition and the core behavioral symptoms that define the condition. In this perspective piece, we propose a systems biology framework to bridge that gap between genes and symptoms. The framework focuses on basic mechanisms of socialization that are highly-conserved in evolution and are early-emerging in development. By conceiving of these basic mechanisms of socialization as quantitative endophenotypes, we hope to connect genes and behavior in autism through integrative studies of neurodevelopmental, behavioral, and epigenetic changes. These changes both lead to and are led by the accomplishment of specific social adaptive tasks in a typical infant's life. However, based on recent research that indicates that infants later diagnosed with autism fail to accomplish at least some of these tasks, we suggest that a narrow developmental period, spanning critical transitions from reflexive, subcortically-controlled visual behavior to interactional, cortically-controlled and social visual behavior be prioritized for future study. Mapping epigenetic, neural, and behavioral changes that both drive and are driven by these early transitions may shed a bright light on the pathogenesis of autism. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Klin, Ami; Shultz, Sarah; Jones, Warren
Efforts to determine and understand the causes of autism are currently hampered by a large disconnect between recent molecular genetics findings that are associated with the condition and the core behavioral symptoms that define the condition. In this perspective piece, we propose a systems biology framework to bridge that gap between genes and symptoms. The framework focuses on basic mechanisms of socialization that are highly-conserved in evolution and are early-emerging in development. By conceiving of these basic mechanisms of socialization as quantitative endophenotypes, we hope to connect genes and behavior in autism through integrative studies of neurodevelopmental, behavioral, and epigenetic changes. These changes both lead to and are led by the accomplishment of specific social adaptive tasks in a typical infant's life. However, based on recent research that indicates that infants later diagnosed with autism fail to accomplish at least some of these tasks, we suggest that a narrow developmental period, spanning critical transitions from reflexive, subcortically-controlled visual behavior to interactional, cortically-controlled and social visual behavior be prioritized for future study. Mapping epigenetic, neural, and behavioral changes that both drive and are driven by these early transitions may shed a bright light on the pathogenesis of autism. PMID:25445180
Howe, Tsu-Hsin; Chen, Hao-Ling; Lee, Candy Chieh; Chen, Ying-Dar; Wang, Tien-Ni
Visual perceptual motor skills have been proposed as underlying courses of handwriting difficulties. However, there is no evaluation tool currently available to assess these skills comprehensively and to serve as a sensitive measure. The purpose of this study was to validate the Computerized Perceptual Motor Skills Assessment (CPMSA), a newly developed evaluation tool for children in early elementary grades. Its test-retest reliability, concurrent validity, discriminant validity, and responsiveness were examined in 43 typically developing children and 26 children with handwriting difficulty. The CPMSA demonstrated excellent reliability across all subtests with intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs)≥0.80. Significant moderate correlations between the domains of the CPMSA and corresponding gold standards including Beery VMI, the TVPS-3, and the eye-hand coordination subtest of the DTVP-2 demonstrated good concurrent validity. In addition, the CPMSA showed evidence of discriminant validity in samples of children with and without handwriting difficulty. This article provides evidence in support of the CPMSA. The CPMSA is a reliable, valid, and promising measure of visual perceptual motor skills for children in early elementary grades. Directions for future study and improvements to the assessment are discussed. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Visual attention can be deployed to stimuli based on our willful, top-down goal (endogenous attention) or on their intrinsic saliency against the background (exogenous attention). Flexibility is thought to be a hallmark of endogenous attention, whereas decades of research show that exogenous attention is attracted to the retinotopic locations of the salient stimuli. However, to the extent that salient stimuli in the natural environment usually form specific spatial relations with the surrounding context and are dynamic, exogenous attention, to be adaptive, should embrace these structural regularities. Here we test a non-retinotopic, object-centered mechanism in exogenous attention, in which exogenous attention is dynamically attracted to a relative, object-centered location. Using a moving frame configuration, we presented two frames in succession, forming either apparent translational motion or in mirror reflection, with a completely uninformative, transient cue presented at one of the item locations in the first frame. Despite that the cue is presented in a spatially separate frame, in both translation and mirror reflection, human performance in visual search is enhanced when the target in the second frame appears at the same relative location as the cue location than at other locations. These results provide unambiguous evidence for non-retinotopic exogenous attention and further reveal an object-centered mechanism supporting flexible exogenous attention. Moreover, attentional generalization across mirror reflection may constitute an attentional correlate of perceptual generalization across lateral mirror images, supporting an adaptive, functional account of mirror images confusion. PMID:23942348
Background There is at present crescent empirical evidence deriving from different lines of ERPs research that, unlike previously observed, the earliest sensory visual response, known as C1 component or P/N80, generated within the striate cortex, might be modulated by selective attention to visual stimulus features. Up to now, evidence of this modulation has been related to space location, and simple features such as spatial frequency, luminance, and texture. Additionally, neurophysiological conditions, such as emotion, vigilance, the reflexive or voluntary nature of input attentional selection, and workload have also been related to C1 modulations, although at least the workload status has received controversial indications. No information is instead available, at present, for objects attentional selection. Methods In this study object- and space-based attention mechanisms were conjointly investigated by presenting complex, familiar shapes of artefacts and animals, intermixed with distracters, in different tasks requiring the selection of a relevant target-category within a relevant spatial location, while ignoring the other shape categories within this location, and, overall, all the categories at an irrelevant location. EEG was recorded from 30 scalp electrode sites in 21 right-handed participants. Results and Conclusions ERP findings showed that visual processing was modulated by both shape- and location-relevance per se, beginning separately at the latency of the early phase of a precocious negativity (60-80 ms) at mesial scalp sites consistent with the C1 component, and a positivity at more lateral sites. The data also showed that the attentional modulation progressed conjointly at the latency of the subsequent P1 (100-120 ms) and N1 (120-180 ms), as well as later-latency components. These findings support the views that (1) V1 may be precociously modulated by direct top-down influences, and participates to object, besides simple features, attentional
Korogi, Y; Takahashi, M; Hirai, T; Ikushima, I; Kitajima, M; Sugahara, T; Shigematsu, Y; Okajima, T; Mukuno, K
To compare MR imaging findings of the striate cortex with visual field deficits in patients with Minamata disease and to reestimate the classical Holmes retinotopic map by using the data obtained from comparing visual field abnormalities with degree of visual cortex atrophy. MR imaging was performed in eight patients with Minamata disease who had been given a full neuroophthalmic examination, including Goldmann dynamic perimetry. The atrophic portions of the calcarine area were measured in the sagittal plane next to the midsagittal image and represented as a percentage of atrophy of the total length of the calcarine fissure. MR findings were compared with results of a visual field test. The visual field test revealed moderate to severe concentric constriction of the visual fields, with central vision ranging from 7 degrees to 42 degrees (mean, 19 degrees). The ventral portion of the calcarine sulcus was significantly dilated on MR images in all patients. A logarithmic correlation was found between the visual field defect and the extent of dilatation of the calcarine fissure. The central 10 degrees and 30 degrees of vision seemed to fill about 20% and 50% of the total surface area of the calcarine cortex, respectively. Visual field deficits in patients with Minamata disease correlated well with MR findings of the striate cortex. Our data were consistent with the classical Holmes retinotopic map.
Li, Meiyan; Zhao, Jing; Miao, Huamao; Shen, Yang; Sun, Ling; Tian, Mi; Wadium, Elizabeth; Zhou, Xingtao
To measure decentration following femtosecond laser small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) for the correction of myopia and myopic astigmatism in the early learning curve, and to investigate its impact on visual quality. A total of 55 consecutive patients (100 eyes) who underwent the SMILE procedure were included. Decentration was measured using a Scheimpflug camera 6 months after surgery. Uncorrected and corrected distance visual acuity (UDVA, CDVA), manifest refraction, and wavefront errors were also measured. Associations between decentration and the preoperative spherical equivalent were analyzed, as well as the associations between decentration and wavefront aberrations. Regarding efficacy and safety, 40 eyes (40%) had an unchanged CDVA; 32 eyes (32%) gained one line; and 11 eyes (11%) gained two lines. Fifteen eyes (15%) lost one line of CDVA, and two eyes (2%) lost two lines. Ninety-nine of the treated eyes (99%) had a postoperative UDVA better than 1.0, and 100 eyes (100%) had a UDVA better than 0.8. The mean decentered displacement was 0.17 ± 0.09 mm. The decentered displacement of all treated eyes (100%) was within 0.50 mm; 70 eyes (70%) were within 0.20 mm; and 90 eyes (90%) were within 0.30 mm. The vertical coma showed the greatest increase in magnitude. The magnitude of horizontal decentration was found to be associated with an induced horizontal coma. This study suggests that, although mild decentration occurred in the early learning curve, good visual outcomes were achieved after the SMILE surgery. Special efforts to minimize induced vertical coma are necessary. Copyright 2014 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.
Sukmasari, S.; Lestari, W.; Ko, B. B.; Noh, Z.; Asmail, N.; Yaacob, N.
Newly introduced ICDAS II as a visual method, laser fluorescence as another technique that have ability to quantify early mineral loss of tooth structure and intra oral radiograph, are methods can be used in the clinic. To provide standardization for comprehensive caries management at an early stage, all methods supposed to be tested between users. The objective of this research is to evaluate the repeatability of each system. It is a comparative cross sectional study using 100 extracted permanent teeth without obvious cavitation (premolar & molar) that were collected and stored in thymol solution. The teeth were embedded on the wax block and labeled with numbers. All 5 surfaces were examined by 5 examiners using visual (ICDAS II), laser fluorescence (LF) and radiographic examination. The data were then analyzed to measure intra and inter examiner repeatability using Cronbach’s alpha and inter-item correlation matrix. Intra-examiner repeatability for all examiners was >0.7. Chronbach’s a value for inter-examiner repeatability for ICDAS II was >0.8 on 3 surfaces except on buccal and lingual. LF exhibit repeatability of >0.8 on all surfaces. Radiograph shows a low value of inter examiner repeatability (<0.7). Lecturer examiners showed the highest agreement followed by undergraduate students for inter-item correlation while the 2nd and 3rd reading of LF displays the best agreement. ICDAS II score favors more non-invasive treatment compared to LF. ICDAS II showed good repeatability except on buccal and lingual surfaces. In line with some of the previous study, ICDAS II is applicable for caries detection in daily clinical basis. Laser fluorescence exhibits the highest repeatability while the radiograph showed weak inter-examiner repeatability. Treatment decisions of ICDAS II propose more preventive treatment for early caries lesions compared to laser fluorescence.
Bai, Jian'e; Shi, Jinfu; Jiang, Yi; He, Sheng; Weng, Xuchu
A number of recent studies consistently show an area, known as the visual word form area (VWFA), in the left fusiform gyrus that is selectively responsive for visual words in alphabetic scripts as well as in logographic scripts, such as Chinese characters. However, given the large difference between Chinese characters and alphabetic scripts in terms of their orthographic rules, it is not clear at a fine spatial scale, whether Chinese characters engage the same VWFA in the occipito-temporal cortex as alphabetic scripts. We specifically compared Chinese with Korean script, with Korean script serving as a good example of alphabetic writing system, but matched to Chinese in the overall square shape. Sixteen proficient early Chinese-Korean bilinguals took part in the fMRI experiment. Four types of stimuli (Chinese characters, Korean characters, line drawings and unfamiliar Chinese faces) were presented in a block-design paradigm. By contrasting characters (Chinese or Korean) to faces, presumed VWFAs could be identified for both Chinese and Korean characters in the left occipito-temporal sulcus in each subject. The location of peak response point in these two VWFAs were essentially the same. Further analysis revealed a substantial overlap between the VWFA identified for Chinese and that for Korean. At the group level, there was no significant difference in amplitude of response to Chinese and Korean characters. Spatial patterns of response to Chinese and Korean are similar. In addition to confirming that there is an area in the left occipito-temporal cortex that selectively responds to scripts in both Korean and Chinese in early Chinese-Korean bilinguals, our results show that these two scripts engage essentially the same VWFA, even at the level of fine spatial patterns of activation across voxels. These results suggest that similar populations of neurons are engaged in processing the different scripts within the same VWFA in early bilinguals. PMID:21818386
Fuemana-Foa'i, Lisa; Pohio, Lesley; Terreni, Lisa
This article reflects the voices of the authors who are three early childhood tertiary educators and who have presented at the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Arts Educators Conference held in Wellington in July 2007. The authors revealed many common threads that interwove throughout their individual presentations and made visible an emerging…
Genie M. Fleming; Joseph M. Wunderle; David N. Ewert; Joseph O' Brien
Aim: Non-destructive methods for quantifying above-ground plant biomass are important tools in many ecological studies and management endeavours, but estimation methods can be labour intensive and particularly difficult in structurally diverse vegetation types. We aimed to develop a low-cost, but reasonably accurate, estimation technique within early-successional...
Neumann, H; Sepp, W
A majority of cortical areas are connected via feedforward and feedback fiber projections. In feedforward pathways we mainly observe stages of feature detection and integration. The computational role of the descending pathways at different stages of processing remains mainly unknown. Based on empirical findings we suggest that the top-down feedback pathways subserve a context-dependent gain control mechanism. We propose a new computational model for recurrent contour processing in which normalized activities of orientation selective contrast cells are fed forward to the next processing stage. There, the arrangement of input activation is matched against local patterns of contour shape. The resulting activities are subsequently fed back to the previous stage to locally enhance those initial measurements that are consistent with the top-down generated responses. In all, we suggest a computational theory for recurrent processing in the visual cortex in which the significance of local measurements is evaluated on the basis of a broader visual context that is represented in terms of contour code patterns. The model serves as a framework to link physiological with perceptual data gathered in psychophysical experiments. It handles a variety of perceptual phenomena, such as the local grouping of fragmented shape outline, texture surround and density effects, and the interpolation of illusory contours.
Yang, Ping; Wang, Min; Jin, Zhenlan; Li, Ling
The ability to focus on task-relevant information, while suppressing distraction, is critical for human cognition and behavior. Using a delayed-match-to-sample (DMS) task, we investigated the effects of emotional face distractors (positive, negative, and neutral faces) on early and late phases of visual short-term memory (VSTM) maintenance intervals, using low and high VSTM loads. Behavioral results showed decreased accuracy and delayed reaction times (RTs) for high vs. low VSTM load. Event-related potentials (ERPs) showed enhanced frontal N1 and occipital P1 amplitudes for negative faces vs. neutral or positive faces, implying rapid attentional alerting effects and early perceptual processing of negative distractors. However, high VSTM load appeared to inhibit face processing in general, showing decreased N1 amplitudes and delayed P1 latencies. An inverse correlation between the N1 activation difference (high-load minus low-load) and RT costs (high-load minus low-load) was found at left frontal areas when viewing negative distractors, suggesting that the greater the inhibition the lower the RT cost for negative faces. Emotional interference effect was not found in the late VSTM-related parietal P300, frontal positive slow wave (PSW) and occipital negative slow wave (NSW) components. In general, our findings suggest that the VSTM load modulates the early attention and perception of emotional distractors. PMID:26388763
Rutman, Aaron M.; Clapp, Wesley C.; Chadick, James Z.; Gazzaley, Adam
Selective attention confers a behavioral benefit for both perceptual and working memory (WM) performance, often attributed to top-down modulation of sensory neural processing. However, the direct relationship between early activity modulation in sensory cortices during selective encoding and subsequent WM performance has not been established. To explore the influence of selective attention on WM recognition, we used electroencephalography (EEG) to study the temporal dynamics of top-down modulation in a selective, delayed-recognition paradigm. Participants were presented with overlapped, “double-exposed” images of faces and natural scenes, and were instructed to either remember the face or the scene while simultaneously ignoring the other stimulus. Here, we present evidence that the degree to which participants modulate the early P100 (97–129 ms) event-related potential (ERP) during selective stimulus encoding significantly correlates with their subsequent WM recognition. These results contribute to our evolving understanding of the mechanistic overlap between attention and memory. PMID:19413473
Garrido, Lucia; Driver, Jon; Dolan, Raymond J.; Duchaine, Bradley C.; Furl, Nicholas
Face processing is mediated by interactions between functional areas in the occipital and temporal lobe, and the fusiform face area (FFA) and anterior temporal lobe play key roles in the recognition of facial identity. Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia (DP), a lifelong face recognition impairment, have been shown to have structural and functional neuronal alterations in these areas. The present study investigated how face selectivity is generated in participants with normal face processing, and how functional abnormalities associated with DP, arise as a function of network connectivity. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and dynamic causal modeling, we examined effective connectivity in normal participants by assessing network models that include early visual cortex (EVC) and face-selective areas and then investigated the integrity of this connectivity in participants with DP. Results showed that a feedforward architecture from EVC to the occipital face area, EVC to FFA, and EVC to posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) best explained how face selectivity arises in both controls and participants with DP. In this architecture, the DP group showed reduced connection strengths on feedforward connections carrying face information from EVC to FFA and EVC to pSTS. These altered network dynamics in DP contribute to the diminished face selectivity in the posterior occipitotemporal areas affected in DP. These findings suggest a novel view on the relevance of feedforward projection from EVC to posterior occipitotemporal face areas in generating cortical face selectivity and differences in face recognition ability. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Areas of the human brain showing enhanced activation to faces compared to other objects or places have been extensively studied. However, the factors leading to this face selectively have remained mostly unknown. We show that effective connectivity from early visual cortex to posterior occipitotemporal face areas gives
Goktas, Selda; Chen, Chia-Yuan; Kowalski, William J; Pekkan, Kerem
Microparticle image velocimetry (μPIV) is an evolving quantitative methodology to closely and accurately monitor the cardiac flow dynamics and mechanotransduction during vascular morphogenesis. While PIV technique has a long history, contemporary developments in advanced microscopy have significantly expanded its power. This chapter includes three new methods for μPIV acquisition in selected embryonic structures achieved through advanced optical imaging: (1) high-speed confocal scanning of transgenic zebrafish embryos, where the transgenic erythrocytes act as the tracing particles; (2) microinjection of artificial seeding particles in chick embryos visualized with stereomicroscopy; and (3) real-time, time-resolved optical coherence tomography acquisition of vitelline vessel flow profiles in chick embryos, tracking the erythrocytes.
Osborn, W.; Barnard, E. E.
In 1900 E. E. Barnard published 37 visual observations of Variable 2 (V2) in the globular clustter M13 made in 1899 and 1900. A review of Barnard's notebooks revealed he made many additional brightness estimates up to 1911, and he had also recorded the variations of V1 starting in 1904. These data provide the earliest-epoch light curves for these stars and thus are useful for studying their period changes. This paper presents Barnard's observations of the M13 variables along with their derived heliocentric Julian Dates and approximate V magnitudes. These include 231 unpublished observations of V2 and 94 of V1. How these data will be of value for determing period changes by these stars is described.
