Tilt representation beyond the retinotopic level
journal contributionposted on 11.05.2016, 14:53 by Sandeep Parwaga, David Buckley, Philip A. Duke
We perceive a stable visual world, which enables successful interaction with our environment, despite movements of the eyes, head, and body. How are such perceptions formed? One possibility is that retino-centric visual input is transformed into representations at higher levels, such as head-, body-, or world-centered representations. We investigated this hypothesis using the tilt aftereffect in a balanced adaptation paradigm designed to isolate head-, body-, and world-centered aftereffects. Observers adapted to two oppositely tilted stimuli, each contingent on one of two different gaze, head, or body directions. We found aftereffects contingent on gaze direction, but not head or body direction. This demonstrates that adaptable tilt representations exist in a head-centric frame but not in higher reference frames. These aftereffects may be attributed to adaptation of retinotopic tilt-sensitive neurons whose responses are modulated by gaze direction (gain fields). Such neurons could support functionally head-centric tilt representations and are found as early as V1. On the basis of our results we would not expect activity in tilt-sensitive neurons to be modulated by head or body direction. The balanced adaptation paradigm is a useful tool for examining properties of the process responsible for gaze modulation of activity in visual neurons.