Functional and anatomical properties of human visual cortical fields

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Abstract

Human visual cortical fields (VCFs) vary in size and anatomical location across individual subjects. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with retinotopic stimulation to identify VCFs on the cortical surface. We found that aligning and averaging VCF activations across the two hemispheres provided clear delineation of multiple retinotopic fields in visual cortex. The results show that VCFs have consistent locations and extents in different subjects that provide stable and accurate landmarks for functional and anatomical mapping. Interhemispheric comparisons revealed minor differences in polar angle and eccentricity tuning in comparable VCFs in the left and right hemisphere, and somewhat greater intersubject variability in the right than left hemisphere. We then used the functional boundaries to characterize the anatomical properties of VCFs, including fractional anisotropy (FA), magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) and the ratio of T1W and T2W images and found significant anatomical differences between VCFs and between hemispheres.

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