Bergmann, Johanna; Genç, Erhan; Kohler, Axel; Singer, Wolf; Pearson, Joel
Despite the immense processing power of the human brain, working memory storage is severely limited, and the neuroanatomical basis of these limitations has remained elusive. Here, we show that the stable storage limits of visual working memory for over 9 s are bound by the precise gray matter volume of primary visual cortex (V1), defined by fMRI retinotopic mapping. Individuals with a bigger V1 tended to have greater visual working memory storage. This relationship was present independently for both surface size and thickness of V1 but absent in V2, V3 and for non-visual working memory measures. Additional whole-brain analyses confirmed the specificity of the relationship to V1. Our findings indicate that the size of primary visual cortex plays a critical role in limiting what we can hold in mind, acting like a gatekeeper in constraining the richness of working mental function. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Stoller, Glenn L; Kokame, Gregg T; Dreyer, Richard F; Shapiro, Howard; Tuomi, Lisa L
Understanding the range of temporal responses to ranibizumab is critical for the assessment of individualized treatment regimens for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. To examine patterns of visual and anatomical response to ranibizumab treatment. This study is a retrospective subanalysis of HARBOR (a phase 3, double-masked, multicenter, randomized, active treatment-controlled study of the efficacy and safety of 0.5 mg and 2.0 mg ranibizumab administered monthly or on an as-needed basis (PRN) in patients with subfoveal neovascular age-related macular degeneration). A total of 1097 patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration were randomized to intravitreal ranibizumab, 0.5 or 2.0 mg, administered monthly or as needed (PRN) with monthly monitoring. Of the 1097 patients, 1057 were included in the analysis for early responders (best-corrected visual acuity [BCVA] obtained at baseline and month 3), and 988 patients were included in the analysis for delayed responders (BCVA obtained at baseline, month 3, and month 12). The HARBOR study began July 7, 2009, with the primary 12-month end point completed on August 5, 2011, ongoing to 24 months. Data analysis for the subgroup was performed from January 4, 2013, through December 17, 2015. Patients were categorized based on BCVA outcomes as early 15-letter responders (gained ≥15 letters from baseline at month 3) or delayed 15-letter responders (did not gain ≥15 letters from baseline at month 3 but did so at month 12). Changes from baseline in BCVA and central foveal thickness (CFT). In total, 266 early and 135 delayed 15-letter responders were identified. In the 0.5-mg monthly, 0.5-mg PRN, 2.0-mg monthly, and 2.0-mg PRN treatment groups, 63 (24.0%) of 263, 65 (24.6%) of 264, 68 (25.7%) of 265, and 70 (26.4%) of 265 patients were early responders, respectively, and 40 (16.3%) of 246, 31 (12.6%) of 247, 35 (14.1%) of 248, and 29 (11.7%) of 247 patients were delayed responders, respectively. By month
Hsu, Chih-Wei; Le, Henry H.; Li-Villarreal, Nanbing; Piazza, Victor G.; Kalaga, Sowmya; Dickinson, Mary E.
Hemodynamic force is vital to cardiovascular remodeling in the early post-implantation mouse embryo. Here, we present work using microCT and lightsheet microscopy to establish the critical sequence of developmental events required for forming functional vasculature and circulation in the embryo, yolk sac, and placenta in the context of normal and impaired flow. A flow impaired model, Mlc2a+/- will be used to determine how hemodynamic force affects the specific events during embryonic development and vascular remodeling between the 4 and 29-somite stage using microCT. We have recently established high-resolution methods for the generation of 3D image volumes from the whole embryo within the deciduum (Hsu et al., in revision). This method enables the careful characterization of 3D images of vitelline and umbilical vessel remodeling to define how poor blood flow impacts both vitelline and umbilical vessel remodeling. Novel lightsheet live imaging techniques will be used to determine the consequence of impaired blood flow on yolk sac vasculature remodeling and formation of umbilical vessels using transgenic reporters: Flk-myr::mCherry, Flk1-H2B::YFP, or ɛGlobin-GFP. High-resolution 3D imaging of fixed and ScaleA2-cleared whole mount embryos labeled with Ki67 and Caspase3 will also be performed using lightsheet microscopy to quantify the proliferation and apoptotic indexes of early post-implanted embryos and yolk sac. This multi-modality approach is aimed at revealing further information about the cellular mechanisms required for proper vessel remodeling and the initial stages in placentation during early post-implantation development.
Bókkon, I; Salari, V; Tuszynski, J A; Antal, I
Recently, we have proposed a redox molecular hypothesis about the natural biophysical substrate of visual perception and imagery [1,6]. Namely, the retina transforms external photon signals into electrical signals that are carried to the V1 (striatecortex). Then, V1 retinotopic electrical signals (spike-related electrical signals along classical axonal-dendritic pathways) can be converted into regulated ultraweak bioluminescent photons (biophotons) through redox processes within retinotopic visual neurons that make it possible to create intrinsic biophysical pictures during visual perception and imagery. However, the consensus opinion is to consider biophotons as by-products of cellular metabolism. This paper argues that biophotons are not by-products, other than originating from regulated cellular radical/redox processes. It also shows that the biophoton intensity can be considerably higher inside cells than outside. Our simple calculations, within a level of accuracy, suggest that the real biophoton intensity in retinotopic neurons may be sufficient for creating intrinsic biophysical picture representation of a single-object image during visual perception. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Xue, Gui; Jiang, Ting; Chen, Chuansheng; Dong, Qi
How language experience affects visual word recognition has been a topic of intense interest. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), the present study compared the early electrophysiological responses (i.e., N1) to familiar and unfamiliar writings under different conditions. Thirteen native Chinese speakers (with English as their second language) were recruited to passively view four types of scripts: Chinese (familiar logographic writings), English (familiar alphabetic writings), Korean Hangul (unfamiliar logographic writings), and Tibetan (unfamiliar alphabetic writings). Stimuli also differed in lexicality (words vs. non-words, for familiar writings only), length (characters/letters vs. words), and presentation duration (100 ms vs. 750 ms). We found no significant differences between words and non-words, and the effect of language experience (familiar vs. unfamiliar) was significantly modulated by stimulus length and writing system, and to a less degree, by presentation duration. That is, the language experience effect (i.e., a stronger N1 response to familiar writings than to unfamiliar writings) was significant only for alphabetic letters, but not for alphabetic and logographic words. The difference between Chinese characters and unfamiliar logographic characters was significant under the condition of short presentation duration, but not under the condition of long presentation duration. Long stimuli elicited a stronger N1 response than did short stimuli, but this effect was significantly attenuated for familiar writings. These results suggest that N1 response might not reliably differentiate familiar and unfamiliar writings. More importantly, our results suggest that N1 is modulated by visual, linguistic, and task factors, which has important implications for the visual expertise hypothesis.
Chernysh, Irina N.; Nagaswami, Chandrasekaran
We determined the sequence of events and identified and quantitatively characterized the mobility of moving structures present during the early stages of fibrin-clot formation from the beginning of polymerization to the gel point. Three complementary techniques were used in parallel: spinning-disk confocal microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and turbidity measurements. At the beginning of polymerization the major structures were monomers, whereas at the middle of the lag period there were monomers, oligomers, protofibrils (defined as structures that consisted of more than 8 monomers), and fibers. At the end of the lag period, there were primarily monomers and fibers, giving way to mainly fibers at the gel point. Diffusion rates were calculated from 2 different results, one based on sizes and another on the velocity of the observed structures, with similar results in the range of 3.8-0.1 μm2/s. At the gel point, the diffusion coefficients corresponded to very large, slow-moving structures and individual protofibrils. The smallest moving structures visible by confocal microscopy during fibrin polymerization were identified as protofibrils with a length of approximately 0.5 μm. The sequence of early events of clotting and the structures present are important for understanding hemostasis and thrombosis. PMID:21248064
Amedi, Amir; Raz, Noa; Pianka, Pazit; Malach, Rafael; Zohary, Ehud
The visual cortex may be more modifiable than previously considered. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in ten congenitally blind human participants, we found robust occipital activation during a verbal-memory task (in the absence of any sensory input), as well as during verb generation and Braille reading. We also found evidence for reorganization and specialization of the occipital cortex, along the anterior-posterior axis. Whereas anterior regions showed preference for Braille, posterior regions (including V1) showed preference for verbal-memory and verb generation (which both require memory of verbal material). No such occipital activation was found in sighted subjects. This difference between the groups was mirrored by superior performance of the blind in various verbal-memory tasks. Moreover, the magnitude of V1 activation during the verbal-memory condition was highly correlated with the blind individual's abilities in a variety of verbal-memory tests, suggesting that the additional occipital activation may have a functional role.
Zhou, Hui-Hui; Wei, Min; Angelaki, Dora E.
The geometry of gaze stabilization during head translation requires eye movements to scale proportionally to the inverse of target distance. Such a scaling has indeed been demonstrated to exist for the translational vestibuloocular reflex (TVOR), as well as optic flow-selective translational visuomotor reflexes (e.g., ocular following, OFR). The similarities in this scaling by a neural estimate of target distance for both the TVOR and the OFR have been interpreted to suggest that the two reflexes share common premotor processing. Because the neural substrates of OFR are partly shared by those for the generation of pursuit eye movements, we wanted to know if the site of gain modulation for TVOR and OFR is also part of a major pathway for pursuit. Thus, in the present studies, we investigated in rhesus monkeys whether initial eye velocity and acceleration during the open-loop portion of step ramp pursuit scales with target distance. Specifically, with visual motion identical on the retina during tracking at different distances (12, 24, and 60 cm), we compared the first 80 ms of horizontal pursuit. We report that initial eye velocity and acceleration exhibits either no or a very small dependence on vergence angle that is at least an order of magnitude less than the corresponding dependence of the TVOR and OFR. The results suggest that the neural substrates for motor scaling by target distance remain largely distinct from the main pathway for pursuit.
This article examines geographies of decolonization and the Cold War through a case study in the making of archeological knowledge. The article focuses on an archeological dig that took place in Egypt in the period between the July 1952 Free Officers' coup and the 1956 Suez crisis. Making use of the notion of the 'boundary object', this article demonstrates how the excavation of ancient Egyptian remains at the site of Mit Rahina helped to constitute Nasserist revolutionary modernity and its relationship to wider, post-Second World War political geographies. The dig took place as a result of an Egyptian-American collaboration designed to institute the possibility of archeology taking place along the lines of the Point Four modernization program promoted by the United States. The article discusses how this situation not only engendered contention surrounding the role of the international 'experts' appointed to run this excavation work, but also - and as a result - helped to constitute the monumental visual and material shape that archeological evidence relating to the Egyptian past could now take. Egypt's revolution sat within wider Cold War political struggles, yet the 'ground-up' realities of this relationship helped to constitute the sort of past (and future) monumentality proposed by Nasser's government.
Furimsky, Marosh; Wallace, Valerie A
The Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway plays a key role in the development of the vertebrate central nervous system, including the eye. This pathway is mediated by the Gli transcription factors (Gli1, Gli2, and Gli3) that differentially activate and repress the expression of specific downstream target genes. In this study, we investigated the roles of the three vertebrate Glis in mediating midline Shh signaling in early ocular development. We examined the ocular phenotypes of Shh and Gli combination mutant mouse embryos and monitored proximodistal and dorsoventral patterning by the expression of specific eye development regulatory genes using in situ hybridization. We show that midline Shh signaling relieves the repressor activity of Gli3 adjacent to the midline and then promotes eye pattern formation through the nonredundant activities of all three Gli proteins. Gli3, in particular, is required to specify the dorsal optic stalk and to define the boundary between the optic stalk and the optic cup.
Hadjikhani, Nouchine; Sanchez del Rio, Margarita; Wu, Ona; Schwartz, Denis; Bakker, Dick; Fischl, Bruce; Kwong, Kenneth K.; Cutrer, F. Michael; Rosen, Bruce R.; Tootell, Roger B. H.; Sorensen, A. Gregory; Moskowitz, Michael A.
Cortical spreading depression (CSD) has been suggested to underlie migraine visual aura. However, it has been challenging to test this hypothesis in human cerebral cortex. Using high-field functional MRI with near-continuous recording during visual aura in three subjects, we observed blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal changes that demonstrated at least eight characteristics of CSD, time-locked to percept/onset of the aura. Initially, a focal increase in BOLD signal (possibly reflecting vasodilation), developed within extrastriate cortex (area V3A). This BOLD change progressed contiguously and slowly (3.5 ± 1.1 mm/min) over occipital cortex, congruent with the retinotopy of the visual percept. Following the same retinotopic progression, the BOLD signal then diminished (possibly reflecting vasoconstriction after the initial vasodilation), as did the BOLD response to visual activation. During periods with no visual stimulation, but while the subject was experiencing scintillations, BOLD signal followed the retinotopic progression of the visual percept. These data strongly suggest that an electrophysiological event such as CSD generates the aura in human visual cortex. PMID:11287655
Öğmen, Haluk; Herzog, Michael H.
Memory is an essential component of cognition and disorders of memory have significant individual and societal costs. The Atkinson–Shiffrin “modal model” forms the foundation of our understanding of human memory. It consists of three stores: Sensory Memory (SM), whose visual component is called iconic memory, Short-Term Memory (STM; also called working memory, WM), and Long-Term Memory (LTM). Since its inception, shortcomings of all three components of the modal model have been identified. While the theories of STM and LTM underwent significant modifications to address these shortcomings, models of the iconic memory remained largely unchanged: A high capacity but rapidly decaying store whose contents are encoded in retinotopic coordinates, i.e., according to how the stimulus is projected on the retina. The fundamental shortcoming of iconic memory models is that, because contents are encoded in retinotopic coordinates, the iconic memory cannot hold any useful information under normal viewing conditions when objects or the subject are in motion. Hence, half-century after its formulation, it remains an unresolved problem whether and how the first stage of the modal model serves any useful function and how subsequent stages of the modal model receive inputs from the environment. Here, we propose a new conceptualization of human visual sensory memory by introducing an additional component whose reference-frame consists of motion-grouping based coordinates rather than retinotopic coordinates. We review data supporting this new model and discuss how it offers solutions to the paradoxes of the traditional model of sensory memory. PMID:27375519
Bromiley, G.; Berg, M.; Le Godec, Y.; Mezouar, N.; Atwood, R. C.; Phillipe, J.
Although core formation was a key stage in the evolution of terrestrial planets, the physical processes which resulted in segregation of iron and silicate remain poorly understood. Formation of a silicate magma oceans provides an obvious mechanism for segregation of core-forming liquids, although recent work has strengthened arguments for a complex, multi-stage model of core formation. Extreme pressure1 and the effects of deformation2 have both been shown to promote percolation of Fe-rich melts in a solid silicate matrix, providing mechanisms for early, low temperature core-formation. However, the efficiency of these processes remains untested and we lack meaningful experimental data on resulting melt segregation velocities. Arguments regarding the efficiency of core formation through percolation of Fe-rich melts in solid silicate are based on simple, empirical models. Here, we review textural evidence from recent experiments which supports early core formation driven by deformation-aided percolation of Fe-rich melts. We then present results of novel in-situ synchrotron studies designed to provide time-resolved 3-D microimaging of percolating melt in model systems under extreme conditions. Under low strain rates characteristic of deformation-aided core formation, segregation of metallic (core-forming) melts by percolation is driven by stress gradients. This is expected to ultimately result in channelization and efficient segregation of melts noted in high-strain, low pressure experiments3. In-situ visualization also demonstrates that percolation of viscous metallic melts is surprisingly rapid. A combination of melt channelization and hydraulic fracture results in rapid, episodic melt migration, even over the limited time scale of experiments. The efficiency of this process depends strongly on the geometry of the melt network and is scaled to grain size in the matrix. We use both in-situ visualization and high-resolution ex-situ analysis to provide accurate
Funnell, Elaine; Wilding, John
We report a longitudinal study of an exceptional child (S.R.) whose early-acquired visual agnosia, following encephalitis at 8 weeks of age, did not prevent her from learning to construct an increasing vocabulary of visual object forms (drawn from different categories), albeit slowly. S.R. had problems perceiving subtle differences in shape; she was unable to segment local letters within global displays; and she would bring complex scenes close to her eyes: a symptom suggestive of an attempt to reduce visual crowding. Investigations revealed a robust ability to use the gestalt grouping factors of proximity and collinearity to detect fragmented forms in noisy backgrounds, compared with a very weak ability to segment fragmented forms on the basis of contrasts of shape. When contrasts in spatial grouping and shape were pitted against each other, shape made little contribution, consistent with problems in perceiving complex scenes, but when shape contrast was varied, and spatial grouping was held constant, S.R. showed the same hierarchy of difficulty as the controls, although her responses were slowed. This is the first report of a child's visual-perceptual development following very early neurological impairments to the visual cortex. Her ability to learn to perceive visual shape following damage at a rudimentary stage of perceptual development contrasts starkly with the loss of such ability in childhood cases of acquired visual agnosia that follow damage to the established perceptual system. Clearly, there is a critical period during which neurological damage to the highly active, early developing visual-perceptual system does not prevent but only impairs further learning.
Sankaranarayanan, Rengaswamy; Shastri, Surendra S; Basu, Parthasarathi; Mahé, Cédric; Mandal, Ranajit; Amin, Geethanjali; Roy, Chinmayi; Muwonge, Richard; Goswami, Smriti; Das, Pradip; Chinoy, Roshini; Frappart, Lucien; Patil, Sharmila; Choudhury, Devjani; Mukherjee, Titha; Dinshaw, Ketayun
Several studies have investigated the accuracy of naked eye visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) in the early detection of cervical neoplasia. It is not clear whether low-level (2-4x) magnification (VIAM) can improve the sensitivity and specificity of VIA. The accuracy of both VIA and VIAM, provided by independent health workers, were evaluated in three cross-sectional studies involving 18,675 women aged 25-65 years in Kolkata and Mumbai in India. All screened women were investigated with colposcopy and biopsies were obtained based on colposcopy findings. The final disease status was based on the reference standard of histology (if biopsies had been taken) or colposcopy. Data from the studies were pooled to calculate the test characteristics for the detection of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL). 14.1% and 14.2% were positive on testing with VIA and VIAM respectively. Two hundred twenty-nine were diagnosed with HSIL and 68 with invasive cancer. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values for VIA in detecting high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) were 60.3% (95% CI: 53.6-66.7), 86.8% (95% CI: 86.3-87.3), 5.9% (95% CI: 5.0-7.0), and 99.4% (95% CI: 99.2-99.5), respectively. The values were 64.2% (95% CI: 57.6-70.4), 86.8% (95% CI: 86.2-87.3), 6.3% (95% CI: 5.3-7.3) and 99.4% (95% CI: 99.3-99.6), respectively, for VIAM. Low-level magnification did not improve the test performance of naked eye visualization of acetic acid impregnated uterine cervix.
Landa-Vialard, Olaya; Ely, Mindy S.; Lartz, Maribeth Nelson
The Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Child Development Institute, Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers with Visual Impairments and Their Families, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was a national project that developed resources with the goal of building the capacity of colleges and universities to prepare personnel to…
Emam, Mahmoud Mohamed; Kazem, Ali Mahdi
Visual motor integration (VMI) is the ability of the eyes and hands to work together in smooth, efficient patterns. In Oman, there are few effective methods to assess VMI skills in children in inclusive settings. The current study investigated the performance of preschool and early school years responders and non-responders on a VMI test. The full…
Son, Seung-Hee Claire; Tineo, Maria F.
