Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991) vol:7 issue:7 pages:690-701
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore, in individual subjects, the properties of the kinetic occipital (KO) region, which previous position emission tomography studies have shown to be involved in the processing of kinetic boundaries. The KO region was significantly activated in 23/25 subjects tested in the subtraction of uniform motion from kinetic gratings. The KO region is genuinely specialized for processing kinetic boundaries since it is significantly more activated by kinetic gratings than by luminance-defined gratings, uniform motion or transparent motion. This leaves only the kinetic boundaries, created by discontinuities in motion direction, as the specific stimulus aspect, activating the KO region. The KO region is anatomically and functionally distinct from areas MT/V5, V3 and V3A. It also has minimal overlap with the lateral occipital (LO) region. The selective activation of the KO region is robust and relatively immune to changes in stimulus size, spatial frequency and type of kinetic boundary. These results strongly argue for the view that the KO region is a new, separate, functional region in human occipital cortex.