Type of featural attention differentially modulates hMT+ responses to illusory motion aftereffects

M. Castelo-Branco, L.R. Kozak, E. Formisano, J. Teixeira, J. Xavier, R. Goebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Activity in the human motion complex (hMT(+)/V5) is related to the perception of motion, be it either real surface motion or an illusion of motion such as apparent motion (AM) or motion aftereffect (MAE). It is a long-lasting debate whether illusory motion-related activations in hMT(+) represent the motion itself or attention to it. We have asked whether hMT(+) responses to MAEs are present when shifts in arousal are suppressed and attention is focused on concurrent motion versus nonmotion features. Significant enhancement of hMT(+) activity was observed during MAEs when attention was focused either on concurrent spatial angle or color features. This observation was confirmed by direct comparison of adapting (MAE inducing) versus nonadapting conditions. In contrast, this effect was diminished when subjects had to report on concomitant speed changes of superimposed AM. The same finding was observed for concomitant orthogonal real motion (RM), suggesting that selective attention to concurrent illusory or real motion was interfering with the saliency of MAE signals in hMT(+). We conclude that MAE-related changes in the global activity of hMT(+) are present provided selective attention is not focused on an interfering feature such as concurrent motion. Accordingly, there is a genuine MAE-related motion signal in hMT(+) that is neither explained by shifts in arousal nor by selective attention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3016-3025
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Volume102
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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