The continuously changing optic flow on the retina provides information about direction of heading and about the three-dimensional structure of the environment. Here we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to demonstrate that an area in human cortex responds selectively to components of optic flow, such as circular and radial motion. This area is within the region commonly referrred to as V5/MT complex, but is distinct from the part of this region that responds to translation. The functional properties of these two areas of the V5/MT complex are also different; the response to optic flow was obtained only with changing flow stimuli, whereas response to translation occurred during exposure to continuous motion.
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