Top-down modulations in the visual form pathway revealed with dynamic causal modeling

Cardin, Velia, Friston, Karl J. and Zeki, Semir (2011) Top-down modulations in the visual form pathway revealed with dynamic causal modeling. Cerebral Cortex, 21 (3). pp. 550-562. ISSN 1047-3211

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Perception entails interactions between activated brain visual areas and the records of previous sensations, allowing for processes like figure-ground segregation and object recognition. The aim of this study was to characterize top-down effects that originate in the visual cortex and that are involved in the generation and perception of form. We performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment, where subjects viewed 3 groups of stimuli comprising oriented lines with different levels of recognizable high-order structure (none, collinearity, and meaning). Our results showed that recognizable stimuli cause larger activations in anterior visual and frontal areas. In contrast, when stimuli are random or unrecognizable, activations are greater in posterior visual areas, following a hierarchical organization where areas V1/V2 were less active with "collinearity" and the middle occipital cortex was less active with "meaning." An effective connectivity analysis using dynamic causal modeling showed that high-order visual form engages higher visual areas that generate top-down signals, from multiple levels of the visual hierarchy. These results are consistent with a model in which if a stimulus has recognizable attributes, such as collinearity and meaning, the areas specialized for processing these attributes send top-down messages to the lower levels to facilitate more efficient encoding of visual form.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Uncontrolled Keywords: dcm,fmri,form,visual
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2016 13:00
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2022 02:53
DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhq122

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