Skilled interaction with objects in peripersonal space during visual navigation, object acquisition and manipulation (e.g., eating), and object avoidance is crucial in everyday life, not the least to avoid damage to the face and head. These abilities are impaired after parietal strokes that cause neglect. The goal of this investigation is to map the location and internal organization of parietal, temporal, and frontal cortical areas involved in combining visual and somatosensory information in peripersonal space. Studies in several areas in non-human primates including the ventral intraparietal area (VIP), area 7b, and the precentral polysensory zone (PZ) have shown that they contain multisensory neurons. In the case of VIP, neurons have aligned visual and somatosensory receptive fields on the face and upper body. VIP can be thought of as a parietal face area alongside the better known temporal lobe face areas involved in face recognition. The visual receptive fields of some VIP neurons shift relative to the retina in order to maintain responsiveness to the same part of visual space defined with respect to the head, suggesting that VIP uses a head-centered coordinate system. Neurons in VIP respond vigorously to optical flow stimuli like those produced by object movement and self-movement through complex environment (e.g., expansion).
Our first aim i s to retinotopically map the three multisensory areas. This extends our previous work mapping early and intermediate visual areas.
Our second aim i s to map the internal structure of the somatosensory responses in these areas using phase-encoded spatial air-puff stimuli on the face, neck, shoulders, and arms, to determine how stimuli from visual and somatosensory modalities interact, and to determine if the visual maps in human VIP, as well as 7b and PZ are head-centered.
The third aim i s to see whether these multisensory areas respond when subjects simply imagine navigating through familiar environments or imagine objects (e.g., a bee) approaching their face.
The fourth aim i s to determine to what extent these same areas automatically participate in cognitive tasks involving metaphorical ego or object movements in ordinary sentences such as, "We are coming up on the holidays" or "Thanksgiving is approaching".
The head contains the brain and key sense organs that must be protected in everyday encounters with objects, some of which need to be avoided and others of which need to be approached and sometimes eaten. These abilities are impaired in several different brain diseases.
This research aims to understand how visual and touch information is combined and processed during near-face encounters with moving objects.
|Strappini, Francesca; Pitzalis, Sabrina; Snyder, Abraham Z et al. (2015) Eye position modulates retinotopic responses in early visual areas: a bias for the straight-ahead direction. Brain Struct Funct 220:2587-601|
|Lyness, Rebecca C; Alvarez, I; Sereno, Martin I et al. (2014) Microstructural differences in the thalamus and thalamic radiations in the congenitally deaf. Neuroimage 100:347-57|
|Sereno, Martin I; Huang, Ruey-Song (2014) Multisensory maps in parietal cortex. Curr Opin Neurobiol 24:39-46|
|Sereno, Martin I (2014) Origin of symbol-using systems: speech, but not sign, without the semantic urge. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 369:20130303|
|Tierney, Adam; Dick, Fred; Deutsch, Diana et al. (2013) Speech versus song: multiple pitch-sensitive areas revealed by a naturally occurring musical illusion. Cereb Cortex 23:249-54|
|Pitzalis, S; Sereno, M I; Committeri, G et al. (2013) The human homologue of macaque area V6A. Neuroimage 82:517-30|
|Nagy, Zoltan; Alexander, Daniel C; Thomas, David L et al. (2013) Using high angular resolution diffusion imaging data to discriminate cortical regions. PLoS One 8:e63842|
|Ye, Zheng; Kutas, Marta; St George, Marie et al. (2012) Rearranging the world: neural network supporting the processing of temporal connectives. Neuroimage 59:3662-7|
|Woodhead, Zoe Victoria Joan; Wise, Richard James Surtees; Sereno, Marty et al. (2011) Dissociation of sensitivity to spatial frequency in word and face preferential areas of the fusiform gyrus. Cereb Cortex 21:2307-12|
|Dekker, Tessa; Mareschal, Denis; Sereno, Martin I et al. (2011) Dorsal and ventral stream activation and object recognition performance in school-age children. Neuroimage 57:659-70|