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Perception of Global Flow and Local Motion under Natural Conditions


Bartels,  A
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Foster, C., & Bartels, A. (2015). Perception of Global Flow and Local Motion under Natural Conditions. Poster presented at 16th Conference of Junior Neuroscientists of Tübingen (NeNa 2015): Communicating the Challenges of Science, Schramberg, Germany.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-AF6A-5
Our natural visual world contains a variety of different types of motion. Two of the most prominent are global
ow, the movement of the entire visual scene that occurs
whenever we make an eye or head movement, and local motion, the real movement of people and objects in our environment. We constantly have a mixture of these two kinds of motion, but generally have no problems distinguishing between the two, even though they can produce similar movements on the retina. This ability of the visual system was explored in the present study. Subjects watched a feature movie, used
as an approximation to the natural visual world whilst functional magnetic resonance images (fMRI) were made of their brains. Relative amounts of global ow and local
motion in the movie were determined using a motion algorithm, and compared to bloodoxygenation level dependent (BOLD) activations in specific visual regions of interest,
which were determined from standard retinotopic mapping and localizer techniques. A significant preference to local motion was identified in areas MST, V5/MT, V3A, V2
and V3. Furthermore whole brain analyses showed additional areas with a preference to local motion, and responses to global flow in activity in areas commonly involved in
perception of our surrounding spatial environment. These findings further support the idea that there are different brain areas involved in the processing of global flow and
local motion.