Mar 27, 2020

Coding of Navigational Distance and Functional Constraint of Boundaries in the Human Scene-Selective Cortex

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Jeongho Park, Soojin Park


For visually guided navigation, the use of environmental cues is essential. Particularly, detecting local boundaries that impose limits to locomotion and estimating their location is crucial. In a series of three fMRI experiments, we investigated whether there is a neural coding of navigational distance in the human visual cortex (both female and male). We used virtual reality software to systematically manipulate the distance from a viewer perspective to different types of a boundary. Using a multivoxel pattern classification employing a linear support vector machine, we found that the occipital place area (OPA) is sensitive to the navigational distance restricted by the transparent glass wall. Further, the OPA was sensitive to a non-crossable boundary only, suggesting an importance of the functional constraint of a boundary. Together, we propose the OPA as a perceptual source of external environmental features relevant for navigation.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT One of major goals in cognitive neuroscience has been to understand the nature of visual scene representation in human ventral visual cortex. An aspect of scene perception that has been overlooked despite its ecological importance is the analysis of space for navigation. On...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Neuron navigator 2, human
Visual Cortex
HEG1 gene
Locomotion: -: Point in Time: ^Patient: -
Occipital Lobe

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