N.M. van Strien
- Activation of the human medial temporal lobes by stereoscopic depth cues
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- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The perirhinal cortex (PER) is part of both the medial temporal lobe memory system (MTL) and the ventral visual stream (VVS). In the MTL, PER provides input to the hippocampal formation directly and via the entorhinal cortex (EC), whereas in the VVS, PER is considered to be at the top of the visual processing hierarchy of object information. Because of its position in both networks, PER presumably serves a role in memory and visual perception. PER's perceptual role is thought to be contingent upon the complexity of visual information, i.e., PER only becomes active in visual perception when many higher order visual cues are combined. Using high-resolution functional MRI (fMRI), we investigated the effect of varying the presence of binocular disparity, in complex visual object stimuli. Nineteen subjects were presented with movies of complex objects and a fixation cross, either with or without binocular disparity (referred to as stereo and mono condition respectively). Subjects were instructed to attentively watch the objects, but no instructions were given to memorize them. Group results showed increased activity in the MTL, among which is PER, when comparing the stereo over the mono condition (stereo > mono).
Individual analysis showed dominant activation in the stereo > mono contrast in eleven out of nineteen subjects, whereas only three subjects showed dominance in the opposite contrast.We conclude that the MTL is differentially activated by the stereo and mono condition, such that activation is stronger when a complex visual object stimulus with
disparity is presented.
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