This study examined associations among low-income mothers' use of attention-getting utterances during shared book reading, preschoolers' verbal engagement and visual attention to reading, and their early literacy skills (N = 51). Mother-child shared book reading sessions were videotaped and coded for each utterance, including attention talk,…
Hengesch, Xenia; Larra, Mauro F; Finke, Johannes B; Blumenthal, Terry D; Schächinger, Hartmut
Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) may influence stress and affective processing in adulthood. Animal and human studies show enhanced startle reflexivity in adult participants with ACE. This study examined the impact of one of the most common ACE, parental divorce, on startle reflexivity in adulthood. Affective modulation of acoustically-elicited startle eye blink was assessed in a group of 23 young adults with self-reported history of parental divorce, compared to an age- and sex-matched control group (n=18). Foreground pictures were either aversive (e.g. mutilation and injury), standard appetitive (e.g. erotic, recreational sport), or nurture pictures (e.g. related to early life, parental care), intermixed with neutral pictures (e.g. household objects), and organized in three valence blocks delivered in a balanced, pseudo-randomized sequence. During picture viewing startle eye blinks were elicited by binaural white noise bursts (50ms, 105 dB) via headphones and recorded at the left orbicularis oculi muscle via EMG. A significant interaction of group×picture valence (p=0.01) was observed. Contrast with controls revealed blunted startle responsiveness of the ACE group during presentation of aversive pictures, but enhanced startle during presentation of nurture-related pictures. No group differences were found during presentation of standard appetitive pictures. ACE participants rated nurture pictures as more arousing (p=0.02) than did control participants. Results suggest that divorce in childhood led to altered affective context information processing in early adulthood. When exposed to unpleasant (vs. neutral) pictures participants with ACE showed less startle potentiation than controls. Nurture context, however, potentiated startle in ACE participants, suggesting visual cuing to activate protective behavioral responses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Baroncelli, Laura; Cenni, Maria Cristina; Melani, Riccardo; Deidda, Gabriele; Landi, Silvia; Narducci, Roberta; Cancedda, Laura; Maffei, Lamberto; Berardi, Nicoletta
Environmental enrichment (EE) has a remarkable impact on brain development. Continuous exposure to EE from birth determines a significant acceleration of visual system maturation both at retinal and cortical levels. A pre-weaning enriched experience is sufficient to trigger the accelerated maturation of the visual system, suggesting that factors affected by EE during the first days of life might prime visual circuits towards a faster development. The search for such factors is crucial not only to gain a better understanding of the molecular hierarchy of brain development but also to identify molecular pathways amenable to be targeted to correct atypical brain developmental trajectories. Here, we showed that IGF-1 levels are increased in the visual cortex of EE rats as early as P6 and this is a crucial event for setting in motion the developmental program induced by EE. Early intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusion of IGF-1 in standard rats was sufficient to mimic the action of EE on visual acuity development, whereas blocking IGF-1 signaling by i.c.v. injections of the IGF-1 receptor antagonist JB1 prevented the deployment of EE effects. Early IGF-1 decreased the ratio between the expression of NKCC1 and KCC2 cation/chloride transporters, and the reversal potential for GABA A R-driven Cl - currents (E Cl ) was shifted toward more negative potentials, indicating that IGF-1 is a crucial factor in accelerating the maturation of GABAergic neurotransmission and promoting the developmental switch of GABA polarity from excitation to inhibition. In addition, early IGF-1 promoted a later occurring increase in its own expression, suggesting a priming effect of early IGF-1 in driving post-weaning cortical maturation. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ayu Nurul Handayani, Hemas; Waspada, Indra
Non-formal Early Childhood Education (non-formal ECE) is an education that is held for children under 4 years old. The implementation in District of Banyumas, Non-formal ECE is monitored by The District Government of Banyumas and helped by Sanggar Kegiatan Belajar (SKB) Purwokerto as one of the organizer of Non-formal Education. The government itself has a program for distributing ECE to all villages in Indonesia. However, The location to construct the ECE school in several years ahead is not arranged yet. Therefore, for supporting that program, a decision support system is made to give some recommendation villages for constructing The ECE building. The data are projected based on Brown’s Double Exponential Smoothing Method and utilizing Preference Ranking Organization Method for Enrichment Evaluation (Promethee) to generate priority order. As the recommendations system, it generates map visualization which is colored according to the priority level of sub-district and village area. The system was tested with black box testing, Promethee testing, and usability testing. The results showed that the system functionality and Promethee algorithm were working properly, and the user was satisfied.
Najemnik, Jiri; Geisler, Wilson S
When searching for a known target in a natural texture, practiced humans achieve near-optimal performance compared to a Bayesian ideal searcher constrained with the human map of target detectability across the visual field [Najemnik, J., & Geisler, W. S. (2005). Optimal eye movement strategies in visual search. Nature, 434, 387-391]. To do so, humans must be good at choosing where to fixate during the search [Najemnik, J., & Geisler, W.S. (2008). Eye movement statistics in humans are consistent with an optimal strategy. Journal of Vision, 8(3), 1-14. 4]; however, it seems unlikely that a biological nervous system would implement the computations for the Bayesian ideal fixation selection because of their complexity. Here we derive and test a simple heuristic for optimal fixation selection that appears to be a much better candidate for implementation within a biological nervous system. Specifically, we show that the near-optimal fixation location is the maximum of the current posterior probability distribution for target location after the distribution is filtered by (convolved with) the square of the retinotopic target detectability map. We term the model that uses this strategy the entropy limit minimization (ELM) searcher. We show that when constrained with human-like retinotopic map of target detectability and human search error rates, the ELM searcher performs as well as the Bayesian ideal searcher, and produces fixation statistics similar to human.
Laskowska-Macios, Karolina; Zapasnik, Monika; Hu, Tjing-Tjing; Kossut, Malgorzata; Arckens, Lutgarde; Burnat, Kalina
Pattern vision deprivation (BD) can induce permanent deficits in global motion perception. The impact of timing and duration of BD on the maturation of the central and peripheral visual field representations in cat primary visual areas 17 and 18 remains unknown. We compared early BD, from eye opening for 2, 4, or 6 months, with late onset BD, after 2 months of normal vision, using the expression pattern of the visually driven activity reporter gene zif268 as readout. Decreasing zif268 mRNA levels between months 2 and 4 characterized the normal maturation of the (supra)granular layers of the central and peripheral visual field representations in areas 17 and 18. In general, all BD conditions had higher than normal zif268 levels. In area 17, early BD induced a delayed decrease, beginning later in peripheral than in central area 17. In contrast, the decrease occurred between months 2 and 4 throughout area 18. Lack of pattern vision stimulation during the first 4 months of life therefore has a different impact on the development of areas 17 and 18. A high zif268 expression level at a time when normal vision is restored seems to predict the capacity of a visual area to compensate for BD. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.
Philips, Ryan T; Chakravarthy, V Srinivasa
Primate vision research has shown that in the retinotopic map of the primary visual cortex, eccentricity and meridional angle are mapped onto two orthogonal axes: whereas the eccentricity is mapped onto the nasotemporal axis, the meridional angle is mapped onto the dorsoventral axis. Theoretically such a map has been approximated by a complex log map. Neural models with correlational learning have explained the development of other visual maps like orientation maps and ocular-dominance maps. In this paper it is demonstrated that activity based mechanisms can drive a self-organizing map (SOM) into such a configuration that dilations and rotations of a particular image (in this case a rectangular bar) are mapped onto orthogonal axes. We further demonstrate using the Laterally Interconnected Synergetically Self Organizing Map (LISSOM) model, with an appropriate boundary and realistic initial conditions, that a retinotopic map which maps eccentricity and meridional angle to the horizontal and vertical axes respectively can be developed. This developed map bears a strong resemblance to the complex log map. We also simulated lesion studies which indicate that the lateral excitatory connections play a crucial role in development of the retinotopic map.
Bridge, Holly; Thomas, Owen M; Minini, Loredana; Cavina-Pratesi, Cristiana; Milner, A David; Parker, Andrew J
Loss of shape recognition in visual-form agnosia occurs without equivalent losses in the use of vision to guide actions, providing support for the hypothesis of two visual systems (for "perception" and "action"). The human individual DF received a toxic exposure to carbon monoxide some years ago, which resulted in a persisting visual-form agnosia that has been extensively characterized at the behavioral level. We conducted a detailed high-resolution MRI study of DF's cortex, combining structural and functional measurements. We present the first accurate quantification of the changes in thickness across DF's occipital cortex, finding the most substantial loss in the lateral occipital cortex (LOC). There are reduced white matter connections between LOC and other areas. Functional measures show pockets of activity that survive within structurally damaged areas. The topographic mapping of visual areas showed that ordered retinotopic maps were evident for DF in the ventral portions of visual cortical areas V1, V2, V3, and hV4. Although V1 shows evidence of topographic order in its dorsal portion, such maps could not be found in the dorsal parts of V2 and V3. We conclude that it is not possible to understand fully the deficits in object perception in visual-form agnosia without the exploitation of both structural and functional measurements. Our results also highlight for DF the cortical routes through which visual information is able to pass to support her well-documented abilities to use visual information to guide actions.
Wong, Yvonne J; Aldcroft, Adrian J; Large, Mary-Ellen; Culham, Jody C; Vilis, Tutis
We examined the role of temporal synchrony-the simultaneous appearance of visual features-in the perceptual and neural processes underlying object persistence. When a binding cue (such as color or motion) momentarily exposes an object from a background of similar elements, viewers remain aware of the object for several seconds before it perceptually fades into the background, a phenomenon known as object persistence. We showed that persistence from temporal stimulus synchrony, like that arising from motion and color, is associated with activation in the lateral occipital (LO) area, as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging. We also compared the distribution of occipital cortex activity related to persistence to that of iconic visual memory. Although activation related to iconic memory was largely confined to LO, activation related to object persistence was present across V1 to LO, peaking in V3 and V4, regardless of the binding cue (temporal synchrony, motion, or color). Although persistence from motion cues was not associated with higher activation in the MT+ motion complex, persistence from color cues was associated with increased activation in V4. Taken together, these results demonstrate that although persistence is a form of visual memory, it relies on neural mechanisms different from those of iconic memory. That is, persistence not only activates LO in a cue-independent manner, it also recruits visual areas that may be necessary to maintain binding between object elements.
Gawryszewski, Luiz G.; Carreiro, Luiz Renato R.; Magalhaes, Fabio V.
A non-informative cue (C) elicits an inhibition of manual reaction time (MRT) to a visual target (T). We report an experiment to examine if the spatial distribution of this inhibitory effect follows Polar or Cartesian coordinate systems. C appeared at one out of 8 isoeccentric (7[degrees]) positions, the C-T angular distances (in polar…
Wahle, P; Meyer, G
The early postnatal development of neurons containing vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) and peptide histidine isoleucine (PHI) has been analyzed in visual areas 17 and 18 of cats aged from postnatal day (P) 0 to adulthood. Neuronal types are established mainly by axonal criteria. Both peptides occur in the same neuronal types and display the same postnatal chronology of appearance. Several cell types are transient, which means that they are present in the cortex only for a limited period of development. According to their chronology of appearance the VIP/PHI-immunoreactive (ir) cell types are grouped into three neuronal populations. The first population comprises six cell types which appear early in postnatal life. The pseudohorsetail cells of layer I possess a vertically descending axon which initially gives rise to recurrent collaterals, then forms a bundle passing layers III to V, and finally, horizontal terminal fibers in layer VI. The neurons differentiate at P 4 and disappear by degeneration around P 30. The neurons with columnar dendritic fields of layers IV/V are characterized by a vertical arrangement of long dendrites ascending or descending parallel to each other, thus forming an up to 600 microns long dendritic column. Their axons always descend and terminate in broad fields in layer VI. The neurons appear at P 7 and are present until P 20. The multipolar neurons of layer VI occur in isolated positions and have broad axonal territories. The neurons differentiate at P 7 and persist into adulthood. Bitufted to multipolar neurons of layers II/III have axons descending as a single fiber to layer VI, where they terminate. The neurons appear at P 12 and persist into adulthood. The four cell types described above issue a vertically oriented fiber architecture in layers II-V and a horizontal terminal plexus in layer VI which is dense during the second, third and fourth week. Concurrent with the disappearance of the two transient types the number of
Zhang, Bin; Tao, Xiaofeng; Wensveen, Janice M; Harwerth, Ronald S; Smith, Earl L; Chino, Yuzo M
Providing brief daily periods of unrestricted vision during early monocular form deprivation reduces the depth of amblyopia. To gain insights into the neural basis of the beneficial effects of this treatment, the binocular and monocular response properties of neurons were quantitatively analyzed in visual area 2 (V2) of form-deprived macaque monkeys. Beginning at 3 weeks of age, infant monkeys were deprived of clear vision in one eye for 12 hours every day until 21 weeks of age. They received daily periods of unrestricted vision for 0, 1, 2, or 4 hours during the form-deprivation period. After behavioral testing to measure the depth of the resulting amblyopia, microelectrode-recording experiments were conducted in V2. The ocular dominance imbalance away from the affected eye was reduced in the experimental monkeys and was generally proportional to the reduction in the depth of amblyopia in individual monkeys. There were no interocular differences in the spatial properties of V2 neurons in any subject group. However, the binocular disparity sensitivity of V2 neurons was significantly higher and binocular suppression was lower in monkeys that had unrestricted vision. The decrease in ocular dominance imbalance in V2 was the neuronal change most closely associated with the observed reduction in the depth of amblyopia. The results suggest that the degree to which extrastriate neurons can maintain functional connections with the deprived eye (i.e., reducing undersampling for the affected eye) is the most significant factor associated with the beneficial effects of brief periods of unrestricted vision.
Zhang, Bin; Tao, Xiaofeng; Wensveen, Janice M.; Harwerth, Ronald S.; Smith, Earl L.
Purpose. Providing brief daily periods of unrestricted vision during early monocular form deprivation reduces the depth of amblyopia. To gain insights into the neural basis of the beneficial effects of this treatment, the binocular and monocular response properties of neurons were quantitatively analyzed in visual area 2 (V2) of form-deprived macaque monkeys. Methods. Beginning at 3 weeks of age, infant monkeys were deprived of clear vision in one eye for 12 hours every day until 21 weeks of age. They received daily periods of unrestricted vision for 0, 1, 2, or 4 hours during the form-deprivation period. After behavioral testing to measure the depth of the resulting amblyopia, microelectrode-recording experiments were conducted in V2. Results. The ocular dominance imbalance away from the affected eye was reduced in the experimental monkeys and was generally proportional to the reduction in the depth of amblyopia in individual monkeys. There were no interocular differences in the spatial properties of V2 neurons in any subject group. However, the binocular disparity sensitivity of V2 neurons was significantly higher and binocular suppression was lower in monkeys that had unrestricted vision. Conclusions. The decrease in ocular dominance imbalance in V2 was the neuronal change most closely associated with the observed reduction in the depth of amblyopia. The results suggest that the degree to which extrastriate neurons can maintain functional connections with the deprived eye (i.e., reducing undersampling for the affected eye) is the most significant factor associated with the beneficial effects of brief periods of unrestricted vision. PMID:21849427
Siatkowski, R Michael; Good, William V; Summers, C Gail; Quinn, Graham E; Tung, Betty
To describe visual function and associated characteristics at the 6-year examination in children enrolled in the Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity Study who had unfavorable visual outcomes despite favorable structural outcomes in one or both eyes. The clinical examination records of children completing the 6-year follow-up examination were retrospectively reviewed. Eligible subjects were those with visual acuity of ≤20/200 in each eye (where recordable) and a normal fundus or straightening of the temporal retinal vessels with or without macular ectopia in at least one eye. Data regarding visual function, retinal structure, presence of nystagmus, optic atrophy, optic disk cupping, seizures/shunts, and Functional Independence Measure for Children (ie, WeeFIM: pediatric functional independence measure) developmental test scores were reviewed. Of 342 participants who completed the 6-year examination, 39 (11%) met inclusion criteria. Of these, 29 (74%) had normal retinal structure, 18 (46%) had optic atrophy, and 3 (8%) had increased cupping of the optic disk in at least one eye. Latent and/or manifest nystagmus occurred in 30 children (77%). The presence of nystagmus was not related to the presence of optic atrophy. Of the 39 children, 28 (72%) had a below-normal WeeFIM score. In 25 participants (7%) completing the 6-year examination, cortical visual impairment was considered the primary cause of visual loss. The remainder likely had components of both anterior and posterior visual pathway disease. Clinical synthesis of ocular anatomy and visual and neurologic function is required to determine the etiology of poor vision in these children. Copyright © 2013 American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
Histed, Mark H.; Yurgenson, Sergey
Many thousands of cortical neurons are activated by any single sensory stimulus, but the organization of these populations is poorly understood. For example, are neurons in mouse visual cortex—whose preferred orientations are arranged randomly—organized with respect to other response properties? Using high-speed in vivo two-photon calcium imaging, we characterized the receptive fields of up to 100 excitatory and inhibitory neurons in a 200 μm imaged plane. Inhibitory neurons had nonlinearly summating, complex-like receptive fields and were weakly tuned for orientation. Excitatory neurons had linear, simple receptive fields that can be studied with noise stimuli and system identification methods. We developed a wavelet stimulus that evoked rich population responses and yielded the detailed spatial receptive fields of most excitatory neurons in a plane. Receptive fields and visual responses were locally highly diverse, with nearby neurons having largely dissimilar receptive fields and response time courses. Receptive-field diversity was consistent with a nearly random sampling of orientation, spatial phase, and retinotopic position. Retinotopic positions varied locally on average by approximately half the receptive-field size. Nonetheless, the retinotopic progression across the cortex could be demonstrated at the scale of 100 μm, with a magnification of ∼10 μm/°. Receptive-field and response similarity were in register, decreasing by 50% over a distance of 200 μm. Together, the results indicate considerable randomness in local populations of mouse visual cortical neurons, with retinotopy as the principal source of organization at the scale of hundreds of micrometers. PMID:22171051
Kowalski, Ireneusz M.; Domagalska, Małgorzata; Szopa, Andrzej; Dwornik, Michał; Kujawa, Jolanta; Stępień, Agnieszka; Śliwiński, Zbigniew
Introduction Central nervous system damage in early life results in both quantitative and qualitative abnormalities of psychomotor development. Late sequelae of these disturbances may include visual perception disorders which not only affect the ability to read and write but also generally influence the child's intellectual development. This study sought to determine whether a central coordination disorder (CCD) in early life treated according to Vojta's method with elements of the sensory integration (S-I) and neuro-developmental treatment (NDT)/Bobath approaches affects development of visual perception later in life. Material and methods The study involved 44 participants aged 15-16 years, including 19 diagnosed with moderate or severe CCD in the neonatal period, i.e. during the first 2-3 months of life, with diagnosed mild degree neonatal encephalopathy due to perinatal anoxia, and 25 healthy people without a history of developmental psychomotor disturbances in the neonatal period. The study tool was a visual perception IQ test comprising 96 graphic tasks. Results The study revealed equal proportions of participants (p < 0.05) defined as very skilled (94-96), skilled (91-94), aerage (71-91), poor (67-71), and very poor (0-67) in both groups. These results mean that adolescents with a history of CCD in the neonatal period did not differ with regard to the level of visual perception from their peers who had not demonstrated psychomotor development disorders in the neonatal period. Conclusions Early treatment of children with CCD affords a possibility of normalising their psychomotor development early enough to prevent consequences in the form of cognitive impairments in later life. PMID:23185199
Cohen, Ethan D.
The design of effective visual prostheses for the blind represents a challenge for biomedical engineers and neuroscientists. Significant progress has been made in the miniaturization and processing power of prosthesis electronics; however development lags in the design and construction of effective machine brain interfaces with visual system neurons. This review summarizes what has been learned about stimulating neurons in the human and primate retina, lateral geniculate nucleus and visual cortex. Each level of the visual system presents unique challenges for neural interface design. Blind patients with the retinal degenerative disease retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are a common population in clinical trials of visual prostheses. The visual performance abilities of normals and RP patients are compared. To generate pattern vision in blind patients, the visual prosthetic interface must effectively stimulate the retinotopically organized neurons in the central visual field to elicit patterned visual percepts. The development of more biologically compatible methods of stimulating visual system neurons is critical to the development of finer spatial percepts. Prosthesis electrode arrays need to adapt to different optimal stimulus locations, stimulus patterns, and patient disease states.
