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Title: Visual space and object space in the cerebral cortex of retinal disease patients
Authors: Goesaert, Elfi * ×
Van Baelen, Marc *
Spileers, Werner
Wagemans, Johan
Op de Beeck, Hans #
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Public Library of Sciene
Series Title: PLoS One vol:9 issue:2
Article number: e88248
Abstract: The lower areas of the hierarchically organized visual cortex are strongly retinotopically organized, with strong responses to specific retinotopic stimuli, and no response to other stimuli outside these preferred regions. Higher areas in the ventral occipitotemporal cortex show a weak eccentricity bias, and are mainly sensitive for object category (e.g., faces versus buildings). This study investigated how the mapping of eccentricity and category sensitivity using functional magnetic resonance imaging is affected by a retinal lesion in two very different low vision patients: a patient with a large central scotoma, affecting central input to the retina (juvenile macular degeneration), and a patient where input to the peripheral retina is lost (retinitis pigmentosa). From the retinal degeneration, we can predict specific losses of retinotopic activation. These predictions were confirmed when comparing stimulus activations with a no-stimulus fixation baseline. At the same time, however, seemingly contradictory patterns of activation, unexpected given the retinal degeneration, were observed when different stimulus conditions were directly compared. These unexpected activations were due to position-specific deactivations, indicating the importance of investigating absolute activation (relative to a no-stimulus baseline) rather than relative activation (comparing different stimulus conditions). Data from two controls, with simulated scotomas that matched the lesions in the two patients also showed that retinotopic mapping results could be explained by a combination of activations at the stimulated locations and deactivations at unstimulated locations. Category sensitivity was preserved in the two patients. In sum, when we take into account the full pattern of activations and deactivations elicited in retinotopic cortex and throughout the ventral object vision pathway in low vision patients, the pattern of (de)activation is consistent with the retinal loss.
ISSN: 1932-6203
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Laboratory for Biological Psychology
Laboratory for Experimental Psychology
Research Group Ophthalmology
* (joint) first author
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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