Fast lane to area MT? No.

This is not a new result. In fact I have no idea when or why I added this 2003 paper to my database:

Azzopardi, P., Fallah, M., Gross, C.G. & Rodman, H.R. (2003) Response latencies of neurons in visual areas MT and MST of monkeys with striate cortex lesions. Neuropsychologia, 41, 1738-1757.

But whatever reason it was, I am glad that I rediscovered it while I was searching for something else. ffytche and Zeki had the idea that signals triggered by fast moving stimuli (faster than 6 degrees/second) can reach MT earlier than slow moving stimuli, possibly via a direct LGN-to-MT pathway specialized for fast motion. The theory was based on EEG/MEG data recorded in human subjects. I always liked the idea and found it plausible. But this monkey physiology paper very convincingly shows that the idea is flawed. Too bad.

Of course, there is a direct LGN to MT pathway (Sincich et al., 2004, Nature Neurosci., 7, 1123-1128), but it probably is not specialized for fast motion.

Related to this issue, I am really excited about the recent breakthrough in the superior colliculus-pulvinar-MT pathway. The technique potentially can be used to study many interesting cortical pathways.

Berman, R.A. & Wurtz, R.H. (2010) Functional identification of a pulvinar path from superior colliculus to cortical area MT. J. Neurosci., 30, 6342-6354.

Berman, R.A. & Wurst, R.H. (2011) Signals conveyed in the pulvinar pathway from superior colliculus to cortical area MT. J. Neurosci., 31, 373-384.

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~ by hhyu on January 26, 2011.

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