Gibbin, E; Gavish, A; Domart-Coulon, I; Kramarsky-Winter, E; Shapiro, O; Meibom, A; Vardi, A
Global warming has triggered an increase in the prevalence and severity of coral disease, yet little is known about coral/pathogen interactions in the early stages of infection. The point of entry of the pathogen and the route that they take once inside the polyp is currently unknown, as is the coral's capacity to respond to infection. To address these questions, we developed a novel method that combines stable isotope labelling and microfluidics with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS), to monitor the infection process between Pocillopora damicornis and Vibrio coralliilyticus under elevated temperature. Three coral fragments were inoculated with 15 N-labeled V. coralliilyticus and then fixed at 2.5, 6 and 22 h post-inoculation (hpi) according to the virulence of the infection. Correlative TEM/NanoSIMS imaging was subsequently used to visualize the penetration and dispersal of V. coralliilyticus and their degradation or secretion products. Most of the V. coralliilyticus cells we observed were located in the oral epidermis of the fragment that experienced the most virulent infection (2.5 hpi). In some cases, these bacteria were enclosed within electron dense host-derived intracellular vesicles. 15 N-enriched pathogen-derived breakdown products were visible in all tissue layers of the coral polyp (oral epidermis, oral gastrodermis, aboral gastrodermis), at all time points, although the relative 15 N-enrichment depended on the time at which the corals were fixed. Tissues in the mesentery filaments had the highest density of 15 N-enriched hotspots, suggesting these tissues act as a "collection and digestion" site for pathogenic bacteria. Closer examination of the sub-cellular structures associated with these 15 N-hotspots revealed these to be host phagosomal and secretory cells/vesicles. This study provides a novel method for tracking bacterial infection dynamics at the levels of the tissue and single cell
Mazziotti, Raffaele; Lupori, Leonardo; Sagona, Giulia; Gennaro, Mariangela; Della Sala, Grazia; Putignano, Elena
Abstract CDKL5 disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder still without a cure. Murine models of CDKL5 disorder have been recently generated raising the possibility of preclinical testing of treatments. However, unbiased, quantitative biomarkers of high translational value to monitor brain function are still missing. Moreover, the analysis of treatment is hindered by the challenge of repeatedly and non-invasively testing neuronal function. We analyzed the development of visual responses in a mouse model of CDKL5 disorder to introduce visually evoked responses as a quantitative method to assess cortical circuit function. Cortical visual responses were assessed in CDKL5 null male mice, heterozygous females, and their respective control wild-type littermates by repeated transcranial optical imaging from P27 until P32. No difference between wild-type and mutant mice was present at P25-P26 whereas defective responses appeared from P27-P28 both in heterozygous and homozygous CDKL5 mutant mice. These results were confirmed by visually evoked potentials (VEPs) recorded from the visual cortex of a different cohort. The previously imaged mice were also analyzed at P60–80 using VEPs, revealing a persistent reduction of response amplitude, reduced visual acuity and defective contrast function. The level of adult impairment was significantly correlated with the reduction in visual responses observed during development. Support vector machine showed that multi-dimensional visual assessment can be used to automatically classify mutant and wt mice with high reliability. Thus, monitoring visual responses represents a promising biomarker for preclinical and clinical studies on CDKL5 disorder. PMID:28369421
Mazziotti, Raffaele; Lupori, Leonardo; Sagona, Giulia; Gennaro, Mariangela; Della Sala, Grazia; Putignano, Elena; Pizzorusso, Tommaso
CDKL5 disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder still without a cure. Murine models of CDKL5 disorder have been recently generated raising the possibility of preclinical testing of treatments. However, unbiased, quantitative biomarkers of high translational value to monitor brain function are still missing. Moreover, the analysis of treatment is hindered by the challenge of repeatedly and non-invasively testing neuronal function. We analyzed the development of visual responses in a mouse model of CDKL5 disorder to introduce visually evoked responses as a quantitative method to assess cortical circuit function. Cortical visual responses were assessed in CDKL5 null male mice, heterozygous females, and their respective control wild-type littermates by repeated transcranial optical imaging from P27 until P32. No difference between wild-type and mutant mice was present at P25-P26 whereas defective responses appeared from P27-P28 both in heterozygous and homozygous CDKL5 mutant mice. These results were confirmed by visually evoked potentials (VEPs) recorded from the visual cortex of a different cohort. The previously imaged mice were also analyzed at P60-80 using VEPs, revealing a persistent reduction of response amplitude, reduced visual acuity and defective contrast function. The level of adult impairment was significantly correlated with the reduction in visual responses observed during development. Support vector machine showed that multi-dimensional visual assessment can be used to automatically classify mutant and wt mice with high reliability. Thus, monitoring visual responses represents a promising biomarker for preclinical and clinical studies on CDKL5 disorder. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.
Gilmore, Gwen; Truong, Thi My Dung; Reilly, Michelle
For preservice teachers in early childhood education, having a rich exposure to multiple forms of literacy in diverse communities is an essential dimension of their teacher education. In this study, 10 Australian preservice early childhood education students, in the first year of their course, visit two early childhood settings in a large city in…
Solomyak, Olla; Marantz, Alec
We present an MEG study of heteronym recognition, aiming to distinguish between two theories of lexical access: the "early access" theory, which entails that lexical access occurs at early (pre 200 ms) stages of processing, and the "late access" theory, which interprets this early activity as orthographic word-form identification rather than…
Visual attention can be deployed to stimuli based on our willful, top-down goal (endogenous attention) or on their intrinsic saliency against the background (exogenous attention). Flexibility is thought to be a hallmark of endogenous attention, whereas decades of research show that exogenous attention is attracted to the retinotopic locations of the salient stimuli. However, to the extent that salient stimuli in the natural environment usually form specific spatial relations with the surrounding context and are dynamic, exogenous attention, to be adaptive, should embrace these structural regularities. Here we test a non-retinotopic, object-centered mechanism in exogenous attention, in which exogenous attention is dynamically attracted to a relative, object-centered location. Using a moving frame configuration, we presented two frames in succession, forming either apparent translational motion or in mirror reflection, with a completely uninformative, transient cue presented at one of the item locations in the first frame. Despite that the cue is presented in a spatially separate frame, in both translation and mirror reflection, behavioralperformance in visual search is enhanced when the target in the second frame appears at the same relative location as the cue location than at other locations. These results provide unambiguous evidence for non-retinotopic exogenous attention and further reveal an object-centered mechanism supporting flexible exogenous attention. Moreover, attentional generalization across mirror reflection may constitute an attentional correlate of perceptual generalization across lateral mirror images, supporting an adaptive, functional account of mirror images confusion. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Jensen, Craig L; Voigt, Robert G; Llorente, Antolin M; Peters, Sarika U; Prager, Thomas C; Zou, Yali L; Rozelle, Judith C; Turcich, Marie R; Fraley, J Kennard; Anderson, Robert E; Heird, William C
We previously reported better psychomotor development at 30 months of age in infants whose mothers received a docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (22:6n-3) supplement for the first 4 months of lactation. We now assess neuropsychological and visual function of the same children at 5 years of age. Breastfeeding women were assigned to receive identical capsules containing either a high-DHA algal oil (∼200 mg/d of DHA) or a vegetable oil (containing no DHA) from delivery until 4 months postpartum. Primary outcome variables at 5 years of age were measures of gross and fine motor function, perceptual/visual-motor function, attention, executive function, verbal skills, and visual function of the recipient children at 5 years of age. There were no differences in visual function as assessed by the Bailey-Lovie acuity chart, transient visual evoked potential or sweep visual evoked potential testing between children whose mothers received DHA versus placebo. Children whose mothers received DHA versus placebo performed significantly better on the Sustained Attention Subscale of the Leiter International Performance Scale (46.5 ± 8.9 vs 41.9 ± 9.3, P < .008) but there were no statistically significant differences between groups on other neuropsychological domains. Five-year-old children whose mothers received modest DHA supplementation versus placebo for the first 4 months of breastfeeding performed better on a test of sustained attention. This, along with the previously reported better performance of the children of DHA-supplemented mothers on a test of psychomotor development at 30 months of age, suggests that DHA intake during early infancy confers long-term benefits on specific aspects of neurodevelopment. Copyright © 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mousa, Mohammad F; Cubbidge, Robert P; Al-Mansouri, Fatima; Bener, Abdulbari
Multifocal visual evoked potential (mfVEP) is a newly introduced method used for objective visual field assessment. Several analysis protocols have been tested to identify early visual field losses in glaucoma patients using the mfVEP technique, some were successful in detection of field defects, which were comparable to the standard automated perimetry (SAP) visual field assessment, and others were not very informative and needed more adjustment and research work. In this study we implemented a novel analysis approach and evaluated its validity and whether it could be used effectively for early detection of visual field defects in glaucoma. Three groups were tested in this study; normal controls (38 eyes), glaucoma patients (36 eyes) and glaucoma suspect patients (38 eyes). All subjects had a two standard Humphrey field analyzer (HFA) test 24-2 and a single mfVEP test undertaken in one session. Analysis of the mfVEP results was done using the new analysis protocol; the hemifield sector analysis (HSA) protocol. Analysis of the HFA was done using the standard grading system. Analysis of mfVEP results showed that there was a statistically significant difference between the three groups in the mean signal to noise ratio (ANOVA test, p < 0.001 with a 95% confidence interval). The difference between superior and inferior hemispheres in all subjects were statistically significant in the glaucoma patient group in all 11 sectors (t-test, p < 0.001), partially significant in 5 / 11 (t-test, p < 0.01), and no statistical difference in most sectors of the normal group (1 / 11 sectors was significant, t-test, p < 0.9). Sensitivity and specificity of the HSA protocol in detecting glaucoma was 97% and 86%, respectively, and for glaucoma suspect patients the values were 89% and 79%, respectively. The new HSA protocol used in the mfVEP testing can be applied to detect glaucomatous visual field defects in both glaucoma and glaucoma suspect patients. Using this protocol can provide
Mousa, Mohammad F.; Cubbidge, Robert P.; Al-Mansouri, Fatima
Purpose Multifocal visual evoked potential (mfVEP) is a newly introduced method used for objective visual field assessment. Several analysis protocols have been tested to identify early visual field losses in glaucoma patients using the mfVEP technique, some were successful in detection of field defects, which were comparable to the standard automated perimetry (SAP) visual field assessment, and others were not very informative and needed more adjustment and research work. In this study we implemented a novel analysis approach and evaluated its validity and whether it could be used effectively for early detection of visual field defects in glaucoma. Methods Three groups were tested in this study; normal controls (38 eyes), glaucoma patients (36 eyes) and glaucoma suspect patients (38 eyes). All subjects had a two standard Humphrey field analyzer (HFA) test 24-2 and a single mfVEP test undertaken in one session. Analysis of the mfVEP results was done using the new analysis protocol; the hemifield sector analysis (HSA) protocol. Analysis of the HFA was done using the standard grading system. Results Analysis of mfVEP results showed that there was a statistically significant difference between the three groups in the mean signal to noise ratio (ANOVA test, p < 0.001 with a 95% confidence interval). The difference between superior and inferior hemispheres in all subjects were statistically significant in the glaucoma patient group in all 11 sectors (t-test, p < 0.001), partially significant in 5 / 11 (t-test, p < 0.01), and no statistical difference in most sectors of the normal group (1 / 11 sectors was significant, t-test, p < 0.9). Sensitivity and specificity of the HSA protocol in detecting glaucoma was 97% and 86%, respectively, and for glaucoma suspect patients the values were 89% and 79%, respectively. Conclusions The new HSA protocol used in the mfVEP testing can be applied to detect glaucomatous visual field defects in both glaucoma and glaucoma suspect
Lubeck, Astrid J A; Van Ombergen, Angelique; Ahmad, Hena; Bos, Jelte E; Wuyts, Floris L; Bronstein, Adolfo M; Arshad, Qadeer
The objectives of this study were 1 ) to probe the effects of visual motion adaptation on early visual and V5/MT cortical excitability and 2 ) to investigate whether changes in cortical excitability following visual motion adaptation are related to the degree of visual dependency, i.e., an overreliance on visual cues compared with vestibular or proprioceptive cues. Participants were exposed to a roll motion visual stimulus before, during, and after visual motion adaptation. At these stages, 20 transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) pulses at phosphene threshold values were applied over early visual and V5/MT cortical areas from which the probability of eliciting a phosphene was calculated. Before and after adaptation, participants aligned the subjective visual vertical in front of the roll motion stimulus as a marker of visual dependency. During adaptation, early visual cortex excitability decreased whereas V5/MT excitability increased. After adaptation, both early visual and V5/MT excitability were increased. The roll motion-induced tilt of the subjective visual vertical (visual dependence) was not influenced by visual motion adaptation and did not correlate with phosphene threshold or visual cortex excitability. We conclude that early visual and V5/MT cortical excitability is differentially affected by visual motion adaptation. Furthermore, excitability in the early or late visual cortex is not associated with an increase in visual reliance during spatial orientation. Our findings complement earlier studies that have probed visual cortical excitability following motion adaptation and highlight the differential role of the early visual cortex and V5/MT in visual motion processing. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We examined the influence of visual motion adaptation on visual cortex excitability and found a differential effect in V1/V2 compared with V5/MT. Changes in visual excitability following motion adaptation were not related to the degree of an individual's visual
Rahimy, Ehsan; Reddy, Sahitya; DeCroos, Francis Char; Khan, M Ali; Boyer, David S; Gupta, Omesh P; Regillo, Carl D; Haller, Julia A
To evaluate the visual acuity agreement between a standard back-illuminated Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) chart and a handheld internally illuminated ETDRS chart. Two-center prospective study. Seventy patients (134 eyes) with retinal pathology were enrolled between October 2012 and August 2013. Visual acuity was measured using both the ETDRS chart and the handheld device by masked independent examiners after best protocol refraction. Examination was performed in the same room under identical illumination and testing conditions. The mean number of letters seen was 63.0 (standard deviation: 19.8 letters) and 61.2 letters (standard deviation: 19.1 letters) for the ETDRS chart and handheld device, respectively. Mean difference per eye between the ETDRS and handheld device was 1.8 letters. A correlation coefficient (r) of 0.95 demonstrated a positive linear correlation between ETDRS chart and handheld device measured acuities. Intraclass correlation coefficient was performed to assess the reproducibility of the measurements made by different observers measuring the same quantity and was calculated to be 0.95 (95% confidence interval: 0.93-0.96). Agreement was independent of retinal disease. The strong correlation between measured visual acuity using the ETDRS and handheld equivalent suggests that they may be used interchangeably, with accurate measurements. Potential benefits of this device include convenience and portability, as well as the ability to assess ETDRS visual acuity without a dedicated testing lane.
Persichetti, Andrew S; Aguirre, Geoffrey K; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L
A central concern in the study of learning and decision-making is the identification of neural signals associated with the values of choice alternatives. An important factor in understanding the neural correlates of value is the representation of the object itself, separate from the act of choosing. Is it the case that the representation of an object within visual areas will change if it is associated with a particular value? We used fMRI adaptation to measure the neural similarity of a set of novel objects before and after participants learned to associate monetary values with the objects. We used a range of both positive and negative values to allow us to distinguish effects of behavioral salience (i.e., large vs. small values) from effects of valence (i.e., positive vs. negative values). During the scanning session, participants made a perceptual judgment unrelated to value. Crucially, the similarity of the visual features of any pair of objects did not predict the similarity of their value, so we could distinguish adaptation effects due to each dimension of similarity. Within early visual areas, we found that value similarity modulated the neural response to the objects after training. These results show that an abstract dimension, in this case, monetary value, modulates neural response to an object in visual areas of the brain even when attention is diverted.
Hirschfeld, Gerrit; Zwitserlood, Pienie; Dobel, Christian
We investigated whether and when information conveyed by spoken language impacts on the processing of visually presented objects. In contrast to traditional views, grounded-cognition posits direct links between language comprehension and perceptual processing. We used a magnetoencephalographic cross-modal priming paradigm to disentangle these…
Chang, Yi-Tzu; Meng, Ling-Fu; Chang, Chun-Ju; Lai, Po-Liang; Lung, Chi-Wen; Chern, Jen-Suh
Subjective visual vertical (SVV) judgment and standing stability were separately investigated among patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Although, one study has investigated the central mechanism of stability control in the AIS population, the relationships between SVV, decreased standing stability, and AIS have never been investigated. Through event-related potentials (ERPs), the present study examined the effect of postural control demands (PDs) on AIS central mechanisms related to SVV judgment and standing stability to elucidate the time-serial stability control process. Thirteen AIS subjects (AIS group) and 13 age-matched adolescents (control group) aged 12-18 years were recruited. Each subject had to complete an SVV task (i.e., the modified rod-and-frame [mRAF] test) as a stimulus, with online electroencephalogram recording being performed in the following three standing postures: feet shoulder-width apart standing, feet together standing, and tandem standing. The behavioral performance in terms of postural stability (center of pressure excursion), SVV (accuracy and reaction time), and mRAF-locked ERPs (mean amplitude and peak latency of the P1, N1, and P2 components) was then compared between the AIS and control groups. In the behavioral domain, the results revealed that only the AIS group demonstrated a significantly accelerated SVV reaction time as the PDs increased. In the cerebral domain, significantly larger P2 mean amplitudes were observed during both feet shoulder-width-apart standing and feet together standing postures compared with during tandem standing. No group differences were noted in the cerebral domain. The results indicated that (1) during the dual-task paradigm, a differential behavioral strategy of accelerated SVV reaction time was observed in the AIS group only when the PDs increased and (2) the decrease in P2 mean amplitudes with the increase in the PD levels might be direct evidence of the competition for central
Chang, Yi-Tzu; Meng, Ling-Fu; Chang, Chun-Ju; Lai, Po-Liang; Lung, Chi-Wen; Chern, Jen-Suh
Subjective visual vertical (SVV) judgment and standing stability were separately investigated among patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Although, one study has investigated the central mechanism of stability control in the AIS population, the relationships between SVV, decreased standing stability, and AIS have never been investigated. Through event-related potentials (ERPs), the present study examined the effect of postural control demands (PDs) on AIS central mechanisms related to SVV judgment and standing stability to elucidate the time-serial stability control process. Thirteen AIS subjects (AIS group) and 13 age-matched adolescents (control group) aged 12–18 years were recruited. Each subject had to complete an SVV task (i.e., the modified rod-and-frame [mRAF] test) as a stimulus, with online electroencephalogram recording being performed in the following three standing postures: feet shoulder-width apart standing, feet together standing, and tandem standing. The behavioral performance in terms of postural stability (center of pressure excursion), SVV (accuracy and reaction time), and mRAF-locked ERPs (mean amplitude and peak latency of the P1, N1, and P2 components) was then compared between the AIS and control groups. In the behavioral domain, the results revealed that only the AIS group demonstrated a significantly accelerated SVV reaction time as the PDs increased. In the cerebral domain, significantly larger P2 mean amplitudes were observed during both feet shoulder-width-apart standing and feet together standing postures compared with during tandem standing. No group differences were noted in the cerebral domain. The results indicated that (1) during the dual-task paradigm, a differential behavioral strategy of accelerated SVV reaction time was observed in the AIS group only when the PDs increased and (2) the decrease in P2 mean amplitudes with the increase in the PD levels might be direct evidence of the competition for central
Fish early life stages are highly sensitive to exposure to persistent bioaccumulative toxicants (PBTs). The factors that contribute to this are unknown, but may include the distribution of PBTs to sensitive tissues during critical stages of development. Multiphoton laser scannin...
Bloem, Ilona M; Watanabe, Yurika L; Kibbe, Melissa M; Ling, Sam
How distinct are visual memory representations from visual perception? Although evidence suggests that briefly remembered stimuli are represented within early visual cortices, the degree to which these memory traces resemble true visual representations remains something of a mystery. Here, we tested whether both visual memory and perception succumb to a seemingly ubiquitous neural computation: normalization. Observers were asked to remember the contrast of visual stimuli, which were pitted against each other to promote normalization either in perception or in visual memory. Our results revealed robust normalization between visual representations in perception, yet no signature of normalization occurring between working memory stores-neither between representations in memory nor between memory representations and visual inputs. These results provide unique insight into the nature of visual memory representations, illustrating that visual memory representations follow a different set of computational rules, bypassing normalization, a canonical visual computation.
