Journal of Neurophysiology vol:71 issue:5 pages:1597-626
1. We recorded and tested quantitatively 65 middle temporal (MT) and 82 middle superior temporal (MST) cells in paralyzed and anesthetized monkeys. 2. Responses to the three elementary optic flow components (EFCs)--rotation, deformation, and expansion/contraction--and to translation (in the display) were compared after optimization of stimulus direction, speed, size, and position. As a control responses to flicker were measured. 3. Response windows were adapted in correspondence with our finding that latencies of MT and MST cells decrease with increasing speed for all types of motion. 4. There was a response continuum in MT as well as in MST cells. Compared with translation, MST cells responded significantly more to rotation but less to flicker than MT cells. MST cells were significantly more direction selective for expansion/contraction than MT cells. 5. MST cells generally responded to fewer motion types than MT cells. 6. Position invariance of EFC direction selectivity was tested over a region of the visual field centered on the translation receptive field (RF). Direction selectivity for an EFC was not position invariant in MT cells but it was invariant in 40% of the MST cells tested. These cells were considered EFC selective. 7. Most EFC-selective MST cells were selective for a single EFC, possibly combined with translation. Few of them were selective for deformation. 8. EFC selectivity was also speed invariant and EFC-selective MST cells usually had RFs summating inputs over wide portions of the visual field. 9. EFC-selective MST cells with similar selectivities were clustered.