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Neural population tuning links visual cortical anatomy to human visual perception

Song, Chen, Schwarzkopf, Dietrich Samuel, Kanai, Ryota and Rees, Geraint 2015. Neural population tuning links visual cortical anatomy to human visual perception. Neuron 85 (3) , pp. 641-656. 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.12.041

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The anatomy of cerebral cortex is characterized by two genetically independent variables, cortical thickness and cortical surface area, that jointly determine cortical volume. It remains unclear how cortical anatomy might influence neural response properties and whether such influences would have behavioral consequences. Here, we report that thickness and surface area of human early visual cortices exert opposite influences on neural population tuning with behavioral consequences for perceptual acuity. We found that visual cortical thickness correlated negatively with the sharpness of neural population tuning and the accuracy of perceptual discrimination at different visual field positions. In contrast, visual cortical surface area correlated positively with neural population tuning sharpness and perceptual discrimination accuracy. Our findings reveal a central role for neural population tuning in linking visual cortical anatomy to visual perception and suggest that a perceptually advantageous visual cortex is a thinned one with an enlarged surface area.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the CC-BY license.
Publisher: Elsevier (Cell Press)
ISSN: 0896-6273
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 9 December 2014
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2020 16:00

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