Our perception of the world is mainly dynamic. In order to interact adequately with the environment, our brain must analyze rapidly and efficiently various kind of motion present in the visual world, including complex motions such as the optic flow induced by our own movements. The primary visual cortex, through its direction-selective cells, is the first cortical step toward such integration. Each hemifield is analyzed by one hemisphere, and the corpus callosum is thought to link these two representations into a single dynamic scene. Using cat as a model animal and optical imaging as a technique, the goal of this project is to elucidate the role of the corpus callosum in the interhemispheric transfer of visual motion. Recent experiments have however challenged a limited view of the primary visual cortex for the processing of motion: the primary visual cortex was recently implicated in the processing of illusionary motion, optic flow induced by self-motion, composition of plaids. We plan to perform series of experiments on cats of various ages, from eye-opening to adult cats, with the use of different stimulation paradigms. All together, these experiments will provide new knowledge about how the corpus callosum can provide a substrate for the interhemispheric transfer of different types of visual motion, and how this involvment develops with age.
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