Predictive position computations mediated by parietal areas: TMS evidence

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Abstract

When objects move or the eyes move, the visual system can predict the consequence and generate a percept of the target at its new position. This predictive localization may depend on eye movement control in the frontal eye fields (FEF) and the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and on motion analysis in the medial temporal area (MT). Across two experiments we examined whether repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over right FEF, right IPS, right MT, and a control site, peripheral V1/V2, diminished participants’ perception of two cases of predictive position perception: trans-saccadic fusion, and the flash grab illusion, both presented in the contralateral visual field. In trans-saccadic fusion trials, participants saccade toward a stimulus that is replaced with another stimulus during the saccade. Frequently, predictive position mechanisms lead to a fused percept of pre- and post-saccade stimuli (Paeye et al., 2017). We found that rTMS to IPS significantly decreased the frequency of perceiving trans-saccadic fusion within the first 10 min after stimulation. In the flash grab illusion, a target is flashed on a moving background leading to the percept that the target has shifted in the direction of the motion after the flash (Cavanagh and Anstis, 2013). In the first experiment, the reduction in the flash grab illusion after rTMS to IPS and FEF did not reach significance. In the second experiment, using a stronger version of the flash grab, the illusory shift did decrease significantly after rTMS to IPS although not after rTMS to FEF or to MT. These findings suggest that right IPS contributes to predictive position perception during saccades and motion processing in the contralateral visual field.

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