Opposite neural signatures of motion-induced blindness in human dorsal and ventral visual cortex

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Tobias H DonnerDavid J Heeger


Motion-induced blindness (MIB) is a visual phenomenon in which a salient static target spontaneously fluctuates in and out of visual awareness when surrounded by a moving mask pattern. It has been hypothesized that MIB reflects an antagonistic interplay between cortical representations of the static target and moving mask. Here, we report evidence for such antagonism between human ventral and dorsal visual cortex during MIB. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) responses in ventral visual area V4 decreased with the subjective disappearance of the target. These response decreases were specific for the cortical subregion corresponding retinotopically to the target, occurred early in time with respect to the perceptual report, and could not be explained by shifts of attention in reaction to target disappearance. At the same time, responses increased in mask-specific subregions in dorsal visual areas in and around the intraparietal sulcus. These opposite responses in ventral and dorsal visual areas occurred only during subjective target disappearance, not when the target was physically removed. Perceptual reports of target disappearance were furthermore associated with a "global" modulation of activity, which was delayed in...Continue Reading


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