Bloem, Ilona M.; Watanabe, Yurika L.; Kibbe, Melissa M.; Ling, Sam
How distinct are visual memory representations from visual perception? Although evidence suggests that briefly remembered stimuli are represented within early visual cortices, the degree to which these memory traces resemble true visual representations remains something of a mystery. Here, we tested whether both visual memory and perception succumb to a seemingly ubiquitous neural computation: normalization. Observers were asked to remember the contrast of visual stimuli, which were pitted against each other to promote normalization either in perception or in visual memory. Our results revealed robust normalization between visual representations in perception, yet no signature of normalization occurring between working memory stores—neither between representations in memory nor between memory representations and visual inputs. These results provide unique insight into the nature of visual memory representations, illustrating that visual memory representations follow a different set of computational rules, bypassing normalization, a canonical visual computation. PMID:29596038
Loots, Gerrit; Devisé, Isabel; Jacquet, Wolfgang
This article presents a study that examined the impact of visual communication on the quality of the early interaction between deaf and hearing mothers and fathers and their deaf children aged between 18 and 24 months. Three communication mode groups of parent-deaf child dyads that differed by the use of signing and visual-tactile communication strategies were involved: (a) hearing parents communicating with their deaf child in an auditory/oral way, (b) hearing parents using total communication, and (c) deaf parents using sign language. Based on Loots and colleagues' intersubjective developmental theory, parent-deaf child interaction was analyzed according to the occurrence of intersubjectivity during free play with a standard set of toys. The data analyses indicated that the use of sign language in a sequential visual way of communication enabled the deaf parents to involve their 18- to 24-month-old deaf infants in symbolic intersubjectivity, whereas hearing parents who hold on to oral-only communication were excluded from involvement in symbolic intersubjectivity with their deaf infants. Hearing parents using total communication were more similar to deaf parents, but they still differed from deaf parents in exchanging and sharing symbolic and linguistic meaning with their deaf child.
Gharat, Amol; Baker, Curtis L
Many of the neurons in early visual cortex are selective for the orientation of boundaries defined by first-order cues (luminance) as well as second-order cues (contrast, texture). The neural circuit mechanism underlying this selectivity is still unclear, but some studies have proposed that it emerges from spatial nonlinearities of subcortical Y cells. To understand how inputs from the Y-cell pathway might be pooled to generate cue-invariant receptive fields, we recorded visual responses from single neurons in cat Area 18 using linear multielectrode arrays. We measured responses to drifting and contrast-reversing luminance gratings as well as contrast modulation gratings. We found that a large fraction of these neurons have nonoriented responses to gratings, similar to those of subcortical Y cells: they respond at the second harmonic (F2) to high-spatial frequency contrast-reversing gratings and at the first harmonic (F1) to low-spatial frequency drifting gratings ("Y-cell signature"). For a given neuron, spatial frequency tuning for linear (F1) and nonlinear (F2) responses is quite distinct, similar to orientation-selective cue-invariant neurons. Also, these neurons respond to contrast modulation gratings with selectivity for the carrier (texture) spatial frequency and, in some cases, orientation. Their receptive field properties suggest that they could serve as building blocks for orientation-selective cue-invariant neurons. We propose a circuit model that combines ON- and OFF-center cortical Y-like cells in an unbalanced push-pull manner to generate orientation-selective, cue-invariant receptive fields. A significant fraction of neurons in early visual cortex have specialized receptive fields that allow them to selectively respond to the orientation of boundaries that are invariant to the cue (luminance, contrast, texture, motion) that defines them. However, the neural mechanism to construct such versatile receptive fields remains unclear. Using multielectrode
Heravian, Javad; Saghafi, Massoud; Shoeibi, Naser; Hassanzadeh, Samira; Shakeri, Mohammad Taghi; Sharepoor, Maria
Ocular toxicity from hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is rare, but its potential permanence and severity makes it imperative to employ measures and screening protocols to minimize its occurrence. This study was performed to assess the usefulness of color vision, photo stress recovery time (PSRT), and visual evoked potentials (VEP) in early detection of ocular toxicity of HCQ, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). 86 patients were included in the study and divided into three groups: (1) with history of HCQ use: interventional 1 (Int.1) without fundoscopic changes and Int.2 with fundoscopic changes; and (2) without history of HCQ use, as control. Visual field, color vision, PSRT and VEP results were recorded for all patients and the effect of age, disease duration, treatment duration and cumulative dose of HCQ on each test was assessed in each group. There was a significant relationship among PSRT and age, treatment duration, cumulative dose of HCQ and disease duration (P<0.001 for all). Color vision was normal in all the cases. P100 amplitude was not different between the three groups (P=0.846), but P100 latency was significantly different (P=0.025) and for Int.2 it was greater than the others. The percentage of abnormal visual fields for Int.2 was more than Int.1 and control groups (P=0.002 and P=0.005 respectively), but Int.1 and control groups were not significantly different (P>0.50). In the early stages of maculopathy, P100 latencies of VEP and PSRT are useful predictors of HCQ ocular toxicity. In patients without ocular symptoms and fundoscopic changes, the P100 latency of VEP predicts more precisely than the others.
Karagic, Nidal; Härer, Andreas; Meyer, Axel; Torres-Dowdall, Julián
During early ontogeny, visual opsin gene expression in cichlids is influenced by prevailing light regimen. Red light, for example, leads to an early switch from the expression of short-wavelength sensitive to long-wavelength sensitive opsins. Here, we address the influence of light deprivation on opsin expression. Individuals reared in constant darkness during the first 14 days post-hatching (dph) showed a general developmental delay compared with fish reared under a 12:12 hr light-dark cycle (control group). Several characters including pigmentation patterns and eye development, appeared later in dark-reared individuals. Quantitative real-time PCR and fluorescent in situ hybridization at six time points during the 14 days period revealed that fish from the control group expressed opsin genes from 5 dph on and maintained a short-wavelength sensitive phenotype (sws1, rh2b, and rh2a). Onset of opsin expression in dark-reared Midas cichlids was delayed by 4 days and visual sensitivity rapidly progressed toward a long-wavelength sensitive phenotype (sws2b, rh2a, and lws). Shifts in visual sensitivities toward longer wavelengths are mediated by thyroid hormone (TH) in many vertebrates. Compared to control fish, dark-reared individuals showed elevated dio3 expression levels - a validated proxy for TH concentration - suggesting higher circulating TH levels. Despite decelerated overall development, ontogeny of opsin gene expression was accelerated, resulting in retinae with long-wavelength shifted predicted sensitivities compared to light-reared individuals. Indirect evidence suggests that this was due to altered TH metabolism. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Qiu, Jingting; Yang, Yinghong; Jiang, Weizhong; Feng, Changyin; Chen, Zhifen; Guan, Guoxian; Zhu, Xiaoqin; Zhuo, Shuangmu; Chen, Jianxin
The collagen signature in colorectal submucosa is changed due to remodeling of the extracellular matrix during the malignant process and plays an important role in noninvasive early detection of human colorectal cancer. In this work, multiphoton microscopy (MPM) was used to monitor the changes of collagen in normal colorectal submucosa (NCS) and cancerous colorectal submucosa (CCS). What's more, the collagen content was quantitatively measured. It was found that in CCS the morphology of collagen becomes much looser and the collagen content is significantly reduced compared to NCS. These results suggest that MPM has the ability to provide collagen signature as a potential diagnostic marker for early detection of colorectal cancer.
Tusa, R J; Mustari, M J; Burrows, A F; Fuchs, A F
The normal development and the capacity to calibrate gaze-stabilizing systems may depend on normal vision during infancy. At the end of 1 yr of dark rearing, cats have gaze-stabilizing deficits similar to that of the newborn human infant including decreased monocular optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) in the nasal to temporal (N-T) direction and decreased velocity storage in the vestibuloocular reflex (VOR). The purpose of this study is to determine to what extent restricted vision during the first 2 mo of life in monkeys affects the development of gaze-stabilizing systems. The eyelids of both eyes were sutured closed in three rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) at birth. Eyelids were opened at 25 days in one monkey and 40 and 55 days in the other two animals. Eye movements were recorded from each eye using scleral search coils. The VOR, OKN, and fixation were examined at 6 and 12 mo of age. We also examined ocular alignment, refraction, and visual acuity in these animals. At 1 yr of age, visual acuity ranged from 0.3 to 0.6 LogMAR (20/40-20/80). All animals showed a defect in monocular OKN in the N-T direction. The velocity-storage component of OKN (i.e., OKAN) was the most impaired. All animals had a mild reduction in VOR gain but had a normal time constant. The animals deprived for 40 and 55 days had a persistent strabismus. All animals showed a nystagmus similar to latent nystagmus (LN) in human subjects. The amount of LN and OKN defect correlated positively with the duration of deprivation. In addition, the animal deprived for 55 days demonstrated a pattern of nystagmus similar to congenital nystagmus in human subjects. We found that restricted visual input during the first 2 mo of life impairs certain gaze-stabilizing systems and causes LN in primates.
Trimis, Eli; Savva, Andri
The paper reports on a study of young children and the nature of their art learning based on the in-depth approach and in the context of "chorotopos" (space-place, area, landscape, region, village or town). The sample includes 50 children drawn from three classrooms in three early childhood settings in the area of Thessaloniki and…
Boltzmann, Melanie; Rüsseler, Jascha
Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were used to investigate training-related changes in fast visual word recognition of functionally illiterate adults. Analyses focused on the left-lateralized occipito-temporal N170, which represents the earliest processing of visual word forms. Event-related brain potentials were recorded from 20 functional illiterates receiving intensive literacy training for adults, 10 functional illiterates not participating in the training and 14 regular readers while they read words, pseudowords or viewed symbol strings. Subjects were required to press a button whenever a stimulus was immediately repeated. Attending intensive literacy training was associated with improvements in reading and writing skills and with an increase of the word-related N170 amplitude. For untrained functional illiterates and regular readers no changes in literacy skills or N170 amplitude were observed. Results of the present study suggest that the word-related N170 can still be modulated in adulthood as a result of the improvements in literacy skills.
Background Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were used to investigate training-related changes in fast visual word recognition of functionally illiterate adults. Analyses focused on the left-lateralized occipito-temporal N170, which represents the earliest processing of visual word forms. Event-related brain potentials were recorded from 20 functional illiterates receiving intensive literacy training for adults, 10 functional illiterates not participating in the training and 14 regular readers while they read words, pseudowords or viewed symbol strings. Subjects were required to press a button whenever a stimulus was immediately repeated. Results Attending intensive literacy training was associated with improvements in reading and writing skills and with an increase of the word-related N170 amplitude. For untrained functional illiterates and regular readers no changes in literacy skills or N170 amplitude were observed. Conclusions Results of the present study suggest that the word-related N170 can still be modulated in adulthood as a result of the improvements in literacy skills. PMID:24330622
Wang, Xiaolong; Liu, Yu; Wang, Xuemei; Liu, Rui; Li, Jianbo; Zhang, Guoliang; Li, Qiang; Wang, Lei; Bai, Zhigang; Zhao, Jianmin
To validate the ability of (99m)Tc-Annexin V to visualize early stage of glucocorticoid-induced femoral head necrosis by comparing with (99m)Tc-MDP bone scanning. Femoral head necrosis was induced in adult New Zealand white rabbits by intramuscular injection of methylprednisolone. (99m)Tc-Annexin scintigraphy and (99m)Tc-MDP scans were performed before and 5, 6, and 8 weeks after methylprednisolone administration. Rabbits were sacrificed at various time points and conducted for TUNEL and H&E staining. All methylprednisolone treated animals developed femoral head necrosis; at 8 weeks postinjection, destruction of bone structure was evident in H&E staining, and apoptosis was confirmed by the TUNEL assay. This was matched by (99m)Tc-Annexin V images, which showed a significant increase in signal over baseline. Serial (99m)Tc-Annexin V scans revealed that increased (99m)Tc-Annexin V uptake could be observed in 5 weeks. In contrast, there was no effect on (99m)Tc-MDP signal until 8 weeks. The TUNEL assay revealed that bone cell apoptosis occurred at 5 weeks. (99m)Tc-Annexin V is superior to (99m)Tc-MDP for the early detection of glucocorticoid-induced femoral head necrosis in the rabbit and may be a better strategy for the early detection of glucocorticoid-induced femoral head necrosis in patients.
Rosenke, Mona; Weiner, Kevin S; Barnett, Michael A; Zilles, Karl; Amunts, Katrin; Goebel, Rainer; Grill-Spector, Kalanit
The human ventral visual stream consists of several areas that are considered processing stages essential for perception and recognition. A fundamental microanatomical feature differentiating areas is cytoarchitecture, which refers to the distribution, size, and density of cells across cortical layers. Because cytoarchitectonic structure is measured in 20-micron-thick histological slices of postmortem tissue, it is difficult to assess (a) how anatomically consistent these areas are across brains and (b) how they relate to brain parcellations obtained with prevalent neuroimaging methods, acquired at the millimeter and centimeter scale. Therefore, the goal of this study was to (a) generate a cross-validated cytoarchitectonic atlas of the human ventral visual stream on a whole brain template that is commonly used in neuroimaging studies and (b) to compare this atlas to a recently published retinotopic parcellation of visual cortex (Wang et al., 2014). To achieve this goal, we generated an atlas of eight cytoarchitectonic areas: four areas in the occipital lobe (hOc1-hOc4v) and four in the fusiform gyrus (FG1-FG4), then we tested how the different alignment techniques affect the accuracy of the resulting atlas. Results show that both cortex-based alignment (CBA) and nonlinear volumetric alignment (NVA) generate an atlas with better cross-validation performance than affine volumetric alignment (AVA). Additionally, CBA outperformed NVA in 6/8 of the cytoarchitectonic areas. Finally, the comparison of the cytoarchitectonic atlas to a retinotopic atlas shows a clear correspondence between cytoarchitectonic and retinotopic areas in the ventral visual stream. The successful performance of CBA suggests a coupling between cytoarchitectonic areas and macroanatomical landmarks in the human ventral visual stream, and furthermore, that this coupling can be utilized for generating an accurate group atlas. In addition, the coupling between cytoarchitecture and retinotopy highlights
Ngo, Kathy T.; Andrade, Ingrid; Hartenstein, Volker
Visual information processing in animals with large image forming eyes is carried out in highly structured retinotopically ordered neuropils. Visual neuropils in Drosophila form the optic lobe, which consists of four serially arranged major subdivisions; the lamina, medulla, lobula and lobula plate; the latter three of these are further subdivided into multiple layers. The visual neuropils are formed by more than 100 different cell types, distributed and interconnected in an invariant highly regular pattern. This pattern relies on a protracted sequence of developmental steps, whereby different cell types are born at specific time points and nerve connections are formed in a tightly controlled sequence that has to be coordinated among the different visual neuropils. The developing fly visual system has become a highly regarded and widely studied paradigm to investigate the genetic mechanisms that control the formation of neural circuits. However, these studies are often made difficult by the complex and shifting patterns in which different types of neurons and their connections are distributed throughout development. In the present paper we have reconstructed the three-dimensional architecture of the Drosophila optic lobe from the early larva to the adult. Based on specific markers, we were able to distinguish the populations of progenitors of the four optic neuropils and map the neurons and their connections. Our paper presents sets of annotated confocal z-projections and animated 3D digital models of these structures for representative stages. The data reveal the temporally coordinated growth of the optic neuropils, and clarify how the position and orientation of the neuropils and interconnecting tracts (inner and outer optic chiasm) changes over time. Finally, we have analyzed the emergence of the discrete layers of the medulla and lobula complex using the same markers (DN-cadherin, Brp) employed to systematically explore the structure and development of the
Gougoux, Frédéric; Zatorre, Robert J; Lassonde, Maryse; Voss, Patrice
Blind individuals often demonstrate enhanced nonvisual perceptual abilities. However, the neural substrate that underlies this improved performance remains to be fully understood. An earlier behavioral study demonstrated that some early-blind people localize sounds more accurately than sighted controls using monaural cues. In order to investigate the neural basis of these behavioral differences in humans, we carried out functional imaging studies using positron emission tomography and a speaker array that permitted pseudo-free-field presentations within the scanner. During binaural sound localization, a sighted control group showed decreased cerebral blood flow in the occipital lobe, which was not seen in early-blind individuals. During monaural sound localization (one ear plugged), the subgroup of early-blind subjects who were behaviorally superior at sound localization displayed two activation foci in the occipital cortex. This effect was not seen in blind persons who did not have superior monaural sound localization abilities, nor in sighted individuals. The degree of activation of one of these foci was strongly correlated with sound localization accuracy across the entire group of blind subjects. The results show that those blind persons who perform better than sighted persons recruit occipital areas to carry out auditory localization under monaural conditions. We therefore conclude that computations carried out in the occipital cortex specifically underlie the enhanced capacity to use monaural cues. Our findings shed light not only on intermodal compensatory mechanisms, but also on individual differences in these mechanisms and on inhibitory patterns that differ between sighted individuals and those deprived of vision early in life. PMID:15678166
Greco, V.; Frijia, F.; Mikellidou, K.; Montanaro, D.; Farini, A.; D’Uva, M.; Poggi, P.; Pucci, M.; Sordini, A.; Morrone, M. C.; Burr, D. C.
We have constructed and tested a custom-made magnetic-imaging-compatible visual projection system designed to project on a very wide visual field (~80°). A standard projector was modified with a coupling lens, projecting images into the termination of an image fiber. The other termination of the fiber was placed in the 3-T scanner room with a projection lens, which projected the images relayed by the fiber onto a screen over the head coil, viewed by a participant wearing magnifying goggles. To validate the system, wide-field stimuli were presented in order to identify retinotopic visual areas. The results showed that this low-cost and versatile optical system may be a valuable tool to map visual areas in the brain that process peripheral receptive fields. PMID:26092392
Tohmi, Manavu; Kitaura, Hiroki; Komagata, Seiji; Kudoh, Masaharu; Shibuki, Katsuei
Experience-dependent plasticity in the visual cortex was investigated using transcranial flavoprotein fluorescence imaging in mice anesthetized with urethane. On- and off-responses in the primary visual cortex were elicited by visual stimuli. Fluorescence responses and field potentials elicited by grating patterns decreased similarly as contrasts of visual stimuli were reduced. Fluorescence responses also decreased as spatial frequency of grating stimuli increased. Compared with intrinsic signal imaging in the same mice, fluorescence imaging showed faster responses with approximately 10 times larger signal changes. Retinotopic maps in the primary visual cortex and area LM were constructed using fluorescence imaging. After monocular deprivation (MD) of 4 d starting from postnatal day 28 (P28), deprived eye responses were suppressed compared with nondeprived eye responses in the binocular zone but not in the monocular zone. Imaging faithfully recapitulated a critical period for plasticity with maximal effects of MD observed around P28 and not in adulthood even under urethane anesthesia. Visual responses were compared before and after MD in the same mice, in which the skull was covered with clear acrylic dental resin. Deprived eye responses decreased after MD, whereas nondeprived eye responses increased. Effects of MD during a critical period were tested 2 weeks after reopening of the deprived eye. Significant ocular dominance plasticity was observed in responses elicited by moving grating patterns, but no long-lasting effect was found in visual responses elicited by light-emitting diode light stimuli. The present results indicate that transcranial flavoprotein fluorescence imaging is a powerful tool for investigating experience-dependent plasticity in the mouse visual cortex.
De Vreese, Luc Pieter; Pradelli, Samantha; Massini, Giulia; Buscema, Massimo; Savarè, Rita; Grossi, Enzo
In the clinical setting, brief general mental status tests tend to detect early-stage Alzheimer's disease (AD) less well than more specific cognitive tests. Some preliminary information was collected on the diagnostic accuracy of the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) compared with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) in recognizing early AD from normal aging. Fifteen AD outpatients (mean +/- SD MMSE: 24.45 +/- 2.61) and 30 age- and education-matched controls were submitted in a single blind protocol to a paper-and-pencil visually-presented version of the TSP, containing a random array of 30 points (TSP30). The task consisted of drawing the shortest continuous path, passing through each point once and only once, and returning to the starting point. Path lengths for subjects' solutions were computed and compared with the optimal solution given by a specific evolutionary algorithm called GenD. TP30 discriminated significantly better between AD subjects and controls (ROC curve AUC = 0.976; 95% CI 0.94-1.01) compared with the MMSE corrected for age and education (ROC curve AUC = 0.877; 95% CI 0.74-1.005). A path length of 478.2354, taken as "cut-off point", classified correctly subjects with a sensitivity of 93.3% and a specificity of 99.3%, whereas a score corrected for age and education of 25.85 on the MMSE had a sensitivity of 73.3% and a specificity of 96.7%. The TSP seems to be particularly sensitive to early AD and independent of patient's age and educational level. The high diagnostic ability, simplicity, and independence of age and education make the TSP promising as a screening test for early AD.
