Perceived and mentally rotated contents are differentially represented in cortical layers of V1

Poster No:

681 

Submission Type:

Abstract Submission 

Authors:

Polina Iamshchinina1, Daniel Kaiser2, Renat Yakupov3, Daniel Haenelt4, Alessandro Sciarra5, Hendrik Mattern5, Emrah Duezel3, Oliver Speck3, Nik Weiskopf4, Radoslaw Martin Cichy6

Institutions:

1Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universitaet Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 2Department of Psychology, University of York, Heslington, York, UK, 3German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Magdeburg, Germany, 4Department of Neurophysics, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany, 5Department of Biomedical Magnetic Resonance, Institute for Physics, Otto-von-Guericke-University, Magdeburg, Germany, 6Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Berlin, Germany

First Author:

Polina Iamshchinina  
Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universitaet Berlin
Berlin, Germany

Co-Author(s):

Daniel Kaiser  
Department of Psychology, University of York
Heslington, York, UK
Renat Yakupov  
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Magdeburg, Germany
Daniel Haenelt  
Department of Neurophysics, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Leipzig, Germany
Alessandro Sciarra  
Department of Biomedical Magnetic Resonance, Institute for Physics, Otto-von-Guericke-University
Magdeburg, Germany
Hendrik Mattern  
Department of Biomedical Magnetic Resonance, Institute for Physics, Otto-von-Guericke-University
Magdeburg, Germany
Emrah Duezel  
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Magdeburg, Germany
Oliver Speck  
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Magdeburg, Germany
Nik Weiskopf  
Department of Neurophysics, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Leipzig, Germany
Radoslaw Martin Cichy  
Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universitaet Berlin
Berlin, Germany

Introduction:

Mental rotation typically comprises perceiving an external input and subsequently mentally transforming it in the mind's eye. These processes require feedforward and feedback information processing in visual cortex. Previous studies showed that V1 contains both the perceived and imagined representations of visual contents, posing the question how V1 can support both processes at the same time. Recent animal and human studies suggest that anatomical distinction might be key: feedforward sensory input targets the middle layer of grey matter, whereas the outer cortical layers receive feedback signals (e.g., Larkum, 2013; Muckli et al., 2015). Here, we investigate whether perceived and mentally rotated contents are differentially represented in cortical layers of V1.

Methods:

In the main experiment, participants (N=24) viewed a sample grating and in the subsequent mental rotation interval rotated it 60 (>) or 120 (>>) degrees to the left or to the right (Fig.1, Albers et al., 2013). After the rotation interval, participants reported whether a test grating was tilted clockwise or counterclockwise compared to the mentally rotated grating. Overall, only three sample orientations were used in the experiment. Each of them could become one of the two remaining sample orientations as a result of mental rotation. In a localizer task, participants viewed the three flickering sample orientations (2 Hz) while doing an orthogonal task.
The study was performed on a 7T whole-body MR scanner (Siemens Healthineers, Germany) using GE-EPI protocol: TR = 2000 ms, TE = 22 ms, FA = 90°, number of slices = 30, voxel size = (0.8 mm)3, GRAPPA = 4, partial Fourier = 5/8. Regions of interest were defined using anatomical templates for brain areas V1, V2, V3 (Benson et al., 2014) and within them cortex was divided into superficial, middle and deep layers using equi-volume model (Fig. 2B, Waehnert et al., 2014; Huntenburg, Steele & Bazin, 2018). Furthermore, we employed pattern classification to determine shown and rotated grating orientations. In detail, we trained a classifier on the raw data from the localizer task to differentiate between the three sample orientations (chance level 33%). Then, we tested the classifier on every time point of each experimental trial and counted the proportion of predicted labels when the orientations were presented, rotated or not shown in every given trial.
Supporting Image: Fig1_OHBM2020.png
 

Results:

Classifier decisions over the time of the trial averaged across all grey matter layers of V1 revealed robust neural information about the perceived and rotated orientations (Fig. 2A). Layer-specific analyses revealed interactions between cortical depth and the representation of perceived and imagined contents: in V1 (Fig. 2C) and partly in V3, the middle layers preferentially represented the originally perceived orientation (p<0.05), while the superficial and deep layers (S+D) more strongly represented the imagined orientation (p<0.05).
Supporting Image: Fig2_OHBM2020.png
 

Conclusions:

Together, our results show that perceived and mentally rotated visual contents are spatially dissociated in early visual cortex, suggesting that feedforward and feedback rely on dissociable mechanisms that manifest in distinct anatomical subregions of cortex.

Higher Cognitive Functions:

Imagery 1

Learning and Memory:

Working Memory

Modeling and Analysis Methods:

Multivariate Approaches 2

Novel Imaging Acquisition Methods:

BOLD fMRI

Keywords:

Cortical Layers
FUNCTIONAL MRI
Multivariate
Vision

1|2Indicates the priority used for review

My abstract is being submitted as a Software Demonstration.

No

Please indicate below if your study was a "resting state" or "task-activation” study.

Task-activation

Healthy subjects only or patients (note that patient studies may also involve healthy subjects):

Healthy subjects

Was any human subjects research approved by the relevant Institutional Review Board or ethics panel? NOTE: Any human subjects studies without IRB approval will be automatically rejected.

Yes

Was any animal research approved by the relevant IACUC or other animal research panel? NOTE: Any animal studies without IACUC approval will be automatically rejected.

Not applicable

Please indicate which methods were used in your research:

Functional MRI

For human MRI, what field strength scanner do you use?

7T

Which processing packages did you use for your study?

AFNI
SPM
FSL
Free Surfer

Provide references using author date format

Albers, A. M. (2013), ‘Shared representations for working memory and mental imagery in early visual cortex’, Current Biology, 23(15), 1427–1431
Benson, N. C. (2014), ‘Correction of distortion in flattened representations of the cortical surface allows prediction of V1-V3 functional organization from anatomy’, PLoS computational biology, 10(3), e1003538.
Huntenburg, J.M. (2018), ‘Nighres: processing tools for high-resolution neuroimaging’, GigaScience, 7(7)
Larkum, M. (2013), ‘A cellular mechanism for cortical associations: an organizing principle for the cerebral cortex’, Trends in neurosciences, 36(3), 141-151
Muckli, L. (2015), ‘Contextual Feedback to Superficial Layers of V1’, Current Biology, 25(20), 2690–2695
Waehnert, M. D. (2014), ‘Anatomically motivated modeling of cortical laminae’, NeuroImage, 93, 210–220