20110113

Vangeneugden & al. — Distinct Mechanisms for Coding of Visual Actions in Macaque Temporal Cortex (2011)

Joris Vangeneugden, Patrick A. De Maziere, Marc M. Van Hulle, Tobias Jaeggli, Luc Van Gool, and Rufin Vogels — Distinct Mechanisms for Coding of Visual Actions in Macaque Temporal Cortex, The Journal of Neuroscience, January 12, 2011 - 31(2)

The authors explore the coding of action perception, specifically walking, in extrastriate cortex. They used stick-silhouette figures, and used measured neural responses as inputs to a linear classifier in attempt to see how well the neurons encoded the stimuli.
Most neurons encoded still-pose information well. These neurons could be used to recover the viewpoint of an action. Such neurons poorly encoded information about motion, like whether the stimulus was walking forward or backward.

However, even still-pose neurons appear to be sensitive to the dynamics of the stimuli, and appear to be more sensitive to their preferred pose when it appears in a coherent action sequence than when presented in isolation.

A significant minority of neurons appeared to encode motion features, and focused on the lower half of the walking figures, which is known to have the most motion information.

my notes :
  • The ventral anterior temporal lobe is involved in a range of complex visual perceptual abilities. Most ventrally, area IT appears to code for complex forms.
  • More dorsally, we have the superior temporal sulcus (STS) areas.
  • The inferior bank of the STS transitions into area IT, and the superior bank of STS transitions into polysensory areas that respond to both visual, auditory, and vestibular cues.
  • Posterior STS contains visual areas MT and MST, classically considered visual-motion areas. The base (fundus) of STS (area FST) and anterior STS ( STSa ) appear to play a role in complex visual perception that involves both form and motion.

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