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Early recurrence and ongoing parietal driving during elementary visual processing

Plomp, G., Hervais-Adelman, A., Astolfi, L., & Michel, C. M. (2015). Early recurrence and ongoing parietal driving during elementary visual processing. Scientific Reports, 5: 18733. doi:10.1038/srep18733.
Visual stimuli quickly activate a broad network of brain areas that often show reciprocal structural connections between them. Activity at short latencies (<100 ms) is thought to represent a feed-forward activation of widespread cortical areas, but fast activation combined with reciprocal connectivity between areas in principle allows for two-way, recurrent interactions to occur at short latencies after stimulus onset. Here we combined EEG source-imaging and Granger-causal modeling with high temporal resolution to investigate whether recurrent and top-down interactions between visual and attentional brain areas can be identified and distinguished at short latencies in humans. We investigated the directed interactions between widespread occipital, parietal and frontal areas that we localized within participants using fMRI. The connectivity results showed two-way interactions between area MT and V1 already at short latencies. In addition, the results suggested a large role for lateral parietal cortex in coordinating visual activity that may be understood as an ongoing top-down allocation of attentional resources. Our results support the notion that indirect pathways allow early, evoked driving from MT to V1 to highlight spatial locations of motion transients, while influence from parietal areas is continuously exerted around stimulus onset, presumably reflecting task-related attentional processes.
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The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

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