Neural activity underlying the detection of an object movement by an observer during forward self-motion: Dynamic decoding and temporal evolution of directional cortical connectivity.
Vaina, Lucia M.
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Citation (published version)N. Kozhemiako, A.S. Nunes, A. Samal, K.D. Rana, F.J. Calabro, M.S. Hämäläinen, S. Khan, L.M. Vaina. 2020. "Neural activity underlying the detection of an object movement by an observer during forward self-motion: Dynamic decoding and temporal evolution of directional cortical connectivity.." Prog Neurobiol, Volume 195, 101824. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pneurobio.2020.101824
Relatively little is known about how the human brain identifies movement of objects while the observer is also moving in the environment. This is, ecologically, one of the most fundamental motion processing problems, critical for survival. To study this problem, we used a task which involved nine textured spheres moving in depth, eight simulating the observer's forward motion while the ninth, the target, moved independently with a different speed towards or away from the observer. Capitalizing on the high temporal resolution of magnetoencephalography (MEG) we trained a Support Vector Classifier (SVC) using the sensor-level data to identify correct and incorrect responses. Using the same MEG data, we addressed the dynamics of cortical processes involved in the detection of the independently moving object and investigated whether we could obtain confirmatory evidence for the brain activity patterns used by the classifier. Our findings indicate that response correctness could be reliably predicted by the SVC, with the highest accuracy during the blank period after motion and preceding the response. The spatial distribution of the areas critical for the correct prediction was similar but not exclusive to areas underlying the evoked activity. Importantly, SVC identified frontal areas otherwise not detected with evoked activity that seem to be important for the successful performance in the task. Dynamic connectivity further supported the involvement of frontal and occipital-temporal areas during the task periods. This is the first study to dynamically map cortical areas using a fully data-driven approach in order to investigate the neural mechanisms involved in the detection of moving objects during observer's self-motion.
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