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Diana J. Gorbet, Frances Wilkinson, Hugh R. Wilson; An fMRI examination of the neural processing of periodic motion trajectories. Journal of Vision 2012;12(11):5. doi: 10.1167/12.11.5.
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Perception of periodic or closed-circuit motion trajectories plays a crucial role in our ability to learn and perform many common skilled actions. For example, periodic trajectories are a key component of many types of biological movements when viewed relative to body translation. In the current fMRI study, we used a novel visual stimulus consisting of a target moving along a closed trajectory defined by a radial frequency (RF) pattern (i.e., a sinusoidal variation of trajectory radius relative to a circular trajectory) to determine which brain regions encode these periodic movement paths. Multivoxel pattern analyses permitted prediction of the shapes of different periodic trajectories within regions V2 and V3 indicating that these regions play a role in the processing of periodic visual motion. In addition, blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) responses associated with the presentation of targets moving along RF trajectories compared with nonperiodic motion and static RF shapes revealed significantly greater activity in visual areas V1, V2, V3, V3A, and V4. To our knowledge, the results of this study represent the first examination of the functional brain activity underlying periodic motion processing and should inform further study.
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