Haemodynamic Signatures of Temporal Integration of Visual Mirror Symmetry

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Abstract

EEG, fMRI and TMS studies have implicated the extra-striate cortex, including the Lateral Occipital Cortex (LOC), in the processing of visual mirror symmetries. Recent research has found that the sustained posterior negativity (SPN), a symmetry specific electrophysiological response identified in the region of the LOC, is generated when temporally displaced asymmetric components are integrated into a symmetric whole. We aim to expand on this finding using dynamic dot-patterns with systematically increased intra-pair temporal delay to map the limits of temporal integration of visual mirror symmetry. To achieve this, we used functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) which measures the changes in the haemodynamic response to stimulation using near infrared light. We show that a symmetry specific haemodynamic response can be identified following temporal integration of otherwise meaningless dot-patterns, and the magnitude of this response scales with the duration of temporal delay. These results contribute to our understanding of when and where mirror symmetry is processed in the visual system. Furthermore, we highlight fNIRS as a promising but so far underutilised method of studying the haemodynamics of mid-level visual processes in the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number901
JournalSymmetry
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

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