Training-induced recovery of visual motion perception after extrastriate cortical damage in the adult cat

Cereb Cortex. 2004 Jan;14(1):81-90. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhg106.


Unilateral ibotenic acid lesions of the lateral suprasylvian (LS) cortex severely impair the ability of cats to integrate local motion signals (measured as direction range thresholds) and to extract motion signals from noise (measured as motion signal thresholds) in their contra-lesional visual hemifields. These deficits were found up to several months after the lesions and were limited to thresholds measured with random-dot stimuli, while contrast sensitivity for discriminating the direction of motion of sine-wave gratings remained unaffected. Our goal was to determine whether deficits of complex motion perception could recover and whether the recovery was spontaneous or required retraining. In each cat, a single location in the impaired visual hemifield was selected for visual retraining, which required the animals to discriminate motion direction using random-dot stimuli in which the range of dot directions was varied. Fifteen to 40 days of intensive retraining led to a gradual, complete recovery of motion integration. The recovery was stimulus specific since it did not transfer from direction range to motion signal thresholds, and it was largely restricted to the visual field locations retrained. Delaying the onset of retraining by several days to several months had no significant impact on the extent or rate of recovery. Once recovery was achieved, performance remained stable over a period of several months. These results suggest that recovery of complex visual motion perception after lesions of extrastriate visual cortex is an active process that requires extensive, stimulus- and retinotopically-specific visual retraining.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cats
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology*
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / injuries*
  • Visual Fields / physiology