Centrifugal directional bias in the middle temporal visual area (MT) of the macaque

Vis Neurosci. 1989;2(2):177-88. doi: 10.1017/s0952523800012037.


We have examined the distribution of preferred directions of motion for neurons in the middle temporal visual area (MT) of the macaque. We found a marked anisotropy favoring directions that are oriented away from the center of gaze. This anisotropy is present only among neurons with peripherally located receptive fields. This peripheral centrifugal directionality bias corresponds well to the biased distribution of motions characteristic of optic flow fields, which are generated by displacement of the visual world during forward locomotion. The bias may facilitate the processing of this common form of visual stimulation and could underlie previously observed perceptual anisotropies favoring centrifugal motion. We suggest that the bias could arise from exposure of modifiable cortical circuitry to a naturally occurring form of selective visual experience.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Visual Pathways / cytology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*