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Anthony M. Norcia, Francesca Pei, Peter J. Kohler; Evidence for long-range spatiotemporal interactions in infant and adult visual cortex. Journal of Vision 2017;17(6):12. doi: 10.1167/17.6.12.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The development of spatiotemporal interactions giving rise to classical receptive field properties has been well studied in animal models, but little is known about the development of putative nonclassical mechanisms in any species. Here we used visual evoked potentials to study the developmental status of spatiotemporal interactions for stimuli that were biased to engage long-range spatiotemporal integration mechanisms. We compared responses to widely spaced stimuli presented either in temporal succession or at the same time. The former configuration elicits a percept of apparent motion in adults but the latter does not. Component flash responses were summed to make a linear prediction (no spatiotemporal interaction) for comparison with the measured evoked responses to sequential or simultaneous flash conditions. In adults, linear summation of the separate flash responses measured with 40% contrast stimuli predicted sequential flash responses twice as large as those measured, indicating that the response measured under apparent motion conditions is subadditive. Simultaneous-flash responses at the same spatial separation were also subadditive, but substantially less so. The subadditivity in both cases could be modeled as a simple multiplicative gain term across all electrodes and time points. In infants aged 3–8 months, responses to the stimuli used in adults were similar to their linear predictions at 40%, but the responses measured at 80% contrast resembled the subadditive responses of the adults for both sequential and simultaneous flash conditions. We interpret the developmental data as indicating that adult-like long-range spatiotemporal interactions can be demonstrated by 3–8 months, once stimulus contrast is high enough.
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