Orientation and direction-of-motion response in the middle temporal visual area (MT) of new world owl monkeys as revealed by intrinsic-signal optical imaging

Peter M. Kaskan, Barbara C. Dillenburger, Haidong D. Lu, Anna Roe, Jon H. Kaas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Intrinsic-signal optical imaging was used to evaluate relationships of domains of neurons in middle temporal visual area (MT) selective for stimulus orientation and direction-of-motion. Maps of activation were elicited in MT of owl monkeys by gratings drifting back-and-forth, flashed stationary gratings and unidirectionally drifting fields of random dots. Drifting gratings, typically used to reveal orientation preference domains, contain a motion component that may be represented in MT. Consequently, this stimulus could activate groups of cells responsive to the motion of the grating, its orientation or a combination of both. Domains elicited from either moving or static gratings were remarkably similar, indicating that these groups of cells are responding to orientation, although they may also encode information about motion. To assess the relationship between domains defined by drifting oriented gratings and those responsive to direction-of-motion, the response to drifting fields of random dots was measured within domains defined from thresholded maps of activation elicited by the drifting gratings.The optical response elicited by drifting fields of random dots was maximal in a direction orthogonal to the map of orientation preference. Thus, neurons in domains selective for stimulus orientation are also selective for motion orthogonal to the preferred stimulus orientation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFrontiers in Neuroanatomy
Issue numberJULY
Publication statusPublished - Jul 7 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Cortical modules
  • Direction-of-motion columns
  • Orientation columns
  • Primates
  • Visual cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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