Multivoxel Pattern Analysis Reveals Auditory Motion Information in MT+ of Both Congenitally Blind and Sighted Individuals
Peelen, Marius V.
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CitationStrnad, Lukas, Marius V. Peelen, Marina Bedny, and Alfonso Caramazza. 2013. Multivoxel pattern analysis reveals auditory motion information in mt+ of both congenitally blind and sighted individuals. PLoS ONE 8(4): e63198.
AbstractCross-modal plasticity refers to the recruitment of cortical regions involved in the processing of one modality (e.g. vision) for processing other modalities (e.g. audition). The principles determining how and where cross-modal plasticity occurs remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate these principles by testing responses to auditory motion in visual motion area MT+ of congenitally blind and sighted individuals. Replicating previous reports, we find that MT+ as a whole shows a strong and selective responses to auditory motion in congenitally blind but not sighted individuals, suggesting that the emergence of this univariate response depends on experience. Importantly, however, multivoxel pattern analyses showed that MT+ contained information about different auditory motion conditions in both blind and sighted individuals. These results were specific to MT+ and not found in early visual cortex. Basic sensitivity to auditory motion in MT+ is thus experience-independent, which may be a basis for the region's strong cross-modal recruitment in congenital blindness.
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