Bayesian analysis of retinotopic maps

Elife. 2018 Dec 6;7:e40224. doi: 10.7554/eLife.40224.


Human visual cortex is organized into multiple retinotopic maps. Characterizing the arrangement of these maps on the cortical surface is essential to many visual neuroscience studies. Typically, maps are obtained by voxel-wise analysis of fMRI data. This method, while useful, maps only a portion of the visual field and is limited by measurement noise and subjective assessment of boundaries. We developed a novel Bayesian mapping approach which combines observation-a subject's retinotopic measurements from small amounts of fMRI time-with a prior-a learned retinotopic atlas. This process automatically draws areal boundaries, corrects discontinuities in the measured maps, and predicts validation data more accurately than an atlas alone or independent datasets alone. This new method can be used to improve the accuracy of retinotopic mapping, to analyze large fMRI datasets automatically, and to quantify differences in map properties as a function of health, development and natural variation between individuals.

Keywords: human; neuroscience; occipital cortex; retinotopic map; retinotopy; vision; vision science; visual neuroscience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*