Segregation of object and background motion in visual area MT: effects of microstimulation on eye movements.
To track a moving object, its motion must first be distinguished from that of the background. The center-surround properties of neurons in the middle temporal visual area (MT) may be important for signaling the relative motion between object and background. To test this, we microstimulated within MT and measured the effects on monkeys' eye movements to moving targets. We found that stimulation at "local motion" sites, where receptive fields possessed antagonistic surrounds, shifted pursuit in the preferred direction of the neurons, whereas stimulation at "wide-field motion" sites shifted pursuit in the opposite, or null, direction. We propose that activating wide-field sites simulated background motion, thus inducing a target motion signal in the opposite direction. Our results support the hypothesis that neuronal center-surround mechanisms contribute to the behavioral segregation of objects from the background.
Born, RT; Groh, JM; Zhao, R; Lukasewycz, SJ
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