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      Neural bases of self‐ and object‐motion in a naturalistic vision


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          To plan movements toward objects our brain must recognize whether retinal displacement is due to self‐motion and/or to object‐motion. Here, we aimed to test whether motion areas are able to segregate these types of motion. We combined an event‐related functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment, brain mapping techniques, and wide‐field stimulation to study the responsivity of motion‐sensitive areas to pure and combined self‐ and object‐motion conditions during virtual movies of a train running within a realistic landscape. We observed a selective response in MT to the pure object‐motion condition, and in medial (PEc, pCi, CSv, and CMA) and lateral (PIC and LOR) areas to the pure self‐motion condition. Some other regions (like V6) responded more to complex visual stimulation where both object‐ and self‐motion were present. Among all, we found that some motion regions (V3A, LOR, MT, V6, and IPSmot) could extract object‐motion information from the overall motion, recognizing the real movement of the train even when the images remain still (on the screen), or moved, because of self‐movements. We propose that these motion areas might be good candidates for the “flow parsing mechanism,” that is the capability to extract object‐motion information from retinal motion signals by subtracting out the optic flow components.

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          A cortical representation of the local visual environment.

          Medial temporal brain regions such as the hippocampal formation and parahippocampal cortex have been generally implicated in navigation and visual memory. However, the specific function of each of these regions is not yet clear. Here we present evidence that a particular area within human parahippocampal cortex is involved in a critical component of navigation: perceiving the local visual environment. This region, which we name the 'parahippocampal place area' (PPA), responds selectively and automatically in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to passively viewed scenes, but only weakly to single objects and not at all to faces. The critical factor for this activation appears to be the presence in the stimulus of information about the layout of local space. The response in the PPA to scenes with spatial layout but no discrete objects (empty rooms) is as strong as the response to complex meaningful scenes containing multiple objects (the same rooms furnished) and over twice as strong as the response to arrays of multiple objects without three-dimensional spatial context (the furniture from these rooms on a blank background). This response is reduced if the surfaces in the scene are rearranged so that they no longer define a coherent space. We propose that the PPA represents places by encoding the geometry of the local environment.
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            A common network of functional areas for attention and eye movements.

            Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and surface-based representations of brain activity were used to compare the functional anatomy of two tasks, one involving covert shifts of attention to peripheral visual stimuli, the other involving both attentional and saccadic shifts to the same stimuli. Overlapping regional networks in parietal, frontal, and temporal lobes were active in both tasks. This anatomical overlap is consistent with the hypothesis that attentional and oculomotor processes are tightly integrated at the neural level.
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              Parahippocampal and retrosplenial contributions to human spatial navigation.

              Spatial navigation is a core cognitive ability in humans and animals. Neuroimaging studies have identified two functionally defined brain regions that activate during navigational tasks and also during passive viewing of navigationally relevant stimuli such as environmental scenes: the parahippocampal place area (PPA) and the retrosplenial complex (RSC). Recent findings indicate that the PPA and RSC have distinct and complementary roles in spatial navigation, with the PPA more concerned with representation of the local visual scene and RSC more concerned with situating the scene within the broader spatial environment. These findings are a first step towards understanding the separate components of the cortical network that mediates spatial navigation in humans.

                Author and article information

                Hum Brain Mapp
                Hum Brain Mapp
                Human Brain Mapping
                John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (Hoboken, USA )
                11 November 2019
                March 2020
                : 41
                : 4 ( doiID: 10.1002/hbm.v41.4 )
                : 1084-1111
                [ 1 ] Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences University of Rome Foro Italico Rome Italy
                [ 2 ] Cognitive and Motor Rehabilitation Unit Santa Lucia Foundation (IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia) Rome Italy
                [ 3 ] Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences University of Bologna Bologna Italy
                [ 4 ] Laboratory of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Neuroscience Imaging and Clinical Sciences, and Institute for Advanced Biomedical Technologies (ITAB), University G. d'Annunzio Chieti Italy
                [ 5 ] Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Teramo Teramo Italy
                [ 6 ] Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology University of Bologna Bologna Italy
                [ 7 ] Brain Imaging Laboratory, Department of Psychology Sapienza University Rome Italy
                Author notes
                [*] [* ] Correspondence

                Sabrina Pitzalis, Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, Rome 00194, Italy.

                Email: sabrina.pitzalis@ 123456uniroma4.it

                © 2019 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 9, Tables: 2, Pages: 28, Words: 26392
                Funded by: Italian Ministry of Health
                Award ID: RC2010‐11
                Funded by: Italian Ministry of University and Research
                Funded by: University of Rome Foro Italico , open-funder-registry 10.13039/100012998;
                Award ID: RIC142016
                Research Article
                Research Articles
                Custom metadata
                March 2020
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.8.3 mode:remove_FC converted:03.06.2020

                area v6,brain mapping,flow parsing,fmri,optic flow,wide‐field
                area v6, brain mapping, flow parsing, fmri, optic flow, wide‐field


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