Functional neuroanatomy of time-to-passage perception
Sikoglu, Elif M.
Vaina, Lucia M.
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Citation (published version)Yansong Geng, Elif M Sikoglu, Heiko Hecht, Lucia Vaina. 2018. "Functional neuroanatomy of time-to-passage perception." Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, Volume 8, pp. 622 - 640. https://doi.org/10.4236/jbbs.2018.811039
The time until an approaching object passes the observer is referred to as time-to-passage (TTP). Accurate judgment of TTP is critical for visually guided navigation, such as when walking, riding a bicycle, or driving a car. Previous research has shown that observers are able to make TTP judgments in the absence of information about local retinal object expansion. In this paper we combine psychophysics and functional MRI (fMRI) to investigate the neural substrate of TTP processing. In a previous psychophysical study, we demonstrated that when local retinal expansion cues are not available, observers take advantage of multiple sources of information to judge TTP, such as optic flow and object retinal velocities, and integrate these cues through a flexible and economic strategy. To induce strategy changes, we introduced trials with motion but without coherent optic flow (0% coherence of the background), and trials with coherent, but noisy, optic flow (75% coherence of the background). In a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study we found that coherent optic flow cues resulted in better behavioral performance as well as higher and broader cortical activations across the visual motion processing pathway. Blood oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal changes showed significant involvement of optic flow processing in the precentral sulcus (PreCS), postcentral sulcus (PostCS) and middle temporal gyrus (MTG) across all conditions. Not only highly activated during motion processing, bilateral hMT areas also showed a complex pattern in TTP judgment processing, which reflected a flexible TTP response strategy.
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