Optic flow selectivity in the macaque parieto-occipital sulcus

Brain Struct Funct. 2021 Dec;226(9):2911-2930. doi: 10.1007/s00429-021-02293-w. Epub 2021 May 27.


In humans, several neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that passive viewing of optic flow stimuli activates higher-level motion areas, like V6 and the cingulate sulcus visual area (CSv). In macaque, there are few studies on the sensitivity of V6 and CSv to egomotion compatible optic flow. The only fMRI study on this issue revealed selectivity to egomotion compatible optic flow in macaque CSv but not in V6 (Cotterau et al. Cereb Cortex 27(1):330-343, 2017, but see Fan et al. J Neurosci. 35:16303-16314, 2015). Yet, it is unknown whether monkey visual motion areas MT + and V6 display any distinctive fMRI functional profile relative to the optic flow stimulation, as it is the case for the homologous human areas (Pitzalis et al., Cereb Cortex 20(2):411-424, 2010). Here, we described the sensitivity of the monkey brain to two motion stimuli (radial rings and flow fields) originally used in humans to functionally map the motion middle temporal area MT + (Tootell et al. J Neurosci 15: 3215-3230, 1995a; Nature 375:139-141, 1995b) and the motion medial parietal area V6 (Pitzalis et al. 2010), respectively. In both animals, we found regions responding only to optic flow or radial rings stimulation, and regions responding to both stimuli. A region in the parieto-occipital sulcus (likely including V6) was one of the most highly selective area for coherently moving fields of dots, further demonstrating the power of this type of stimulation to activate V6 in both humans and monkeys. We did not find any evidence that putative macaque CSv responds to Flow Fields.

Keywords: Egomotion; Flow fields; Monkey fMRI; Parieto-occipital cortex.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Macaca
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Motion Perception*
  • Optic Flow*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Visual Cortex*