September 2021
Volume 21, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2021
Development of the visual pathways predicts changes in electrophysiological responses in visual cortex
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sendy Caffarra
    Stanford University School of Medicine, Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, Stanford, CA, USA.
    Stanford University Graduate School of Education, Stanford, CA, USA.
    Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language, San Sebastian, Spain.
  • Sung Jun Joo
    Department of Psychology, Pusan National University, Busan, Republic of Korea.
  • David Bloom
    Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
    eScience Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
  • John Kruper
    Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
    eScience Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
  • Ariel Rokem
    Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
    eScience Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
  • Jason D. Yeatman
    Stanford University School of Medicine, Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, Stanford, CA, USA.
    Stanford University Graduate School of Education, Stanford, CA, USA.
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  SC was funded by the European Union (H2020-MSCA-IF-2018-837228-ENGRAVING)
Journal of Vision September 2021, Vol.21, 2127. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.9.2127
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      Sendy Caffarra, Sung Jun Joo, David Bloom, John Kruper, Ariel Rokem, Jason D. Yeatman; Development of the visual pathways predicts changes in electrophysiological responses in visual cortex. Journal of Vision 2021;21(9):2127. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.9.2127.

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

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Abstract

The latency of neural responses in visual cortex varies dramatically among individuals and changes systematically across the lifespan. Does maturation of the visual pathways predict changes in electrophysiology? Here we test the hypothesis that development of the optic radiations mediates developmental changes in conduction velocities of visual signals. Thirty-eight children participated in a cross-sectional study including a diffusion MRI and an MEG session (17 females, mean age: 9.5 y, SD: 1.6, age range: 7-12 y, between-sessions time gap: 0-35 dd). During the MEG acquisition participants were presented with a sequence of high and low contrast visual stimuli (HC and LC), including words and noise patches. A fixation and a lexical decision task were performed on the same stimuli in alternating runs. For all stimulus types and tasks, early evoked fields were observed around 100 ms after stimulus onset (M100), with a reduced amplitude and longer latency for low as compared to high contrast images. The left and right optic radiations (OR) was identified in each individual’s brain based on anatomically constrained probabilistic tractography and mean fractional anisotropy (FA) was calculated for each pathway. OR FA predicted electrophysiological characteristics of M100 responses, and this was particularly clear in high contrast stimuli: the greater the OR FA the faster the M100 latency and the bigger its amplitude. Moreover, a time-frequency decomposition of the M100 response revealed that participants with higher OR FA had greater power and inter-trial coherence. Examining changes over this developmental window, the M100 peak latency to HC became faster with age and the FA of the optic radiation fully mediated this effect. Similar FA mediation effects were found for the M100 amplitude and power. These findings suggest that development of the optic radiation over childhood accounts for individual differences in the developmental trajectory observed in early visual evoked responses.

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