Shi, Jie; Collignon, Olivier; Xu, Liang; Wang, Gang; Kang, Yue; Leporé, Franco; Lao, Yi; Joshi, Anand A; Leporé, Natasha; Wang, Yalin
Blindness represents a unique model to study how visual experience may shape the development of brain organization. Exploring how the structure of the corpus callosum (CC) reorganizes ensuing visual deprivation is of particular interest due to its important functional implication in vision (e.g., via the splenium of the CC). Moreover, comparing early versus late visually deprived individuals has the potential to unravel the existence of a sensitive period for reshaping the CC structure. Here, we develop a novel framework to capture a complete set of shape differences in the CC between congenitally blind (CB), late blind (LB) and sighted control (SC) groups. The CCs were manually segmented from T1-weighted brain MRI and modeled by 3D tetrahedral meshes. We statistically compared the combination of local area and thickness at each point between subject groups. Differences in area are found using surface tensor-based morphometry; thickness is estimated by tracing the streamlines in the volumetric harmonic field. Group differences were assessed on this combined measure using Hotelling's T(2) test. Interestingly, we observed that the total callosal volume did not differ between the groups. However, our fine-grained analysis reveals significant differences mostly localized around the splenium areas between both blind groups and the sighted group (general effects of blindness) and, importantly, specific dissimilarities between the LB and CB groups, illustrating the existence of a sensitive period for reorganization. The new multivariate statistics also gave better effect sizes for detecting morphometric differences, relative to other statistics. They may boost statistical power for CC morphometric analyses.
Shi, Jie; Collignon, Olivier; Xu, Liang; Wang, Gang; Kang, Yue; Leporé, Franco; Lao, Yi; Joshi, Anand A.
Blindness represents a unique model to study how visual experience may shape the development of brain organization. Exploring how the structure of the corpus callosum (CC) reorganizes ensuing visual deprivation is of particular interest due to its important functional implication in vision (e.g. via the splenium of the CC). Moreover, comparing early versus late visually deprived individuals has the potential to unravel the existence of a sensitive period for reshaping the CC structure. Here, we develop a novel framework to capture a complete set of shape differences in the CC between congenitally blind (CB), late blind (LB) and sighted control (SC) groups. The CCs were manually segmented from T1-weighted brain MRI and modeled by 3D tetrahedral meshes. We statistically compared the combination of local area and thickness at each point between subject groups. Differences in area are found using surface tensor-based morphometry; thickness is estimated by tracing the streamlines in the volumetric harmonic field. Group differences were assessed on this combined measure using Hotelling’s T2 test. Interestingly, we observed that the total callosal volume did not differ between the groups. However, our fine-grained analysis reveals significant differences mostly localized around the splenium areas between both blind groups and the sighted group (general effects of blindness) and, importantly, specific dissimilarities between the LB and CB groups, illustrating the existence of a sensitive period for reorganization. The new multivariate statistics also gave better effect sizes for detecting morphometric differences, relative to other statistics. They may boost statistical power for CC morphometric analyses. PMID:25649876
Pierce, Karen; Marinero, Steven; Hazin, Roxana; McKenna, Benjamin; Barnes, Cynthia Carter; Malige, Ajith
Background Clinically and biologically, ASD is heterogeneous. Unusual patterns of visual preference as indexed by eye-tracking are hallmarks, yet whether they can be used to define an early biomarker of ASD as a whole, or leveraged to define a subtype is unclear. To begin to examine this issue, large cohorts are required. Methods A sample of 334 toddlers from 6 distinct groups (115 ASD, 20 ASD-Features, 57 DD, 53 Other, 64 TD, and 25 Typ SIB) participated. Toddlers watched a movie containing both geometric and social images. Fixation duration and number of saccades within each AOI and validation statistics for this independent sample computed. Next, to maximize power, data from our previous study (N=110) was added totaling 444 subjects. A subset of toddlers repeated the eye-tracking procedure. Results As in the original study, a subset of toddlers with ASD fixated on geometric images greater than 69%. Using this cutoff, sensitivity for ASD was 21%, specificity 98%, and PPV 86%. Toddlers with ASD who strongly preferred geometric images had (a) worse cognitive, language, and social skills relative to toddlers with ASD who strongly preferred social images and (b) fewer saccades when viewing geometric images. Unaffected siblings of ASD probands did not show evidence of heightened preference for geometric images. Test-retest reliability was good. Examination of age effects suggest that this test may not be appropriate with children > 4 years. Conclusions Enhanced visual preference for geometric repetition may be an early developmental biomarker of an ASD subtype with more severe symptoms. PMID:25981170
Holmes, David; Velappan, Priya; Kern, Morton J
The disappearance of a dichrotic notch on the peripheral arterial pulse wave has been associated with significant peripheral vascular disease. A similar observation has not been reported in the distal coronary pressure waveform. The purpose of this study was to investigate the significance of a coronary pressure notch distal to a coronary stenosis and its relationship to fractional flow reserve. Ninety-seven patients with 131 angiographically indeterminate lesions (40-80% diameter narrowing) underwent FFR measurements for physiological significance. Hemodynamic tracings were recorded prior to the administration of adenosine and visually analyzed for the presence or absence of a dicrotic notch in the distal coronary artery pressure tracing. The stenoses were then divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of a notch. Of the 54 lesions without a distal coronary pressure notch, 31 had a FFR greater than or equal to 0.75 and of the 77 lesions with a notch, 75 had a FFR greater than or equal to 0.76. The sensitivity and specificity of a pressure notch was 94% and 74%, respectively, with positive and negative predictive values of 57% and 97%, respectively. The presence of a distal coronary pressure notch was predictive of a FFR greater than or equal to 0.76. The distal dicrotic pressure notch may be used as an additional parameter without requiring hyperemia for FFR measurements of uncertain clinical significance.
Chen, Xiang-Wu; Zhao, Ying-Xi
AIM To compare the diagnostic performance of isolated-check visual evoked potential (icVEP) and standard automated perimetry (SAP), for evaluating the application values of icVEP in the detection of early glaucoma. METHODS Totally 144 subjects (288 eyes) were enrolled in this study. icVEP testing was performed with the Neucodia visual electrophysiological diagnostic system. A 15% positive-contrast (bright) condition pattern was used in this device to differentiate between glaucoma patients and healthy control subjects. Signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) were derived based on a multivariate statistic. The eyes were judged as abnormal if the test yielded an SNR≤1. SAP testing was performed with the Humphrey Field Analyzer II. The visual fields were deemed as abnormality if the glaucoma hemifield test results outside normal limits; or the pattern standard deviation with P<0.05; or the cluster of three or more non-edge points on the pattern deviation plot in a single hemifield with P<0.05, one of which must have a P<0.01. Disc photographs were graded as either glaucomatous optic neuropathy or normal by two experts who were masked to all other patient information. Moorfields regression analysis (MRA) used as a separate diagnostic classification was performed by Heidelberg retina tomograph (HRT). RESULTS When the disc photograph grader was used as diagnostic standard, the sensitivity for SAP and icVEP was 32.3% and 38.5% respectively and specificity was 82.3% and 77.8% respectively. When the MRA Classifier was used as the diagnostic standard, the sensitivity for SAP and icVEP was 48.6% and 51.4% respectively and specificity was 84.1% and 78.0% respectively. When the combined structural assessment was used as the diagnostic standard, the sensitivity for SAP and icVEP was 59.2% and 53.1% respectively and specificity was 84.2% and 84.6% respectivlely. There was no statistical significance between the sensitivity or specificity of SAP and icVEP, regardless of which diagnostic
Qin, Bing; Li, Meiyan; Chen, Xun; Sekundo, Walter; Zhou, Xingtao
To investigate early visual and refractive outcomes, corneal stability and optical quality after femtosecond laser small-incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) for treating myopia and myopic astigmatism over -10 D. Thirty eyes (30 patients) with myopia and myopic astigmatism of over -10 D were treated with VisuMax ® femtosecond laser (version 3.0; Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, Jena, Germany). Six months postoperative safety, efficacy and predictability were evaluated. Corneal Scheimpflug topography was measured preoperatively, 1 day, 3 months and 6 months postoperatively. Wavefront aberrations were measured preoperatively, 3 months and 6 months postoperatively. Six months postoperatively, LogMAR uncorrected and corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) were -0.013 ± 0.086 and -0.073 ± 0.069, respectively. 73% (97%) of eyes were within 0.5 (1) D of target refraction. No eyes lost CDVA, 43% (13 eyes) gained one line and 7% (two eyes) gained two lines. Mean corneal back curvature (KMB) and posterior central elevation (PCE) did not change significantly comparing preoperative and 6 months postoperative data (p = 0.91 and 0.77, respectively). Comparing 1 day with 6 months postoperative data, central corneal thickness (CCT), mean corneal front curvature (KMF), KMB and PCE did not change significantly (p = 0.27, 0.07, 0.52, 0.71, respectively). Total higher-order aberration (HOA), spherical aberration and coma increased significantly (p < 0.01) but trefoil remained stable (p = 0.49). Our results indicate that SMILE can correct myopia and myopic astigmatism of over -10 D predictably. No early ectasia was observed. Long-term changes in visual quality and corneal stability require further investigation. © 2017 Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Most psychological, physiological, and computational models of early vision suggest that retinal information is divided into a parallel set of feature modules. The dominant theories of visual search assume that these modules form a "blackboard" architecture: a set of independent representations that communicate only through a central processor. A review of research shows that blackboard-based theories, such as feature-integration theory, cannot easily explain the existing data. The experimental evidence is more consistent with a "network" architecture, which stresses that: (1) feature modules are directly connected to one another, (2) features and their locations are represented together, (3) feature detection and integration are not distinct processing stages, and (4) no executive control process, such as focal attention, is needed to integrate features. Attention is not a spotlight that synthesizes objects from raw features. Instead, it is better to conceptualize attention as an aperture which masks irrelevant visual information.
Mychasiuk, Richelle; Gibb, Robbin; Kolb, Bryan
To generate longer-term changes in behavior, experiences must be producing stable changes in neuronal morphology and synaptic connectivity. Tactile stimulation is a positive early experience that mimics maternal licking and grooming in the rat. Exposing rat pups to this positive experience can be completed easily and cost-effectively by using highly accessible materials such as a household duster. Using a cross-litter design, pups are either stroked or left undisturbed, for 15 min, three times per day throughout the perinatal period. To measure the neuroplastic changes related to this positive early experience, Golgi-Cox staining of brain tissue is utilized. Owing to the fact that Golgi-Cox impregnation stains a discrete number of neurons rather than all of the cells, staining of the rodent brain with Golgi-Cox solution permits the visualization of entire neuronal elements, including the cell body, dendrites, axons, and dendritic spines. The staining procedure is carried out over several days and requires that the researcher pay close attention to detail. However, once staining is completed, the entire brain has been impregnated and can be preserved indefinitely for ongoing analysis. Therefore, Golgi-Cox staining is a valuable resource for studying experience-dependent plasticity. PMID:24121525
Van der Haegen, Lise; Brysbaert, Marc; Davis, Colin J
It has recently been shown that interhemispheric communication is needed for the processing of foveally presented words. In this study, we examine whether the integration of information happens at an early stage, before word recognition proper starts, or whether the integration is part of the recognition process itself. Two lexical decision experiments are reported in which words were presented at different fixation positions. In Experiment 1, a masked form priming task was used with primes that had two adjacent letters transposed. The results showed that although the fixation position had a substantial influence on the transposed letter priming effect, the priming was not smaller when the transposed letters were sent to different hemispheres than when they were projected to the same hemisphere. In Experiment 2, stimuli were presented that either had high frequency hemifield competitors or could be identified unambiguously on the basis of the information in one hemifield. Again, the lexical decision times did not vary as a function of hemifield competitors. These results are consistent with the early integration account, as presented in the SERIOL model of visual word recognition.
Optic disc boundary segmentation from diffeomorphic demons registration of monocular fundus image sequences versus 3D visualization of stereo fundus image pairs for automated early stage glaucoma assessment
Gatti, Vijay; Hill, Jason; Mitra, Sunanda; Nutter, Brian
Despite the current availability in resource-rich regions of advanced technologies in scanning and 3-D imaging in current ophthalmology practice, world-wide screening tests for early detection and progression of glaucoma still consist of a variety of simple tools, including fundus image-based parameters such as CDR (cup to disc diameter ratio) and CAR (cup to disc area ratio), especially in resource -poor regions. Reliable automated computation of the relevant parameters from fundus image sequences requires robust non-rigid registration and segmentation techniques. Recent research work demonstrated that proper non-rigid registration of multi-view monocular fundus image sequences could result in acceptable segmentation of cup boundaries for automated computation of CAR and CDR. This research work introduces a composite diffeomorphic demons registration algorithm for segmentation of cup boundaries from a sequence of monocular images and compares the resulting CAR and CDR values with those computed manually by experts and from 3-D visualization of stereo pairs. Our preliminary results show that the automated computation of CDR and CAR from composite diffeomorphic segmentation of monocular image sequences yield values comparable with those from the other two techniques and thus may provide global healthcare with a cost-effective yet accurate tool for management of glaucoma in its early stage.
Van de Pette, Mathew; Abbas, Allifia; Feytout, Amelie; McNamara, Gráinne; Bruno, Ludovica; To, Wilson K; Dimond, Andrew; Sardini, Alessandro; Webster, Zoe; McGinty, James; Paul, Eleanor J; Ungless, Mark A; French, Paul M W; Withers, Dominic J; Uren, Anthony; Ferguson-Smith, Anne C; Merkenschlager, Matthias; John, Rosalind M; Fisher, Amanda G
Imprinted genes are regulated according to parental origin and can influence embryonic growth and metabolism and confer disease susceptibility. Here, we designed sensitive allele-specific reporters to non-invasively monitor imprinted Cdkn1c expression in mice and showed that expression was modulated by environmental factors encountered in utero. Acute exposure to chromatin-modifying drugs resulted in de-repression of paternally inherited (silent) Cdkn1c alleles in embryos that was temporary and resolved after birth. In contrast, deprivation of maternal dietary protein in utero provoked permanent de-repression of imprinted Cdkn1c expression that was sustained into adulthood and occurred through a folate-dependent mechanism of DNA methylation loss. Given the function of imprinted genes in regulating behavior and metabolic processes in adults, these results establish imprinting deregulation as a credible mechanism linking early-life adversity to later-life outcomes. Furthermore, Cdkn1c-luciferase mice offer non-invasive tools to identify factors that disrupt epigenetic processes and strategies to limit their long-term impact. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Fortune, Brad; Zhang, Xian; Hood, Donald C; Demirel, Shaban; Patterson, Emily; Jamil, Annisa; Mansberger, Steven L; Cioffi, George A; Johnson, Chris A
To evaluate the effect on diagnostic performance of reducing multifocal visual-evoked potential (mfVEP) recording duration from 16 to 8 minutes per eye. Both eyes of 185 individuals with high-risk ocular hypertension or early glaucoma were studied. Two 8-minute mfVEP recordings were obtained for each eye in an ABBA order using VERIS. The first recording for each eye was compared against single run (1-Run) mfVEP normative data; the average of both recordings for each eye was compared against 2-Run normative data. Visual fields (VFs) were obtained by standard automated perimetry (SAP) within 22.3+/-27.0 days of the mfVEP. Stereo disc photographs and Heidelberg Retina Tomograph images were obtained together, within 24.8+/-50.4 days of the mfVEP and 33.1+/-62.9 days of SAP. Masked experts graded disc photographs as either glaucomatous optic neuropathy or normal. The overall Moorfields Regression Analysis result from the Heidelberg Retina Tomograph was used as a separate diagnostic classification. Thus, 4 diagnostic standards were applied in total, 2 based on optic disc structure alone and 2 others based on disc structure and SAP. Agreement between the 1-Run and 2-Run mfVEP was 90%. Diagnostic performance of the 1-Run mfVEP was similar to that of the 2-Run mfVEP for all 4 diagnostic standards. Sensitivity was slightly higher for the 2-Run mfVEP, whereas specificity was slightly higher for the 1-Run mfVEP. If higher sensitivity is sought, the 2-Run mfVEP will provide better discrimination between groups of eyes with relatively high signal-to-noise ratio (eg, early glaucoma or high-risk suspects). But if higher specificity is a more important goal, the 1-Run mfVEP provides adequate sensitivity and requires only half the test time. Considered alongside prior studies, the present results suggest that the 1-Run mfVEP is an efficient way to confirm (or refute) the extent of VF loss in patients with moderate or advanced glaucoma, particularly in those with unreliable VFs
Fortune, Brad; Zhang, Xian; Hood, Donald C.; Demirel, Shaban; Patterson, Emily; Jamil, Annisa; Mansberger, Steven L.; Cioffi, George A.; Johnson, Chris A.
Purpose To evaluate the effect on diagnostic performance of reducing multifocal visual-evoked potential (mfVEP) recording duration from 16 to 8 minutes per eye. Methods Both eyes of 185 individuals with high-risk ocular hypertension or early glaucoma were studied. Two 8-minute mfVEP recordings were obtained for each eye in an ABBA order using VERIS. The first recording for each eye was compared against single run (1-Run) mfVEP normative data; the average of both recordings for each eye was compared against 2-Run normative data. Visual fields (VFs) were obtained by standard automated perimetry (SAP) within 22.3±27.0 days of the mfVEP. Stereo disc photographs and Heidelberg Retina Tomograph images were obtained together, within 24.8±50.4 days of the mfVEP and 33.1±62.9 days of SAP. Masked experts graded disc photographs as either glaucomatous optic neuropathy or normal. The overall Moorfields Regression Analysis result from the Heidelberg Retina Tomograph was used as a separate diagnostic classification. Thus, 4 diagnostic standards were applied in total, 2 based on optic disc structure alone and 2 others based on disc structure and SAP. Results Agreement between the 1-Run and 2-Run mfVEP was 90%. Diagnostic performance of the 1-Run mfVEP was similar to that of the 2-Run mfVEP for all 4 diagnostic standards. Sensitivity was slightly higher for the 2-Run mfVEP, whereas specificity was slightly higher for the 1-Run mfVEP. Conclusions If higher sensitivity is sought, the 2-Run mfVEP will provide better discrimination between groups of eyes with relatively high signal-to-noise ratio (eg, early glaucoma or high-risk suspects). But if higher specificity is a more important goal, the 1-Run mfVEP provides adequate sensitivity and requires only half the test time. Considered alongside prior studies, the present results suggest that the 1-Run mfVEP is an efficient way to confirm (or refute) the extent of VF loss in patients with moderate or advanced glaucoma, particularly
Crane, Benjamin T
Visual and inertial stimuli provide heading discrimination cues. Integration of these multisensory stimuli has been demonstrated to depend on their relative reliability. However, the reference frame of visual stimuli is eye centered while inertia is head centered, and it remains unclear how these are reconciled with combined stimuli. Seven human subjects completed a heading discrimination task consisting of a 2-s translation with a peak velocity of 16 cm/s. Eye position was varied between 0° and ±25° left/right. Experiments were done with inertial motion, visual motion, or a combined visual-inertial motion. Visual motion coherence varied between 35% and 100%. Subjects reported whether their perceived heading was left or right of the midline in a forced-choice task. With the inertial stimulus the eye position had an effect such that the point of subjective equality (PSE) shifted 4.6 ± 2.4° in the gaze direction. With the visual stimulus the PSE shift was 10.2 ± 2.2° opposite the gaze direction, consistent with retinotopic coordinates. Thus with eccentric eye positions the perceived inertial and visual headings were offset ~15°. During the visual-inertial conditions the PSE varied consistently with the relative reliability of these stimuli such that at low visual coherence the PSE was similar to that of the inertial stimulus and at high coherence it was closer to the visual stimulus. On average, the inertial stimulus was weighted near Bayesian ideal predictions, but there was significant deviation from ideal in individual subjects. These findings support visual and inertial cue integration occurring in independent coordinate systems. NEW & NOTEWORTHY In multiple cortical areas visual heading is represented in retinotopic coordinates while inertial heading is in body coordinates. It remains unclear whether multisensory integration occurs in a common coordinate system. The experiments address this using a multisensory integration task with eccentric gaze
Shore, Danielle M; Ng, Rowena; Bellugi, Ursula; Mills, Debra L
Accurate assessment of trustworthiness is fundamental to successful and adaptive social behavior. Initially, people assess trustworthiness from facial appearance alone. These assessments then inform critical approach or avoid decisions. Individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) exhibit a heightened social drive, especially toward strangers. This study investigated the temporal dynamics of facial trustworthiness evaluation in neurotypic adults (TD) and individuals with WS. We examined whether differences in neural activity during trustworthiness evaluation may explain increased approach motivation in WS compared to TD individuals. Event-related potentials were recorded while participants appraised faces previously rated as trustworthy or untrustworthy. TD participants showed increased sensitivity to untrustworthy faces within the first 65-90 ms, indexed by the negative-going rise of the P1 onset (oP1). The amplitude of the oP1 difference to untrustworthy minus trustworthy faces was correlated with lower approachability scores. In contrast, participants with WS showed increased N170 amplitudes to trustworthy faces. The N170 difference to low-high-trust faces was correlated with low approachability in TD and high approachability in WS. The findings suggest that hypersociability associated with WS may arise from abnormalities in the timing and organization of early visual brain activity during trustworthiness evaluation. More generally, the study provides support for the hypothesis that impairments in low-level perceptual processes can have a cascading effect on social cognition.
