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Sven P. Heinrich, Maarten J. van der Smagt, Michael Bach, Michael B. Hoffmann; Electrophysiological evidence for independent speed channels in human motion processing. Journal of Vision 2004;4(6):6. doi: 10.1167/4.6.6.
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A variety of psychophysical studies suggests that motion perception in humans is mediated by at least two speed-tuned channels. To study the neurophysiological underpinnings of these channels in the human visual cortex, we recorded visual evoked potentials (VEPs) to motion onset. We applied an adaptation paradigm that allowed us (a) to isolate and extract direction-specific cortical responses and (b) to assess cross-adaptation in the speed domain. VEPs resulting from the onset of left- or rightward motion at either low or high speeds were recorded from three occipital recording sites in 11 subjects. For each of these test stimuli, responses were collected after adaptation to one of five different conditions: a static adaptation pattern (baseline), adaptation to low-speed motion (3.5°/s) either in the same or in the opposite direction as the test, or adaptation to high-speed motion (32°/s) either in the same or in the opposite direction as the test. We report considerable direction-specific adaptation for same adaptation and test speeds (by 28–37% of baseline response; p < .002), whereas there was no direction-specific adaptation across speeds. We supplement these electrophysiological data with corresponding psychophysical results. The lack of direction-specific cross-adaptation in the speed domain demonstrated with physiological and psychophysical techniques supports models of at least two speed-tuned channels in the human motion system
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