Roberts, R.E., Ahmad, H., Arshad, Q., Patel, M., Dima, D., Leech, R., Seemungal, B. M., Sharp, D. J. & Bronstein, A. M. (2016). Functional neuroimaging of visuo-vestibular interaction. Brain Structure and Function, doi: 10.1007/s00429-016-1344-4
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The brain combines visual, vestibular and proprioceptive information to distinguish between self- and world motion. Often these signals are complementary and indicate that the individual is moving or stationary with respect to the surroundings. However, conflicting visual motion and vestibular cues can lead to ambiguous or false sensations of motion. In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore human brain activation when visual and vestibular cues were either complementary or in conflict. We combined a horizontally moving optokinetic stimulus with caloric irrigation of the right ear to produce conditions where the vestibular activation and visual motion indicated the same (congruent) or opposite directions of self-motion (incongruent). Visuo-vestibular conflict was associated with increased activation in a network of brain regions including posterior insular and transverse temporal areas, cerebellar tonsil, cingulate and medial frontal gyri. In the congruent condition, there was increased activation in primary and secondary visual cortex. These findings suggest that when sensory information regarding self-motion is contradictory, there is preferential activation of multisensory vestibular areas to resolve this ambiguity. When cues are congruent, there is a bias towards visual cortical activation. The data support the view that a network of brain areas including the posterior insular cortex may play an important role in integrating and disambiguating visual and vestibular cues.
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||Visual–vestibular interaction, Visual motion, Caloric, Vestibular, Visual dependency|
|Subjects:||R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry|
|Divisions:||School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology|
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