Marcet, Ana; Perea, Manuel
Previous research has shown that early in the word recognition process, there is some degree of uncertainty concerning letter identity and letter position. Here, we examined whether this uncertainty also extends to the mapping of letter features onto letters, as predicted by the Bayesian Reader (Norris & Kinoshita, 2012). Indeed, anecdotal evidence suggests that nonwords containing multi-letter homoglyphs (e.g., rn→m), such as docurnent, can be confusable with their base word. We conducted 2 masked priming lexical decision experiments in which the words/nonwords contained a middle letter that was visually similar to a multi-letter homoglyph (e.g., docurnent [rn-m], presiclent [cl-d]). Three types of primes were employed: identity, multi-letter homoglyph, and orthographic control. We used 2 commonly used fonts: Tahoma in Experiment 1 and Calibri in Experiment 2. Results in both experiments showed faster word identification times in the homoglyph condition than in the control condition (e.g., docurnento-DOCUMENTO faster than docusnento-DOCUMENTO). Furthermore, the homoglyph condition produced nearly the same latencies as the identity condition. These findings have important implications not only at a theoretical level (models of printed word recognition) but also at an applied level (Internet administrators/users). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Sneve, Markus H; Magnussen, Svein; Alnæs, Dag; Endestad, Tor; D'Esposito, Mark
Visual STM of simple features is achieved through interactions between retinotopic visual cortex and a set of frontal and parietal regions. In the present fMRI study, we investigated effective connectivity between central nodes in this network during the different task epochs of a modified delayed orientation discrimination task. Our univariate analyses demonstrate that the inferior frontal junction (IFJ) is preferentially involved in memory encoding, whereas activity in the putative FEFs and anterior intraparietal sulcus (aIPS) remains elevated throughout periods of memory maintenance. We have earlier reported, using the same task, that areas in visual cortex sustain information about task-relevant stimulus properties during delay intervals [Sneve, M. H., Alnæs, D., Endestad, T., Greenlee, M. W., & Magnussen, S. Visual short-term memory: Activity supporting encoding and maintenance in retinotopic visual cortex. Neuroimage, 63, 166-178, 2012]. To elucidate the temporal dynamics of the IFJ-FEF-aIPS-visual cortex network during memory operations, we estimated Granger causality effects between these regions with fMRI data representing memory encoding/maintenance as well as during memory retrieval. We also investigated a set of control conditions involving active processing of stimuli not associated with a memory task and passive viewing. In line with the developing understanding of IFJ as a region critical for control processes with a possible initiating role in visual STM operations, we observed influence from IFJ to FEF and aIPS during memory encoding. Furthermore, FEF predicted activity in a set of higher-order visual areas during memory retrieval, a finding consistent with its suggested role in top-down biasing of sensory cortex.
Rose, Susan A.; Feldman, Judith F.; Jankowski, Jeffery J.
Visual recognition memory is a robust form of memory that is evident from early infancy, shows pronounced developmental change, and is influenced by many of the same factors that affect adult memory; it is surprisingly resistant to decay and interference. Infant visual recognition memory shows (a) modest reliability, (b) good discriminant…
Schwartz, Sophie; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Hutton, Chloe; Maravita, Angelo; Dolan, Raymond J; Driver, Jon
Perceptual suppression of distractors may depend on both endogenous and exogenous factors, such as attentional load of the current task and sensory competition among simultaneous stimuli, respectively. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare these two types of attentional effects and examine how they may interact in the human brain. We varied the attentional load of a visual monitoring task performed on a rapid stream at central fixation without altering the central stimuli themselves, while measuring the impact on fMRI responses to task-irrelevant peripheral checkerboards presented either unilaterally or bilaterally. Activations in visual cortex for irrelevant peripheral stimulation decreased with increasing attentional load at fixation. This relative decrease was present even in V1, but became larger for successive visual areas through to V4. Decreases in activation for contralateral peripheral checkerboards due to higher central load were more pronounced within retinotopic cortex corresponding to 'inner' peripheral locations relatively near the central targets than for more eccentric 'outer' locations, demonstrating a predominant suppression of nearby surround rather than strict 'tunnel vision' during higher task load at central fixation. Contralateral activations for peripheral stimulation in one hemifield were reduced by competition with concurrent stimulation in the other hemifield only in inferior parietal cortex, not in retinotopic areas of occipital visual cortex. In addition, central attentional load interacted with competition due to bilateral versus unilateral peripheral stimuli specifically in posterior parietal and fusiform regions. These results reveal that task-dependent attentional load, and interhemifield stimulus-competition, can produce distinct influences on the neural responses to peripheral visual stimuli within the human visual system. These distinct mechanisms in selective visual processing may be integrated within
Imhof, Fabia; Martini, Francisco J.; Hofer, Sonja B.
Sensory perception depends on the context within which a stimulus occurs. Prevailing models emphasize cortical feedback as the source of contextual modulation. However, higher-order thalamic nuclei, such as the pulvinar, interconnect with many cortical and subcortical areas, suggesting a role for the thalamus in providing sensory and behavioral context – yet the nature of the signals conveyed to cortex by higher-order thalamus remains poorly understood. Here we use axonal calcium imaging to measure information provided to visual cortex by the pulvinar equivalent in mice, the lateral posterior nucleus (LP), as well as the dorsolateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN). We found that dLGN conveys retinotopically precise visual signals, while LP provides distributed information from the visual scene. Both LP and dLGN projections carry locomotion signals. However, while dLGN inputs often respond to positive combinations of running and visual flow speed, LP signals discrepancies between self-generated and external visual motion. This higher-order thalamic nucleus therefore conveys diverse contextual signals that inform visual cortex about visual scene changes not predicted by the animal’s own actions. PMID:26691828
Bellucci, Arianna; Navarria, Laura; Falarti, Elisa; Zaltieri, Michela; Bono, Federica; Collo, Ginetta; Grazia, Maria; Missale, Cristina; Spano, PierFranco
Alpha-synuclein, the major component of Lewy bodies, is thought to play a central role in the onset of synaptic dysfunctions in Parkinson's disease (PD). In particular, α-synuclein may affect dopaminergic neuron function as it interacts with a key protein modulating dopamine (DA) content at the synapse: the DA transporter (DAT). Indeed, recent evidence from our “in vitro” studies showed that α-synuclein aggregation decreases the expression and membrane trafficking of the DAT as the DAT is retained into α-synuclein-immunopositive inclusions. This notwithstanding, “in vivo” studies on PD animal models investigating whether DAT distribution is altered by the pathological overexpression and aggregation of α-synuclein are missing. By using the proximity ligation assay, a technique which allows the “in situ” visualization of protein-protein interactions, we studied the occurrence of alterations in the distribution of DAT/α-synuclein complexes in the SYN120 transgenic mouse model, showing insoluble α-synuclein aggregates into dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal system, reduced striatal DA levels and an altered distribution of synaptic proteins in the striatum. We found that DAT/α-synuclein complexes were markedly redistributed in the striatum and substantia nigra of SYN120 mice. These alterations were accompanied by a significant increase of DAT striatal levels in transgenic animals when compared to wild type littermates. Our data indicate that, in the early pathogenesis of PD, α-synuclein acts as a fine modulator of the dopaminergic synapse by regulating the subcellular distribution of key proteins such as the DAT. PMID:22163275
Rhodes, Gillian; Jeffery, Linda; Boeing, Alexandra; Calder, Andrew J
Despite the discovery of body-selective neural areas in occipitotemporal cortex, little is known about how bodies are visually coded. We used perceptual adaptation to determine how body identity is coded. Brief exposure to a body (e.g., anti-Rose) biased perception toward an identity with opposite properties (Rose). Moreover, the size of this aftereffect increased with adaptor extremity, as predicted by norm-based, opponent coding of body identity. A size change between adapt and test bodies minimized the effects of low-level, retinotopic adaptation. These results demonstrate that body identity, like face identity, is opponent coded in higher-level vision. More generally, they show that a norm-based multidimensional framework, which is well established for face perception, may provide a powerful framework for understanding body perception.
Wu, Shiyu; Ma, Zheng
Previous research has indicated that, in viewing a visual word, the activated phonological representation in turn activates its homophone, causing semantic interference. Using this mechanism of phonological mediation, this study investigated native-language phonological interference in visual recognition of Chinese two-character compounds by early…
Rankin, James; Chavane, Frédéric
Voltage-sensitive dye imaging experiments in primary visual cortex (V1) have shown that local, oriented visual stimuli elicit stable orientation-selective activation within the stimulus retinotopic footprint. The cortical activation dynamically extends far beyond the retinotopic footprint, but the peripheral spread stays non-selective-a surprising finding given a number of anatomo-functional studies showing the orientation specificity of long-range connections. Here we use a computational model to investigate this apparent discrepancy by studying the expected population response using known published anatomical constraints. The dynamics of input-driven localized states were simulated in a planar neural field model with multiple sub-populations encoding orientation. The realistic connectivity profile has parameters controlling the clustering of long-range connections and their orientation bias. We found substantial overlap between the anatomically relevant parameter range and a steep decay in orientation selective activation that is consistent with the imaging experiments. In this way our study reconciles the reported orientation bias of long-range connections with the functional expression of orientation selective neural activity. Our results demonstrate this sharp decay is contingent on three factors, that long-range connections are sufficiently diffuse, that the orientation bias of these connections is in an intermediate range (consistent with anatomy) and that excitation is sufficiently balanced by inhibition. Conversely, our modelling results predict that, for reduced inhibition strength, spurious orientation selective activation could be generated through long-range lateral connections. Furthermore, if the orientation bias of lateral connections is very strong, or if inhibition is particularly weak, the network operates close to an instability leading to unbounded cortical activation.
Kim, Judy S; Kanjlia, Shipra; Merabet, Lotfi B; Bedny, Marina
Learning to read causes the development of a letter- and word-selective region known as the visual word form area (VWFA) within the human ventral visual object stream. Why does a reading-selective region develop at this anatomical location? According to one hypothesis, the VWFA develops at the nexus of visual inputs from retinotopic cortices and linguistic input from the frontotemporal language network because reading involves extracting linguistic information from visual symbols. Surprisingly, the anatomical location of the VWFA is also active when blind individuals read Braille by touch, suggesting that vision is not required for the development of the VWFA. In this study, we tested the alternative prediction that VWFA development is in fact influenced by visual experience. We predicted that in the absence of vision, the "VWFA" is incorporated into the frontotemporal language network and participates in high-level language processing. Congenitally blind ( n = 10, 9 female, 1 male) and sighted control ( n = 15, 9 female, 6 male), male and female participants each took part in two functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments: (1) word reading (Braille for blind and print for sighted participants), and (2) listening to spoken sentences of different grammatical complexity (both groups). We find that in blind, but not sighted participants, the anatomical location of the VWFA responds both to written words and to the grammatical complexity of spoken sentences. This suggests that in blindness, this region takes on high-level linguistic functions, becoming less selective for reading. More generally, the current findings suggest that experience during development has a major effect on functional specialization in the human cortex. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The visual word form area (VWFA) is a region in the human cortex that becomes specialized for the recognition of written letters and words. Why does this particular brain region become specialized for reading? We
Kanjlia, Shipra; Merabet, Lotfi B.
Learning to read causes the development of a letter- and word-selective region known as the visual word form area (VWFA) within the human ventral visual object stream. Why does a reading-selective region develop at this anatomical location? According to one hypothesis, the VWFA develops at the nexus of visual inputs from retinotopic cortices and linguistic input from the frontotemporal language network because reading involves extracting linguistic information from visual symbols. Surprisingly, the anatomical location of the VWFA is also active when blind individuals read Braille by touch, suggesting that vision is not required for the development of the VWFA. In this study, we tested the alternative prediction that VWFA development is in fact influenced by visual experience. We predicted that in the absence of vision, the “VWFA” is incorporated into the frontotemporal language network and participates in high-level language processing. Congenitally blind (n = 10, 9 female, 1 male) and sighted control (n = 15, 9 female, 6 male), male and female participants each took part in two functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments: (1) word reading (Braille for blind and print for sighted participants), and (2) listening to spoken sentences of different grammatical complexity (both groups). We find that in blind, but not sighted participants, the anatomical location of the VWFA responds both to written words and to the grammatical complexity of spoken sentences. This suggests that in blindness, this region takes on high-level linguistic functions, becoming less selective for reading. More generally, the current findings suggest that experience during development has a major effect on functional specialization in the human cortex. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The visual word form area (VWFA) is a region in the human cortex that becomes specialized for the recognition of written letters and words. Why does this particular brain region become specialized for reading? We
Since the large North Eastern power system blackout on August 14, 2003, U.S. electric utilities have spent lot of effort on preventing power system cascading outages. Two of the main causes of the August 14, 2003 blackout were inadequate situational awareness and inadequate operator training In addition to the enhancements of the infrastructure of the interconnected power systems, more research and development of advanced power system applications are required for improving the wide-area security monitoring, operation and planning in order to prevent large- scale cascading outages of interconnected power systems. It is critically important for improving the wide-area situation awarenessmore » of the operators or operational engineers and regional reliability coordinators of large interconnected systems. With the installation of large number of phasor measurement units (PMU) and the related communication infrastructure, it will be possible to improve the operators’ situation awareness and to quickly identify the sequence of events during a large system disturbance for the post-event analysis using the real-time or historical synchrophasor data. The purpose of this project was to develop and demonstrate a novel synchrophasor-based comprehensive situational awareness system for control centers of power transmission systems. The developed system named WASA (Wide Area Situation Awareness) is intended to improve situational awareness at control centers of the power system operators and regional reliability coordinators. It consists of following main software modules: • Wide-area visualizations of real-time frequency, voltage, and phase angle measurements and their contour displays for security monitoring. • Online detection and location of a major event (location, time, size, and type, such as generator or line outage). • Near-real-time event replay (in seconds) after a major event occurs. • Early warning of potential wide-area stability problems. The system
Reinke, Karen S.; LaMontagne, Pamela J.; Habib, Reza
Spatial attention has been argued to be adaptive by enhancing the processing of visual stimuli within the ‘spotlight of attention’. We previously reported that crude threat cues (backward masked fearful faces) facilitate spatial attention through a network of brain regions consisting of the amygdala, anterior cingulate and contralateral visual cortex. However, results from previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) dot-probe studies have been inconclusive regarding a fearful face-elicited contralateral modulation of visual targets. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the capture of spatial attention by crude threat cues would facilitate processing of subsequently presented visual stimuli within the masked fearful face-elicited ‘spotlight of attention’ in the contralateral visual cortex. Participants performed a backward masked fearful face dot-probe task while brain activity was measured with fMRI. Masked fearful face left visual field trials enhanced activity for spatially congruent targets in the right superior occipital gyrus, fusiform gyrus and lateral occipital complex, while masked fearful face right visual field trials enhanced activity in the left middle occipital gyrus. These data indicate that crude threat elicited spatial attention enhances the processing of subsequent visual stimuli in contralateral occipital cortex, which may occur by lowering neural activation thresholds in this retinotopic location. PMID:20702500
Van Nuys, Ute Elisabeth
Presents reviews of the following mathematics software designed to teach young children counting, number recognition, visual discrimination, matching, addition, and subtraction skills; Stickybear Numbers, Learning with Leeper, Getting Ready to Read and Add, Counting Parade, Early Games for Young Children, Charlie Brown's 1,2,3's, Let's Go Fishing,…
Krisch, I; Hosticka, B J
Microsystem technologies offer significant advantages in the development of neural prostheses. In the last two decades, it has become feasible to develop intelligent prostheses that are fully implantable into the human body with respect to functionality, complexity, size, weight, and compactness. Design and development enforce collaboration of various disciplines including physicians, engineers, and scientists. The retina implant system can be taken as one sophisticated example of a prosthesis which bypasses neural defects and enables direct electrical stimulation of nerve cells. This micro implantable visual prosthesis assists blind patients to return to the normal course of life. The retina implant is intended for patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa or macular degeneration. In this contribution, we focus on the epiretinal prosthesis and discuss topics like system design, data and power transfer, fabrication, packaging and testing. In detail, the system is based upon an implantable micro electro stimulator which is powered and controlled via a wireless inductive link. Microelectronic circuits for data encoding and stimulation are assembled on flexible substrates with an integrated electrode array. The implant system is encapsulated using parylene C and silicone rubber. Results extracted from experiments in vivo demonstrate the retinotopic activation of the visual cortex.
Anton-Erxleben, Katharina; Henrich, Christian; Treue, Stefan
Spatial attention shifts receptive fields in monkey extrastriate visual cortex toward the focus of attention (S. Ben Hamed, J. R. Duhamel, F. Bremmer, & W. Graf, 2002; C. E. Connor, J. L. Gallant, D. C. Preddie, & D. C. Van Essen, 1996; C. E. Connor, D. C. Preddie, J. L. Gallant, & D. C. Van Essen, 1997; T. Womelsdorf, K. Anton-Erxleben, F. Pieper, & S. Treue, 2006). This distortion in the retinotopic distribution of receptive fields might cause distortions in spatial perception such as an increase of the perceived size of attended stimuli. Here we test for such an effect in human subjects by measuring the point of subjective equality (PSE) for the perceived size of a neutral and an attended stimulus when drawing automatic attention to one of two spatial locations. We found a significant increase in perceived size of attended stimuli. Depending on the absolute stimulus size, this effect ranged from 4% to 12% and was more pronounced for smaller than for larger stimuli. In our experimental design, an attentional effect on task difficulty or a cue bias might influence the PSE measure. We performed control experiments and indeed found such effects, but they could only account for part of the observed results. Our findings demonstrate that the allocation of transient spatial attention onto a visual stimulus increases its perceived size and additionally biases subjects to select this stimulus for a perceptual judgment.
