Although the spatial organization of visual areas can be revealed by functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), the synoptic, non-invasive access to the temporal characteristics of the information flow amongst distributed visual processes remains a technical and methodological challenge. Using frequency-encoded steady-state visual stimulation together with a combination of time-resolved functional magnetic source imaging from magnetoencephalography (MEG) and anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), this study evidences maps of visuotopic sustained oscillatory neural responses distributed across the visual cortex. Our results further reveal relative phase delays across responding striate and extra-striate visual areas, which thereby shape the chronometry of neural processes amongst these regions. The methodology developed in this study points at further developments in time-resolved analyses of distributed visual processes in the millisecond range, and to new ways of exploring the dynamics of functional processes within the human visual cortex non-invasively.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.