Directional tuning of motion-sensitive cells in the anterior superior temporal polysensory area of the macaque

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Abstract

An investigation was made into the directional sensitivity of cells in the macaque anterior superior temporal polysensory region (STPa) to the motion of objects. The cells studied were sensitive to the presence of motion but showed little or no selectivity for the form of the stimulus. Directional tuning was not continuously distributed about all possible directions. The majority of cells were most responsive to motion in a direction within 15-degrees of one of the three cartesian axes (up/down, left/right, towards/away). Tuning to direction varied in sharpness. For most (34/37) cells the angular change in direction required to reduce response to half maximal was between 45 and 70-degrees (for 3/37 cells it was > 90-degrees). The estimates of the directionality (median I(d) = 0.97) of STPa cells was similar to that reported for posterior motion processing areas (the middle temporal area, MT, and the medial superior temporal area, MST). The tuning for direction (sharpness, distribution and discrimination) of the motion-sensitive STPa cells were found to be similar to the tuning for perspective view of STPa cells selective for static form of the head and body. On average the STPa responses showed a 100- to 300-ms transient burst of activity followed by a tonic discharge maintained at approximately 20% of the peak firing rate for the duration of stimulation. The responses of motion-sensitive STPa cells occurred at an earlier latency (mean 91 ms) than responses of cells selective for static form (mean 119 ms), but the time course of responses of the two classes of cell were similar in many other respects. The early response latency and directional selectivity indicate that motion sensitivity in STPa cells derives from the dorsal visual pathway via MT/MST. The similarity of tuning for direction and perspective view within STPa may facilitate the integration of motion and form processing within this high-level brain area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-94
Number of pages21
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume97
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1993

Keywords

  • MOVEMENT DIRECTION
  • FORM INSENSITIVE
  • TEMPORAL CORTEX
  • SINGLE UNIT
  • MACAQUE
  • ACCESSORY OPTIC-SYSTEM
  • LATERAL GENICULATE-NUCLEUS
  • VISUAL RESPONSE PROPERTIES
  • PURSUIT EYE-MOVEMENTS
  • DORSAL TERMINAL NUCLEI
  • INFEROTEMPORAL CORTEX
  • RECEPTIVE-FIELDS
  • STRIATE CORTEX
  • RHESUS-MONKEY
  • REVERSIBLE INACTIVATION

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