Sunday, February 10, 2008

Retinotopy and Functional Subdivision of Human Areas MT and MST

Huk, A.C. et al. (August 15, 2002). Retinotopy and Functional Subdivision of Human Areas MT and MST. The Journal of Neuroscience, Volume 22, Number 16, 7195-7205.

Much research in neuroscience has begun with animal studies (and invasive techniques) and only later been continued with human subjects (with predominantly non-invasive methodologies). This paper discusses the attempts to reconcile the areas of visual cortex responsible for detecting visual motion in the macaque and the human. In particular, two sub-divisions of the dorsal superior temporal sulcus (STS) are well-studied in the macaque: the middle temporal (MT) and the medial superior temporal (MST) visual areas. The MT is characterized by a distinguishable retinotopic map and a coarse-grained small receptive field, whereas the MST is just the opposite. This experiment was designed to recognize areas displaying these characteristics in the human MT+ or V5 area, thought to be homologous to the macaque STS, using fMRI. Subregions of the human MT+ were tentatively identified, bridging the gap between animal and human research.

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