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Eye Movements Provide Inhibitory Inputs to the Occipito-Temporal Region

Author(s): Yul-Wan Sung | Hiroshi Tsubokawa | Young-Bo Kim | Seiji Ogawa

Journal: Open Journal of Medical Imaging
ISSN 2164-2788

Volume: 02;
Issue: 03;
Start page: 85;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Eye Movements | Visual Object Processing | Occipito-Temporal Region | Inhibitory | Functional MRI (fMRI)

Eye movements play an important role in attention and visual processing. However, the manner in which eye move-ments are involved in object processing is not clear. The aim of this study is to examine the effects of eye movements on object-processing areas in the occipito-temporal region. Eye movements are always accompanied by visual perception; therefore, the effects of eye movements on object-processing areas in which visual object information is sent via eye movements instead of via retinal inputs of visual images must be measured. For this purpose, response to an eye- drawing stimulation in subjects who drew pictures of faces or buildings by their moving eyes under closed-eye condi-tions was measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging. Functional areas in the occipito-temporal region showed negative responses to the eye-drawing stimulation, and the pattern of negative activation maps in the region was almost the same as that of positive activation maps observed after visual image stimulation. Responses in cate-gory-selective area showed category dependency to the eye-drawing stimulation. This suggests that eye movements provide inhibitory inputs to the object-processing areas in the occipito-temporal region, and these inputs may modulate visual inputs to these areas coming through the retina in the visual perception process.

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