Journal of Neurophysiology vol:105 issue:5 pages:2030-2042
The end stage areas of the ventral (IT) and the dorsal (AIP) visual streams encode the shape of disparity-defined three-dimensional (3D) surfaces. Recent anatomical tracer studies have found direct reciprocal connections between the 3D-shape selective areas in IT and AIP. Whether these anatomical connections are used to facilitate 3D-shape perception is still unknown. We simultaneously recorded multi-unit activity (MUA) and local field potentials in IT and AIP while monkeys discriminated between concave and convex 3D shapes and measured the degree to which the activity in IT and AIP synchronized during the task. We observed strong beta-band synchronization between IT and AIP preceding stimulus onset that decreased shortly after stimulus onset and became modulated by stereo-signal strength and stimulus contrast during the later portion of the stimulus period. The beta-coherence modulation was unrelated to task-difficulty, regionally specific, and dependent on the MUA selectivity of the pairs of sites under study. The beta-spike-field coherence in AIP predicted the upcoming choice of the monkey. Several convergent lines of evidence suggested AIP as the primary source of the AIP-IT synchronized activity. The synchronized beta activity seemed to occur during perceptual anticipation and when the system has stabilized to a particular perceptual state but not during active visual processing. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that synchronized activity exists between the end stages of the dorsal and ventral stream during 3D-shape discrimination.