Brain and Behaviour Seminar
Dr David Field, University of Reading
The influence of dietary flavonoids on visual funtion: observations and hypotheses
A number of fMRI studies of high‐level vision have reported selective focal activation in a dorso‐medial part of the superior parietal lobule (dmSPL). Each of these has attributed a different functional role to the region. Considering the studies as a group reveals that tasks activating this region share a common feature, which was not apparent to the study authors. The common feature is that tasks that activate the region strongly are ones where processing the changing visual distance between two objects is important for determining responses in a behavioural task, or where relative motion is a very salient feature of the stimulus. This suggests the hypothesis that dmSPL encodes the relative positions of, or visual angles between, objects. This type of information is of critical importance for the visual control of actions such as reaching to grasp an object or steering a car, but it is not explicitly represented in early visual areas. In this talk I will use the new hypothesis to re‐ interpret findings of previous studies, and present new fMRI data that supports the hypothesis.