A network of topographic maps in human association cortex hierarchically transforms visual timing-selective responses

Harvey, B. M., Dumoulin, S. O., Fracasso, A. and Paul, J. M. (2020) A network of topographic maps in human association cortex hierarchically transforms visual timing-selective responses. Current Biology, 30(8), 1424-1434.e6. (doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.01.090) (PMID:32142704) (PMCID:PMC7181178)

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Summary: Accurately timing sub-second sensory events is crucial when perceiving our dynamic world. This ability allows complex human behaviors that require timing-dependent multisensory integration and action planning. Such behaviors include perception and performance of speech, music, driving, and many sports. How are responses to sensory event timing processed for multisensory integration and action planning? We measured responses to viewing systematically changing visual event timing using ultra-high-field fMRI. We analyzed these responses with neural population response models selective for event duration and frequency, following behavioral, computational, and macaque action planning results and comparisons to alternative models. We found systematic local changes in timing preferences (recently described in supplementary motor area) in an extensive network of topographic timing maps, mirroring sensory cortices and other quantity processing networks. These timing maps were partially left lateralized and widely spread, from occipital visual areas through parietal multisensory areas to frontal action planning areas. Responses to event duration and frequency were closely linked. As in sensory cortical maps, response precision varied systematically with timing preferences, and timing selectivity systematically varied between maps. Progressing from posterior to anterior maps, responses to multiple events were increasingly integrated, response selectivity narrowed, and responses focused increasingly on the middle of the presented timing range. These timing maps largely overlap with numerosity and visual field map networks. In both visual timing map and visual field map networks, selective responses and topographic map organization may facilitate hierarchical transformations by allowing neural populations to interact over minimal distances.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (452.17.012 to B.M.H.; 016.Vici.185.050 to S.O.D.); the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (IF/01405/2014 to B.M.H.); the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (Ammodo award to S.O.D.); and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/S006605/ 1 to A.F.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fracasso, Dr Alessio
Creator Roles:
Fracasso, A.Investigation, Data curation, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Harvey, B. M., Dumoulin, S. O., Fracasso, A., and Paul, J. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Current Biology
ISSN (Online):1879-0445
Published Online:05 March 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Harvey et al.
First Published:First published in Current Biology 30(8):1424-1434.e6
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
303685Stable perception of external stimuli over time: oculo-motor and visual processing mechanismsAlessio FracassoBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/S006605/1NP - Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNi)