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Proceedings Paper

Instantaneous stimulus paradigm: cortical network and dynamics of figure-ground organization
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Paper Abstract

To reveal the cortical network underlying figure/ground perception and to understand its neural dynamics, we developed a novel paradigm that creates distinct and prolonged percepts of spatial structures by instantaneous refreshes in random dot fields. Three different forms of spatial configuration were generated by: (i) updating the whole stimulus field, (ii) updating the ground region only (negative-figure), and (iii) updating the figure and ground regions in brief temporal asynchrony. FMRI responses were measured throughout the brain. As expected, activation by the homogenous whole-field update was focused onto the posterior part of the brain, but distinct networks extending beyond the occipital lobe into the parietal and frontal cortex were activated by the figure/ground and by the negativefigure configurations. The instantaneous stimulus paradigm generated a wide variety of BOLD waveforms and corresponding neural response estimates throughout the network. Such expressly different responses evoked by differential stimulation of the identical cortical regions assure that the differences could be securely attributed to the neural dynamics, not to spatial variations in the HRF. The activation pattern for figure/ground implies a widely distributed neural architecture, distinct from the control conditions. Even where activations are partially overlapping, an integrated analysis of the BOLD response properties will enable the functional specificity of the cortical areas to be distinguished.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 March 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6492, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XII, 64921E (14 March 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.707556
Show Author Affiliations
Lora T. Likova, The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute (United States)
Christopher W. Tyler, The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6492:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XII
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas; Scott J. Daly, Editor(s)

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