Vanduffel, Wim; Tootell, Roger B H; Schoups, Aniek A; Orban, Guy A
A double-label deoxyglucose technique was used to study orientation columns throughout visual cortex in awake behaving macaques. Four macaques were trained to fixate while contrastreversing, stationary gratings or one-dimensional noise of a single orientation or an orthogonal orientation were presented, during uptake of [14C]deoxyglucose ([14C]DG) or [3H]DG, respectively. The two orthogonal stimulus orientations produced DG-labeled columns that were maximally separated in the two isotope maps (inter-digitated) in four areas: V1, V2, V3 and VP. The topographic change from interdigitated to overlapping columns occurred abruptly rather than gradually, at corresponding cortical area borders (e.g. VP and V4v, respectively). In addition, the data suggest that orientation column topography systematically changes with retinotopic eccentricity. In V1, the orientation columns systematically avoided the cytochrome oxidase blobs in the parafoveal representation, but converged closer to the blobs in the foveal representation. A control experiment indicated that this was unlikely to reflect eccentricity-dependent differences in cortical spatial frequency sensitivity. A similar eccentricity-dependent change in the topography of orientation columns occurred in V2. In parafoveal but not foveal visual field representations of V2, the orientation columns were centered on the thick cytochrome oxidase stripes, extended into the adjacent interstripe region, but were virtually absent in the thin stripes.
Rosenthal, Clive R; Mallik, Indira; Caballero-Gaudes, Cesar; Sereno, Martin I; Soto, David
Learning and memory are supported by a network involving the medial temporal lobe and linked neocortical regions. Emerging evidence indicates that primary visual cortex (i.e., V1) may contribute to recognition memory, but this has been tested only with a single visuospatial sequence as the target memorandum. The present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate whether human V1 can support the learning of multiple, concurrent complex visual sequences involving discontinous (second-order) associations. Two peripheral, goal-irrelevant but structured sequences of orientated gratings appeared simultaneously in fixed locations of the right and left visual fields alongside a central, goal-relevant sequence that was in the focus of spatial attention. Pseudorandom sequences were introduced at multiple intervals during the presentation of the three structured visual sequences to provide an online measure of sequence-specific knowledge at each retinotopic location. We found that a network involving the precuneus and V1 was involved in learning the structured sequence presented at central fixation, whereas right V1 was modulated by repeated exposure to the concurrent structured sequence presented in the left visual field. The same result was not found in left V1. These results indicate for the first time that human V1 can support the learning of multiple concurrent sequences involving complex discontinuous inter-item associations, even peripheral sequences that are goal-irrelevant. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Khalil, Reem; Levitt, Jonathan B.
Visual cortical areas in the mammalian brain are linked through a system of interareal feedforward and feedback connections, which presumably underlie different visual functions. We characterized the refinement of feedback projections to primary visual cortex (V1) from multiple sources in juvenile ferrets ranging in age from four to ten weeks postnatal. We studied whether the refinement of different aspects of feedback circuitry from multiple visual cortical areas proceeds at a similar rate in all areas. We injected the neuronal tracer cholera toxin B (CTb) into V1, and mapped the areal and laminar distribution of retrogradely labeled cells in extrastriate cortex. Around the time of eye opening at four weeks postnatal, the retinotopic arrangement of feedback appears essentially adultlike; however, Suprasylvian cortex supplies the greatest proportion of feedback, whereas area 18 supplies the greatest proportion in the adult. The density of feedback cells and the ratio of supragranular/infragranular feedback contribution declined in this period at a similar rate in all cortical areas. We also find significant feedback to V1 from layer IV of all extrastriate areas. The regularity of cell spacing, the proportion of feedback arising from layer IV, and the tangential extent of feedback in each area all remained essentially unchanged during this period, except for the infragranular feedback source in area 18 which expanded. Thus, while much of the basic pattern of cortical feedback to V1 is present before eye opening, there is major synchronous reorganization after eye opening, suggesting a crucial role for visual experience in this remodeling process. PMID:24665018
Khalil, Reem; Levitt, Jonathan B
Visual cortical areas in the mammalian brain are linked through a system of interareal feedforward and feedback connections, which presumably underlie different visual functions. We characterized the refinement of feedback projections to primary visual cortex (V1) from multiple sources in juvenile ferrets ranging in age from 4-10 weeks postnatal. We studied whether the refinement of different aspects of feedback circuitry from multiple visual cortical areas proceeds at a similar rate in all areas. We injected the neuronal tracer cholera toxin B (CTb) into V1 and mapped the areal and laminar distribution of retrogradely labeled cells in extrastriate cortex. Around the time of eye opening at 4 weeks postnatal, the retinotopic arrangement of feedback appears essentially adult-like; however, suprasylvian cortex supplies the greatest proportion of feedback, whereas area 18 supplies the greatest proportion in the adult. The density of feedback cells and the ratio of supragranular/infragranular feedback contribution declined in this period at a similar rate in all cortical areas. We also found significant feedback to V1 from layer IV of all extrastriate areas. The regularity of cell spacing, the proportion of feedback arising from layer IV, and the tangential extent of feedback in each area all remained essentially unchanged during this period, except for the infragranular feedback source in area 18, which expanded. Thus, while much of the basic pattern of cortical feedback to V1 is present before eye opening, there is major synchronous reorganization after eye opening, suggesting a crucial role for visual experience in this remodeling process. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Meltzer, Mirjam E; Congdon, Nathan; Kymes, Steven M; Yan, Xixi; Lansingh, Van C; Sisay, Alemayehu; Müller, Andreas; Chan, Ving Fai; Jin, Ling; Karumanchi, Sasipriya M; Guan, Chunhong; Vuong, Quy; Rivera, Nelson; McCleod-Omawale, Joan; He, Mingguang
Some experts recommend increasing low rates of follow-up after cataract surgery in low- and middle-income countries using various interventions. However, little is known about the cost and effect of such interventions. To examine whether promoting follow-up after cataract surgery creates economic value. The Prospective Review of Early Cataract Outcomes and Grading (PRECOG) is a cohort study with data from patients undergoing cataract surgery from January 19, 2010, to April 18, 2012. Final follow-up was completed on August 10, 2012. Data were collected before surgery, at discharge, and at follow-up at least 40 days after surgery from 27 centers in 8 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Each center enrolled 40 to 120 consecutive patients undergoing cataract surgery. If patients did not return to the hospital for the follow-up visit, hospitals could use telephone calls or transportation subsidies to increase follow-up rate. Data were analyzed from December 2013 to January 2016. Cost of interventions (telephone calls and transportation subsidies) to increase follow-up at least 40 days after surgery, visual acuity (VA) in the eye undergoing cataract surgery, presence of complications, patient and facility costs per visit, and willingness to pay for treatment or glasses if needed. The maximum incremental cost of improving VA in 1 patient (incremental cost-effect ratio [ICER]) was calculated for spontaneous follow-up (compared with no follow-up) and follow-up with the telephone and transportation interventions. Expected ICERs were estimated including only those patients willing to pay. Among 2487 patients (1068 men [42.9%]; 1405 women [56.5%]; 14 missing [0.6%]; mean [SD] age, 68.4 [11.3] years), 2316 (93.1%) received follow-up, of whom 369 (16.0%) were seen in an outside facility or home and were in the cost-effectiveness analysis as unable to follow up. A grand mean (a mean of means of the different countries) of 56.3% of patients needed glasses, of whom 56
Korneeva, E V; Tiunova, A A; Aleksandrov, L I; Golubeva, T B; Anokhin, K V
The present study analyzed expression of transcriptional factors c-Fos and ZENK in 9-day-old pied flycatcher nestlings' (Ficedula hypoleuca) telencephalic auditory centers (field L, caudomedial nidopallium and caudomedial mesopallium) involved in the acoustically-guided defense behavior. Species-typical alarm call was presented to the young in three groups: 1--intact group (sighted control), 2--nestlings visually deprived just before the experiment for a short time (unsighted control) 3--nestlings visually deprived right after hatching (experimental deprivation). Induction of c-Fos as well as ZENK in nestlings from the experimental deprivation group was decreased in both hemispheres as compared with intact group. In the group of unsighted control, only the decrease of c-Fos induction was observed exclusively in the right hemisphere. These findings suggest that limitation of visual input changes the population of neurons involved into the acoustically-guided behavior, the effect being dependant from the duration of deprivation.
Reavis, Eric A; Frank, Sebastian M; Tse, Peter U
Visual search is often slow and difficult for complex stimuli such as feature conjunctions. Search efficiency, however, can improve with training. Search for stimuli that can be identified by the spatial configuration of two elements (e.g., the relative position of two colored shapes) improves dramatically within a few hundred trials of practice. Several recent imaging studies have identified neural correlates of this learning, but it remains unclear what stimulus properties participants learn to use to search efficiently. Influential models, such as reverse hierarchy theory, propose two major possibilities: learning to use information contained in low-level image statistics (e.g., single features at particular retinotopic locations) or in high-level characteristics (e.g., feature conjunctions) of the task-relevant stimuli. In a series of experiments, we tested these two hypotheses, which make different predictions about the effect of various stimulus manipulations after training. We find relatively small effects of manipulating low-level properties of the stimuli (e.g., changing their retinotopic location) and some conjunctive properties (e.g., color-position), whereas the effects of manipulating other conjunctive properties (e.g., color-shape) are larger. Overall, the findings suggest conjunction learning involving such stimuli might be an emergent phenomenon that reflects multiple different learning processes, each of which capitalizes on different types of information contained in the stimuli. We also show that both targets and distractors are learned, and that reversing learned target and distractor identities impairs performance. This suggests that participants do not merely learn to discriminate target and distractor stimuli, they also learn stimulus identity mappings that contribute to performance improvements.
The vertebrate ancestral repertoire of visual opsins, transducin alpha subunits and oxytocin/vasopressin receptors was established by duplication of their shared genomic region in the two rounds of early vertebrate genome duplications.
Lagman, David; Ocampo Daza, Daniel; Widmark, Jenny; Abalo, Xesús M; Sundström, Görel; Larhammar, Dan
Vertebrate color vision is dependent on four major color opsin subtypes: RH2 (green opsin), SWS1 (ultraviolet opsin), SWS2 (blue opsin), and LWS (red opsin). Together with the dim-light receptor rhodopsin (RH1), these form the family of vertebrate visual opsins. Vertebrate genomes contain many multi-membered gene families that can largely be explained by the two rounds of whole genome duplication (WGD) in the vertebrate ancestor (2R) followed by a third round in the teleost ancestor (3R). Related chromosome regions resulting from WGD or block duplications are said to form a paralogon. We describe here a paralogon containing the genes for visual opsins, the G-protein alpha subunit families for transducin (GNAT) and adenylyl cyclase inhibition (GNAI), the oxytocin and vasopressin receptors (OT/VP-R), and the L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (CACNA1-L). Sequence-based phylogenies and analyses of conserved synteny show that the above-mentioned gene families, and many neighboring gene families, expanded in the early vertebrate WGDs. This allows us to deduce the following evolutionary scenario: The vertebrate ancestor had a chromosome containing the genes for two visual opsins, one GNAT, one GNAI, two OT/VP-Rs and one CACNA1-L gene. This chromosome was quadrupled in 2R. Subsequent gene losses resulted in a set of five visual opsin genes, three GNAT and GNAI genes, six OT/VP-R genes and four CACNA1-L genes. These regions were duplicated again in 3R resulting in additional teleost genes for some of the families. Major chromosomal rearrangements have taken place in the teleost genomes. By comparison with the corresponding chromosomal regions in the spotted gar, which diverged prior to 3R, we could time these rearrangements to post-3R. We present an extensive analysis of the paralogon housing the visual opsin, GNAT and GNAI, OT/VP-R, and CACNA1-L gene families. The combined data imply that the early vertebrate WGD events contributed to the evolution of vision and the
This study reported the results of a 3-month quasi-experimental study that determined the effectiveness of an online visual and interactive technological tool on sixth grade students' mathematics performance, math anxiety and attitudes towards math. There were 155 sixth grade students from a middle school in the North Texas area who participated…
The study examines two years of an educational program for children aged three to four, based on the use of digital cameras. It assesses the program's effects on the children and adults involved in the project, and explores how they help the youngsters acquire visual literacy. Operating under the assumption that formal curricula usually…
Christopher M. Oswalt; Wayne K. Clatterbuck; Allan E. Houston
The growth of outplanted high-quality 1-0 northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) seedlings, growth differences between two categories of visually graded seedlings and herbivory by white-tail deer (Odocoileus virginianus (Boddaert)) were examined after two growing seasons. Seedlings were planted in plots receiving three overstory treatments (high grade,...
Arcaro, Michael J.; Schade, Peter F.; Vincent, Justin L.; Ponce, Carlos R.; Livingstone, Margaret S.
Here we report that monkeys raised without exposure to faces did not develop face patches, but did develop domains for other categories, and did show normal retinotopic organization, indicating that early face deprivation leads to a highly selective cortical processing deficit. Therefore experience must be necessary for the formation, or maintenance, of face domains. Gaze tracking revealed that control monkeys looked preferentially at faces, even at ages prior to the emergence of face patches, but face-deprived monkeys did not, indicating that face looking is not innate. A retinotopic organization is present throughout the visual system at birth, so selective early viewing behavior could bias category-specific visual responses towards particular retinotopic representations, thereby leading to domain formation in stereotyped locations in IT, without requiring category-specific templates or biases. Thus we propose that environmental importance influences viewing behavior, viewing behavior drives neuronal activity, and neuronal activity sculpts domain formation. PMID:28869581
Arcaro, Michael J; Schade, Peter F; Vincent, Justin L; Ponce, Carlos R; Livingstone, Margaret S
Here we report that monkeys raised without exposure to faces did not develop face domains, but did develop domains for other categories and did show normal retinotopic organization, indicating that early face deprivation leads to a highly selective cortical processing deficit. Therefore, experience must be necessary for the formation (or maintenance) of face domains. Gaze tracking revealed that control monkeys looked preferentially at faces, even at ages prior to the emergence of face domains, but face-deprived monkeys did not, indicating that face looking is not innate. A retinotopic organization is present throughout the visual system at birth, so selective early viewing behavior could bias category-specific visual responses toward particular retinotopic representations, thereby leading to domain formation in stereotyped locations in inferotemporal cortex, without requiring category-specific templates or biases. Thus, we propose that environmental importance influences viewing behavior, viewing behavior drives neuronal activity, and neuronal activity sculpts domain formation.
Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint
Visual neuroscience has long sought to determine the extent to which stimulus-evoked activity in visual cortex depends on attention and awareness. Some influential theories of consciousness maintain that the allocation of attention is restricted to conscious representations [1, 2]. However, in the load theory of attention , competition between task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimuli for limited-capacity attention does not depend on conscious perception of the irrelevant stimuli. The critical test is whether the level of attentional load in a relevant task would determine unconscious neural processing of invisible stimuli. Human participants were scanned with high-field fMRI while they performed a foveal task of low or high attentional load. Irrelevant, invisible monocular stimuli were simultaneously presented peripherally and were continuously suppressed by a flashing mask in the other eye . Attentional load in the foveal task strongly modulated retinotopic activity evoked in primary visual cortex (V1) by the invisible stimuli. Contrary to traditional views [1, 2, 5, 6], we found that availability of attentional capacity determines neural representations related to unconscious processing of continuously suppressed stimuli in human primary visual cortex. Spillover of attention to cortical representations of invisible stimuli (under low load) cannot be a sufficient condition for their awareness.
Shastri, Surendra S; Dinshaw, Ketayun; Amin, Geetanjali; Goswami, Smriti; Patil, Sharmila; Chinoy, Roshini; Kane, S; Kelkar, Rohini; Muwonge, Richard; Mahé, Cédric; Ajit, Dulhan; Sankaranarayanan, R
Naked eye visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), magnified VIA (VIAM), visual inspection with Lugol's iodine (VILI), cytology and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing were evaluated as screening methods for the detection of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) of the uterine cervix in a cross-sectional study in Mumbai, India. Cytology, HPV testing, VIA, VIAM and VILI were carried out concurrently for 4039 women aged 30-65 years. All women were investigated with colposcopy and biopsies were taken from 939 women who had colposcopic abnormalities. The reference standard for final disease status was histology or negative colposcopy. The presence of HSIL was confirmed in 57 women (1.4%). The test characteristics for each method were calculated using standard formulae. The sensitivities of cytology, HPV testing, VIA, VIAM and VILI were 57.4%, 62.0%, 59.7%, 64.9%, and 75.4%, respectively (differences were not statistically significant). The specificities were 98.6%, 93.5%, 88.4%, 86.3%, and 84.3%, respectively. Adding a visual test to cytology or HPV testing in parallel combination resulted in a substantial increase in sensitivity, with a moderate decrease in specificity. The parallel combination of VILI and HPV testing resulted in a sensitivity of 92.0% and a specificity of 79.9%. As a single test, cytology had the best balance of sensitivity and specificity. Visual tests are promising in low-resource settings, such as India. The use of both VIA and VILI may be considered where good quality cytology or HPV testing are not feasible. The sensitivity of cytology and HPV testing increased significantly when combined with VIA or VILI.
Baert, Barbara; Kusters, Liesbet; Sidgwick, Emma
The textual and visual tradition of the story of the woman with the haemorrhage (Mark 5.24b-34parr), the so-called Haemorrhoissa, is related in a specific way to Christ's healing miracles but also to conceptions of female menstrual blood. We notice that with regard to the specific 'issue of blood' of the Haemorrhoissa, there is a visual lacuna in the specific iconography that developed around the story from early Christian times: in the transposition from text to image, there is no immediate depiction of her bleeding. However, the early medieval reception of the story also became an important catalyst for uterine taboos, menstruation and tits relation to magical healing, understood as a system of health practices. In this context, the dissemination of the motif in everyday material culture clearly points to a deep-rooted connection to uterine and menstrual issues. The paper considers both expressions and their-anthropologically framed-relation to this female 'issue of blood', which the Haemorrhoissa came to embody and epitomise literally, as well as figuratively.
Visual scripting is the coordination of words with pictures in sequence. This book presents the methods and viewpoints on visual scripting of fourteen film makers, from nine countries, who are involved in animated cinema; it contains concise examples of how a storybook and preproduction script can be prepared in visual terms; and it includes a…
Vargo, John J; Zuccaro, Gregory; Dumot, John A; Conwell, Darwin L; Morrow, J Brad; Shay, Steven S
Recommendations from the American Society of Anesthesiologists suggest that monitoring for apnea using the detection of exhaled carbon dioxide (capnography) is a useful adjunct in the assessment of ventilatory status of patients undergoing sedation and analgesia. There are no data on the utility of capnography in GI endoscopy, nor is the frequency of abnormal ventilatory activity during endoscopy known. The aims of this study were to determine the following: (1) the frequency of abnormal ventilatory activity during therapeutic upper endoscopy, (2) the sensitivity of observation and pulse oximetry in the detection of apnea or disordered respiration, and (3) whether capnography provides an improvement over accepted monitoring techniques. Forty-nine patients undergoing therapeutic upper endoscopy were monitored with standard methods including pulse oximetry, automated blood pressure measurement, and visual assessment. In addition, graphic assessment of respiratory activity with sidestream capnography was performed in all patients. Endoscopy personnel were blinded to capnography data. Episodes of apnea or disordered respiration detected by capnography were documented and compared with the occurrence of hypoxemia, hypercapnea, hypotension, and the recognition of abnormal respiratory activity by endoscopy personnel. Comparison of simultaneous respiratory rate measurements obtained by capnography and by auscultation with a pretracheal stethoscope verified that capnography was an excellent indicator of respiratory rate when compared with the reference standard (auscultation) (r = 0.967, p < 0.001). Fifty-four episodes of apnea or disordered respiration occurred in 28 patients (mean duration 70.8 seconds). Only 50% of apnea or disordered respiration episodes were eventually detected by pulse oximetry. None were detected by visual assessment (p < 0.0010). Apnea/disordered respiration occurs commonly during therapeutic upper endoscopy and frequently precedes the development
Lairy, G. C.; Harrison-Covello, A.
Discussed are the effects of parental attitudes on the early development of the congenitally blind child. The disproportion between family reactions and the limitations of the handicap are attributed to symbolic aspects of blindness and previously existing pathological elements in the parents. Compared are developme