Isolating motion responses in visual evoked potentials by preadapting flicker-sensitive mechanisms
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Onset of visual motion evokes a component in the EEG, the motion onset VEP. Exploring its motion specificity with a direction-specific adaptation paradigm, previous work demonstrated that less than 50% of the motion onset VEP represents actual motion detection. Here, we tested whether preadaptation of flicker-sensitive mechanisms can help to isolate motion-specific responses in the VEP. Flicker preadaptation was accomplished by limiting dot lifetime in the random-dot kinematograms that we used to study the direction specificity of motion adaptation. With unlimited dot lifetime, motion adaptation reduced the VEP amplitude to 35% (adapted direction) and 50% (opposite direction). With the shortest dot lifetime (40 ms), motion adaptation reduced the amplitude to 55% (adapted direction) and 70% (opposite direction). These findings suggest that random-dot kinematograms with short dot lifetimes could improve the investigation of human motion processing, be it in electrophysiology or other fields. While such stimuli successfully preadapt flicker-related components, they still evoke a sizable response, of which an estimated 70% is motion-specific.
KeywordsMotion detection Adaptation Cortex Human VEP
We gratefully acknowledge Sven P. Heinrich's advice and thank our subjects for their patience.
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