September 2011
Volume 11, Issue 11
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2011
Cortical responses to time_varying optic flow patterns show differential tuning by pattern type, speed, and scalp location
Author Affiliations
  • Jeremy Fesi
    Psychology, Penn State, USA
  • Amanda Thomas
    Psychology, Penn State, USA
  • Kenneth Hwang
    Psychology, Penn State, USA
  • Rick Gilmore
    Psychology, Penn State, USA
    Social, Life, & Engineering Sciences Imaging Center, Penn State, USA
Journal of Vision September 2011, Vol.11, 712. doi:
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      Jeremy Fesi, Amanda Thomas, Kenneth Hwang, Rick Gilmore; Cortical responses to time_varying optic flow patterns show differential tuning by pattern type, speed, and scalp location. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):712. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Adults show strong evoked electrical responses to direction_reversing optic flow fields organized in a radial (expansion/contraction) pattern, but weaker responses to rotation or lateral translation (Gilmore et al., 2007). Infants, in contrast, show the strongest evoked responses to lateral translation. Related research shows that adult and infant primates show different space/time tuning functions to global motion (Kiorpes & Movshon, 2004; Hou et al., 2009). In this study, we sought to determine whether adults show the same space/time tuning to different classes of flow patterns. We employed a high_density (128 electrode) montage to record steady_state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) responses to coherence modulations of three optic flow pattern types (left/right translation, rotation, and radial expansion/contraction) at three different speeds (2, 4, and 8 deg/s).Adult participants (n = 17; 11 female) viewed moving dot displays (7 amin dots, 79.4 cd/m2, density = 10%) that modulated in time from incoherent to 100% coherent global motion at 1.2 Hz (1F1). The dot update rate remained constant for all displays (24 Hz, 1F2). Consistent with previous research, responses at the motion coherence modulation frequency (1.2 Hz, 1F1) were largest to radial motion patterns, with peak amplitudes observed over lateral occipital/temporal electrodes. SSVEP amplitudes to rotational and translational patterns were smaller in amplitude overall, with peak amplitudes shown along the occipital midline. The findings suggest that separable cortical networks may process time-varying radial, rotational, and translational optic flow patterns in human adults.


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