Geospatial statistics of high field functional MRI reveal topographical clustering for binocular stereo depth in early visual cortex
Parker AJ., Coullon G., Sanchez-Panchuelo R., Francis S., Clare S., Kay D., Duff E., Minini L., Jbabdi S., Schluppeck D., Bridge H.
<jats:p>Animals with forward-facing eyes exploit slight differences between the images in the two eyes to determine binocular depth using stereopsis. Evidence for an organized structure in human visual cortex for the representation of stereoscopic depth has proved elusive. Using 7-tesla functional MRI, with gradient-echo echo-planar imaging at 0.75 mm isotropic resolution and a novel analytical approach based on geospatial mapping methods, we find that clustered responses for disparity-defined depth can be clearly segregated from a background of spatially correlated signals in all subjects tested. High-signal clusters are associated with cortical domains as large as 12-15mm across the cortical surface, in which nearby points in the cortical map tend to respond to the same stereoscopic depth. These domains are found predominantly within visual cortical area V3A.</jats:p>