• Disruptions to human speed perception induced by motion adaptation and transcranial magnetic stimulation.

      Burton, Mark P.; McKeefry, Declan J.; Barrett, Brendan T.; Vakrou, Chara; Morland, A.B. (Wiley, 2009-11)
      To investigate the underlying nature of the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on speed perception, we applied repetitive TMS (rTMS) to human V5/MT+ following adaptation to either fast- (20 deg/s) or slow (4 deg/s)-moving grating stimuli. The adapting stimuli induced changes in the perceived speed of a standard reference stimulus moving at 10 deg/s. In the absence of rTMS, adaptation to the slower stimulus led to an increase in perceived speed of the reference, whilst adaptation to the faster stimulus produced a reduction in perceived speed. These induced changes in speed perception can be modelled by a ratio-taking operation of the outputs of two temporally tuned mechanisms that decay exponentially over time. When rTMS was applied to V5/MT+ following adaptation, the perceived speed of the reference stimulus was reduced, irrespective of whether adaptation had been to the faster- or slower-moving stimulus. The fact that rTMS after adaptation always reduces perceived speed, independent of which temporal mechanism has undergone adaptation, suggests that rTMS does not selectively facilitate activity of adapted neurons but instead leads to suppression of neural function. The results highlight the fact that potentially different effects are generated by TMS on adapted neuronal populations depending upon whether or not they are responding to visual stimuli.
    • Functional evidence for cone-specific connectivity in the human retina

      Whitaker, David J.; McGraw, Paul V.; McKeefry, Declan J.; Vakrou, Chara (2009-06-09)
      Physiological studies of colour vision have not yet resolved the controversial issue of how chromatic opponency is constructed at a neuronal level. Two competing theories, the cone-selective hypothesis and the random-wiring hypothesis, are currently equivocal to the architecture of the primate retina. In central vision, both schemes are capable of producing colour opponency due to the fact that receptive field centres receive input from a single bipolar cell ¿ the so called `private line arrangement¿. However, in peripheral vision this single-cone input to the receptive field centre is lost, so that any random cone connectivity would result in a predictable reduction in the quality of colour vision. Behavioural studies thus far have indeed suggested a selective loss of chromatic sensitivity in peripheral vision. We investigated chromatic sensitivity as a function of eccentricity for the cardinal chromatic (L/M and S/(L + M)) and achromatic (L + M) pathways, adopting stimulus size as the critical variable. Results show that performance can be equated across the visual field simply by a change of scale (size). In other words, there exists no qualitative loss of chromatic sensitivity across the visual field. Critically, however, the quantitative nature of size dependency for each of the cardinal chromatic and achromatic mechanisms is very specific, reinforcing their independence in terms of anatomy and genetics. Our data provide clear evidence for a physiological model of primate colour vision that retains chromatic quality in peripheral vision, thus supporting the cone-selective hypothesis.
    • Induced deficits in speed perception by transcranial magnetic stimulation of human cortical areas V5/MT+ and V3A

      McKeefry, Declan J.; Burton, Mark P.; Vakrou, Chara; Barrett, Brendan T.; Morland, A.B. (Society for Neuroscience, 02/07/2008)
      In this report, we evaluate the role of visual areas responsive to motion in the human brain in the perception of stimulus speed. We first identified and localized V1, V3A, and V5/MT+ in individual participants on the basis of blood oxygenation level-dependent responses obtained in retinotopic mapping experiments and responses to moving gratings. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was then used to disrupt the normal functioning of the previously localized visual areas in each participant. During the rTMS application, participants were required to perform delayed discrimination of the speed of drifting or spatial frequency of static gratings. The application of rTMS to areas V5/MT and V3A induced a subjective slowing of visual stimuli and ( often) caused increases in speed discrimination thresholds. Deficits in spatial frequency discrimination were not observed for applications of rTMS to V3A or V5/MT+. The induced deficits in speed perception were also specific to the cortical site of TMS delivery. The application of TMS to regions of the cortex adjacent to V5/MT and V3A, as well as to area V1, produced no deficits in speed perception. These results suggest that, in addition to area V5/MT+, V3A plays an important role in a cortical network that underpins the perception of stimulus speed in the human brain.
    • Positional adaptation reveals multiple chromatic mechanisms in human vision.

      McGraw, Paul V.; McKeefry, Declan J.; Whitaker, David J.; Vakrou, Chara (2004)
      Precortical color vision is mediated by three independent opponent or cardinal mechanisms that linearly combine receptoral outputs to form L/M, S/(L+M), and L+M channels. However, data from a variety of psychophysical and physiological experiments indicate that chromatic processing undergoes a reorganization away from the basic opponent model. Frequently, this post-opponent reorganization is viewed in terms of the generation of multiple ¿higher order¿ chromatic mechanisms, tuned to a wide variety of axes in color space. Moreover, adaptation experiments have revealed that the synthesis of these mechanisms occurs at a level in the cortex following the binocular integration of the inputs from each eye. Here we report results from an experiment in which the influence of chromatic adaptation on the perceived visual location of a test stimulus was explored using a Vernier alignment task. The results indicate that not only is positional information processed independently within the L/M, S/(L+M), and L+M channels, but that when adapting and test stimuli are extended to non-cardinal axes, the existence of multiple chromatically tuned mechanisms is revealed. Most importantly, the effects of chromatic adaptation on this task exhibit little interocular transfer and have rapid decay rates, consistent with chromatic as opposed to contrast adaptation. These findings suggest that the reorganization of chromatic processing may take place earlier in the visual pathway than previously thought.