The cortical site of visual suppression by transcranial magnetic stimulation.

A. Thielscher, A. Reichenbach, K. Ugurbil, K. Uludag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In visual suppression paradigms, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) applied approximately 90 ms after visual stimulus presentation over occipital visual areas can robustly interfere with visual perception, thereby most likely affecting feedback activity from higher areas (Amassian VE, Cracco RQ, Maccabee PJ, Cracco JB, Rudell A, Eberle L. 1989. Suppression of visual perception by magnetic coil stimulation of human occipital cortex. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 74:458-462.). It is speculated that the observed effects might stem primarily from the disruption of V1 activity. This hypothesis, although under debate, argues in favor of a special role of V1 in visual awareness. In this study, we combine TMS, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and calculation of the induced electric field to study the neural correlates of visual suppression. For parafoveal visual stimulation in the lower right half of the visual field, area V2d is shown to be the likely TMS target based on its anatomical location close to the skull surface. Furthermore, isolated stimulation of area V3 also results in robust visual suppression. Notably, V3 stimulation does not directly affect the feedback from higher visual areas that is relayed mainly via V2 to V1. These findings support the view that intact activity patterns in several early visual areas (rather than merely in V1) are likewise important for the perception of the stimulus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-338
Number of pages11
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

Keywords

  • AREAS
  • COIL STIMULATION
  • CONSCIOUS HUMANS
  • ELECTRIC-FIELDS
  • FINITE NEURONAL STRUCTURES
  • HUMAN CEREBRAL-CORTEX
  • INDUCED PHOSPHENES
  • MOTOR CORTEX
  • PERIPHERAL-NERVE
  • PSYCHOMETRIC FUNCTION
  • area V2
  • primary visual cortex
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • visual awareness
  • visual suppression

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