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Encoding of three-dimensional structure-from-motion by primate area MT neurons

Bradley, David C. and Chang, Grace C. and Andersen, Richard A. (1998) Encoding of three-dimensional structure-from-motion by primate area MT neurons. Nature, 392 (6677). pp. 714-717. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/33688.

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We see the world as three-dimensional, but because the retinal image is flat, we must derive the third dimension, depth, from two-dimensional cues. Image movement provides one of the most potent cues for depth. For example, the shadow of a contorted wire appears flat when the wire is stationary, but rotating the wire causes motion in the shadow, which suddenly appears three-dimensional. The neural mechanism of this effect, known as 'structure-from-motion', has not been discovered. Here we study cortical area MT, a primate region that is involved in visual motion perception. Two rhesus monkeys were trained to fixate their gaze while viewing two-dimensional projections of transparent, revolving cylinders. These stimuli appear to be three-dimensional, but the surface order perceived (front as opposed to back) tends to reverse spontaneously. These reversals occur because the stimulus does not specify which surface is in front or at the back. Monkeys reported which surface order they perceived after viewing the stimulus. In many of the neurons tested, there was a reproducible change in activity that coincided with reversals of the perceived surface order, even though the stimulus remained identical. This suggests that area MT has a basic role in structure-from-motion perception.

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Andersen, Richard A.0000-0002-7947-0472
Additional Information:© 1998 Macmillan Publishers Ltd. Received 4 August 1997; accepted 20 January 1998. We thank B. Gillikin and S. Gertmenian for technical assistance and F. Crick and C. Koch for comments on the manuscript. Supported by grants from the National Eye Institute, the Human Frontier Science Program, and the Sloan Foundation for Theoretical Neurobiology.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Eye InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Human Frontier Science ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6677
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150605-151536707
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Official Citation:Bradley, D., Chang, G. & Andersen, R. Encoding of three-dimensional structure-from-motion by primate area MT neurons. Nature 392, 714–717 (1998).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:58064
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 Jun 2015 23:50
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:58

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