October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
Neural numerosity selectivity changes after visual numerosity adaptation
Author Affiliations
  • Andromachi Tsouli
    Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    The Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Yuxuan Cai
    The Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Martijn van Ackooij
    Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Shir Hofstetter
    The Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Ben M. Harvey
    Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Susan F. te Pas
    Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Maarten J. van der Smagt
    Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Serge O. Dumoulin
    Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    The Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 486. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.486
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      Andromachi Tsouli, Yuxuan Cai, Martijn van Ackooij, Shir Hofstetter, Ben M. Harvey, Susan F. te Pas, Maarten J. van der Smagt, Serge O. Dumoulin; Neural numerosity selectivity changes after visual numerosity adaptation. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):486. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.486.

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

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Abstract

The perception of visual numerosity (i.e. the set size of a group of items) is an evolutionarily preserved ability found in humans and animals. A useful method to infer the neural underpinnings of a given perceptual feature is sensory adaptation. Numerosity is susceptible to adaptation, similarly to other visual features. Recently, we have shown numerosity-selective neural populations with a topographic organisation in the human brain. Here, we investigated whether the numerosity selectivity of these neural populations changes during adaptation to visual numerosity. Using 7 Tesla ultra-high field fMRI, we scanned participants while they viewed stimuli which systematically changed in numerosity (1 to 7 dots with a baseline of 20 dots). In the adaptation conditions, the conventional numerosity stimuli were interleaved with a low or high numerosity adapter, consisting of 1 or 20 dots, respectively. We analysed the responses using custom-build population receptive field neural models of numerosity encoding, and compared estimated numerosity preferences between adaptation conditions. We replicated our previous studies where we found several topographic maps of numerosity-selective responses. During numerosity adaptation, we found that the numerosity preferences within the numerosity maps were biased towards the numerosity of the adapter. Specifically, and after adaptation to a low numerosity (1 dot), the numerosity preference of the numerosity maps was biased towards lower numerosities, whereas after adaptation to a high numerosity (20 dots), the numerosity preference of the numerosity maps was biased towards higher numerosities. These results suggest that the observed changes in numerosity-selective neural populations could contribute to the perceptual effects of numerosity adaptation.

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