ABSTRACT: Motion perception is qualitatively invariant across different objects and forms, namely, the same motion information can be conveyed by many different physical carriers, and it requires the processing of motion signals consisting of direction, speed, and axis or trajectory of motion defined by a moving object. Compared with the representation of orientation, the cortical processing of these different motion signals within the early ventral visual pathway of the primate remains poorly understood. Using drifting full-field noise stimuli and intrinsic optical imaging, along with cytochrome-oxidase staining, we found that the orientation domains in macaque V1, V2, and V4 that processed orientation signals also served to process motion signals associated with the axis and speed of motion. In contrast, direction domains within the thick stripes of V2 demonstrated preferences that were independent of motion speed. The population responses encoding the orientation and motion axis could be precisely reproduced by a spatiotemporal energy model. Thus, our observation of orientation domains with dual functions in V1, V2, and V4 directly support the notion that the linear representation of the temporal series of retinotopic activations may serve as another motion processing strategy in primate ventral visual pathway, contributing directly to fine form and motion analysis. Our findings further reveal that different types of motion information are differentially processed in parallel and segregated compartments within primate early visual cortices, before these motion features are fully combined in high-tier visual areas.
Journal of Neuroscience 09/2012; 32(39):13363-79. · 7.11 Impact Factor