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Joris A. Elshout, Albert V. van den Berg, Koen V. Haak; Human V2A: A map of the peripheral visual hemifield with functional connections to scene-selective cortex. Journal of Vision 2018;18(9):22. doi: 10.1167/18.9.22.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Humans can recognize a scene in the blink of an eye. This gist-based visual scene perception is thought to be underpinned by specialized visual processing emphasizing the visual periphery at a cortical locus relatively low in the visual processing hierarchy. Using wide-field retinotopic mapping and population receptive field (pRF) modeling, we identified a new visual hemifield map anterior of area V2d and inferior to area V6, which we propose to call area V2A. Based on its location relative to other visual areas, V2A may correspond to area 23V described in nonhuman primates. The pRF analysis revealed unique receptive field properties for V2A: a large (FWHM ∼23°) and constant receptive field size across the central ∼70° of the visual field. Resting-state fMRI connectivity analysis further suggests that V2A is ideally suited to quickly feed the scene-processing network with information that is not biased towards the center of the visual field. Our findings not only indicate a likely cortical locus for the initial stages of gist-based visual scene perception, but also suggest a reappraisal of the organization of human dorsomedial occipital cortex with a strip of separate hemifield representations anterior to the early visual areas (V1, V2d, and V3d).
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