Asymmetric modulation of human visual cortex activity during 10° lateral gaze (fMRI study)

A. Deutschländer, E. Marx, T. Stephan, E. Riedel, M. Wiesmann, M. Dieterich, T. Brandt
2005 NeuroImage  
We used BOLD fMRI to study the differential effects of the direction of gaze on the visual and the ocular motor systems. Fixation of a target straight ahead was compared to fixation of a target 10-to the right and 10-to the left from gaze straight ahead, and to eyes open in complete darkness in thirteen healthy volunteers. While retinotopic coordinates remained the same in all fixation conditions, the fixation target shifted with respect to a head-centered frame of reference. During lateral
more » ... tion, deactivations in higher-order visual areas (one ventral cluster in the lingual and fusiform gyri and one dorsal cluster in the posterosuperior cuneus) and, as a trend, activations in early visual cortical areas were found predominantly in the hemisphere contralateral to the fixation target. We propose that visual processing is performed predominantly in the hemisphere contralateral to gaze direction, even during small gaze shifts into one visual hemifield. The excitability of visual neurons may be modulated depending on eye position to construct a head-centered frame of reference from a retinotopic input, thus allowing perceptual stability of space during eye movements. A further finding was that BOLD signal increases in fronto-parietal ocular motor and attentional structures were more pronounced during lateral than central fixation. D
doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.06.001 pmid:16005247 fatcat:fs6phvg7jzeyhlazxz4ikh5yze