Direction of motion discrimination after early lesions of striate cortex (V1) of the macaque monkey
PublisherThe National Academy of Sciences
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DescriptionPrevious studies have established that humans and monkeys with damage to striate cortex are able to detect and localize bright targets within the resultant scotoma. Electrophysiological evidence in monkeys suggests that residual vision also might include sensitivity to direction of visual motion. We tested whether macaque monkeys with longstanding lesions of striate cortex (V1), sustained in infancy, could discriminate visual stimuli on the basis of direction of motion. Three monkeys with unilateral striate cortex lesions sustained in infancy were tested 2–5 years postlesion on a direction of motion discrimination task. Each monkey was trained to make saccadic eye movements to a field of moving dots or to withhold such eye movements, depending on the direction of motion in a coherent random dot display. With smaller motion displays, monkeys were unable to detect or discriminate motion within the scotoma, although they could discriminate moving from static stimuli. Yet, each monkey was able to discriminate direction of motion when the motion stimulus was larger, but still confined to the scotoma. The results demonstrate that the recovery after infant damage to striate cortex includes some sensitivity to direction of visual motion.
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