Sensitivity of human visual and vestibular cortical regions to egomotion-compatible visual stimulation

Velia Cardin, Andrew T. Smith

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The analysis and representation of visual cues to self-motion (egomotion) is primarily associated with cortical areas MST, VIP, and (recently) cingulate sulcus visual area (CSv). Various other areas, including visual areas V6 and V6A, and vestibular areas parietoinsular vestibular cortex (PIVC), putative area 2v (p2v), and 3aNv, are also potentially suited to processing egomotion (in some cases based on multisensory cues), but it is not known whether they are in fact involved in this process. In a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment, we presented human participants with 2 types of random dot kinematograms. Both contained coherent motion but one simulated egomotion while the other did not. An area in the parieto-occipital sulcus that may correspond to V6, PIVC, and p2v were all differentially responsive to egomotion-compatible visual stimuli, suggesting that they may be involved in encoding egomotion. More generally, we show that the use of such stimuli provides a simple and reliable fMRI localizer for human PIVC and p2v, which hitherto required galvanic or caloric stimulation to be identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1964-1973
Number of pages10
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number8
Early online date24 Dec 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • egomotion
  • fMRI
  • human
  • V6
  • PIVC
  • vestibular
  • visual

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