Saturday, April 5, 2008

Quantitative multifocal fMRI shows active suppression in human V1

Pihlaja M, Henriksson L, James AC, Vanni S
Hum Brain Mapp. 2008 Apr 1

Multifocal functional magnetic resonance imaging has recently been introduced as an alternative method for retinotopic mapping, and it enables effective functional localization of multiple regions-of-interest in the visual cortex. In this study we characterized interactions in V1 with spatially and temporally identical stimuli presented alone, or as a part of a nine-region multifocal stimulus. We compared stimuli at different contrasts, collinear and orthogonal orientations and spatial frequencies one octave apart. Results show clear attenuation of BOLD signal from the central region in the multifocal condition. The observed modulation in BOLD signal could be produced either by neural suppression resulting from stimulation of adjacent regions of visual field, or alternatively by hemodynamic saturation or stealing effects in V1. However, we find that attenuation of the central response persists through a range of contrasts, and that its strength varies with relative orientation and spatial frequency of the central and surrounding stimulus regions, indicating active suppression mechanisms of neural origin. Our results also demonstrate that the extent of the signal spreading is commensurate with the extent of the horizontal connections in primate V1. Hum Brain Mapp, 2008. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID: 18381768

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