Estimating target speed from the population response in visual area MT.

Published

Journal Article

To guide behavior, perceptual and motor systems must estimate properties of the sensory environment from the responses of populations of cortical neurons. In the domain of visual motion, estimates of target speed are derived from the responses of motion-sensitive neurons in the middle temporal (MT) area of the extrastriate visual cortex and are used to drive smooth pursuit eye movements and perceptual judgments of speed. We have asked how these behavioral systems estimate target speed from the population response in area MT. We found that increasing the spatial frequency of a sine wave grating caused decreases in the target speed estimated by both pursuit and perception and commensurate changes in the identity of the active neurons in area MT. Decreasing the contrast of a sine wave grating caused decreases in the target speed estimated by both pursuit and perception, while altering only the response amplitude of MT neurons and not the identity of the active neurons. Applying a modified vector-averaging computation to the population response measured in area MT allowed us to predict the effects of both spatial frequency and contrast on speed estimation for both perception and pursuit. The modification biased the speed estimation toward low target speeds when responses across the population of neurons were small.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Priebe, NJ; Lisberger, SG

Published Date

  • February 25, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1907 - 1916

PubMed ID

  • 14985431

Pubmed Central ID

  • 14985431

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1529-2401

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4233-03.2004

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States