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Neural mechanisms of binocular motion in depth perception

Kaestner, Milena (2018) Neural mechanisms of binocular motion in depth perception. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Motion in depth (MID) can be cued by two binocular sources of information. These are changes in retinal disparity over time (changing disparity, CD), and binocular opponent velocity vectors (inter-ocular velocity difference, IOVD). This thesis presents a series of psychophysical and fMRI experiments investigating the neural pathways supporting the perception of CD and IOVD. The first two experiments investigated how CD and IOVD mechanisms draw on information encoded in the magnocellular, parvocellular and koniocellular pathways. The chromaticity of CD and IOVD-isolating stimuli was manipulated to bias activity in these three pathways. Although all stimulus types and chromaticities supported a MID percept, fMRI revealed an especially dominant koniocellular contribution to the IOVD mechanism. Because IOVD depends on eye-specific velocity signals, experiment three sought to identify an area in the brain that encodes motion direction and eye of origin information. Classification and multivariate pattern analysis techniques were applied to fMRI data, but no area where both types of information were present simultaneously was identified. Results suggested that IOVD mechanisms inherit eye-specific information from V1. Finally, experiment four asked whether activity elicited by CD and IOVD stimuli could also be modulated by an attentional task where participants were asked to detect changes in MID or local contrast. fMRI activity was strongly modulated by attentional state, and activity in motion-selective areas was predictive of whether participants correctly identified the change in CD or IOVD MID. This suggests that these areas contain populations of neurons that are crucial for detecting, and behaviourally responding to, both types of MID. The work presented in this thesis detail a thorough investigation of the neural pathways that underlie the computation of CD and IOVD cues to MID.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Psychology (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.759913
Depositing User: Ms Milena Kaestner
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 16:39
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2020 13:07
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21900

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