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Publication Detail
Perceived and mentally rotated contents are differentially represented in cortical depth of V1
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Iamshchinina P, Kaiser D, Yakupov R, Haenelt D, Sciarra A, Mattern H, Luesebrink F, Duezel E, Speck O, Weiskopf N, Cichy RM
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  • Journal:
    Communications Biology
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  • Notes:
    Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Primary visual cortex (V1) in humans is known to represent both veridically perceived external input and internally-generated contents underlying imagery and mental rotation. However, it is unknown how the brain keeps these contents separate thus avoiding a mixture of the perceived and the imagined which could lead to potentially detrimental consequences. Inspired by neuroanatomical studies showing that feedforward and feedback connections in V1 terminate in different cortical layers, we hypothesized that this anatomical compartmentalization underlies functional segregation of external and internally-generated visual contents, respectively. We used high-resolution layer-specific fMRI to test this hypothesis in a mental rotation task. We found that rotated contents were predominant at outer cortical depth bins (i.e. superficial and deep). At the same time perceived contents were represented stronger at the middle cortical bin. These results identify how through cortical depth compartmentalization V1 functionally segregates rather than confuses external from internally-generated visual contents. These results indicate that feedforward and feedback manifest in distinct subdivisions of the early visual cortex, thereby reflecting a general strategy for implementing multiple cognitive functions within a single brain region.
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