J Neurophysiol. 2003 Nov;90(5):3242-54 doi: 10.1152/jn.00693.2003. 2003 Aug 13.

Neuroimaging of direction-selective mechanisms for second-order motion

Nishida S, Sasaki Y, Murakami I, Watanabe T, Tootell RB.


Psychophysical findings have revealed a functional segregation of processing for 1st-order motion (movement of luminance modulation) and 2nd-order motion (e.g., movement of contrast modulation). However neural correlates of this psychophysical distinction remain controversial. To test for a corresponding anatomical segregation, we conducted a new functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study to localize direction-selective cortical mechanisms for 1st- and 2nd-order motion stimuli, by measuring direction-contingent response changes induced by motion adaptation, with deliberate control of attention. The 2nd-order motion stimulus generated direction-selective adaptation in a wide range of visual cortical areas, including areas V1, V2, V3, VP, V3A, V4v, and MT+. Moreover, the pattern of activity was similar to that obtained with 1st-order motion stimuli. Contrary to expectations from psychophysics, these results suggest that in the human visual cortex, the direction of 2nd-order motion is represented as early as V1. In addition, we found no obvious anatomical segregation in the neural substrates for 1st- and 2nd-order motion processing that can be resolved using standard fMRI.

PMID: 12917391